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Thread: Tube Roller? What to do with it?

  1. #1


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    Tube Roller? What to do with it?

    So I picked up one of those harbor freight tube rollers. If anyone is familiar with swagoffroad I'm gonna be applying some of the mods he makes for them. The extension wings and what not. My main reason for getting it is for building steel gates and various ornamental stuff around the house, garden canopy frames, yadda yadda yadda.

    Either way, if anyone has some ideas as far as what could be done regarding add ons or truck stuff I'd love to hear some ideas. And maybe once I get my garage set up I can make an attempt at rolling some tube and seeing just what all it can do. With it being a tube roller it doesn't really do any sharp bends. So 90 degrees and what not are out of the question. More of gradual curves. Either way, just thought I'd make a post and see if anyone had any ideas.

  2. #2

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    Off-road light bars, headache racks, roll cage, different supports and mounts stuff like that my dad and I used ours to build much of our sand rail.

  3. #3


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    Nice nice. Yeah I was thinking about redoing the headache rack on the truck. I want to eventually build a ladder rack for the truck anyway. Just trying to figure out what on that would need just gradual curves and what not. Since a lot of that seems like it would just be straight bar, but who knows. I was thinking about a bull bar, but that again seems like something that might need tighter curves than the tube roller would allow.

    But then again I plan on getting a bender in the future anyway.

  4. #4

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    You would be surprised how much you can do with a sawzall and a welded when the bender fails lol.

  5. #5



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    It won't make that tight of a bend. It's a roller, ya need a bender to make nice tight bends.
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  6. #6

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    I read about the Swag Off Road modifications and dies for the tube roller. I thought about getting a roller because I wanted to make a custom fit tube bumper for my truck instead of the generic ugly (and too expensive) ones off eBay. I also want to try to make a custom rigid motorcycle frame. Further down the line I'd like to attempt custom control arms and a 4 link if I ever bag the truck.

    But, as Camo stated, the roller isn't really designed for that kind of fabrication so I'm going to get the Harbor Freight 12 ton pipe bender and start with a small project, the bumper, and see how it goes. A couple of the reviewers said it can bend smaller diameter DOM if you go slow and are careful, use sand, etc. If that works out, then I'll try to make a motorcycle frame and if that comes out OK, I'll attempt an air bag suspension. The bender's only $80 with the coupon so it's no big deal if it sucks. I'm also a novice welder so this is all a good opportunity to learn metal fabrication. A welder friend gave me a few lessons and he said I might have the knack for it. Time to stop being afraid of screwing up and dive into some ambitious projects, but start small.

    The coolest part of these kinds of tools is making what you want exactly how you want it to fit and look instead of Mickey Mousing parts that don't fit into place with brackets and stuff. Also I figured about 75% or more of the cost of an air bag suspension if you take it to a shop is in labor and fabrication. The bags, compressor, fittings and tank aren't costly. I'd rather do it myself and learn some new skills in the process.

    I'm happy HF opened a new store close to me in San Rafael because Vallejo was too far for me to drive.

  7. #7



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    The pipe bender will give you a rippled look to your bends, not a clean bend. Try in here. this is where I get my tools from. http://www.irvansmith.com/
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  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by camoit View Post
    The pipe bender will give you a rippled look to your bends, not a clean bend. Try in here. this is where I get my tools from. http://www.irvansmith.com/
    Would 3/4" tubing be adequate for the projects I want to attempt? Bumper, low-power (250cc) street motorcycle frame and control arms/links?

    https://www.irvansmith.com/scart/tub...ual-p-659.html

    Or is 1" better?

    https://www.irvansmith.com/scart/180...er-p-3762.html

    The bumper is a city street parking fender basically, I'm not offroading or anything.

  9. #9

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    I don't mean to hijack this thread but what about the PT 105, JD2 M3 or Got Trikes?

    http://www.pro-tools.com/product.aspx?zpid=347

    http://www.jd2.com/p-32-model-3-bender.aspx

    http://www.gottrikes.com/Tube_Bender.htm

  10. #10


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    If ya got the $$$. I have a little ghetto pipe bender from harbor freight as well. Load your stuff up with sand and it helps a good deal. Most of the stuff I'm doing with the roller isn't for cars anyway so I need the gradual curves. Depending on the diameter of your stock you can get a somewhat small circle, but yeah you're not getting any 90 degree bends with it ever.

    I've heard nothing but good stuff about the pro tools bender though.

  11. #11



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    Pro tools is a great slip bender. Just keep in mind when you get this things you also need to buy the dies to go with it. Thats where the money goes. But if you get a good one, it will last you a life time.
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  12. #12

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    Cool. Great thread. Camo, what about my question about tube size?

    Quote Originally Posted by noahwins View Post
    Would 3/4" tubing be adequate for the projects I want to attempt? Bumper, low-power (250cc) street motorcycle frame and control arms/links?

    https://www.irvansmith.com/scart/tub...ual-p-659.html

    Or is 1" better?

    https://www.irvansmith.com/scart/180...er-p-3762.html

    The bumper is a city street parking fender basically, I'm not offroading or anything.

  13. #13



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    I would look at and copy what other bikes are using. Now a mini bike is a hole other thing. Shifter carts are made of 3/4. The hardest thing is keeping things straight. Here is another place that might tickle your fancy. http://www.jd2.com/ I have there notcher.
    As for a bumper you need to use somthing that will look the way you want.
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