Bending steel pipes yourself - is that possible?

Getting bends into a steel pipe can be problematic. In any case, some things have to be taken care of if you want to bend yourself instead of using a professional bending machine. What matters, read here.

Factors that decide on success

  • material properties
  • Wall thickness
  • Pipe diameter
  • Intended bending angle or radius

material properties

Depending on the material quality, bending tests by hand can cause different problems. If the material does not have uniform properties, it may crack.

Even when heating, there may already be problems due to the nature of the material. As a rule, you can not bend yourself. The best way to find out in advance is to make test pieces of the same material at the same angle.

Wall thickness

The wall thickness also plays an important role in the success of the bending tests. Sometimes you can bend small wall thicknesses yourself, but the professional should bend higher wall thicknesses with suitable equipment.

The wall thickness is also a criterion for heating: Higher starches can usually no longer be heated evenly over the entire wall thickness when heating themselves. The attempts then usually fail.

Pipe diameter

The larger the pipe diameter, the harder the bending. But also the uniform heating, for which one uses a welding torch, turns out to be problematic.

Also, the risk of producing a kink and ruining the pipe with it increases with the pipe diameter.

Intended bending angle or radius

Only simple bends without tight angles can be carried out by hand. For more complex bends or tight bending angles, bending should be done by a specialist.

Turn steel pipes yourself - this is how it works

  • Filling material fine sand or corundum
  • Pipe closure (wooden wedge) for top and bottom
  • ev. suitable wire spiral
  • ev. bending spring
  • Vice for clamping
  • Welding torch for heating

1. Prepare steel pipe

Close at one end with the appropriate end piece and fill in sand or corundum. The filling must be compacted until it no longer moves inside the tube after closing the other end. You may also attach a wire spiral around the outside.

The closures - matching wooden wedges - you can also produce yourself according to the pipe diameter. They should be tapped firmly with a hammer.

2. Heat with the welding torch

Mark the bending points on the outside of the pipe and heat with the welding torch. The temperature is a matter of feeling and should be determined in a test bend.

3. Bending

Evenly bend around a suitable die. The outer diameter should correspond exactly to the desired bending diameter.

Tips & Tricks

For bending, you can also use a so-called spiral spring in the appropriate diameter. These springs transmit the bending moment evenly to the pipe, helping to prevent kinking. Turning by yourself can be a valuable help.

Video Board: Pipe Bending DIY with home made jig