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Old 01-04-2012, 10:04 PM   #1
Beau
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Default Harbor Freight Tube Roller- Reviews, Mods, Info.



Yup, you have seen it. Thought about it, and didn't buy it. But for a little over $100, it's a great set of dies. The rest of it is cheap. I know a company over on Pirate4x4 sells upgraded parts (Google it, there's a ton of info). But, the main problem is still poor alignment and curved bends with the crappy stamped steel housing.

I like mine, but it needs work. The rolls always curl.

My first complaint is that the dies are fixed. The best soluton is those fancy waterjet cut sides with multiple holes for adjusting dies. But I don't have waterjet.

I want to modify one of the Harbor Freight 12-ton hydraulic PIPE benders so I can put the dies in to it. I understand it's still going to require some work to mount the wheel assembly.



In the mean time I'm going to head to HF and measure the frame on the pipe bender. do any of you own one?


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Old 01-04-2012, 10:12 PM   #2
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Default Re: Harbor Freight Tube Roller- Reviews, Mods, Info.

If you fill your tubing full of sand and cap the ends, they make a better bend. Just a little trick I learned years ago. Esp. with aluminium.
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Old 01-04-2012, 10:12 PM   #3
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Default Re: Harbor Freight Tube Roller- Reviews, Mods, Info.

This design sparked the idea. One of the best ones I have seen for a home build.



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Old 01-04-2012, 10:24 PM   #4
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Default Re: Harbor Freight Tube Roller- Reviews, Mods, Info.

Are you saying to fill it and cap when you are using a roller?

I'm not trying to bend tubingor pipe. This is for rolling.

I have filled copper tube with salt to bend fuel lines. I'm sure it works the same with tube. Just a pain in the ass.


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Old 01-04-2012, 10:29 PM   #5
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Default Re: Harbor Freight Tube Roller- Reviews, Mods, Info.

I was thinking of bending..not rolling sorry. You are right on the pain in tha ass part.
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Old 01-04-2012, 10:30 PM   #6
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Default Re: Harbor Freight Tube Roller- Reviews, Mods, Info.

http://www.pirate4x4.com/forum/showthread.php?t=737981


Looks like I'm not the first person to think of this...

Also the best thread about the HF unit.


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Old 01-05-2012, 12:07 PM   #7
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Default Re: Harbor Freight Tube Roller- Reviews, Mods, Info.

We have a system in development as we speak.

Because of the bent tubing on several of our production frame designs, it's become a necessity to have a power assisted tubing roller.

Because we don't charge a premium on our frames, we can't afford a $5000 Bailegh tubing roller.

Along with SWAG Offroad, We've developed a power-assisted design that utilizes the HF Tubing Roller along with SWAG's precision turned tubing dies. The unit is coupled with a DC bi-directional motor with an 80:1 transfer. It produces over 95 ft. lbs. Only 50+- ft. lbs. are required, but I found a great deal on Ebay for the hi torque geared motor.

Here's a shot of the concept:

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Old 01-05-2012, 02:04 PM   #8
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Default Re: Harbor Freight Tube Roller- Reviews, Mods, Info.

It's neat, but the HF frame is still junk. Why not build a whole new frame? I think they would sell.


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Old 01-05-2012, 02:20 PM   #9
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Default Re: Harbor Freight Tube Roller- Reviews, Mods, Info.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Beau View Post
It's neat, but the HF frame is still junk. Why not build a whole new frame? I think they would sell.
The frame is press-drawn 3/16" steel with 3/4" solid steel plate on top and 1/4" bottom pan. I've never heard anyone have issues with the frame. It's the rollers that are a little on the "trashy" side. Unless you're rolling 3" solid rod, the HF frame is actually quite rigid.

Besides... I'm not planning on selling it. I have more than enough stuff already sold that needs to get built fast! That's my ONLY reason for putting an electric motor on this thing.

If anyone wants dimensions, I'd be happy to post them when I get done with the modification. I'll post a video of the roller in action as well...
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Old 01-05-2012, 02:32 PM   #10
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Default Re: Harbor Freight Tube Roller- Reviews, Mods, Info.

Have you ad issues with your tubing curling when you roll it?


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Old 01-05-2012, 03:49 PM   #11
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Default Re: Harbor Freight Tube Roller- Reviews, Mods, Info.

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Have you ad issues with your tubing curling when you roll it?
No noticeable curling, but then again... I'm only rolling about a quarter round.
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Old 01-05-2012, 06:25 PM   #12
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Default Re: Harbor Freight Tube Roller- Reviews, Mods, Info.

While not rolling have any of you had experience with this one from harbor freight
http://www.harborfreight.com/compact-bender-38470.html


Or this one
http://www.harborfreight.com/bench-t...der-38471.html
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Old 01-15-2012, 09:33 PM   #13
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Default Re: Harbor Freight Tube Roller- Reviews, Mods, Info.

That is a bender. Not a tube bender. Not a pipe bender. It's for doing flat iron scroll work or bending bar.


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Old 01-16-2012, 07:28 PM   #14
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Default Re: Harbor Freight Tube Roller- Reviews, Mods, Info.

I have the HF roller. It's been sitting on my workbench for a few months. I haven't used it yet though.

I only bought it because of the availability of dies from SWAG. I plan to do some playing around with it soon. I've read all the info on Pirate 4x4 and that's what led me to buying it. If I need to mod it with new side plates that won't be a problem to get them cut. I also have a DC motor with a 100:1 gear reduction from a wheelchair lift I might try to fit to it.


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Old 01-16-2012, 10:11 PM   #15
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Default Re: Harbor Freight Tube Roller- Reviews, Mods, Info.

SWAG?

John
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Old 01-17-2012, 09:04 AM   #16
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Default Re: Harbor Freight Tube Roller- Reviews, Mods, Info.

Really? That's what they used to bend the 7/8 .125 wall tubing for my build. Worked really well and didn't kink at all.
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Old 01-17-2012, 02:59 PM   #17
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Default Re: Harbor Freight Tube Roller- Reviews, Mods, Info.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hooktool View Post
SWAG?

John
Sorry, Swag Off Road http://www.swagoffroad.com/

Quote:
Originally Posted by Capt_Zoom View Post
Really? That's what they used to bend the 7/8 .125 wall tubing for my build. Worked really well and didn't kink at all.
What was the radius of the bends?


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Old 01-17-2012, 03:03 PM   #18
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Default Re: Harbor Freight Tube Roller- Reviews, Mods, Info.

4" radius I believe
Their dies were a bit different though more like the other one's posted above.
Here's a pic. I'm talking about the seat rails. I had two sets made. The other set was bent even further.
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Old 01-17-2012, 08:18 PM   #19
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Default Re: Harbor Freight Tube Roller- Reviews, Mods, Info.

Thanks, I'll check it out.

John
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Old 01-17-2012, 08:59 PM   #20
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Default Re: Harbor Freight Tube Roller- Reviews, Mods, Info.

I have that HF roller and have used it many times... only problem is the damn crap set screws are useless. Drill out the drive rod and put bolts all the way through and your fine.
Tube may twist in any roller when they slack up so you just have to keep your center line correct. I clamp a level to my tube when possible to keep it somewhat straight.
vids here, more vids on my channel so feel free to dig around

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5_lQBjDUj4Q


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