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Old Aug 08, 2012, 03:06 PM
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Murocflyer's Avatar
United States, OK, Henryetta
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Great Planes Z- Bender >> So Disappointing

I normally make snake bends, but thought I would give this tool a try before recomending it to beginners.

GP claims "perfect 90 degree bends everytime." I beg to differ.

Have a look at the photos. I am so dissapointed.

I'll be sure to contact GP and see what they have to say. Maybe they are using a new supplier?


Frank
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Old Aug 08, 2012, 03:34 PM
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Joined Jan 2012
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z-bend

I had the same prob till i noticed something.
Check the thickness of the rod and compare it to the bender templates.Some z-bends can only do ???mm rods, and some can do the bigger(thinkness) rods.
The problem that you look like you are haveing is you are trying to bend a rod that is to thick for the Z-Bender. example the bender can bend 2mm rod nicly but you are trying to bend a 4mm rod
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Old Aug 08, 2012, 03:52 PM
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United States, AK, Fairbanks
Joined Aug 2009
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You'd need one hell of a tool to make a Z-bend in 4mm music wire I don't think the rod in the picture looks like it's too big for the tool. I suspect that A) the tool should be able to handle common wire sizes, and B) Frank knows how to use a basic wire-bending tool.

I just use the little snap-on connectors that come with GWS kits. Best invention since the Sawzall*. Make an L-bend, apply a connector... done. They come in two specific wire sizes, but they still provide a secure fit on most common music wire diameters found in parkflyers and trainers. I think the same general product can be found in many different types and brands. They make setup and adjustments a lot easier in crowded models because you don't have to monkey around with removing and replacing the arm.

I did manage to make some perfect Z-bends for a very small model recently, but I used needlenose pliers and the wire was like 0.5mm, maybe even smaller... And I STILL mostly used the GWS connectors there as well

*This stems from a quote by my grandfather who, during the renovation of some Section 8 housing, once said, "The Sawzall is the best Western invention since cheese". Wise words indeed.
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Old Aug 08, 2012, 04:00 PM
Yea, I fly dusty planes..
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United States, LA, Angie
Joined Apr 2009
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C4, I agree with grandad! Frank, I use a Hanger9 Z bender with great results. What C4 said about the little keepers, they work well, I like them, but not as well as a Z.. ..Dave/ZeeZ
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Old Aug 08, 2012, 04:09 PM
Gilbert AZ
United States, AZ, Gilbert
Joined May 2012
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A Table vice, pliers, and hammer is my Z Bender.

Also do not do much Z bending any more.

I use these instead. Comes in difference sized. Life is easier.

Oh sometimes I have used my teeth.
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Old Aug 08, 2012, 10:57 PM
PGR
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United States, CA, Costa Mesa
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How funny: The photo on the product page doesn't even show it bending 90:

http://www.greatplanes.com/accys/gpmr8025.html

That said, here's my observation as a mechanic (45+ years): The way the tool is constructed dictates that it will only work well on a certain range of wire gauges. In particular, it looks like the jaws will bind on the wire before it completes the bend if the wire is too thick. That's what I think is happening in the illustration on the product page and probably what happened in your test, Frank.

It also probably can't make a sharp z-bend if the wire gauge is too small. It might do 90 but the bends will probably be rounded instead of sharp.

I used to use z-bend pliers but I had a collection of them for different sized wire. They did an OK job as long as I used the right one for the wire thickness I was working with, but I was never happy about the right-angle portion of the bend which always seemed to be twice as long as it needed to be. So I bought a good pair of smooth-jaw duckbill pliers and switched to snake bends. The best thing about snake bends is they can also be bent in a smooth-jaw vice. That and a soft hammer will even let you make nice sharp bends in thick wire too.

These days I use a small Knipex Plier Wrench for bending wire:



Smooth jaws that are always parallel, great gripping strength, and all the leverage for bending that you could ever want. They also work better as wrenches than wrenches.

Pete
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Old Aug 08, 2012, 11:16 PM
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OK, I'm old and new to rc (but back from cl in the 50's) Anyway, what's a snake bend? Still looking for best way to make control rods.
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Old Aug 08, 2012, 11:25 PM
PGR
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CLICK HERE, Bobly, and all will be revealed.

Pete
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Old Aug 08, 2012, 11:25 PM
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Havn't used a Z for many years. I use rone nose pliers and make a simple U bend. Use a dremel to cut off the excess length from forming. Easy to put on and can't come off on it's own. The bend radius also fills the hole nicely and gives a much closer fit.
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Old Aug 09, 2012, 12:48 AM
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Aguanga, Ca
Joined Mar 2010
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If you like z-bends, this thing works amazing for control rod wire diameters up to 3/64". 3/64"?? Don't you just love the imperial system?

http://www3.towerhobbies.com/cgi-bin...&I=LXYNN0&P=ML

Not to be used with piano wire, however.
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Old Aug 09, 2012, 04:14 AM
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New Zealand, Canterbury, Rolleston
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Murocflyer View Post
I would give this tool a try before recomending it to beginners.

GP claims "perfect 90 degree bends every time." I beg to differ.
$34 for the GP ! The Hobbyking ones are under $7 and personally, I like them. Maybe I'm only using the correct diameter of wire for them (don't appear to be diameter fussy) but they certainly do a good job - at a fraction of the price.
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Old Aug 09, 2012, 10:25 AM
Yea, I fly dusty planes..
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United States, LA, Angie
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I sure do like those Knipex pliers, I have never seen anything like that with the parallel jaws, nice!! ZEE
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Old Aug 09, 2012, 10:37 AM
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United States, NC, Garner
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Yeah, those GP z-bend pliers don't really do a good job. It's not just you, Frank. I usually have to compress the holy hell out of them to get something even close to a useable z-bend. Not my first choice so I only use them if I have no other option.
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Old Aug 09, 2012, 11:00 AM
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Perfect bends every time. Life time warranty. Not cheap. They also do the swags on
cables.

Brad uses them all the time for every thing.

They are only 4 1/2" long.



http://buy1.snapon.com/catalog/item....re&dir=catalog

As mentioned earlier, piano wire is a whole other thing. It will often break when you try to do a sharp
90`. Heat it first and let it cool slowly. Then you can do nice sharp bends.

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Last edited by Kimber; Aug 09, 2012 at 11:31 AM.
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Old Aug 09, 2012, 12:28 PM
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United States, NY, Cortland
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kimber View Post
Perfect bends every time. Life time warranty. Not cheap. They also do the swags on
cables.

Brad uses them all the time for every thing.

They are only 4 1/2" long.



http://buy1.snapon.com/catalog/item....re&dir=catalog

As mentioned earlier, piano wire is a whole other thing. It will often break when you try to do a sharp
90`. Heat it first and let it cool slowly. Then you can do nice sharp bends.

I find brazing to be much easier than soldering for joining piano wire to piano wire.

Anyway, I use this style pliers:



Good ones on the cheap at wal-mart (few years back, anyway).
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