i need to bend one of the 1x25 bars into something nearly square. i mean with 4 four right angles and a gap i intend to close with one of the cross gussets. i’m probably also going to need to bend a 5x25 plate as well. i’ve got no shop tools around and i’d really prefer to avoid ruining the pieces. does anybody have a suggestion? am i just being stupid? should i just put my foot on one end and pull up on the other?
Try to find something that is square-shaped and smaller than the square you want to make. This would preferably be a piece of 2"x2" aluminum or steel square tube. You can usually find this stuff at Home Depot in like 2’ or 4’ foot lengths. Use this as a “template” to bend your right angles around. Since this aluminum square tube would be smaller than the square you are making, so it would allow you to bend the 1x25 or 5x25 bars into four 90° angles to make a square.
Alternately, if you want to make a rounded piece out of the the Vex bar stock, you could find something such as a metal coffee can to bend your parts around. Of course, these solutions are for people at home who may not have access to a full range of sheet metal tools. But if available, I would always try to use sheet metal working tools.
Shaping it around an object works, if you don’t have any of those things. Place the piece in a vice, then carefully with pillars bend the piece into the correct shape. This is hard, if you need a specific curve or bend, use the one already mentioned.
i am concerned that the bends are at right angles and at the right locations so that the holes align when it comes time to close the piece with the gusset. do you think it would help if i screwed a piece of angle stock onto either side of the piece i want to bend so that their ends aligned at the position at which the bend is to occur and use these for leverage and to reinforce the piece on either side of the bend?
figure once i got one i could use it as a template to drill a piece of square tube and use that as suggested.
am i over-thinking this?
If you have ever considered buying parts from VexLabs, you could always cut your 1x25 piece into four segments, and use the 1x1 angles pieces to bolt the corners together. The 1x1x15 angles pieces are only $2.95 each, and to buy extra 1x25 bars are only $1.45 each.