bending 3/16 wire for landing gear - RC Groups
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Feb 08, 2011, 04:30 PM
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bending 3/16 wire for landing gear

Am scratch building .60 size plane and need to bend 3/16 wire landing gear. Can anyone suggest a bender for this size wire or give me some tips on bending it?
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Feb 08, 2011, 05:55 PM
Registered User
a good heavy bench vice and a large hammer?
If you could find a fab shop around you they would have a brake press that could do it for you. I don't know of any commercial benders that handle that large of wire sorry.
Feb 08, 2011, 06:42 PM
Registered User
K&S Engineering makes a heavy duty wire bender that will bend up to 1/4 inch music wire. Tower used to sell them but doesn't anymore. Look on GOOGLE for K&S Engineering and pick a site. Sorry I can't help more .
Feb 08, 2011, 07:00 PM
Registered User
Hi wwarr
I assume you will use music wire. I use my 4" bench vise to do that bending. If you close the vice jaws over that wire and then push/pull to bend it, the 90 degree corner of the vice jaw may fracture the wire; it can break like glass. Let's say you want a 90 degree bend. The inside bend radius must be no smaller than the material thickness, which in your case is 3/16", or the material may tear. The secret is to grind a groove in the top corner of the vice jaw that the wire can fit into as it is bent. The bottom of that groove must be rounded so it imparts an INSIDE bend radius to the wire, equal to the wire diameter, 3/16". Always use heavy leather gloves when bending the wire, in case it breaks, and safety glasses.
Last edited by villapilote; Feb 08, 2011 at 10:56 PM.
Feb 08, 2011, 09:08 PM
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Johnnysplits's Avatar
Take a look at They have a few different wire benders
Feb 08, 2011, 11:44 PM
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EJWash1's Avatar
Originally Posted by smithfj
K&S Engineering makes a heavy duty wire bender that will bend up to 1/4 inch music wire. Tower used to sell them but doesn't anymore. Look on GOOGLE for K&S Engineering and pick a site.
Best advice. I have the large bender and it serves just fine. VERY solid tool. I practiced bending many feet of 3/16 and 1/4" wire with it. I'd advise practicing with whatever method and tool you get.

I would NOT beat on anything with a hammer that I expected to hold up...

Feb 09, 2011, 06:31 AM
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u2builder's Avatar
Tower still sells it; I just bought one; works great:
Feb 09, 2011, 08:46 AM
Registered User
Thanks for all your replies. I'm ordering the K & S bender today.
Feb 09, 2011, 11:19 AM
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u2builder's Avatar
It is a very sturdy and durable, but simple tool. Good to get it before they actually do stop selling it which is probably only a matter of time what with all the ARFS. The only trick is to figure out exactly where the bend will be so both legs of the gear are them same. It took me a couple of trys. Practice first to figure out how to figure out the exact location of the bend. This is always the challenge when bending anything.
Feb 09, 2011, 01:01 PM
Registered User
Guess I didn't look hard enough at the Tower site. Sorry 'bout that. It is a great bender- but you need a rugged vise.
Feb 10, 2011, 11:08 AM
Registered User
Hi wwarr
You asked how to bend 3/16 music wire for a landing gear, and I posted how I did it for my 7.5 pound plane. I used the music wire gear for about one year and then looked for something better. The wire gear kept bending out of shape. I make about 6 landings per flight so my gear takes quite a beating. I replaced it with a Dubro fiberglas gear and now consider that gear the best I have seen in my 39 years in R/C. You can see the gear I use at Tower Hobbies, their # LXNM65. I have it on two of my planes. In one extremely hard landing the gear flattened out so far that I believe the bottom of the fuselage may have hit the ground. There was no damage to the gear. My plane, a Coroplast J3-Cub weighing 8 pounds, now leans a little, like a wounded soldier.
Feb 10, 2011, 09:58 PM
Gas Only
Fokker DII's Avatar
VILLAPILOTE, I put that DuBro gear on my DeNight 50 Special to replace the aluminum gear that kept bending since the DeNight sinks fast and lands like a ton of it. LOVE the DuBro gear
Feb 11, 2011, 05:24 PM
Registered User
Hi Fokker DII
Thanks for your comments. That Dubro gear is amazing. I think I payed something like $13.00 for it about 4 years ago. I have it on an OS 46 size Coroplast Pusher Canard and on my Coroplast OS 46 size (71" WS) J3-Cub. I don't think it has changed 1/4" in the 5 years or so I have been using it. Requires zero maintenance.
Dec 04, 2016, 02:03 PM
Registered User
straitnickel's Avatar

K&S Wire Bender from Tower Hobbies

After seeing this bender I knew it was the right one for me to bend wire and the price was reasonable to, but I think I received a bum one. Does anyone else have one and is the handle angled up like the one I have?
Return shopping is gonna cost almost half the cost of the bender.
Dec 06, 2016, 01:09 PM
Registered User
straitnickel's Avatar
got good news from Tower, they are sending a new bender with no charges to me,

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