Back to Ganoksin | FAQ | Contact

Tube bending


#1

How do I bend silver tube? Is there a way to do it without having to
insert the perfect size wire inside?


#2

When I bend round tube, I use a plumbers method and use a spring on
the outside. since I usually do not have a spring that fits tightly
on the tube, I simply wrap wire that has the same diameter as the
thickness of the tube wall snugly around the tube and either jig bend
it or for more open bends, I prefer to thumb bend the piece.

Peace
Richard


#3

Hi Michelle

You can try filling it with a soft wax. You would have to melt the
wax and plug one end and let the wax set in the tube. you would not
be able to take a mallet to it as it will cave the tubing even with
the wax in it. I have never tried it but i would suggest you can use
engineering rubber cord, its generally black and used in automotive
engines. They usually come in an “o” ring form. Get the diameter that
fits snugly and what i suggest is you push that through (it should be
slightly tough to push through for a good fit) then seal the ends(not
with heat coz the rubber will burn), seal it with two part epoxy and
then bend. Obvioulsy your tubing must be well annealed and i would
say to use fine silver opposed to 925 as you will get a better bend.
the thinner the tubing the better. once bent to desire you can try
to pull the rubber out. If you have trouble with that then heat it
with a torch and burn it. Warning its really smelly and might be
slightly toxic in fumes.

Let me know how it works.

Take care


#4
How do I bend silver tube? 

Michelle, I have done it by annealing, packing it firmly with sand,
with a soldered cap on each end. Time-consuming, but worth it for a
special piece. The other way is to seek out a steel spring that fits
inside the tube. As you pull it out after bending, it stretches
apart enough to avoid binding inside.

M’lou Brubaker
Minnesota, USA


#5

Depending on the size of the tubing and the thickness of the walls -
there are several methods…

I believe that MicroMark and several other companies sell miniature
tubing benders similar to the larger ones used to bend copper water
pipe or metal conduit.

You can find a tightly coiled spring that fits snugly over the
tubing. Bend the tubing inside the spring and careful twist the
spring counter to its twist to work it back off the tubing. These
first two suggestions are simplest, cleanest, and fastest for
production work

You can use one of the low temp alloys like CerroBend, Woods, or
Fields metal. Most of these melt in boiling water. Fill the tube with
the liquid metal, bend it when it’s solid, and put it in a pot of hot
water - the metal just runs out.

You can use tightly rolled paper “cord,” bend and then heat until it
burns to ashes.

You can use plastic rods of various kinds, bend and then heat until
it burns to ashes.

You can use plastic covered electrical wire, again heating until the
plastic melts and the central metal wire pulls out.

These four methods require safety precautions, ventilation, etc.

You can also use very fine sand packed tightly inside the tube. The
"sand" I use for this is the Delft clay sold for casting purposes.

Lastly, you can set the tube so that it hangs over the edge of the
table at the point that you want to bend it. Use a weight of some
kind to keep it in place. Light some black candles and some incense.
Sit back and wait for gravity to bend it…grin

Brian P. Marshall
Stockton Jewelry Arts School
Stockton, CA USA
209-477-0550
www.jewelryartschool.com


#6

Depends how large of a diameter it is, the wire, if it is large I
have tried to fill it up with carving wax, off course you have to
heat it up and melt the wax, after cooling you can bend it (gently)
the shape that you want and then heat and drain/burn the wax out. You
can use the same method of the wire insert but with fishing line that
is the same diameter as the hole on the tube.

I personally work with the tube itself without any of this hence
they are a bit messy.

I use mandrels of different shapes and sizes, with heat/annealing
being behind the flow of the bending…very important…it is
only done with Fingers, tools coated with leathers and mandrels. I
hope I was of a help, I bet if you put your head in to it you will
invent a newer way to do it, just don’t forget to share.

Best regards
Dikran Nodznaia


#7

Short of having a tubing bender, the two old fashioned ways I know of
are to fill it. One way is to fill it full of lead (or soft solder),
bend it, melt out the lead and then use HCl to clean it out. The
other way is to fill it with water and then freeze it…

http://www.donivanandmaggiora.com


#8
How do I bend silver tube? Is there a way to do it without having
to insert the perfect size wire inside? 

