How to Bend Wire The Easy & Efficient Way

In honor of one of the best slot car builders in our hobby.
Share your chassis & scratchbuilt artwork here.

How to Bend Wire The Easy & Efficient Way

Postby Florida_Slotter » Wed Jul 16, 2014 8:22 am

I see where ShotgunDave has bought one of the handiest pieces of shop gear you can have for bending wire. The RGEO Products Wire Bender. I have worked with Rick of RGEO for years testing his product, suggesting improvements and upgrades. His latest wire bender is what ShotgunDave has purchased.

Perhaps it's time for some basics on how to use the wire bender.

Now when you go to the hardware store and buy a hammer, does it come with directions? It's really up to the user to learn how to use it. I don't know about you, but I've learned a lot from using a hammer. One of the best lessons came from my uncle when I was helping him roof - how to hold the nail and coordinate my swing and the moving of my hand. I think he either felt sorry for me or was tired of hearing me yell.

So now we have an RGEO Wire Bender and some straight wire that we want bent.


Image


These are the tools I have on the work surface during bending sessions. Of course besides my RGEO Wire Bender a tech tool by Champion and a sponge with Scotch-Brite back. When you buy wire in bulk (I find the best prices are at HobbylinC. I have been buying from them for quite a few years now and find their prices beat just about any out there.) it has the "release goo" on it. This does not solder very well. I use the Scotch-Brite side of the sponge to make the metal nice and shiny. When you solder it, add a bit of liquid flux and the solder almost jumps from your iron to the metal.

The tech tool from Champion is something that sits on my bench all the time. I find many uses for it. I will show you one of them a bit later on in this tutorial.


Image

Image


I do not know what your RGEO Wire Bender looks like, mine is the first sample of the upgraded HD Wire Bender. I talked Rick into providing the fence to me as I like the extra support. The fence is not really needed as you can bend with either version and get great, reproducible results. So let's get to bending some wire.


Image


Okay, I have the fence on and the Wire Bender setup to make .750 "U" loops. The first bend is being made in this photo. You will notice a scribed line on my unit. I find that using that as a guide I can make 90 degree bends all day long, first time, every time. If you are building a chassis and you want to bend your main rails so they go up and connect to the axle tube in front, rear or both, then this makes 90 degree bends all day long with a .125 radius, not a sharp bend like with pliers.

On most wire benders there is an additional set of holes. This is to make 1.000 inch inside dimension "U" bends. I know that some of you sharp eyed folks have spotted a third peg on my unit. I make .460 "U" loops with that. Perfect size for FF50 motors.


Image


To complete a .750 inside measurement "U" loop simply "flip" the wire so the newly bent side is sitting as shown and bend the new bend to 90 degrees.


Image


Here's one of the many uses of the Champion Tech Tool. I use it as a square to make sure my bends are 90 degrees before proceeding with my efforts.


Image


Here's one of those "round shoulder / flat forehead moments" that I learned about.

I wanted to make "nested loops" for a chassis I was building. I wanted to figure out how to do it easily and in a way that I could repeat at will. So I did some contemplation on the subject. I grabbed my caliper and measured the outside dimension of the .0625 "U" loop. H'mmm, it was .825. So I can come up with a math equation to use to determine the spacing I need to use. Wire Size X 2 = Proper Spacing. Since we are using .0625 wire and there are two pieces we need to take into account, .0625 + .0625 = .125 - that is the size of the spacer we need to use. I simply used one of the .125 dowels from the RGEO Wire Bender for my spacer. In my "Bits Box" I have several pieces of .039, .047, .055 and .0625 soldered together in pairs.


Image

How about that, a double nested set of "U" loops. I can make them all day long if necessary. I can also make them in .039, .047 and .055. So give it a try (consider this as homework). Post it here and we can all revel in how easy it is to do.


Image


Okay, now you're saying "Big Whoop!" How about taking a pair of pliers and making something out of that "U" loop that you made?

I have had these pliers for longer than I care to think about. They have served me well and I hope they continue to do so. Basically you just have to measure your pliers to see how much offset they put into the wire. I find that with .790 front tires, this set of pliers puts the wire at the perfect height so solder to a piece of .125 square or round tubing to serve as a front axle tube.

What I do is set the pliers on the work surface and insert one side of the "U" loop. Then I close the jaws of the pliers and make a 90 degree bend. I reverse sides and make another 90 degree bend.


Image


Here's what the part now looks like. So what can we do with this?


Image


Well we could add a couple of lengths of .093 (3/32) square brass tubing, a motor bracket (Here's where I buy mine) (This is the bushings I use) and the next thing you know, you have a chassis almost built.


