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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    398

    Precision pipe bending information?

    Greetings gents,

    Does anyone have any reference material on how to calculate and lay out bends on a pipe so that you can mark all the bends at once? I'm mostly interested in precise, no guess methods.

    Cheers!
    Tim

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    New Brunswick, Canada
    Posts
    86
    Swagelok Tube Bending Guide. I bought the book and little slide rule, but they also published the info online.
    Also, the book "IPT'S Pipe Trades Training Manual" is an excellent resource. I picked this one up at trade school, not sure if it is available in the US. Have a look on Ebay maybe.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
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    398
    Quote Originally Posted by FrostGiant View Post
    Swagelok Tube Bending Guide. I bought the book and little slide rule, but they also published the info online.
    Also, the book "IPT'S Pipe Trades Training Manual" is an excellent resource. I picked this one up at trade school, not sure if it is available in the US. Have a look on Ebay maybe.
    Perfect, thank you. I'm in Canada, so I may or may not have much luck.

    What kind of bender do you like? I was thinking a ratchet bender, but it seems like it might be difficult to do precise bends with them.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    New Brunswick, Canada
    Posts
    86
    The IPT book is actually published in Alberta, I went to school in New Brunswick. Ask some of the older guys around in the trade they may have one, even the pipe fitters.
    I'm a service tech so I don't do as much bending as the installers, I use a lever type. If you're doing a lot of bending, yes, those ratchet types may be a great choice.
    As far as accuracy, I've never used one so can't comment. The reverse bend attachment looks cool for tight spots! Search the forums here, probably find some reviews.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    398
    Quote Originally Posted by FrostGiant View Post
    The IPT book is actually published in Alberta, I went to school in New Brunswick. Ask some of the older guys around in the trade they may have one, even the pipe fitters.
    I'm a service tech so I don't do as much bending as the installers, I use a lever type. If you're doing a lot of bending, yes, those ratchet types may be a great choice.
    As far as accuracy, I've never used one so can't comment. The reverse bend attachment looks cool for tight spots! Search the forums here, probably find some reviews.
    Cool. I know someone at NATE they might be able to hook me up. Thanks for the info.

    Sent from my HTC One S using Tapatalk 2

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Posts
    7,326
    the best way is to calculate clamp length, long heat and short heat lengths. remember as you bend the pipe, especially on large bore above say six inch, the heat lengths really start to matter.
    http://www.bendtooling.com/bending_formulas.htm

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    398
    Thanks, I didn't know about heat and cool lengths. Yet another thing to consider!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Bay Area California
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    1,833
    Quote Originally Posted by timtanguay View Post
    how to calculate and lay out bends on a pipe so that you can mark all the bends at once?
    I've found that is very difficult in practice. Because your errors can grow with each bend.

    What I do is make a quick sketch diagramming the length and angle between each bend. Then mark the pipe for each bend after the previous bend. It's pretty fast once you figure out what you are doing. You need to get into a rhythm.

    For example, with soft copper, I always keep the roll on my right. Then bend towards the roll. Maybe you don't get what I'm saying, but the bigger point here is that you need to develop good work habits. Many of those habits get to the point where we don't even think about them any more.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    398
    Good tips, thanks. I guess the trick is to do it the same way every time to get consistent repeatable results.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    South of Heaven
    Posts
    1,169
    I used the " trial and error " method ( 7/8 and smaller ) when I worked with soft copper with lever style and when the REMS ratchet bender came out. I had made my own chart for different combinations of required possibilities and could usually layout 3 or 4 bends with confidence. I guess that the main point is knowing the real allowance for the tool and where to place those allowances in different situations ( it is not rocket science but can be confusing if you don't do this every day ). I have a similar cheat sheet for compound miter saw man I can mess up some cuts , lol.

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