Brief Description: Started bending canopy frame tubes
Today I picked up a 3/4" conduit bender from Home Depot. I came home prepared to knock out the project in short order. Unfortunately, with my very first bend I took the angle too far. I quickly learned that fine control with that tool would be next to impossible. Earlier I had reviewed some posts on the Matronics list regarding ways to bend tubes. One made different sized bend radius form blocks and then pulled the tubing against the curved edge of the block using clamps and rollers. Whew, I got tired just thinking about making up all that paraphernalia for this job. So, I took the simplest approach possible and curved the face of a block of wood which I attached to my worktable. About 8 inches away I clamped another for leverage. The last step was to smoothly pull on the long end of the tube in very small increments to get the desired curve. Voila! I highly recommend my decidedly low-tech approach. Cost = zero. Results = priceless. The only advice I have is to fill the tube with fine sand (to keep it from collapsing) and to make many small bends. You can always bend more, but taking out too much angle is a bit tricky. I completed the front canopy frame (shown below) and completed one-half of one of the rear canopy frame tubes. The installation calls for two identical rear frame tubes, so hopefully I can wrap those up tomorrow.