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best tube bender on a budget?

Discussion in 'Shop - Fabrication' started by mcheck, May 27, 2009.

  1. mcheck

    mcheck STEEEKERS!!

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2007
    Location:
    san diego CA
    it seems that it has been awhile since this question was asked last, and am wondering if the opinions have changed. what is the best bender on a budget or roughly 800 or 1000 bucks? jd2? jmr? protools?

    pros/cons of each?

    user friendlyness?

    ease of use?

    quality?

    best bang for the buck?
     
  2. Horn3yHort0n

    Horn3yHort0n Member

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2007
    Location:
    Gunnison, CO
    I love my pro tools
     
  3. philofab

    philofab Powered by Optima

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2006
    Location:
    JRod's livingroom.
    All of those are about the same bender... not a whole lot of differences. My JD2 is 10 years old and still working great. Mine has had a hydraulic kit since last year, which made it much better to use.
     
  4. FabioP

    FabioP Member

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2008
    Location:
    Northern Cali
  5. HardCharger81

    HardCharger81 Member

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2006
    Location:
    Elk Grove, CA
    There's a guy on Pirate building a nice looking one that uses pro-tools dies.
    I've been thinking about buying one myself, and they seem to have alot of positive reviews.

    http://www.probender.com

    BTW, I'm not connected to them, just something I've seen.
     
  6. Twisted Minis

    Twisted Minis Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2008
    Location:
    Windsor, CA
    I built this one:
    [​IMG]

    I think it cost around $350 to build.
     
  7. FabioP

    FabioP Member

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2008
    Location:
    Northern Cali
    More info on this? What side tubing did you use? How about the dies? whose?
     
  8. Twisted Minis

    Twisted Minis Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2008
    Location:
    Windsor, CA
    It's 2x2 .188 wall for the most part. Arms are 5/8" cold rolled. It uses Pro Tools dies. I've bent up to .188 wall tube in 1" and 1.5". And it does my .120 wall all day long no problems. You can get plans here:
    http://www.gottrikes.com/Tube_Bender.htm

    The design has changed a lot since I built mine a few years ago, for the better. I won't rebuild mine as I either want to get a full hydraulic Pro Tools so I can reuse all my dies, or get the hydraulic JMR.
     
  9. mcheck

    mcheck STEEEKERS!!

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2007
    Location:
    san diego CA
    if u had to choose, jd2 model 3 or jd2 model 32?
     
  10. atomicjoe23

    atomicjoe23 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2008
    Location:
    Silverdale, WA
    $800-$1000. . .I'm guessing you mean with dies then because you can get any of those for under $500 for a complete kit (without hydraulics which are nice, but aren't necessary if your on a budget. . .we were able to bend an entire buggy chassis out of 1.50 x 0.120" DOM in less than 2 hrs. without hydraulics). . .

    I've used the ProTools and the JD2 and I can't tell the difference between them. . .I personally am going to get a JD2 Model 32 when I get mine. . .because of the increased capacity (2.50 x 0.250") and the anti-springback feature. . .and it's only a $100 more than the Model 3. . .although I do have the plan for the JD2 Model 3, the ProTools Model 3, the one that Twisted Minis posted and the plans for one of the hydraulic U-bend machines as well. . .I have thought about building my own, but I would still be paying a local shop to cut the arms out for me and everything so I think it might end up costing me more to build my own after paying to have the plates cut than it would to just buy one. . .

    . . .as a side note I have also used a Hossfeld and I would not recommend this machine to anyone doing the type of fabrication work that is seen on this forum, it kinked every single piece of tube or pipe that we put through it. . .we used it for one bend for some pro-bono football sleds we were building for the local peewee football league and it has sat under the jig table ever since!!!
     
