Metal Twister

I got tired of making twists manually. Even though the twists looked good most of the time, it was very difficult to keep the bar straight if the twist was on a longer area. With this I’m able to do up to 1 meter long twists and they turn out perfect every single time.

The final result.

Build Log:

This is the plan.
Two clamps are aligned on the center axis. The rear one is able to move backwards and forwards on the rails to adapt to the length of the required twist, and front one is able to turn around on an industrial ballbearing.
The basic ingredients for this build.
Preparing the sliders for the rear clamp.
Works, but there is not much space for misalignment. I’m starting to doubt that it is feasible to have two rails on this thing. The slightest twist during welding and the damn thing will be stuck. Well, that’ll be a problem for future me.
The front clamp will be made from these. There won’t be a permanent handle, but instead a long pipe can be stuck to the eyelet.
Some grinding later they fit well together.
Few welds later, the only thing needed is four threaded holes for the four bolts which act as the clamp.
Works, but I just realised that I’m not able to do twists on the middle the material. I’ll need to think about this later…
Preparing the support plate for the industrial bearing.
M12 thread. (.4724 inches).
I didn’t have any M12 bolts, so I made some.
Good enough.
Ok, the previous design for the front clamp was crap. I have a better idea.
Simple, two M20 (.7874 inch) bolts on each side and it’ll be one kick-ass clamp. I had this SUPER SMART idea to thread a rod through both of them for welding. That way they are perfectly aligned.
Look, perfect alignment.
Oh, yeah… Metal shrinks and expands while welding. Totally impossible to get that damn rod out!
Let’s redo the whole thing. This time I’ll be a bit smarter.
Some welds later, we got the basis for the front clamp.
I don’t know if it will need additional supports, but I like to over-engineer things.
Supports welded in place.
It has an interesting look with the supports.
Oh yes, M20 tap is HUGE. I must have had too much penetration while welding the things as the thread is not smooth anymore. One go with this thing solves that issue.
Time for the rear clamp.
16mm hole as the width of the opening is 16mm.
Cutting the sides.
Placement for the bolts from the sides.
Preparing for M12 bolts.
M12 tap.
Starting to look alright already.
Now we need some bolts for the clamps. The ones on the right are to lock the bolts on the rear clamp in place.
The front clamps bolt. M20 is already pretty damn large.
Bolts for the rear clamp.
Looking good!
Do you already understand what the thing does?
Makes sense? Or maybe not…
Time to make a handle.
And a locking nut for the handle so it doesn’t open by accident.
You place the metal bar in between the two bolts, tighten the locking nut, and use a wrench on the normal nut. A perfectly functioning clamp!
Rear clamp is welded together.
My fears were correct. It’s impossible for me to align the rails straight enough. The moment the arch touched it, it twisted to some direction. Time to improvise…
The rear clamp doesn’t need that long flanges anymore.
Monorail! no more alignment issues, but more supports are needed for sure.
I welded small supports on the frame and on the rear clamp. This should hold.
The rail is closed up and attempted to be made pretty.
Ready! I might even say that after some paint the thing looks good.
And it works. The max length of the bar stock to be twisted is 100cm (39.3 inches) and max thickness for rectangular bar 15mm (0.59 inches), and max width for flat bar 25mm (1”).
It almost looks like it was made for my welding table…

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