5 Tips You Need to Know Before Using Your Pipe Bending Machine for the First Time

If you've recently bought a pipe bending machine, you may be excited about bending your first pipe. Before you get started, there are a few tips you may want to consider. Take a look at these essential ideas.

1. Always Bend the Metal

If a pipe is longer than you need, you may be tempted to secure the end in the bender, bend it and then cut off the rest. However, this is not ideal. Instead, for best results, you should always bend in the middle of whatever size pipe you are using.

There are two options. You can bend a long pipe in the middle and then cut off the extra length, or you can cut the pipe first. Both can work.

2. Practice

Bending pipes is a skill that you can hone over time. To ensure you get the right bend, you need to practice. Don't expect to use your first attempt in a car rebuild or another important project. Instead, invest in several pipes that you can just play with. It may seem like a waste of metal and materials, but ultimately, this is an investment into your long term skills.

3. Overbend Slightly

When you bend metal, there is always a slight recoil. This means that the pipe unbends a little bit at the end of the process. To deal with this, always bend your pipe a bit more than you need. When you are practicing, experiment with going different degrees over your target angle.

Then, see which overage works the best based on the type of metal tube you are using and your unique machine. Once you narrow in on the right amount of overbend, you can do that for all your projects going forward.

4. Consider Sand and Water as Needed

Bending lightweight metals can often lead to crimps. To help the tube keep its integrity, consider adding some water and sand to the inside of the tube. Then, bend the tube as you usually do.

5. Look Over the Bender Before You Start

Before you start bending any tubes, always look over your bending machine for issues. First, check the die to make sure that it is in the right spot. Sometimes, it shifts when you are bending. Then, look at the roller shafts and make sure they line up correctly with the frame. Finally, give your machine a once over to make sure there are no glaring broken parts or other issues. If you see issues, get the machine repaired before using it.