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Old 30-05-2012, 15:01   #1
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Bimini Modifcation

I have never been accused of being totally sane. I like a good PITA challenge once in a while. That is one of the reasons I own a boat, always a challenge. I am considering, making changes & additions to my Bimini. I would like to do the work myself. What would be good tool to use to bend the 1" SS tubing?
Would a hydraulic jack type pipe bender work, or will it take something special?
FWIW: I am somewhat familiar with bending tubing, but it has always been 3/4" or smaller copper tubing, no electrical conduit or pipe.
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Old 30-05-2012, 15:50   #2
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Re: Bimini Modifcation

It'll take a pipe bender with LOTS OF ASS!!

I've bent 3/4 and it was a bear...
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Old 30-05-2012, 15:58   #3
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Re: Bimini Modifcation

for our shop, I use a 1 inch conduit bender bolted to the table top so you are pulling on the material instead of the bender.. a good block of wood will do the same.. cut the wood to the radius you want and add a block to the end where you start and then pull the tube around the bend.. surprising how well it works...
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Old 30-05-2012, 17:10   #4
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Re: Bimini Modifcation

I work for a canvas house and @randyonr3 has it right. We have a wooden jig that bolts to the table, and we bend the tubing round that. If it's short tube for us to manage, we slip a cheater bar over an end
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Old 30-05-2012, 17:20   #5
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Re: Bimini Modifcation

PLS bear with me: how do you un-bend a tubing then? Say a bent stanchion - can I make it less bent with the same rig?

THX
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Old 30-05-2012, 17:20   #6
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Re: Bimini Modifcation

to avoid kinks, fill the tube with sand.

You've got a bimini made with 1"? Is that standard in KY?

If it's thin wall tubing, 7/8" s.s.tubeing will slip/sleeve inside of it nicely. This might be handy if you're either trying to extend or shorten your existing bows. My bimini frame came off of a very wide power boat. It's 7/8". I cut what I wanted out of the middle and sleeved it into 1" thinwall and wha lah. Drilled all the way through and used cap nuts to protect canvas from the threads. Or you could just weld them. If you only have 2 bows, the "splices" may wind up inside a canvas sleeves anyway. If you have more than 2 bows, all the other splices will be visible, so do a clean job. But nobody ever notices them on my boat.

You really don't give enough details to know what you're doing. Good luck.
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Old 30-05-2012, 19:26   #7
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Re: Bimini Modifcation

My current Bimini bows are 7/8" aluminum, pretty wobbly. I want to change the design some and have enough strength to hold an added layer of bows above the canvas to support solar panels. My thinking is maximum strength tubing that will work with standard Bimini fittings, therefore, 1" SS. This may well be overkill, but I usually start with what I think will do the best job, then work backwards if needed.
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Old 30-05-2012, 19:43   #8
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Re: Bimini Modifcation

That does say a lot more. Are you wanting to augment/blend with your existing aluminum frame then? I'm thinking it would be... less than... Let's just say it might come out looking like you were serious about trying to save a buck.

Just so you know, the shop I know charges a hundred bucks a bow. All material and labor. You design it, they build it.
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Old 30-05-2012, 20:01   #9
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Re: Bimini Modifcation

Quote:
Originally Posted by Minggat View Post
That does say a lot more. Are you wanting to augment/blend with your existing aluminum frame then? I'm thinking it would be... less than... Let's just say it might come out looking like you were serious about trying to save a buck.

Just so you know, the shop I know charges a hundred bucks a bow. All material and labor. You design it, they build it.
If I can get the the support assembly I want, the aluminum bows will go to the recycle bend.
If I could work it out, $100.00/ bow plus shipping would be worth considering. The one estimate I got by phone earlier today, from a local outfit, asked $35.00/foot!!! I think it was there polite way of telling me to go someplace else.
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Old 30-05-2012, 20:18   #10
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Re: Bimini Modifcation

I'm changing my 7/8" to 1" too. I purchased the premade bows from Sailrite.com, and thought this would be an easy process of switching the frame over. Unfortunately, after cutting to fit, I see the bows I had before have more of a crown in the middle and the new Sailrite ones do not stretch the original fabric enough. I now have a very droopy bimini.... beware!
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Old 30-05-2012, 20:24   #11
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Re: Bimini Modifcation

uh oh.

I've been shooting from the hip again. Now that you mention $35/ft, I'm thinking that was just the bending. But still, if you're buying material anyway, I'd pay to have it have it bent.

Any access to local yacht canvas shop?
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Old 30-05-2012, 20:29   #12
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Re: Bimini Modifcation

Mark the slop in the bimini fabric with chalk and take it to an alterations shop to have it modified. Probably less than $50.
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Old 30-05-2012, 20:48   #13
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Re: Bimini Modifcation

Quote:
Originally Posted by Minggat View Post
uh oh.

I've been shooting from the hip again. Now that you mention $35/ft, I'm thinking that was just the bending. But still, if you're buying material anyway, I'd pay to have it have it bent.

Any access to local yacht canvas shop?
I can buy 1" SS tubing in 8' sticks < $50.00/stick plus shipping; this is why I am considering bending my own. Even if I screw up a stick, or even two, it is a big savings, considering I am looking at more than 30' of tubing.

So far I have not had any luck finding tubing benders at any of the local tool rental facilities. Tomorrow I am going to contact some of the local electrical contractors and see if they would use their equipment to make the bends.

I have also thought of buying my own bender. If I could find a used one for a reasonable price, something I could resale after I have completed the project, I would give it serious consideration.
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Old 31-05-2012, 07:41   #14
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Re: Bimini Modifcation

After doing more research on tubing benders, I understand why those who do the work professionally have a siginficant fee for their services. For the majority of people, the top end benders are too expensive for occasional "home" use.
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Old 31-05-2012, 08:03   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Duke 48
After doing more research on tubing benders, I understand why those who do the work professionally have a siginficant fee for their services. For the majority of people, the top end benders are too expensive for occasional "home" use.
A conduit Bender from home depot will do the work just fine. You can even buy it bend your tubes a then exchange it for something else you need
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