First Bending Jig for vise

Part of deciding to bite the bullet on the Fireball Hardtail Vise was that it could serve as the base for a variety of different jigs and fixtures I might need, by simply having a surface I could clamp to that was so ungodly strong I didn’t have to worry about the weight or anything shifting dangerously (to me or my jigs) while in use.

The first and easiest jig to make was a bending jig. I still have 1 part to lightly machine and weld to some scrap 1" tube to to make the extendable backstop, and the other end of the bending arm to drill and ream for the larger bending pin offset to bend stronger materials (pin will be on opposite side so it don’t interfere with the part on the plane of bend), but I got to test bend the first parts this afternoon and was pleased with how easily it bent and how everything worked with the sole exception being that I’m going to cut and bend a new angle stop with a couple slots in it and drill and tap a couple holes to really lock down the angle stop in case I’m bending heavy material and want to make sure the stop is fully rigid. It’ll handle 3/8" rebar, 1/2" rod, and I need to test, but I think 2"x1/8" and 1.25"x1/4" flat stock will be no problem as well.

Here’s some shots of it in its as yet to be completed state. I’ll add some more pictures and information on max it can bend after I finish the other side of the bend arm and do some testing.

Overview of the whole thing in the vise

Showing the maximum range it can bend to while using the angle stop.

3/8" rebar sitting in the bender showing the available gaps. You can see the piece I need tk weld on to the 1" tube on the RH side of the jig attached with a shoulder bolt which is hidden under the rebar.

Underside of the bending jig showing how the original angle stop pivots and attaches. The dowel pin is a pull out dowel, so the end is tapped for 1/4-20, making it easy to attach an angle stop that pivots nicely around the bending axis. This is the angle stop I’m going to revise.

3/8" rebar bent directly on the pins. I’m going to turn some thin dies to protect the dowel pins from wear if I run much rebar. As it is, the dies from the cheap Harbor Freight bender I had laying around fit the die, so I already have a couple ready dies to play with.

Once I get the last few things done I mentioned, I’ll also weld a receiver tube on the bottom side so I can pin it on a piece of solid bar clamped in the vise and extend it out away from the vise to get even more clearance around the jig for complicated shapes. All the pins are press fit, as are the bronze bushings. There’s basically no slop in the fit from the bushing to the main pin, as I reamed the bushing after pressing it into the block, so it’s a perfectly tight slip fit.

1 Like

Expectations exceeded, but I wouldn’t go this crazy on the regular.

1 Like

That’s pretty impressive that you bent the wide thick flat bar without the pins moving. Do you have plans for
The bender?

Plans as in did I draw it up in CAD? Indeed. I’m a Solidworks guy.

The main bending shaft is a 5/8" x 4" pull out dowel pin, the rear support pin is 1/2" x 4" dowel pin, and the bending pin is 1/2" x 3".

The 1/2x3 and 5/8x4 dowel pins are press fit into 1" thick blocks, and the 1/2x4 is supported with an extra 1" thick piece welded onto the main die block so it has 2" of engagement so it’s supported all the way up to the bending plane.

The bend arm has a bronze bushing press fit into it which was reamed afterwards to have about .001-.002" clearance with the bend shaft. That makes the whole thing pivot nice and smooth and should keep things from galling up.

1 Like