Well, what can I say, I had some cash kicking around, so temptation got the better of me.Â We can’t all have one of these, but, if you are fortunate enough, it opens a whole world of possabilities.Â This Pro-Tools 15 ton ram draw benderÂ uses the same forming method as a mandrel bender, with out the internal mandrel.Â The result, to most eyes, is that of a mandrel bend at a drastically reduced price. Â The resulting bends are uniform, smooth, and very little discernable compression of the pipe in the area of the bend.Â The resulting bends are accepted by racing sanctioning bodies for use in roll cage fabrication and other structural purposes.Â This particular bender is capable of creating bends in excess of 180 degrees, and can bend Schedule 80 pipe, round and square tubing ranging from 1/2″ up to 2″ .Â This unit is an air over hydraulic pump, with a foot control, which keeps your hands free for positioning the tubing, holding an angle guage, or what ever else.Â If the money isn’t in your budget, or, you don’t need to bend often enough to justify the cost, you can get a manully operated version, or even plans to build your own which uses the same diesÂ and isÂ Powered by Armstrong.
You can use a floor mount, either built or purchased.Â Considering the length of some pipe or tubing, you better have a LOT of space around the bender to allow for the swing of the pipe.Â In my case, I have to place bends in tubing as long as 20 feet.Â My solution was to build a rolling stand to mount the bender on, and it conveniently carries all the dies and followers.Â You have to build it HEAVY, or the weight of the pipe or tubing hanging out will tip it over.Â I used 1/4 x 4 x 4 inch box, and 1/8 inch plate for the floor of the bottom.Â Some cast iron casters, and it rolls, rotates and stores when you don’t need it.
Here you can see a 180 degree bend, still in the machine.Â It’s a 2 step process to make a bend in excess of about 110 degrees.Â But, the design of the machine allows for easy removal and flipping of the tubing as required.Â This in its self can be a real saving, especially in more complicated assemblies with 2 or more bends.Â Other machines often require you to slide the tubing through the machine and die opening.Â This gets a little challenging, especially with longer pieces.
Here you can see how simple it is to open up the bender to place or remove a pipe.Â Beats the heck of trying to thread it through the machine.
There is really no limit to what yo can bend.Â Virtually any outside dimension of either round or square pipe or tubing.Â They will even make custom dies it you have a special need.