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Bending Brass Tube


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Hi All

Need advice on bending brass Tubing approx 2" or 46mm diam, needs to be straight section and end bent in smooth radius of 4 to 5" without distortion like in exhaust pipe bender, have one idea lot mucking about to do it. Any advice greatly appreciated

Thanks

Regards Dave

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The water pipes and intake manifolds of RRs were bent by filling the tube with lead ... then bent in a fixture. Ordinarily, I'd try Wood's Metal as a filler but 2" is big and the stuff is expensive. Can you use and exhaust pipe bender? You could also try filling the tube with sand, sealing the ends and bending it around a large pulley. Be sure to anneal it first... heat to red and quench in cool water. Brass softens in exactly the opposite way to ferrous metals...

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Hi JV

Thanks for your thoughts, never thought of lead, Must have worked for RR ok. If using lead as filler and tubing was bent with heat, the lead would melt first I think.

Exhaust pipe bender will leave shrinking indents on the bends, have pipe bender but casting of the formers have bit rough finish and will leave marks on tubing, had idea to have former and roller machined and pull around with big bar.

Any and all ideas appreciated for near perfect bends

Thanks Regards Dave

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Bending tubing, especially larger sized is tough. I might attemp to come at it from another direction. Like looking for a piece already bent by industry for something else. A plumbing catalog or some such thing. If you can find the right bend the straight piece could then be brazed onto it and the joint filed out and polished to make it look as one piece. Musical horns have wonderful bends to them, though 2" might be hard to find in the music industry.

I am sure we would all like to know how you solve the problem.

Just a thought; Jim43

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Hi Jim43

Thanks for reply, I just found out origional carby inlet and water manifold were cast brass approx 10" long, approx 5" radius 1/8" thick walls with cast flanges, would want a good foundry to cast that thin.

Either way still have to make exact manifold patttens to cast them as another option, still have to get smooth bends.

Thanks Regards Dave

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Hi All

Just looked at several videos on YouTube on making trumpets, very interesting how you can make something that looks like crap into magnificent. It gives you ideas on other brass repairs ect, they make it look so easy.

Will have to find or make a former and give this a try, have to find out what the low heat alloy they melt in, or use water and try freeze with LP gas.

Regards Dave

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  • 2 weeks later...

I am also looking for someone to bend a brass pipe for my Chalmers-Detroit. The pipe is 1 1/8 od. and about 18" long. We need to give it about a 90 degree bend in the middle. Any help would be appreciated.

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We have a machine and dies to mandrel bend 1" and 1 1/2" without kinking. Using them to reproduce '46-'48 Buick Woodie seat frames. Dies are expensive so we only buy what we need. Would take a small fortune in Woods metal to fill a 1 1/8 by 18" tube for bending.

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It would take some tooling and effort, but I wonder if in the case of the original post (and the latter) you might be able to make the general shape with your exhaust bender to get the elbow and then finish it with hydroforming to remove the shrinking indents?

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I like Layden's idea. Fabricate it out of steel pipe. To come close to your dimensions, I would use 1-1/2" schedule 10s steel pipe with an O.D. of 1.9". (2" O.D. steel tube is also available, but plating will add to the overall O.D. thickness). 1-1/2" pipe benders should be able to bend a 4" to 5" radius without distortion problems. Weld (heli-arc) the plate flanges, weld the fabricated 90 degree bends, machine the welds, buff the joints smooth, polish the header(s), and brass plate the whole works. If there are bolt holes, they need to be drilled over-sized to compensate for additional plating thickness. 2" O.D., 1/8" thick, brass tube would be very difficult to bend without distortion. Steel is much easier to work with. What type of auto or engine is this for? If not a one of a kind, parts and engine locator sites might help. Just an opinion, thanks.

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