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How to Bend Square Tubing So It Doesn't Kink

Kevin has a piece of mild steel 1/2" x 1/2" square tubing with 1/8" (.125) wall. Recently a viewer asked, "Can you bend square tubing?"

Yes, you can - if you have the right tool.

When you get a pipe bender, or a pipe roller or tubing roller like the one Kevin is using, you get dies with it. He shows how the dies' upper edge helps hold the sides of the pipe to keep them from kinking.

With square tubing, you need square dies. On this roller, all three positions - the two idler wheels and the drive wheel that moves when you turn the handle - are square. It performs the same function to keeps the sides of the tubing from kinking.

But why does it kink?

You are bending the tubing from the middle, not from the top or bottom. That means the top of the bend needs to get longer, or stretch, and the bottom of the bend needs to get smaller, or shrink.

If your pipe is too small for a die, again, the sides of the pipe that you're trying to bend are going to want to bow outward as you're trying to stretch the top and shrink the bottom at the same time. So make sure you have the right sized die for the job.

Kevin has some square dies on his Harbor Freight pipe roller (which is different from a pipe bender). He begins turning the adjustment screw on the top of the roller, which forces the drive wheel down between the two idler rollers, to first show how you can bend with it, even though it is a pipe roller. You just use the adustment screw withou turning the large "ship's wheel" to move the metal forward.

Then he puts the metal back into the roller and wheels it back and forth as he gently adjusts the screw. Kevin says one big secret is not getting into a hurry, but making your passes slowly to get a nice roll in the tubing.

Hopefully this free how-to video helps you get your job done. Kevin appreciates you watching his channel and suggests you hit that "subscribe" button to see a new how-to video every week.

Kevin is ready to get back to work, but you might want to stick around for another moment to see Kevin assert the family-friendly nature of this channel ....

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