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 Post subject: Tube rollers
PostPosted: March 30, 2018, 4:33 pm 
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Joined: June 5, 2016, 7:03 am
Posts: 219
Location: ontario
I had recently a personal message from a builder on this list asking me if the type of tube roller below (sold by HB in the US, and Princess auto in Canada could bend 1/4" walled 2 " tubes. The answer was NO. This tool is a light duty tube roller. My experience with it is in gauge 16 tubes, round or square, from 1/2" to 1". The machine is sold with larger dies ( 1 1/2") but I have not used them yet. I do not believe that this tool would work well with gauges heavier than gauge 14. The frame is rather light, all you have is a 24 " wheel to roll the tubes in between three dies, in other words your muscles. In addition to the physical force needed to move the tube the operator also has to check that the tube is not sliding (drifting) sideways out of alignment. My belief is that tubes with heavier walls need a machine with hydraulics. I have bent gauge 12 1" tubes with a simple pipe bender using the 1/2" die. But of course it is not easy and you don't have much control on the radius.


https://www.harborfreight.com/tubing-roller-99736.html


Last edited by phil on March 31, 2018, 5:06 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Tube rollers
PostPosted: March 30, 2018, 6:23 pm 
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Joined: October 23, 2010, 2:40 am
Posts: 1051
Jerry H. let me use his HF tube roller to roll 1.5" x 0.065 DOM tube. It was a lot of work and caused some slippage of the drive die that needed to be repaired (i.e., properly pinned.) It did get the job done, but one needed to do the tightening in small steps and work out the spring-back by taking multiple passes before more turning the screw down. In my estimation, this job was the max that the HF roller could handle. Perhaps with milder steel or smaller diameter tubes it would be a different story.

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 Post subject: Re: Tube rollers
PostPosted: March 30, 2018, 8:35 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
If you fixed how everything is secured to the shaft, it would be an okay tool. I welded the wheel to the shaft but couldn't do the same on the dies. The dies and shaft should have been keyed at a minimum. The pinch bolts are extremely easy to deform since they're low strength and the threads go all the way to the tip. If they deform the slightest amount then nothing will come apart but the lack of preload will also prevent it from gripping the shaft.

It's a decent kit to use as a basis for building a good roller.

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 Post subject: Re: Tube rollers
PostPosted: March 30, 2018, 11:42 pm 
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Joined: June 5, 2016, 7:03 am
Posts: 219
Location: ontario
a.moore wrote:
If you fixed how everything is secured to the shaft, it would be an okay tool. I welded the wheel to the shaft but couldn't do the same on the dies. The dies and shaft should have been keyed at a minimum. The pinch bolts are extremely easy to deform since they're low strength and the threads go all the way to the tip. If they deform the slightest amount then nothing will come apart but the lack of preload will also prevent it from gripping the shaft.

It's a decent kit to use as a basis for building a good roller.


You are right. This tool needs a good deal of upgrades. I found that even in 1 inch .065 tubes and moderate pressure the drive die would often not have enough traction to move the tube. A new design is out now with a chain driving two dies instead of one.

www.princessauto.com/en/detail/tubing-b ... -p8536708e


If I had greater needs for a tube roller I would modify my HF to link two of the 3 dies. I believe that the tool also needs some sort of additional guiding roller to keep the tubes in line with the dies when they roll out


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