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Hey guys and gals I’ve been looking at getting a metal bender lately for some work on my dr650 as well as general shop projects. Also thinking about trying my hand making a go cart frame from some tubing as well. Seems that a lot of information out there is pointed towards super thick wall tubing which I don't plan on bending. I'm building a racer not a rock crawler after all.
I looked at HF but don't prefer their tools. I found some hydraulic ones, but those are way outside of my price range, especially considering the accessories. Not going to do production stuff or crazy heavy, just want something that will bend flat bar and round/square tubing for an affordable price. I found these ones Howron Industries Metal Benders
Anyone have any "direct" experience with these benders or something else I should use? Looks like they are USA made and have a full warranty which I like.

Thanks for the help
 

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I had a nice Eastwood hydrolic bender for some time that was easy to use and for me made it easier to get more accurate....which is really important. They're around $400...... more than some pay for non running projects. I've used HF before with no problems.

What are you doing to the DR?
 

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Wow Howron looks like a smaller Hossfeld unit and there dies are plastic and cheaper.
Me I have a JD2 unit for years but only two sets of dies as there not cheap and I only use it for 1 and 1.25 tubes.
 

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Van Sant's are good people, motorcycle drag racers if that matters to anyone.

Friend of a good friend.

To your original question. I used my brother's bender similar to that from Northern Tool on one project. I had trouble with repeatability.

If you're thinking go kart build you're probably looking at using 1" × .095 or .083. That's not the bender I would attempt that with. Ok if I already had one I would attempt it, wouldn't go buy one with that in mind.

Don't know where you're at(fill in your GD bio), but there's plenty of race shops with benders that will do what you need cheaper than you can buy one and go through the learning curve of operating it. My four block long street has three shops with benders.

Or if you're handy with wood, those Nisky school people made a bender with wooden bucks. http://niskygarage.logical.net/CB350/week2.html Pictures didnt load for me, I'm on my phone, your results may vary.

Or you can sand bend. I've bent exactly one piece using this method, a gooseneck for an outdoor light. It turned out awesome with varying radius bends that would be hard to replicate any other way. You're basically creating a pipe bomb that you hold in your hands with this method. If you're the kind of guy who accidentally kills himself being dumb in the garage I don't recommend. Not even going to tell you how.
 

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I'll second Kenin on having a shop do it.

Also to note, contrary to what might seem obvious, it is more difficult to produce a quality bend with thinner wall tubing vs thicker wall.

In any case, good tooling is key, and it's expensive! Bottom line: Use a race shop! Tinker with sheetmetal or the like.
 
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