Need a GOOD music wire bender!
I have 3 band aids on my right hand now from trying to bend up some 1/8" gear for a plane. I'm using what appears to be a replaced model of a K&S bender. I hate this P.O.S.! I see the version I have is no longer available on Tower Hobby. Instead THIS is what is shown: http://www3.towerhobbies.com/cgi-bin...?&I=LXGFW4&P=7
Is there anything else out there that works well and is safe? The one I have was obviously crap and was replaced. Is the replacement any good or should I keep looking?
Manually bending music wire is kind of an art form.
K&S has a large bender/coil winder for 5/32" & 3/16" dia. wire (your link), and I also have the K&S Mini bender/coil winder for wire up to 1/8" dia.
Harry Higgly also has small bending fixtures for spicific wire sizes.
With these benders/winders you are limited to the bending radius which the fixtures offer.
If you want a tight radius it's best to use a vice and wear heavy leather gloves along with safety glasses as any guage of music wire can snap when bending, especially tight radii.
Bending music wire requires a slow consistant force. Over bend as necessary to allow for spring back.
Forget wire benders.
I have bent 1/8" dia piano wire many times very successfully.
Use your bench vise and metal rods (long screws or bolts) providing the inner radius of the bend.
clamp the vertical piano wire and the horizontal screw or bolt so that the screw or bolt is just a bit above the top of the vice jaws.
Thighten the vise hard so nothing moves while bending.
Now if the upper part of the wire is more than 4 inches above the vice use the hand NOT holding a hammer (wear gloves) to press (pull) the piano wire toward the bending direction. That should be 90 degrees to the faces of the vice jaws. You can use small vise-grip pliers to do the pulling.
Use a hammer to bend the wire by hitting one inch above the vice jaws. Do not hit your hand or fingers you #%^@ .
As the wire becomes more inclined hit it closer to the bend with the flat face of the hammer. Stop at the proper angle.
The prooper angle is per a cardboard pattern that you cut before bending. TWO wires can be bent simultaneously to the exact same angle.
If you are going to 90 degrees bend that is why you placed the screw or bolt slightly higher than the top of the vice jaws.
Do not bend a piano wire with an inner radius less than 1 1/2 times its diameter. Larger radius are preferable when suitable to the application.
Never try to unbend a piano wire.
Use gogles to protect your eyes when hammering.
Hold the pieces in the vice within one inch from the end of the jaws so you can eyeball accurately with your cardboard angle reference WITHOUT loosening or removing the pieces from the vice.
Using different size screws or bolts you can have any inner radius you want. You are not limited by whatever a bender has provided for.
Good shop safety precautions are always in order.
End of posting
The Higley bender works well, I also use the K&S bender with good results. You need to have it tightened up in a bench vise for any kind of decent results. On some smaller wire I've had good results tightening the bender in a big Crescent wrench then using both pieces like a pair of levers to make the bend.
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