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Thread: How to bend 1/2 copper?

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    How to bend 1/2 copper?

    http://www.xtremesystems.org/forums/...ng-a-mach-vapo

    Like how he did....


    As far as I can tell I am probably going to have to heat it. Perhaps in a grill to heat it all at once. I tried rolling it around a round muffler and it just kinks to hell and back.

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    Xtreme Addict Stewie007's Avatar
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    I'll be interested in hearing what folks have to say. You are referring to 1/2" OD, correct?

    There are methods out there to do it whilst preventing the collapse that creates the ovular cross section of the tubing, however one of them involves using sand..... Can you really be sure you flushed it all out? It would seem that using that method would require a charge, run, and then filter change......
    Last edited by Stewie007; 08-20-2011 at 03:49 PM.
    Regards, Stew.....

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    Best one I've seen is using ice, freezing water in the tube, bending, done. And yea, 1/2" OD as the water jacket.

    In his pic it is still really shiny, so I am guessing torching was out of the question there.

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    Xtreme Addict Stewie007's Avatar
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    He could have cleaned it or utilized a different method of heating. Perhaps he did it in an oven... hehehehe.
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    Xtreme Addict Stewie007's Avatar
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    Double posting............ hehe

    I wonder how easy the frozen water method would be..... I'll use that one if its actually viable.
    Regards, Stew.....

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    http://www.thegatesofdawn.ca/wordpre.../wort_chiller/

    BAM! It's not copper, but hilarious and effective none-the-less. Being its on a high-side there is no concern with low-temp cracking. Plus it will work with my previous idea of using a well-fed tap to cool it. (Not 24/7 obviously).

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    http://www.brazetek.com/brazed-plate-heat-exchangers

    This company is cool too, if you want to go the plate route. And amazon has stuff under "Wort Chiller". For beer.

  8. #8
    I am Xtreme wdrzal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Newb101 View Post
    http://www.xtremesystems.org/forums/...ng-a-mach-vapo

    Like how he did....


    As far as I can tell I am probably going to have to heat it. Perhaps in a grill to heat it all at once. I tried rolling it around a round muffler and it just kinks to hell and back.

    You don't normally heat copper to bend it. Are you bending annealed/soft copper (comes in round rolls)? I ask because another member was having trouble bending copper ,he was trying to bend hard copper (comes in straight sections).

    Small diameters you can usually bend by hand or wraping around something,but 1/2" od is bent best with a tube bender.

    Determine the tube thickness ,( L,M or R) R is refrigeration tube, then google "copper tube minimium bend radius" or "copper tube bending chart" and you will get specs for the minimium bend radius for a specfic diameter & wall thickness.
    The Laws of Thermodynamics say:

    Zeroth Law: "You must play the game."
    First Law: "You can't win."
    Second Law: "You can't break even."
    Third Law: "You can't quit the game."

    Do you wanna Play Thermodynamics ???????? I forgot "you must"

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    Xtreme Addict Stewie007's Avatar
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    Bending hard copper by hand? Hehe....

    Anyways, I believe I found a good guide! This table is nominal spec, so you will be looking for the .375. Type R is not shown here, but type L is minimum of 1.5" Radius or 3" diameter.

    http://www.copper.org/applications/p...h_table13.html

    That should apply to refrigeration spec, since the wall thickness is a bit thinner than type L. I don't know what its ductile strength is though.....but it should not present a problem.

    Has anyone here ever tried the soapy water freeze method? Its used in several different manufacturing methods for bending pipes. It seems that it would be easier since you can bend with hand placement quite far from the contact point with the pipe or whatever you're bending around. I just don't know how well it would work in this application.
    Regards, Stew.....

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    I bend 3/8" soft copper pipe by filling it with salt, sealing both ends with tape... then bend.,..
    works well.


    "Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds" - (Einstein)

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    Xtreme Addict Stewie007's Avatar
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    3/8" Nominal? I had no trouble bending the 3/8" OD coil for my condenser.

    So were you bending 1/2" OD
    Regards, Stew.....

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    Yea, 1/2". And, I found out he totally had to do it with the spring bender. I found one of the right size in my shed, worked it on with some oil rubbed on the copper. And it worked like a champ. 5" turn on the first try.

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    Xtreme Addict Stewie007's Avatar
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    I'm just gonna get myself some static dissipative gloves and I'll grill the sucker...... no need for springs then..... I need ~3.75 coil OD so I'll relieve myself of the trouble. I'll have to use sand, though, because melting the salt would present problems.
    Regards, Stew.....

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  14. #14
    -150c Club Member mytekcontrols's Avatar
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    Another way to do it without a spring bender, or filling it with sand (or salt), or softening it more with heat...
    Is to make sure the starting end of the tubing is clamped solidly to the cylinder you are using as your coil form, and while you bend the tubing, to be sure to always keep a constant "pull" on the tubing away from the form (towards you). So in other words, don't allow the coils to loosen up at all, otherwise there is a high likely hood that the tubing will kink.

    Also rest your left hand palm down (if you are right-handed) on the tubing going around the cylinder, keep tension using your right hand to pull and bend, and use your left hand to aid with the bending by pushing down against the cylinder. Like all new things, this is a bit tricky to get everything coordinated at first, but with practice it gets much easier. Of course the larger the tubing and the smaller the coil desired, the more muscle it's going to take.

    Using this method, I have made some pretty small coils even with 1/2" od tubing.
    Michael St. Pierre

    • Worked 15 years for Polycold Systems
    • Now Self-Employed
    • Manufacture Heat Load Controllers
    • Also do contract service work on Polycold units

    Side note: I usually don't respond to PM's or emails regarding the projects that I post in the forums. I feel it's much more fair to all, to answer questions within the forum topics themselves.

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    Xtreme Addict Stewie007's Avatar
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    Yeah, I mentioned that earlier. Do you ever have trouble getting all of the sand out? IF not I suppose that is what I will end up using.... Although by now I wonder if he's already got his coil bent.
    Regards, Stew.....

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