There are long springs made for this purpose, but they tend to mar
the surface. You can do what plumbers often do when bending copper
tubing: fill the tube with salt (as much as you can stuff into it,)
bend the tube, then introduce water to remove the salt.

Ray


#9
How do I bend silver tube? Is there a way to do it without having
to insert the perfect size wire inside? 

Perhaps the perfect size spring on the outside.
:slight_smile:

Lisa, (yeah yeah…goats, dogs, cats chickens parrots and a
horse…you know the drill), Topanga, CA USA


#10

Michelle,

There are a number of ways to bend tubes. Use a wire inside (often
piece of annealed silver wire that fits snugly inside the tube will
do the job), you can fill the tube with sand and cap the ends, you
can fill the tube with strands of monofilament fishing line, use
bismuth to fill the tube, wax, etc, etc. Some of these present unique
problems to remove them. Or, you can also purchase bending springs
from micromark.com or else find a spring that fits snugly over the
tube. This is what I normally use. You can also purchase small tube
benders from harborfreight.com.

Oh the choices…it hurts. Cheers from Don at The Charles Belle
Studio in SOFL where simple elegance IS fine jewelry!


#11
fill the tube with salt 

it seems easier to use a wire instead and not as messy

Billy


#12

I always thought we were to put those darn springs on the OUTSIDE of
the tubing, to aid in bending.

Someone, please clear up for me.

Kay Taylor


#13

Micro-Mark carries a set of tube-bending springs that would cover
most jewelers’ needs. micromark.com


#14

Michelle

I usually use copperrods drawn to size or Woods metal alloy which
becomes liquid in near boiling water. Woods metal is removed the
same way, put the item in boiling water, and is reusable.The copper
rods are pulled out and sometimes break so you have to pull from both
ends-be sure to have sufficient length to grip.

I have not tried any of the thermoplastics but they should work too
if the pipe isn’t too small in diameter.

michaela


#15
One way is to fill it full of lead (or soft solder), bend it, melt
out the lead and then use HCl to clean it out. The other way is to
fill it with water and then freeze it.... 

I have also heard sand, or sugar (easy to dissolve out).

Noel


#16

You can use sand, glass beads from a bead blaster, etc. I seal the
ends with wax. I’ve also filled the tube with water (sealing the ends
with wax) and froze it. This works well, but leave space for the
water to expand as it freezes.

There is also a variety of low fusing metal alloys-- bizmuth and
tin, I think-- that can be melted in boiling water, poured into the
tube, left to harden and then melted out in boiling water after the
tube is bent. Cerrobend is one of these. Just google it.

Andy


#17

If you go to a decent size larger toy stores or stores that cater to
aero modelling & model boats etc, they sell sets of bending springs
covering a wide range of small sizes that modellers use to bend up
pipes. I’ve seen them available in sets for small sizes from about
1/4" or 6mm up as well as very small sizes from 1/16" or 1.6mm up so
you do need to check the size range. Most I’ve seen are about 6 or 8
inches long with one end wound at a larger size which makes it easy
to just drill a wood block to hold them when not being used.

As I didn’t know an online source, I did the search “bending
springs” on the infamous eBay USA for & found for under $10:

5 sizes 6 - 16 mm
5 sizes 1/4" to 5/8"
5 sizes 1/16", 3/32", 1/8", 5/32", 3/16"

Regards,
Brian


#18

Go to any hardware store and get a coil of annealed binding wire.
Wrap it tight around the tube you want to bend, and start bending.


#19

Lisa,

I have found some success using soluble wax inside the tube and then
dissolving it out afterward.

By the way I grew up on a farm so I have a question for you. How do
you find the time to make jewelry with all those animals to care for?

Greg DeMark
www.demarkjewelry.com


#20
I have also heard sand, or sugar (easy to dissolve out). 

Or Bismuth…same principle.

Lisa, ( I think I will apply to the Scottsdale show. Is it any good?)
Topanga, CA USA