Image


If you choose to slide the "U" loop full length down the 3/32 square brass tubing, I would suggest drilling at least one .0625 (1/16) hole in one of the sides of the square tubing. This way you can solder the wire to the tubing. I like this kind of main rail. You can set the wheelbase nice and easily.

Hopefully this will help you use your RGEO Products Wire Bender a bit more efficiently.

Now get to making straight wire bent!
Last edited by Florida_Slotter on Wed Jul 16, 2014 8:39 am, edited 3 times in total.
Florida Slotter, aka Marty Stanley
A Double 60's Racer - I raced back then and I'm in my 60's now
User avatar
Florida_Slotter
Scratch Build Guru
 
Posts: 1942
Joined: Wed Sep 05, 2012 4:08 pm
Location: Florida

Re: How to Bend Wire The Easy & Efficient Way

Postby HomeRacingWorld » Wed Jul 16, 2014 8:30 am

Very nice. Thanks for bringing it over here.
-Harry

"They didn't say you couldn't" - Smokey

Image

Image
User avatar
HomeRacingWorld
HRW Janitor
 
Posts: 13308
Joined: Wed Aug 08, 2012 2:05 pm
Location: HRW Skunkworks

Re: How to Bend Wire The Easy & Efficient Way

Postby Florida_Slotter » Wed Jul 16, 2014 8:43 am

HomeRacingWorld wrote:Very nice. Thanks for bringing it over here.




Boss,

This is 100% HRW exclusive material. I just got up this AM and put together the tutorial.

Just thought you'd like to know that.

BTW - did you see the chassis that is almost built? What did you think of that?
Florida Slotter, aka Marty Stanley
A Double 60's Racer - I raced back then and I'm in my 60's now
User avatar
Florida_Slotter
Scratch Build Guru
 
Posts: 1942
Joined: Wed Sep 05, 2012 4:08 pm
Location: Florida

Re: How to Bend Wire The Easy & Efficient Way

Postby ShotgunDave » Wed Jul 16, 2014 9:56 am

Thank you Marty! This is more than I could ask for. I'll get busy on my homework and post it here. After seeing your pictures and reading the tutorial, I feel confident that I can do it. Thanks again!
User avatar
ShotgunDave
Connoisseur of Rust
 
Posts: 10529
Joined: Tue Mar 05, 2013 10:31 am
Location: Sun City, So-Cal

Re: How to Bend Wire The Easy & Efficient Way

Postby HomeRacingWorld » Wed Jul 16, 2014 10:12 am

Well dang it boys! Very nice of you sir.

Yes, that is a nice chassis for sure. Really looks good.
-Harry

"They didn't say you couldn't" - Smokey

Image

Image
User avatar
HomeRacingWorld
HRW Janitor
 
Posts: 13308
Joined: Wed Aug 08, 2012 2:05 pm
Location: HRW Skunkworks

Re: How to Bend Wire The Easy & Efficient Way

Postby ShotgunDave » Wed Jul 16, 2014 4:26 pm

Okay Marty, here's my jig and a few pieces of my homework. I think I figured out how to do the "U" bend.

Image

Now I just need to figure out how to make the second one to do the "Nested" bends. I understand that the second wire needs to be wider. What I don't understand is how you got that extra pin in there to do it.

Image

If you can explain that, I'll be doing great! Thanks again for all the help!
User avatar
ShotgunDave
Connoisseur of Rust
 
Posts: 10529
Joined: Tue Mar 05, 2013 10:31 am
Location: Sun City, So-Cal

Re: How to Bend Wire The Easy & Efficient Way

Postby Florida_Slotter » Wed Jul 16, 2014 4:45 pm

ShotgunDave,

It actually works much better with 2 pieces of the same size wire soldered together. This way you can lay the soldered together wire along the two pins that hold the already bent piece while you are making the second bend. I can hold a piece of .125 stock in place, but I've done this many times.

Just take 2 pieces of .0625 about 2 inches long and lay them along side the two pins, then make your bend.

If you don't fully understand what I think I just said, please let me know.
Florida Slotter, aka Marty Stanley
A Double 60's Racer - I raced back then and I'm in my 60's now
User avatar
Florida_Slotter
Scratch Build Guru
 
Posts: 1942
Joined: Wed Sep 05, 2012 4:08 pm
Location: Florida

Re: How to Bend Wire The Easy & Efficient Way

Postby ShotgunDave » Wed Jul 16, 2014 5:14 pm

Yes Sir, your instructions are impeccable. I assume this is what you meant?

