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View Full Version : how to bend 2 x 4 tubeing?


exline
03-05-2010, 02:12 PM
i am working on a project car and need to bend some 2 x 4, 1/8 wall rectangle tube. for the frame in the rear. it would need bent up in the air to go over the rear. i have welded pieces together in the past but really wanted to make some type of form or bender to bend this stuff with.
also i was wondering if it may be possible to use a type of forum or bender with heat applied to the tube?

any ideas or recomendations that arent too expensive to build? at least under $1000.00 or hopefully a lot cheaper. i only need to bend the stuff ocassionaly.

thanks, kenny (used to be hemihead)

John Kelly
03-05-2010, 02:36 PM
Hi Kenny,

The inside wall will want to collapse when bending tubing. The larger the cross section and thinner the wall, the more dramatic the effect. One of Ron Covell's videos showed splitting the tubing lengthwise, bending both halves and allowing them to slip by each other and weld, making a smoother bend since the outside needs to cover more distance than the inside. Pretty clever. On smaller tubing, you can collapse the inside wall with a punch to help shrink, then weld the dents back up when done bending. Rectangular tubing such as you are using will have to be cut and re-welded. If you bend it, it will collapse losing its dimension causing a weak point in your construction.

John www.ghiaspecialties.com

Jim Stabe
03-05-2010, 02:41 PM
Bending tube that size, especially since you will likely want it bent the hard way, will take a mandrel bender with substantial power . My suggestion would be to Google tube bending shops in your area and pay them to bend it for you. You will have a lot less invested than trying to build a machine yourself for just occasional use. Most people on this forum want to be able to do everything themselves (myself included) but this may be one time when you should farm the job out.

gearheads78
03-05-2010, 03:22 PM
Bending tube that size, especially since you will likely want it bent the hard way, will take a mandrel bender with substantial power . My suggestion would be to Google tube bending shops in your area and pay them to bend it for you. You will have a lot less invested than trying to build a machine yourself for just occasional use. Most people on this forum want to be able to do everything themselves (myself included) but this may be one time when you should farm the job out.

Agree on every point especially about wanting to do everything myself. :D

oldgoaly
03-05-2010, 05:18 PM
Hey Kenny!
Curt Stonehacker at Eastwood might be able to point you in the right direction? he had e-wheel and louver frames mandrel bent. Also a place in Canada had a kit, something like "welder series" that had plates made so you could weld a kick-up even Mustang 2 front suspension framework. I hope that helps!!! tt

Jacob
03-05-2010, 05:25 PM
You don't really WANT to bend 2x4 tube, what you really want is the frame to kick-up over the axle right? Why not just cut some 1/8 steel the profile you want and create the frame rails that way? When you wrote that you had welded them in the past, I assume that you welded up pieces of tubing, right?

In our archives, there is a talented guy who was building a 37 chevy who was doing exactly that. His name is Bill Herman, he did some amazing work. He has not posted in a long time. Last time I heard from him, he said he was having health issues. If you are out there Bill, it would but great to hear from you.

If you want to see some great work building hot rod frames, take a look at this thread!
http://metalmeet.org/forum/showthread.php?t=5403

Anyhow, consider fabricating you frame rails.:)

v2cad
03-05-2010, 05:50 PM
Kenny
Check these guys out. I got a set of rails from them a while back. Real good quality and decent price. They're in Pa. not sure how far from you.
http://autoweldchassis.com/index2.ivnu

J.

Brian McCollim
03-05-2010, 06:25 PM
http://www.walterlongmanufacturing.com/index.html

these guys can do it for you as well, not sure how close you are to South Park (near Pittsburgh). They did all of our custom bending where I work.
Brian

exline
03-05-2010, 07:43 PM
i have made the frame section before just cutting 1/8 plate the shape it needs to be and welding it together and it looked like it was mandrel bent and worked well. I was just wanting to try it by bending this time if i could.
actually i really want to keep the frame shape to match the floor of the car and weld it to the floor. it is for a unibody car , i am replacing the rear frame section on so i thought i would attach it the same way as the factory did ,and it would need to have the same shape as the floor to get the right fit.
i have seen the welder series of bends , they were advertised in street rodder magazine.
the idea of splitting the tubing on the 4" side long ways would be a good idea also. i had seen that covell video and forgot about it.
i was thinking of trying to find a shop to bend it for me, and i still may, but thought iw would be easier or better to be able to do it where the car is so i can be sure the fight is really close to the floor shape.

i was just curious if anyone had come up with an inexpensive way to mandrel bend anything this big.
thanks for all of your ideas and any more you may have. i will see if i can get some pictures of what i am trying to do soon. i am trying to deep the frame fitting where the factory frame did but use updated suspension. i want to make a jig to build the frame section then just be able to have it ready to weld to the car.

good to hear from all of you guys again. i had to re register since i just missed the 3 1/2 year mark.

thanks, kenny

tdoty
03-05-2010, 07:44 PM
Art Morrison and Jeg's used to sell rear frame rails that looked like what it sound like you want to do. I think Jeg's were 2x3 though. Haven't looked for them in a while, so I don't know who sells what right now. Not much help, am I?

I'm with the others, bending 2x4 that way is not really a homebuilder proposition. If you were just looking for a slight sweep, that can be done with a torch and a lot of patience.

Tim D.

ShawnMarsh
03-05-2010, 09:08 PM
I just installed a set of rear rails, mandrel bent the hard way from Chris Alston's Chassiworks (http://www.cachassisworks.com/). Very well constructed, and come in a large variety of shapes/sizes/styles, and I know they can do them custom for you as well.