Tools & Fabrication - Heating and bending header primaries
06-11-2006, 10:22 PM
I'm in need of bending the primaries on some headers (16Ga tubing). The plan in to heat them up at the bend joint and slowely bend them 10-15 degrees, one at a time.
Does anyone know if I could generate enough heat with a plumbers soldering torch to do the trick. I don't have an acetylene torch and am looking for alternatives.
06-11-2006, 10:43 PM
propane torch wont do it and have some degree of precision
06-11-2006, 10:56 PM
Your only option is an acetylene torch (rosebud)
06-11-2006, 11:28 PM
i agree, rosebud. gonna have to get that sob like red hot.
06-12-2006, 10:32 PM
Just cross your fingers that is doesnt tear, kink, or distort very bad. Thats why benders have dies to cradle tubing when you bend it. Good luck.
06-19-2006, 12:03 PM
What will happen is that the metal will stretch flat on the outer radius and you will end up with a necked down diameter. Your best bet is to fill it with sand. But the sand has to be absolutely dry. I've put some aluminum foil on a baking sheet and baked it to make sure it's completely moisture free. Weld a cap on one end of the pipe, fill it with sand stopping about 6" from the top. While your filling, tap on the side of the pipe to pack down the sand. Crumple up some newspaper and insert it in the pipe on top of the sand. Pack down the newspaper. Now you can insert a broom handle in the pipe, though I use an old jack handle from a cheapie craftsman jack I threw away a long time ago. Now, you will absolutely need a rosebud tip. The amount of heat needed is insane. Get a friend to heat up the pipe with the rosebud while you apply pressure to the handle in the direction you want the pipe to bend. You have to get it red hot before it will move. Only apply heat to the outside of the bend and to the sides; the part of the pipe that is in tension. If you heat the inner part of the bend or any part that is in compression, the pipe will buckle and crumple.
You need the right tools or you will just waste your time. A plumber's torch wont do it. You need an oxy-acetylene torch with decent sized tanks. The rosebud uses a lot of fuel. It's hot, time consuming work though. If you plan on making several bends, you'll save time, effort, and money by getting a tubing bender.
if oxy setup isnt an option lookinto a weed burner for ur propane setup. i use this when im in direneed of heat w/o any oxy/acy setup. just crank it up and warm till a dull red. its gonna be wide head not localized but cant work when ur in a pinch. the whip and torch setup is like 15-20 bucks depends. just hitup homedepot and ask for weed burner.