  11. tool46n2

    tool46n2 Member

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2007
    Location:
    Whittier, CA
    i love this bender. i gonna have to build this one at work. thanks.:)
     
  12. standfast

    standfast Member

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2007
    Location:
    Abq, NM
    I have been using this bender for about 3-4 years with no problems. It comes with 4 dies, 1",1.25",1.5",1.75" and is air/hydro for $1050. I ordered a 2" die later on for a project but it is sure nice to have all those dies right off the bat for that cheap. I like it better than some of the JD2's and others because it pulls a full 90 degree bend without stopping and re-pinning it. It doesn't have a degree wheel but I just mounted it to a level table and use a magnetic digital level on the piece of tube. The dies are way cheaper than others when you want to add to your setup later on. You could build any bender and buy 4 dies and already spend more than this.

    http://www.toolsplus1.com/eztube.htm
     

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  13. atomicjoe23

    atomicjoe23 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2008
    Location:
    Silverdale, WA
    Standfast has a good point here. . .the dies can cost from just as much as the bender itself (without hydraulics) to more than the bender for each individual die set. . .that is something to consider when purchasing a bender. . .

    I am checking out his link now. . .
     
  14. mcheck

    mcheck STEEEKERS!!

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2007
    Location:
    san diego CA
    does that bender dimple the tubing? or anything like that?
     
  15. SoDrty

    SoDrty New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2006
    Location:
    Costa Mesa, Ca
    Model 32 bitches!!!!
     

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  16. atomicjoe23

    atomicjoe23 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2008
    Location:
    Silverdale, WA
    OK. . .I checked out the EZBender link that Standfast posted up and the only complaint I would have about that set-up is the centerline radius of the dies. . .

    they only have one option available and it's 5" for the small 1" stuff and goes up to 6" for like the 1.5" stuff. . .

    . . .I like having options and a 5" CLR is pretty big for 1" tubing. . .I like the 4" CLR radius. . .that's what we used on our buggy and we used 1.5" x 0.120" DOM. . .most of the other benders allow you at least two different CLR options until you get up to the 2" DOM. . .in the smaller tube sizes they have 3 or more options for the CLR. . .

    . . .I'll stick with the JD2 Model 32 for what I'm saving for. . .you don't have to have hydraulics so you can get it cheap as well. . .and generally speaking you are only gonna need one maybe two dies and most people only need one initially. . .I'm gonna start with a 1.75" die and then I will be getting a 2" die for bumpers and step bars and then I might get a smaller die for light bars, etc. . .but initially I will be fine with one die and I have a couple of friends who each have a different size die than 1.75" so if I need another die sooner than I expect I can always borrow one. . .
     
  17. standfast

    standfast Member

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2007
    Location:
    Abq, NM
    I just designed the car around the dies available. Not a big deal really. I used 3 dies on this last car I built. I like having all the dies because it helps with the sidework that I pick up and gives me a lot more options. The bends come out the same as any other non mandrel bender I have used like a JD2, just a lot faster.
     
  18. dirtdudeaz

    dirtdudeaz Member

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2007
    Location:
    phoenix, az
    Ive used the model 32. It was a decent little bender. The crappy thing though is the way you have to set up the degree indicator. They slot a grove in the metal and you bend a welding rod at a 90 (or a few angles to get it down next to the degree wheel) and pinch it with a washer/bolt. They have pictures on the website. It isnt bad, but it makes trying to bend a bunch of same tubes exact everytime without checking and rechecking after every bend.
     
  19. atomicjoe23

    atomicjoe23 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2008
    Location:
    Silverdale, WA
    We didn't have any problems with that set-up. . .we bent an entire chassis without one problem. . .and I would say 3/4 of what we bent were mirrors of each other. . .we only had a couple of tubes that weren't copied on the opposite side. . .we just used some Oxy-Fuel or TIG rod for the pointer. . .no problem. . .sure beat the hell out of the Hossfeld bender we already had in the shop!!!

    But I haven't used any other benders besides the ProTools Model 105, JD2 Model 3, and the Hossfeld Model 2 (I think it was the Model 2. . .I was so disgusted with that bender that I won't ever use a Hossfeld again!!! so it doesn't really matter to me what model it was or wasn't!)
     
  20. SoDrty

    SoDrty New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2006
    Location:
    Costa Mesa, Ca
    dude,... if you can fabricate, you can figure out a way to make a better degree pointer
     

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