Friday, November 11, 2011

Hoophouse - bending conduit, attempt 1

 I've been working on the hoophouse, and specifically on bending hoops to the right diameter.  I want a continuous, smooth curve from one side to the other.   So I took a smaller, thinner pipe, 40' of it, and bent it into a smooth hoop, shown above.  I then used a pencil to trace the curve onto a piece of plywood, and found that in an 8' run, it was 8" from the top of the curve to the edge of the plywood. 

What I'm going to do is cut multiple curves out of that plywood or any scrap wood I've got around.  Anchor one end of the pipe, and then bend it to that curve. 
I borrowed a friends hydraulic tube bender to this bend.  It's a $400 tool, but if you want to make gates or hoophouses or anything else that requires corners, you'll probably want one of these.  In this case this is the bend from the base of the tube straight down to the ground.  You do this so that you can put up your hoophouse by driving larger pipes in, and then just slipping this pipe into it. 

The pipe shown here is galvanized fence top rail.  I don't know if it'll work with the heavier rigid conduit, but i'll be trying that tomorrow.  I think that it will -- because of leverage. 

Bending a 2' length of pipe is very difficult.  Bending a 20' length of pipe is much easier; the moment arm is so much longer. 

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