How do you bend a pipe without a pipe bender

If you are using a small amount of softer materials (such as copper, aluminum or PVC) and do not require too high bending requirements, you may not need a pipe bender. However, for harder materials, such as stainless steel and mild steel, it usually requires specialized equipment like pipe bending machine. Please note that although many people use the terms "pipe" and "tube" interchangeably, tubes are usually stronger than pipes, and you will often need to use a tube bender to bend them.

How do you bend a pipe without a pipe bender?

1. Fill the pipe with sand and heat it up.

(Picture comes from wikiHow)

Fill the pipe with dense sand (you can use softer sand from the beach, which has a lower density), and then block the opening of the pipe with cloth. This step is to keep the pipe from deforming during the bending process. Sand is like the mandrel of a pipe bender mold. Then, place the pipe on top of a vise or two sawhorses and clamp the ends with a large wrench. Use a blowtorch (for harder materials) or a hair dryer (for softer materials) and heat the area where the pipe will be bent. Once the material becomes very hot, put on heat-resistant gloves and bend the pipe by hand. Remember, empty the sand and use the pipe only after the pipe has cooled down.

Even if you are not directly touching your heated area, you need to wear gloves. When heated, the entire pipe may become hot.

If needed, you can use a vise or wrench to gain leverage.

When grasping the tube, you can put some leather between your hand or pliers and the tube to maintain the grip during the bending process.

2. Use a bending spring and bend the pipe by hand. This method is suitable for copper pipes.

(Picture comes from wikiHow)

Purchase a bending spring that matches the inner diameter of the pipe and insert it into the pipe to be bent. Then, slowly bend the pipe by hand. The bending spring will prevent the pipe from kinking during bending. The spring here also acts as the mandrel in the pipe bender mold.

If the pipe is thick, you may need to bend the pipe at the front of your knee, or some round tool to get a little leverage.

Copper is relatively soft, so it can generally be bent without heating.

The longer and thinner your pipe, the easier it is to bend it by hand. You can always use a wrench or vise for extra leverage.


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