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Old Nov 13, 2012, 09:16 AM
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Rickochet's Avatar
Central Kentucky
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Question
What Kind Of Bender Do You Use For Piano Wire

In the past I have always just used a vice to make bends in piano wire for landing gear but getting into a kit with a faily elaborate 1/8 wire gear and may be a good time to get a wire bender. I see a couple from K & S, some from Harry Higley.

Any comments or suggestions would be appreciated.

Rick
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Old Nov 13, 2012, 09:46 AM
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LesUyeda's Avatar
San Diego, California
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" getting into a kit with a fairly elaborate 1/8 wire gear "

I have taken steel dowel pins, a 1/4 X 2" piece of aluminum, and made a jug that used the handle from the Higley bender to actually form the bends, Use caution, the wire will slip toward the bend as you bend, and the distance between bends will be different, from one to another. I have used small vice grip pliers to prevent this.

Les
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Old Nov 13, 2012, 09:54 AM
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United States, KY, Taylorsville
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I use bench vise to bend wire and the K&S tool. Since most gear in pairs I tape two wires together and make bends for the pair as much as possible. I try to bend without using heat as much as possible to maintain as much temper as possible. Asymmetry creeps in so at times I cut the wire and re-join with lengths of brass tube to correct for length discrepancies. This works well so long as wire doesn't have to show and is clad in balsa or etc. I also put the tube at the lowest stress area of wire like near a mounting point but not at the end nearest the axle. You probably know this already but here it is!
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Old Nov 13, 2012, 10:28 AM
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I use both the K&S bender and the Higley ones. They both work great for my needs.
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Old Nov 13, 2012, 10:54 AM
Geezer
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Central Kentucky
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rcav8r2 View Post
I use both the K&S bender and the Higley ones. They both work great for my needs.
I found the Higley bender set of three for about $14 online. I like the K & S but saw a review that the mini bender wears out quickly and the larger Mighty bender will do 1/8" as the smallest.
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Old Nov 13, 2012, 10:56 AM
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Central Kentucky
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ARUP View Post
I use bench vise to bend wire and the K&S tool.
Do you use the K&S mini or the mighty bender?
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Old Nov 13, 2012, 12:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rickochet View Post
I like the K & S but saw a review that the mini bender wears out quickly
My Mini has bent a fair amount of wire, and really isn't showing signs of wear...at least not enough for me to even consider. Unless your doing production work, I don't see it as an issue.

I love my Higley set too (I use the small size exclusively for making U-bends for control rods) , but you do have more control over the bend with the K&S bender.
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Old Nov 13, 2012, 12:25 PM
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Central Kentucky
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rcav8r2 View Post
My Mini has bent a fair amount of wire, and really isn't showing signs of wear...at least not enough for me to even consider. Unless your doing production work, I don't see it as an issue.

I love my Higley set too (I use the small size exclusively for making U-bends for control rods) , but you do have more control over the bend with the K&S bender.
I have some "Z" bend pliers I use for control rods. I also like doing "L" bends with the dubro quick links.

Thanks for the info on the mini bender.
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Old Nov 13, 2012, 01:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rickochet View Post
I have some "Z" bend pliers I use for control rods. I also like doing "L" bends with the dubro quick links.

Thanks for the info on the mini bender.
U-Bends are the way to go. No slop..none, zilch. Super easy to make. Also can have the rod enter the horn at just about any angle with no binding... Haven't used a Z or L bend in years.
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Old Nov 13, 2012, 02:09 PM
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I call my wire bender "Jim Davenport" I take him wire and a pattern,he gives me useful stuff back...lil' humor there....
I use a large bench vise and a 3/8 x 2" piece of steel with 1/4" roll pins in it.I have a bolt through two pieces of metal to keep it from slipping....I just pull the longer handle to make the bends,usually in 3/16 or 1/4 " wires.
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Old Nov 13, 2012, 03:37 PM
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Central Kentucky
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rcav8r2 View Post
U-Bends are the way to go. No slop..none, zilch. Super easy to make. Also can have the rod enter the horn at just about any angle with no binding... Haven't used a Z or L bend in years.
I haven't tried a U bend but might try one. Another neat bend is a double L bend which is one bend down then another bend 90° to that one which allows you to remove it from the horn with just a twist.
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Old Nov 13, 2012, 03:37 PM
Geezer
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Central Kentucky
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Quote:
Originally Posted by epoxyearl View Post
I call my wire bender "Jim Davenport" I take him wire and a pattern,he gives me useful stuff back...lil' humor there....
I use a large bench vise and a 3/8 x 2" piece of steel with 1/4" roll pins in it.I have a bolt through two pieces of metal to keep it from slipping....I just pull the longer handle to make the bends,usually in 3/16 or 1/4 " wires.
Great idea.
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Old Nov 13, 2012, 06:17 PM
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Australia, WA, Kalgoorlie
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rcav8r2, I had to do a Google for the U bend. I'm used to L and Z bends but that one is new to me!

Thanks

Odd

PS: I use the Mighty K&S bender as well as Higley benders and a bench vise for bending gear.
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Old Nov 13, 2012, 06:42 PM
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Central Kentucky
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I ended up ordering the Higley 3 piece set. I have had good success with Higley products over the years.

Thanks everyone for their inputs. Anymore DIY ideas please post them.
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Old Nov 13, 2012, 08:58 PM
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United States, KY, Taylorsville
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I see you've ordered... but I use the Mighty Bender. You can't got wrong with H. Higley stuff! The first time I saw the double 'L' bends you are talking about is on the Top Flite SE5 designed by D. Platt. BTW, I'm in Taylorsville, KY!
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