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Bender

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Now you get to play with the tube bender, which is like an oversized brake-line bender. Foutz uses a Hosfeld-brand bender with removable dies to accommodate different tubing sizes. His is powered by a hydraulic ram fed by an electric pump, and the whole shebang is mounted on a rollaway cart. Manual benders are also available, but they need to be solidly anchored to concrete, and a bunch of room is required for the very long lever needed so you can bend by hand-and it's still a ton of work. Hydraulic units are much better, and Foutz says you can usually find used ones between $1,000 and $2,000. Here, he uses the angle gauge to eyeball a bend.

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