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"In creating Vortex for our limited space, Kevin came up with an amazing design. ... It makes me smile and sets the tone for the rest of the day. With or without the water running, we just love it!"
--Fran Reich, Scottsdale, Arizona

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How to Cheat and Use a Pipe Roller to Bend Solid Metal

Kevin is creating a sculpture for which he needs a 70" ring made of 1/2" solid round stock - he's drawn an outline of the ring on his rising workbench. He decided to use his pipe roller to make the ring, but someone asked why he was using a pipe roller to roll solid metal rod when he has a stock bender (also known as a Chinese pipe bender), which is what you usually use for this job.

He shows a section of the 1/2" metal rod he is using. Next Kevin show one of the rollers from the stock bender. Because the roller is flat, if he uses the stock bender, the bend can become jerky and the whole ring might be wavy, rather than flat. Kevin bends the small section of rod to show what can go wrong.

So Kevin gets out his pipe bender. He shows one of the pipe bender's stock rollers, and how it cradles the pipe, which stays within its channel. If you try to put something too small in that kind of die, though, you're going to create ripples instead of the metal coming out perfectly round and straight.

He doesn't have a roller small enough to fit the 1/2" rod, but he does have a square roller for working with square hollow metal stock or square solid stock that's close enough in size to fit the 1/2" rod. So he can run the round stock through the square die and it will still come out straight, as he demonstrates.

So that's why he's using the wrong machine with the wrong dies to do the job - because that's what he has on hand, and it will actually do the job.

Now it's time for Kevin to go back to work. We get to see a photo of how he used the ring for his sculpture Portal. The sculpture will look a lot different when it is completed - the ring will be one of the things that will disappear.

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