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HF tubing roller with swag conversion making spirals?

larboc

Limestone cowboy
Joined
May 19, 2020
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237
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I'm rolling 3/4" EMT in the HF tubing roller and it occasionally wants to spiral/twist on me. It kind of seems like it's better if I make a heavier pass the first time and use a clamp to keep it pointed the same way but I'm not sure what the fundamental reason is for why it's happening.
 
most likely the rollers are out of alignment. make sure they are in line and there is no side slop on the axles. It is possible that the holes are off between the two side plates, but unlikely. Check to be sure the axles are all straight by rolling them on a flat surface. Tubing rollers are anything but a simple use tool, experience goes a really long way. Keep futzin with it and practicing, emt is pretty cheap.
 
Yep, make sure all the rollers are straight inline with each other. I had to shim the one I used with washers. On the sides of the rollers. Another thing is making sure it’s straight before each pass. I only used it for one job and it drove me crazy. Had the swag wing kit, pipe threaded motor and the bottle jack mod too. Did the same sequence for the 2nd part as the first and it didn’t come out close to the same:rolleyes:
 
Isn't the biggest reason DOM is used for bent stuff is the wall thickness is more uniform so your bends don't twist?

I'd imagine emt wall thickness is all over the map.
 
Isn't the biggest reason DOM is used for bent stuff is the wall thickness is more uniform so your bends don't twist?

I'd imagine emt wall thickness is all over the map.

Could be, but using DOM for a sneeze guard frame would be a little silly. I love building stuff with EMT just because it's so cheap and light weight. I used to build small minibikes out of the stuff in highschool.

Shimming and centering the rollers was the solution. IDK why I was thinking they would self center but they don't.
 
Could be, but using DOM for a sneeze guard frame would be a little silly. I love building stuff with EMT just because it's so cheap and light weight. I used to build small minibikes out of the stuff in highschool.

Shimming and centering the rollers was the solution. IDK why I was thinking they would self center but they don't.

I wasn't suggesting using DOM for what yer doin, just stating that wall thickness could have been your problem.
 
I'm curious about this, please let us know what you find. I've considered the swag wings kit but I wondered how getting the two sides on each end to be in the exact same plane as the drive wheel, or with the other idle wheel for that matter. Maybe it doesn't matter, but my thinking (which isn't always clear) was that if they were off just a little the tube would helix.

Sorry, Larboc. Just read the bottom of the your last post.
 
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I don't know that I've seen this problem on mine, but it's pretty rare that I'm rolling something to be a complete circle, I usually roll to just put an arc in the tubes.

Ended up modifying mine even farther, raising the top die mount higher up so I can roll 1x2" rectangles the hard way.
 
hmm, this has me thinking. How far into the capacity of of the harbor freight one does it take on conduit? Don't build cages anymore but if a smaller one could roll conduit that would suffice for most of the time I need a curve that only a roller can get.
 
I've rolled 1.5" aluminum tube to a 7-8" radius, large arches in 1.75 DOM with the 2" die. I don't think EMT will be a problem even with the die not being an exact fit. I don't have any of the mods done but any $$ I put into it would be drive axle and bearings, then hydraulic jack to replace screw, then pipe threader mod or wings, not sure.
 
i use and eagle tube roller it has adjustable side pieces and can still be a pain the keep things from spiraling. in this pick i'm using the forklift to help keep it in line. i deally i try to make the bend in one pass especially since thius machine is capable of it. but on bigger circles and such i do fight it from time to time. i actually plan to make a different base for it that will switch vertical to horizontal bending easily and will allow me to put roller supports out while making big bends.

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