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Learning how to build Lotus Seven replicas...together!
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PostPosted: February 1, 2012, 9:53 am 
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Joined: September 26, 2010, 6:37 pm
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I have to build a cage for our rally car and possibly other projects along the way. What have people liked here?

Also we are also on a budget so how much would a reasonably priced one should cost?

Thanks!


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PostPosted: February 1, 2012, 10:22 am 
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Looking at different designs

Image

Image

Any preference?


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PostPosted: February 1, 2012, 10:26 am 
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I reccomend the second pic posted above, the JD squared bender. That one is the manual version but they make hydraulic and air over hydraulic versions.

Tom

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PostPosted: February 1, 2012, 12:01 pm 
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We are Slotus!
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We used the great-grandfather of that second one pictured. James has had it for years and built numerous roll cages with it.

Now that I know it's named "JD" I like it even better! :mrgreen:

JD

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Last edited by GonzoRacer on February 5, 2012, 9:00 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: February 1, 2012, 12:15 pm 
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Always Moore!
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Joined: November 9, 2007, 3:40 pm
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Location: Pittsburgh, PA
I'll toss the Got Trikes bender into the mix. :mrgreen:

Yes I am very biased since I built one from their plans but I have yet to find a better value - $600 won't touch a commercially available hydraulic powered bender and a die set.

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PostPosted: February 1, 2012, 7:22 pm 
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Joined: December 17, 2010, 1:24 pm
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Location: Gainesville, Mo.
You might want to look at Pro-Tools out of Tampa, Fl. They offer many different types of benders including a DIY model, and the plans are free for the asking.

http://www.pro-tools.com/build-your-own-bender-plans.aspx

I have a set of these plans and hope to adapt them to my 22-ton log splitter for power. I'll keep everyone posted once that project gets started.

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PostPosted: February 1, 2012, 11:47 pm 
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Joined: November 14, 2010, 3:52 pm
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Location: Chattanooga, TN
I bought one of the pro-tools benders from TMR customs out of Canada. I joined the pirate4x4 offroad site to learn about bending and cage building, and I found a nice discount on pro-tools stuff through the site. I've been bending 1.315" OD, .133" wall, 1" sched 40 pipe with a 5" radius 240* die. If you just buy the bender and fab your own stand, handle and degree ring it's not that expensive. I've probably made 50 bends in the last few weeks, and after getting used to inserting the pipe, attaching strap and backing block I can make 90 degree bends in a couple minutes. Hydraulic would be nice if I was doing a lot, but for a single chassis the manual is much quicker to setup and use in my small garage.


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PostPosted: February 2, 2012, 12:52 am 
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I bought one of the Eastwood benders (the first picture) about a year ago and am pretty happy with the job that it does on 1" and 1.5"...haven't bent larger diameter yet.

A hint....Eastwood often puts this bender, and their other tools, into eBay auctions where they can be purchased, if the auction doesn't run up, at a decent discount off of what they normally sell for on the Eastwood website. I got my bender for just under $280 including shipping that way. You may have to wait through several auction cycles but it certainly works if you're patient.

Bill

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PostPosted: February 2, 2012, 12:19 pm 
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Location: Massachusetts
Bill, I'm looking at this bender and it's claiming only 60 degrees for larger diameters like 1.5". It mentions making a 90 degree bend by welding 2 45 degree bends together, but that won't be a spec cage or roll bar for track use. Do you think you can just move the tube and continue the bend?

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PostPosted: February 2, 2012, 2:10 pm 
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I'm all for adding new tools to my shop, but if doing a one-off car with, say, six 90-or-so degree bends required in, say, 1 1/2" DOM (i.e., three hoops) does it make more sense to have these hoops bent professionally? Advantage: Accurate bends, hoops in one plane, no waste tube for "practice", no tooling (die) cost, etc. Disadvantage: Cost (I have no idea of the cost/bend), no tool to use for the next car...

I'm an avid DIY'er and enjoy fabbing up required tools, but in this case, just wonderin'...

That said, the GotTrikes bender is pretty cool, and from the completed benders pictures, there may be one locally :)

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PostPosted: February 4, 2012, 7:47 pm 
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Hi Marcus,

I tried moving the tube during a bend to get more than 60 degrees and it does work but I've found it a challenge to keep the bend smooth and uniform. I compromise and use my bender for everything but main hoop...I had the main hoop bent by a pro to my measurements (and I only had to pay for one length of tube even when he screwed up up the first bend).

Bill

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PostPosted: February 4, 2012, 10:17 pm 
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That Pro-Tools bender uses 90* bending dies, and I believe 120* dies are available. BTW, the DIY feature is an option. It's also available ready to use.

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PostPosted: February 4, 2012, 10:51 pm 
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Another factor I was try to consider in my decision is resale value, what will sell reasonably fast for the closest I originally paid.
It sometimes helps to break the indecision's between more than one choice.

Al

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PostPosted: February 5, 2012, 1:10 am 
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Joined: July 2, 2010, 1:13 am
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Location: Phoenix arizona
I have the protools bender,almost the same as above,but I got the hd model with hydraulic-air setup and degree wheel,plus a 270 degree 1.5" die set.I does faultless bends ,the last thing I made were my headers as seen in my build log.The reason this is such a good machine is that it draws the tube thru a die that doesnt allow the tube to oval.$2100 was the price if anyone was wondering..and with the hydraulic setup it doesnt need to be bolted to the floor,i made mine roll around on casters.
Wayne-o


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PostPosted: February 5, 2012, 8:26 am 
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Location: Halifax, Nova Scotia
I have a friend with a Pro-Tools bender. He didn't have the die that I wanted, so i just bought the die. As it happened, he moved and lost his shop space, so the bender seems to live at my place ... I found keeping multi plane bend ups (my windshield hoop) the biggest challenge and had to enlst my wife's help as a 'holder'.

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