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Old 02-04-2015, 13:10   #1
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Bending flat stainless

My forward nav light is attached to a small (roughly 3"x3")stainless plate welded to the underside of top pulpit bar. It seems to be bent backwards by about 10-15 deg causing the nav light to be directed downward a bit towards the water instead of horizontally.

I'm replacing the bow bi-color with an LED model but before installing I'd like to straighten the mounting plate a bit.

Any suggestions on the best way without snapping the rascal off?

Thanks
Rich


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Old 02-04-2015, 13:41   #2
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Re: Bending flat stainless

How about a nicely shaped @ 15 degrees spacer ?
A stainless steel plate or a Delrin spacer from the machine shop next door ...
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Old 02-04-2015, 14:03   #3
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Re: Bending flat stainless

I hadn't considered that. Not very elegant but it would probably work.


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Old 02-04-2015, 14:15   #4
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Re: Bending flat stainless

I have the same issue. Looking forward to seeing your solution.
Claude-Marie, the spacer might be the simplest answer.


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Old 02-04-2015, 14:36   #5
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Re: Bending flat stainless

You can make an in situ 'box and pan' folder using wood and screw clamps. Metal, square hollow section or angle iron also works well. Make sure they're long enough to give you good mechanical advantage.

You'll need to bend it back past its final ideal location to account for the elastic range of the metal.

If it has no visible cracks you will only fracture it if you bend it backwards and forwards. I'm assuming its hyst a plate and you can access both sides of the plate.

A pic would help.

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Old 02-04-2015, 15:01   #6
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Re: Bending flat stainless

I have a couple of wooden hand screw clamps that would just about completely cover the mounting plate. I might have to find something to use as a cheater bar but it's worth looking into.

Thanks for the suggestion.


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Old 02-04-2015, 15:11   #7
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Re: Bending flat stainless

A big adjustable wrench
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Old 02-04-2015, 15:33   #8
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Re: Bending flat stainless

Is it bent on, or just above, the weld to the tubes? Or just bent someplace? Pix would help.
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Old 02-04-2015, 15:39   #9
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Re: Bending flat stainless

hard to say without a pic, but usually you can bend it fine. If the weld is wimpy or only on one side then that's a risk. The SS wont break, the weld might . Where bent?
if you use a steel tool, wrench, pliars etc, tape the contact area on the tool or rust will occur.
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Old 02-04-2015, 15:41   #10
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Re: Bending flat stainless

It's bent right at the weld. Sorry but I won't be getting to the boat for few days to take pic.

I'm starting to think that the worst that can happen is that I snap it off at the weld. If so, I can get a replacement mount that will attach to the top of pulpit.

Right now it is one of those things that annoy me everytime I look at it. I'm not even sure how it got that way. There is absolutely no damage to the existing bicolor except for sun damage to the lens.


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Old 02-04-2015, 15:46   #11
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Re: Bending flat stainless

It should bend fairly well. It will work harden in the bend if the bend is fairly severe, putting more pressure on the weld, but doesn't sound like that's the case. If it's welded all around it shouldn't be a problem. Less than 1/8" thick right?
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Old 02-04-2015, 16:07   #12
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Bending flat stainless

I'd say roughly 1/8". It's fairly sturdy.
I need to bend it forward roughly 15 deg.

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Old 02-04-2015, 16:51   #13
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Re: Bending flat stainless

"The SS wont break, the weld might ."
Actually, a proper weld is as strong as the other metal. And since the SS tubing should be THINNER than the weld, I'd expect it to crack open or distort first. Rashly assuming to was a good weld.


Ideally...grind the weld out, have the plate rewelding after pressing it flat. Means having a welder out to the boat, which is only affordable if there's one coming nearby who can do it without an extra trip. Or if you can weld, or rent an arc welder for 1/2 day.


You could try heating the welded area with a Mapp or other hot torch, then bending it back. It might just unbend without arguing. And then quench? Or not quench? the arae again, but the reheating might discolor it. You need to ask a welder about those things.


I suspect a good welder, given some flexibility about when they have to work, can straighten this out for you without putting a mortgage on the boat.
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Old 02-04-2015, 17:25   #14
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Re: Bending flat stainless

Hold a block of wood one side and tap with a big mallet the other. It won't tend to bend where it's already work hardened but keep an eye on the weld

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Old 02-04-2015, 20:23   #15
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Re: Bending flat stainless

Doubt a MAPP torch sill get the metal hot enough to soften so it can be bent easily. A 15 degree bend should be easily done cold with a large Crescent wrench without any issues. Continued bending with future trauma might eventually get you to the point where the SS work hardens and cracks but that will be a long time in the future and only after a number of more bends. If the weld crack, pull the pulpit and take it to a welder. They'll make everything right for you.
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