Bending 5/16" copper tubing

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Model T Ford Forum: Forum 2016: Bending 5/16" copper tubing
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jonathan Delancey on Monday, August 22, 2016 - 02:27 am:

I'm running an outside oil line. What is the best way to bend the tube without any bending tools or kinks? The tube is 5/16" OD.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Allan Bennett - Australia on Monday, August 22, 2016 - 02:57 am:

Jonathan, I have just done this on my roadster. Mine was 1/2" copper pipe and I hand bent it around my thumb. Yours should be much easier being 5/16".
Hope this helps.
Allan from down under.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Wayne Sheldon, Grass Valley, CA on Monday, August 22, 2016 - 03:28 am:

I usually do like Allan B. But if you want a little extra help, I first heard about this trick from watching the movie "Flight of the Phoenix" way back in the '60s.
Fill the copper tubing with soft sand before bending by hand. I have done it. You can get about half again tighter turns that way. (The sand helps keep the tubing from collapsing.)
Work slowly.
Just be careful to clean and blow ALL the sand out after completing the bend. Sand is not good on the inside of your engine.
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Richard E Moore Jr. Pickwick lake Tenn. on Monday, August 22, 2016 - 07:44 am:

You can buy bendable steel brake line. It won't work harden like copper and won't crack under vibration. I personally use steel. I've seen guys use copper for transmission lines and oil coolers and they do crack. Bigger is better.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dan Treace, North FL on Monday, August 22, 2016 - 09:33 am:

That tubing supplies with Lang's outside mag oiler kit is thicker wall than typical copper tubing you find at Lowe's. The schedule thickness is for refrig. applications. So it bends, but takes some strength to do it. Use a simple hand bending tool to do it.

Made the mistake of cutting the Lang's supplied tubing too short, then went to the hardware store to buy another full length, that is how I found out there are different wall thicknesses of copper tubing :-(


http://shop.advanceautoparts.com/p/dorman-autograde-copper-tubing-5-16-in.-x-25- ft.-x-.032-in.-510-011/#fragment-1

This is the thicker stuff, resists vibrations best.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Charlie B actually in Toms River N.J. on Monday, August 22, 2016 - 09:39 am:

5/16" is a bit small for an oiler but whatever. The sand idea actually works especially if no bending tools are available. Working it slowly helps also.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Fred Dimock, Newfields NH, USA on Monday, August 22, 2016 - 10:01 am:

The new brake line material is called NiCopp.
It is nickel and copper.

We did the brake and gas lines on our Chevy Z71 4X4 off road that had rusted out. It was less expensive and easier to do than installing new steel lines. Bending them was easy.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Rick Goelz-Knoxville,TN on Monday, August 22, 2016 - 10:23 am:

Most soft copper is type L that is what is used in refrigeration it has a fairly thick wall to handle the pressure and vibration, that is what is sold at most home improvement stores, it should have blue lines and lettering, red lines is type m and is used for home plumbing, thin wall but should last several hundred years, if it has green that is type k and is the thickest of all it is very difficult to work with without bending tools. If copper tube can handle years of high pressure and vibration I wouldn't hesitate to use it on a T but not with compression fittings always use flared fittings, fifty years of experience with copper.

Rick


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Fred Dimock, Newfields NH, USA on Monday, August 22, 2016 - 06:46 pm:

This stuff is not under pressure so almost anything that dosen't work harden will work.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By HARRY A DAW Troy, Mo. on Monday, August 22, 2016 - 08:30 pm:

I googled bending copper tubing. They suggest using salt rather than sand. Use an ingraving tool to vibrate the copper while filling and emptying it. They bend the ends when full of sand to keep the salt in.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Phillip Maurici on Monday, August 22, 2016 - 08:56 pm:

To bend copper or any non ferrous metal (without iron) in to heat it until it is cherry red. This is the centering temperature just before melting. You can cool it in water or let it air cool. This is called annealing. Hard copper and soft copper is the same except that soft copper is annealed. When soft copper is bent back and forth it becomes hard. Vibration also causes it to get harder. I am a Plumbing Contractor and worked with a lot of copper until plastic took over. After some time a roll of soft copper riding around in your truck gets too hard to bend.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Erik Johnson on Monday, August 22, 2016 - 09:05 pm:

The late Gary Hoonsbeen did some major brass tube bending for a car he was restoring. One time when I was at his house he told me how he did it and showed me the tools (I think he also wrote about it in the Horseless Carriage Gazette).

It's an old tried and true method - putting melted lead in the tube, letting it cool, bending the tube, and then heating the tube and melting the lead and pouring it back out.

Also - you can try internal pipe bending springs or external pipe bending springs. I've never tried it but two months ago I picked up a triple stack Craftsman toolbox at an estate sale that was loaded with tools - included these external pipe bending springs. You can also get them at Home Depot for less than $10.00.

1


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By bob middleton on Tuesday, August 23, 2016 - 12:24 am:

Fill it with sand cap the ends and bend to shape is another old timey way
Then wash it


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