How to make perfect bent wire parts, every time,using a wire bender. Calculate and mark out the wire, then bend. Find the correct length of bends and design notes.
The K&S Mighty Wire bending tool has been around for a LONG time and my example is many years old.
My example is a little different from that shown in the photograph-mine has plain posts in place of the rollers. Another difference can be that the hole in the bar is at a small angle to the vertical. This helps when forming coils and allows the wire to bend over the formed wire easier.
All of these examples work well and the only thing that is important is that you know the diameter of the post or roller that contacts the wire. This determines the radius that the wire will be formed to.
In my case. the diameter of the post is 5/16" so the radius that I get is 5/32"(0.156"). All my wire bends will be this dimension. Check your wire bender and make a test bend to confirm.
For the start we must define terms, so as we all know what we are talking about!
We must work out the correct Bend Allowance(BA) to accurately form wire parts. Here is the formula-
Bend Allowance (BA)=π(2R+t) x Bend Angle/360
As an example, if we have 1/8" (O.125") diameter wire, bent through 103.7 deg. and the bend radius is 0.1875" ( My bender post radius)-we have-
BA=π[(2 x 0.1875)+0.125] x 103.7/360
= π x 0.5 x O.288
Note: The symbol "π" is a mathematical symbol that is 3.142 approximately.
The sketch above shows a typical wire form of a cabane strut. We need to calculate the bend allowances of the four bends (0.452" from above calculation) and lay out on a length of the correct diameter wire.
Marking with a fine point felt tip is OK or a small file mark is acceptable. Note that there is extra material left at each end-this can be removed later, after all the forming is complete.
The example shown is on my new Fairey Swordfish design and in the right hand view I had to figure out the true height of the cabane.
The left hand view is true to scale and can be used as a template, when forming.
The bottom view shows the length of wire marked out and ready for bending.
At last! finally we get to actually bend some wire! Start at the center and work your way out. Take your time and do not bend until you are absolutely sure everything is OK.
Line-up the marks with the contact point on the bender post and make sure you are bending in the correct direction.
You may very well make some mistakes at first, but soon you will be an expert!
Check with the full size layout drawing and "tweak" as necessary. You may well have to"torque" bend the part in a vise to keep things nice and flat and remove any twists.
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