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Elizabeth Gazmuri

bending brass tubing

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Elizabeth Gazmuri

I am wondering if anyone can tell me how to bend brass tubing into an S shape (more or less) without crimping the tubing.

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Wm. R. Robertson

Can you tell us a little more? What size tubing? How long . What radius?

Thanks,

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Debora Beijerbacht

Simple thought perhaps and maybe you've already dismissed this, but how about bending springs? Flexible long coils of wire/springs you can insert into the tube, to prevent crimping while bending. Of course some depends on what Bill had asked already.

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Bill Hudson

What Bill R asked…  What size tube, how tight of bends?  For bending the tubing to make my wheel rims for baby prams, tricycles etc. I anneal the brass tube (heat to a dull red) and let cool. The brass will be soft and can be bent.  For 1/16 inch tube I can bend around a 1/4" dowel. for 3/32" I bend as small as 1/2" inside diameter. For 1/8"tube 3/4" is pushing it and 1" is better.  If you use the bending springs then anneal the brass first. I have had limited luck with the springs.  Annealing the brass makes it bend easier but bending it will harden it back up some.

 

BH

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Elizabeth Gazmuri

What I am interested in making is electrified was sconces out of brass with a nice flush wall plate and a protruding ogee shape tube to hold the light bulb part that would encase the wires. It would open up many possibilities, and I find ones for sale very limited for period rooms. So for this purpose the diameter would be less then 1/16" and the length short as well. I could use rod and wrap the wires around the outside, but really would prefer to hide them in the tube. Bill R. posted a picture of some Rococo sconces he made that would go great with the mirror I made in his class at Guild school last year for example.

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Wm. R. Robertson

Ok, now we know the scope of the problem. First off you said wires, you only need one wire, use the tube as the other one. Just make sure you wire them all the same way so you don't get shocked.

I think I would try some thin wall tubing, special shapes makes some, this has a much thinner wall than the K & S stuff sold in hobby shops. I would get some wire insulation ( remove the wire) that fits in the tubing. Anneal the tubing, stick insulation in from each side and bend slowly, then pull out insuation and replace with finer insulated wire.

This will not be easy, the other way I have done it is machine out matching haves and solder them together.

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Bill Hudson

​I agree with Bill on the thin walled tubing.  I have a  supply of metric brass tubbing which is slightly smaller in outside diameter and larger on the inside diameter than inch tubing.  I have had it so long that I don't remember where I got it but believe through K&S.  It is very thin walled but I have no problems bending it after annealing.  

 

A bending method I find helpful when all else fail is using a web weave strap (or a light, flexible  leather belt) about ten inches long.  Clamp one end in a vise, better if at waste height while standing.  Hold the other end in you dominant hand and place the annealed piece to be bent length way to the webbing as close to your hand as possible. Now lay a dowel (slightly smaller in diameter than your bend wanted) across that closest end of the piece top be bent. Hold the dowel down tight against the piece with the fingers of both hands and hold your thumbs tightly agains the bottom of the webbing. Step back and keep tension on the strap and slowly lower your arms down while rolling the dowel over the piece.  It is important to keep tension on the webbing at all times.   

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Elizabeth Gazmuri

Thanks Bill and Bill,

Looking forward to trying these methods, I have been mulling over making sconces for a long time.

This forum is a fantastic resource, thanks for creating it .

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ElgaKoster

Yes, Elizabeth and bought one at the Rheda show in Germany two years ago as well as a lamp :-)

And I fully agree with you on the forum, it is going to be fun to learn from people who have done this for many years. I get the feeling we like the same kind of things, looking forward to learn with you.

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Elizabeth Gazmuri

Lucky me

Special Shapes seems to be a subdivision of K&S and the thin walled tubing is available at my local hardware store. Cold rainy day + supplies = workshop fun

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greenie

Here's something to have a look at, you may find the answer to your problem of bending brass tube.

 

regards  greenie  

 

 

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Catherine Ronan

I am going to try filling the tube with water and freezing it. I suppose I will have to use it like a straw before I cap the ends with wax. ;-)

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miraclechicken

oooo great idea!

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