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R-Geo Wire Bender tutorial


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#1 Rick

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Posted 06 February 2011 - 12:13 PM

I have had some questions about the basic wire bender. I promised a photo crash course. so here it goes.

There are questions as to how far the wire pulls when you bend it, and how to set the wire for multiple bends etc which are both something you will have to learn on your own through using the little machine. As one of the greatest chassis builders, TonyP, always advised me, one wire, one bend, this way they are always the same and match. You trim each end and make them match. If you chekc out Tony's builds you will notice, in 98% of his builds, he stays with the one wire, one bend format.

A drop of oil on the wire at the pivot point helps reduce frictional drag and pulling.

wire bender 001.jpg

In this picture just to show the starting position of any wire. Adjust the solid fence to hold the wire diameter against the lower pins. Thisadjustable fence will go from .047" to .078" and even smaller if you tilt the adjustable fence and use the corner to capture .032" and .025" wires. Most wire bending will begin this way.

wire bender 002.jpg

Slide your beding arm over the pivot post and it should look like this picture. The wire will be between the pivit pin and the bedning pin. Using pins to make the bends helps in reducing micro cracks in the wire.

wire bender 003.jpg

We have made out first 90 degree bent wire. This is a piece of .062". You will always have to go a little past the scribed line because music wire has a memory. WHen you see how far, you can make a mark on your machine with a sharpie and duplicate this bend over and over. If you would like to make bends over 90 degrees this is also possible, if you want to duplicate a previous wire, just draw a line against the wire on the plate and bend as many as you want.

wire bender 004.jpg

In this picture I am showing you a loop bend with a piece of .078 wire, just for illustration of the power the little machine gives you. Try to bend this with 2 pair of pliers and you will see what I mean. The wire was captured against the pins and the adjustable fence was moved enough to allow for the full bend.

wire bender 006.jpg

I have taken the .078" and postioned it to the pivot pin and make a second bend. This is what Marty Stanley used for his pan stops on the Retro Bits Chassis build. This is using .078", just to illustrate. Way overkill for this application and I will show another much simpler version later on.

wire bender 007.jpg

The etxra heavy duty pan stop.

wire bender 008.jpg

THis picture is the beginning of a "Z" bend wire, in the event you find you need one. I have bent the wire into the 90 degree position as above. I now have it positioned on the left side of the pivot pin and the adjustable fence holding the wire firmly in place against the pins.

wire bender 010.jpg

Now place the bending arm and pin on the left side of the wire and bend to the right, opposite of how we have done it to make the 90. Bend the wire until parallel.

wire bender 011.jpg

This is the result. This is also a piece of 1/16" wire.

wire bender 013.jpg

Time to make a 3/4" "U" band main rail. as in the above picture, we will bend one "L" bend at 90 degrees. Make certain you leave enough wire for the other side. Once the first 90 is made, we flip the wire over and put the extra pins in the first set of holes(as pictured) and use the adjustable fence to hold this wire tight against these pins. Second bend will be just another 90 and you are done.

wire bender 014.jpg

wire bender 015.jpg

Our "U" bend main rails. You can make these .055", .062", or .078" diameter, whatever you want for your build. The next set of holes on the bender will do the same thing but make the "U" bend 1" inside.

wire bender 015.jpg

This photo is just to show you using the adjustable fence now as a clamp to hold a wire in position for a second bend.

wire bender 019.jpg

Here is the simple way to make the Marty pan stop. This piece of wire is .047" but you could use .055". I feel .047" is probably enough to do the job. You simply lay the wire up as you would if you wanted to make a simple 90 degree bend, but continue on past the 90 and keep going until you wrap the wire partially around the post and hit the adjustable fence and crank it a little farther and you have a perfect pan stop in one cycle. Cut off excess and solder on the pan in the position to need.

wire bender 016.jpg

Shapes we have made. I am sure as you use the bender you will come up with more ways/ideas on how you use it and more ways to bend the wire shapes you want. It makes bending the wire rather easy and that is its main function.

If you have any special ways you use the bender, please share them with us. This is the revised bender with the HD bending pivot made from a hardened tool steel pin. The original had a 3/32" pins and a stationary fence. With the pin fence you have more latitude to lower the wire down and in between pins for more creative bending.

I hope this answers some of the questions and helps some out...
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#2 Steve McCready

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Posted 06 February 2011 - 01:42 PM

YES!

Thanks Rick for taking the time to do this!!!! :D

#3 Alchemist

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Posted 06 February 2011 - 01:59 PM

That's one awesome jig Rick! I'm gonna have to save up for one.

Ernie
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#4 Duffy

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Posted 06 February 2011 - 02:04 PM

Last time I was on a bender I didn't get near as much done.
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#5 One27ray

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Posted 06 February 2011 - 02:24 PM

:dance4:


Rick,

Great tutorial :good: I printed it out and it will have it's own binder= R-Geo reference book !! Thanks for helping us out :friends:

i-ray
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#6 Dallas Jackson

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Posted 04 April 2011 - 08:40 PM

Rick,
Great stuff as usual; the oil really does the trick
old 36d

#7 Marty Stanley

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Posted 11 April 2011 - 12:03 AM

Hey Rick,

With all the interest in building chassis rails like Warmack and TonyP are using, I took your HD Wire Bender out, grabbed a piece of .078 and made a couple of them for an upcoming project. It's almost too easy to make one, then another to match right up using your bender.

