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American Bender Project #3 - Arcs & Circles
The third bending project in our series is the bending of arcs and circles, using the feed-along or chord dies.   This method allows for very fast and accurate bends.

The tooling required for this project is:

U-pin           Two square bending blocks
Flat Pin        Die for desired radius
Project #3  -  Arcs & Circles
(September, 2005)
Picture #1 shows a feed-along or chord die, with a few of the more common bends.  The dies come with two radii and are available in 1" to 2 1/2" thickness.  The one used for this project is a 5" radius.
Picture #2 shows the basic set up of the bender.  The material is fed from the left, between the square blocks and the die.   When the swing frame is pulled, the material is forced against the die, forming a chord of a circle.  The material is fed in small increments - an inch or two at a time - until the desired arc or circle is reached.
Click on the images for a larger view.
Project #4 will deal with bending with special round dies.  Any comments, suggestions or questions on our projects would be appreciated.
Picture #3 shows a bend approximately half completed.  When bending material cold, there will be some spring back, so choose the die size accordingly.  Heating the material will eliminate spring back.
Picture #4 shows a circle nearing completion.  We have found that by using material slightly longer than needed, we can cut at the overlap and end up with a perfect circle.