Image

And here is the final result. It works perfectly. Now I just need to scribe some 90 degree marks on it so I will get them right. But I definitely feel confident that I can bend up some wire and make a reasonably straight chassis.

Image

Thanks for all the help Marty. I'm sure this is helping others too, not just myself.

Hey Boss, can I pin this to the top for easy reference?
User avatar
ShotgunDave
Connoisseur of Rust
 
Posts: 10529
Joined: Tue Mar 05, 2013 10:31 am
Location: Sun City, So-Cal

Re: How to Bend Wire The Easy & Efficient Way

Postby ShotgunDave » Thu Jul 17, 2014 9:41 am

I wanted to try the 90 degree bends on the end of the wire. So I went looking for a pair of suitable pliers. I have about 10 pair of the needle nose variety but every single one has the wire cutter in the crotch. That won't do me any good! Then I looked through my Grandfather's tools that I have and found these duckbill pliers. They work perfect!

Image
User avatar
ShotgunDave
Connoisseur of Rust
 
Posts: 10529
Joined: Tue Mar 05, 2013 10:31 am
Location: Sun City, So-Cal

Re: How to Bend Wire The Easy & Efficient Way

Postby Florida_Slotter » Thu Jul 17, 2014 11:34 am

ShotgunDave,

Very good. You go to the head of the class.

Now that the light has gone off, let's see what else you can do.

For your next assignment, should you choose to do so, I'd like to see you make a sidewinder chassis. Just bend a piece of 1/16 wire into a 1.000 inch wide "U" loop and bend up the ducktail. Now look at the chassis I built for you and add an axle tube using a piece of 7/32 brass tubing. You will be on your way.

Keep it up - bending wire that is.
Florida Slotter, aka Marty Stanley
A Double 60's Racer - I raced back then and I'm in my 60's now
User avatar
Florida_Slotter
Scratch Build Guru
 
Posts: 1942
Joined: Wed Sep 05, 2012 4:08 pm
Location: Florida

Re: How to Bend Wire The Easy & Efficient Way

Postby ShotgunDave » Thu Jul 17, 2014 11:54 am

Thanks Marty. With your excellent instruction, the light has definitely gone on. Now that I know a little bit, I'll be bending like crazy!

I will try to make a sidewinder motor box tonight. It seems easier now for some reason. :D
User avatar
ShotgunDave
Connoisseur of Rust
 
Posts: 10529
Joined: Tue Mar 05, 2013 10:31 am
Location: Sun City, So-Cal

Re: How to Bend Wire The Easy & Efficient Way

Postby CJR » Tue Jan 12, 2016 6:13 am

Thank you for this inspiration.
CJR
HRW SlotCar Veteran!
 
Posts: 196
Joined: Tue Dec 22, 2015 8:16 am

Re: How to Bend Wire The Easy & Efficient Way

Postby HomeRacingWorld » Thu Feb 18, 2016 7:26 pm

Marty and I talked about this article and scratchbuilding in general for a few hours one day.

All he wanted was to help others and he shared his passion for this hobby here as well as all the other forums.

He wanted the "artwork" of slot car scratchbuilding to carry on, and efforts like this one did more than he ever imagined.

It's very rare to meet people that have this level of skill and knowledge, AND the willingness to SHARE it with the world.

I'm heading over to my bench and build something. That is truly the only way I can honor him and remind others of what he gave us.

RIP.
-Harry

"They didn't say you couldn't" - Smokey

Image

Image
User avatar
HomeRacingWorld
HRW Janitor
 
Posts: 13308
Joined: Wed Aug 08, 2012 2:05 pm
Location: HRW Skunkworks

Re: How to Bend Wire The Easy & Efficient Way

Postby ShotgunDave » Thu Feb 18, 2016 7:58 pm

Very well said Boss. You are of course, 100% correct.

If not for Marty, I never would have given the wire bending method a try. He convinced me to and I'm glad I did. He was more than willing to coach me all along the way, even giving me "homework" to do for him to approve. I will never bend another wire as long as I live, without thinking of Marty.

Thanks for all you've taught us.
User avatar
ShotgunDave
Connoisseur of Rust
 
Posts: 10529
Joined: Tue Mar 05, 2013 10:31 am
Location: Sun City, So-Cal

Re: How to Bend Wire The Easy & Efficient Way

Postby scatman » Thu Feb 18, 2016 9:30 pm

Can we save this thread?
Tony
User avatar
scatman
HRW SlotCar Veteran!
 
Posts: 521
Joined: Sun Feb 03, 2013 2:51 pm
Location: South MS.

Next

Return to The Marty Stanley Scratchbuilders Shop

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 5 guests