So the first step was to make a couple of main rails with Ďloopsí in them. I figured I would have to make 2 90 degree bends and 1 180 degree bend. That doesn't sound too hard when you look at it like that. Fortunately for me, I own one of the Heavy Duty versions of the Wire Bender made by R-Geo Products.

Out came the Wire Bender and I sat and took a look and decided what I wanted to do before starting the first bend. After a few minutes, I just grabbed a piece of .078 wire and got to bending.

Why .078 wire? Well itís pretty tough stuff and you only need a single main rail to build a chassis that works well on most King tracks. Bending .078 wire is not for folks with weak hands, or that donít own heavy duty wire benders. The reason I own one of the R-Geo wire benders is that it is kind of like a hammer. It works well and lasts a long time. It is not complicated, but it does what you ask it to do. On the Heavy Duty model, the bending posts are made out of 1/8 inch drill blank material. I have broken one of the posts one day while bending a piece of .078 wire. Like I said, itís pretty tough stuff. I started to put a droplet of oil on the bending arm post each time I bend a piece of .078 wire and it has never broken since.

Now, letís make some bends:

The first thing is to gather some tools:


Posted Image


Here I have the R-Geo Products HD Wire Bender, fence, calipers, Champion Tech Tool and 2 lengths of .078 wire.


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Since Iím not sure where the rails will end up in the chassis, Iím going to leave about 2 inches from the back of the ďUĒ bend to the end of the motor bracket. It just so happens that with the fence set on the end of the wire bender, itís right at 2 inches from the center of the bend to the outside edge of the wire.

The 1/8 inch pin with all the scuff marks around it is where the bending arm goes and that is where we will make all of our bends.


Posted Image


After I make a standard 90 degree bend with the wire bender, I like to use my Champion Tech Tool as a square. It does a very good job in that role as well as checking so many other parameters on a slot car.


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Once the 90 degree bend is verified, now itís time to move one of the pins. I use the spacing for a 1 inch ďUĒ bend. Put the 90 degree bend #1 so the wire is oriented as you see it in the photo above.


Posted Image


Now put the bending arm on so the pin touches the side of the wire that is resting on the bending pin on the outside of the wire and you will move it towards you until you put a 180 degree bend in the wire. If you donít get it all the way to 180 degrees, donít worry, just use a pair of pliers to finish the bend. I used the calipers to measure at the top and bottom of the ĎUĒ shape to make sure it was 180 degrees Ė or at least very close to that.


Posted Image


Now move the top of the ďUĒ to the 1 inch pin and make a 90 degree bend towards you to finish up the main rail.


Posted Image


After you make one, the 2nd one is so much simpler and it comes out exactly the same size. Thatís why if you using a wire bender to make complex bends is so nice. You can easily duplicate your work the same size every time.

So, what are you waiting for?
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#8 Rickard Five

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Posted 22 June 2011 - 04:35 AM

Blatant and Shameless shill for these Benders, I been Building and Racing wire drag cars for over 20 years and the new bender Rick made me is the slickest thing Ever. I had Rick make me a custom bender to bend one particular Chassis so far I've built a few Chassis from it and it was Perfect - Fast - and Easy :) I wish I could post a pic of the bender to show off Rick's Beautiful work! For now it's a trade secret, at least till next gen chassis is worked out,so all I can show you is the design concept art of the Wire F/C
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#9 SlowBeas

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Posted 05 March 2014 - 09:10 AM

Anyone have a suggestion for making bends on this jig that are 90- degrees from the first bend? I'm looking to make another tuning fork chassis and use the wire bender to ensure a 45-degree bend in both wires to bring them together in the center of the chassis. However, once I've made that bend, is there a way to turn the wire 90-degrees to make the wire reach up to brace the axle tubes?

 

Inquiring minds want to know...

 

Thanks for any suggestions.

jb


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#10 Samiam

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Posted 05 March 2014 - 10:08 AM

Bend the 90 first.


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#11 SlowBeas

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Posted 05 March 2014 - 10:52 AM

I'll give that a try, but I'm wondering how you ensure it remains at 90 degrees while bending the fork. I've tried bracing different ways, but haven't found one yet that's ideal.

 

Thanks for the input. Maybe Rick has a suggestion, too?


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#12 Rick

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Posted 05 March 2014 - 12:00 PM

Clamp the wire down with the movable fence, then make the next bend. Use some oil when bending too, will help to not pull the wire.....


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#13 SlowBeas

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Posted 05 March 2014 - 02:17 PM

I had tried using the fence, but maybe the oil trick will help. Thanks, Rick.

jb


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