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Interesting wire bending tool
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Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Interesting wire bending tool on 12/19/2012 22:25:42 MST Print View

I got a Duluth Trading Company catalog in the mail and landed on this simple wire bending tool. They say it will bend up to 3/16" mild steel, leading my to assume that it would handle lighter titanium stuff. If not, it would be easy enough to adapt the design to an aluminum block with the pins driven into tight holes. Seems that it would be handy for making small bits of hardware for packs and shelters and it looked good enough for the $7 investment.

"Get bent! (With the best little wire bending tool)

Bends mild steel up to 3/16” diameter
Lets you bend “S” hooks, fishing rod eyes, curtain rod rings and more
Mount it on workbench or clamp it in your vise
Channeled aluminum base with removable pegs
Handy pocket size – measures 1"W x 4 3⁄8"L x 5⁄8"H

Wire Tool makes shapes you’ve been trying to bend with pliers.
Now you can make your own custom tool hooks for peg board, create tabs for hanging pictures and bend wire for any number of reasons. This handy Wire Bender works on mild steel up to 3⁄16". Between the channeled aluminum base and removable pegs you can create “S” hooks, fishing rod eyes, curtain rod rings – you’re only limited by your own ingenuity. Mount it on your workbench or clamp it in your vise for each use."

Edited by dwambaugh on 12/19/2012 22:27:54 MST.

David Thomas
(DavidinKenai) - MLife

Locale: North Woods. Far North.
Re: Interesting wire bending tool on 12/19/2012 23:22:07 MST Print View

I've seen that in the Duluth catalog and in some tool catalogs. Seems like a good idea, but I've always just run a 2x4 over the table saw and made my own. I'd use oak if going all the way to 3/16".

I don't begrudge them $7 for a handy jig, but I've never wanted to wait a few days and pay $10 for shipping so I DIY.

For those radiused sections: use a hole saw in your wood block, say a 1" diameter. Then, using the same pilot hole, use 1-1/8", 1-1/4", etc. Trim the random thin bits away with a sharp chisel and you'll have a perfectly circular core as a part of your jig.

They have 4 positions for 2 studs of fixed diameter. Bolts are CHEAP. Holes are free. Give yourself lots of options by dropping various diameter bolts into numerous holes in your jig. Heck, don't stop at bolts - step up to 1/2", 3/4" and 1" wooden dowels.

Try a set up with coat hanger wire first. When you've got it dialed in, use the good stuff - stainless or Ti. Or just paint the coat hanger wire!

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Interesting wire bending tool on 12/20/2012 00:22:19 MST Print View

> They say it will bend up to 3/16" mild steel, leading my to assume that it would
> handle lighter titanium stuff.
Now THAT is an assumption!
You can bend Ti wire, but it might take a bit more than that jig.
Try to bend Ti welding wire sharply and you may have 2 bits.
Try to bend it in a curve, and you may need to go 30-50% further than you think, and at a much smaller jig radius.
Ah, it's fun stuff!


Colin Krusor

Locale: Northwest US
Bending Ti wire on 12/20/2012 12:06:42 MST Print View

I find it much easier to bend alloyed Ti wire with heat from a propane flame. The heat relieves the strain and the wire assumes exactly the intended curvature rather than bouncing back as Roger mentions. This would be difficult if you need a jig for a special curve, because an aluminum jig would steal all the heat and a wood one would char, but I've made Ti wire corkscrews and all kinds of angular bends using just pliers, a steel tube, and a propane torch.

David Thomas
(DavidinKenai) - MLife

Locale: North Woods. Far North.
Pre-heating Ti wire on 12/20/2012 12:27:44 MST Print View

Colin: Good point on heat loss to the jig. An old cast-iron item and an abrasive wheel in a circular saw come to mind for a DIY jig. Cast-iron would conduct heat considerably less than aluminum but handle a very high heat. Steel would be more conductive than cast iron, but still much less than aluminum. You could also pre-heat any metal jig beforehand to reduce the heat loss from wire to jig.

And/or a few layers of metal foil would give some insulation from the jig. Better yet, some mineral-wool tape as is used to seal exhaust pipe leaks (available in a JC Whitney catalog). Or scraps of fiberglass cloth/batting I assume we all have laying around could insulate the wire from the jig.