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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What size rods of different metals can be cold bent to form? Also what tools would be needed? I have access to some 3/8 inch stainless (4 ft) and was hoping it could be cold formed without too much expense.
 

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What size rods of different metals can be cold bent to form? Also what tools would be needed? I have access to some 3/8 inch stainless (4 ft) and was hoping it could be cold formed without too much expense.
I think 3/8 stainless would be a bear to cold shape without some heavy duty equipment. I've been making bent rods from 5/16 aluminum with only a medium size bench vice, a couple of stainless bolts (the type that are threaded only part way, and a short piece of 3/8 ID pipe. If you live in the US, here is a very economical place to buy small quantities of metal.

http://www.onlinemetals.com/

Smitty has a tutorial on how to make a steel bent-rod. He uses a large vice, and a steel template. I'm sure he'll be along shortly with a link to his tutorial.

Here is my first attempt at cold bending.



Henry
 

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I don't know how to do links, but you can find me on Utube under smittyslingshots. I think 3/8" steel is way too big because 1/4" is plenty for strength. The 3/8" will only block more of your view of the target. You could use 5/16 to bend cold though. It will be hard to bend, but a length of brass pipe should do the trick without tool marks. The only reason I like to use some heat is to make it easier to bend and to relieve internal stresses built up by bending. A cheap propane torch will help a lot, nothing fancy, but it isn't absolutely necessary. You can clamp two 5/16 " bolts in a vise and mark your rod where you want to make the bends if you don't want to make a jig. You can also make the ears like the ones in the picture to simplify the process a great deal. Using a polishing wheel with some jewelers rouge/polishing compound is important for long lasting rubber performance. .050 is a good gap for swapping out rubber.
 

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I think you may have your hands full with the 3/8". Years back I made one from 3/8" stainless for my then-Captain and had to hit up a shipyard guy to heat it up with a cutting torch to be able to effectively bend it. I have made quite a few back in the day from .1/4" in both iron and brass. The brass makes a sharp slingshot that's different from what most people make. If you'll get some 1/4" (easily found at any hardware store) I think you'll be able to work it into the shapes you need much easier with just a vise and cheater-pipe.
 

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Thanks guys, you are so cool, but you are stretching the truth there just a bit. Sure makes me feel like I really do have some friends in this old world though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Found out that the 3/8 rod is too thick for my tools without heat. Found out my rod came from an old dot matrix printer and is very hard with little will to bend unless it is heated till almost red. It went into the recycle bin.
 

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I love the "Bent Rod" slingshots. I use Aluminum rods up to 3/8" thick. I use a bench vise and a small diameter pipe that I put over the rod while bending-and I go REAL SLOW!. These type frames are rally one of my favorites especially when using them "Gangsta style Butterfly". COOL! Flatband

 

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I made a steel plate jig like what smitty showed for my design. the first one i made from 1/4" aluminum but i thought the finished product was too tall and wide, i drilled a few more holes and will hopefully be able to give it another try tonight. cold bending the 1/4" aluminum is really easy and takes just a couple minutes to make a frame, especially once you have a jig set up like Smitty's, i'll post pics when i get a chance to make another.
 
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