How to Bend Aluminum Tubing

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Bending aluminum tubing without crimping the walls is a lot more difficult than you might think. Fortunately there are tricks that you can use that will increase your chances of bending your tubing with only minimal or even no distortion to the walls of the tubing at all. The degree of the bend you are trying to make and the thickness of the wall of your aluminum tubing all play a role in how easy or how difficult it is to bend your tubing without kinking the walls of your tubing. Read on to learn how to bend aluminum tubing.

Things You'll Need

  • Jigsaw
  • Half inch lumber
  • C-clamps
  • Spring
  • Heavy fishing line

Draw a pattern for your bend on a sheet of 1/2 inch plywood or other lumber.

Cut out your pattern using your jigsaw. Bevel the bottom edge of your pattern slightly. This will help to hold your aluminum tubing in place later.

Clamp your pattern to a flat surface using your C-clamps.

Tie your heavy fishing line to the end of your spring and insert the spring into your aluminum tubing so the spring is sitting at the place you will be bending your tubing. The spring needs to be approximately the same diameter as the interior diameter of your tubing. Your fishing line should extend out of the tubing so that you can more easily remove the spring after the bending procedure.

Secure one end of your tubing in place on the jig which you cut from your 1/2 inch lumber and then bend your tubing around your jig slowly but with constant pressure. Make the bend using only one smooth motion if possible. Starting and stopping during the bending process will increase your chances of kinking your tubing. Once your bend is complete pull on the heavy fishing line to remove the spring from your tubing and you are done.

Tips & Warnings

  • Use a heavy duty spring since it is the pressure of the spring on the inside of your tubing which will keep the inside edge of your bend from crinkling.
  • Make your bend in as smooth a motion as possible with even pressure from beginning to end.

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