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How to Bend Tubing into a Circle 

Bending Hollow Metal Tubing with a Former

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Some jewelry designs call for tubing that are then curved into the desired design. At the same time these designs need to be light requiring like hollow hoop earrings.

The problem with tubing which is not supported on the inside, will deform when bent into a curve.

This free jewelry tutorial follows the same format as in the paid for pdf jewelry tutorials. This gives you a good insight into the to technical teaching methodology.

How to bend tubing into a circle with a tube bender

There are quite a few methods of bending hollow tubing, starting with a specific tool like the one pictured.

How ever, this tool can at most bend a few diameters of tubing into circles shapes.

Another way of bending small diameter tubing into circles is to fill the tube with a supporting material that is either left in the tubing ( like bitumen) or is removed once the bending process is complete.

Water, ice salt and sand are other materials that are successfully used..

How to bend tubing into a circle with filler

A mixture of bismuth, lead, tin and cadmium which is commercially available and is called Cerrobend, works very well to bend small diameter tubing into virtually any shape.

It melts at about 70 C ( 158 °F) and when rapidly chilled, one will get a very fine-grained structure, meaning that it is very ductile.

To remove it, it is heated in hot water, poured out and the residual remains are removed with compressed air.

How to bend tubing into a circle with handmade tubing

Bending small diameter tubing using a steel former.

In my first example, I use handmade silver tubing. Handmade tubing has a soldered seam.

I have a free tutorial on Making Tubing that shows the process.

How to bend tubing into a circle with seam inside

In this case I am using 4 mm stainless steel rod and the silver tubing has been drawn down to fit as tightly as possible.

( I start bigger and the draw it down until the former fits)

Some general purpose grease has been applied to the steel former before the silver tube is slipped over.

The end of the former is bent slightly to the one side to allow the curl of the tube past once it completes a full circle.

The seam must be on the inside of the curl.

If it is not, the tubing will most likely tear on the seam as it is drawn through the draw plate.

How to bend tubing into a circle using steel former in drawplate

The steel former is placed in the appropriate sized hole that allows the former to pull through but stops the tubing doing the same.

How to bend tubing into a circle draw steel former through drawplate

This picture shows the former about to be pulled through.

How to bend tubing into a circle shows curled tube

When the curl reaches the drawplate, the rod is removed and a steel spring is slipped over the rod and then it is re inserted and pulled further until the curl pops off

How to bend tubing remove by adding a spring

The spring is easily removed afterwards.

How to bend tubing make rod former

I have very successfully made tubing of up to 7 mm outside diameter.

This picture shows me bending 6 mm stainless steel rod for the former.

How to bend tubing draw rod former through drawplate

Here is commercially bought brass tubing with an inside diameter of 6 mm and an outside diameter of 7 mm , which means that the wall thickness is 0.5 mm.

One would think that such a relatively large diameter would need a strong force to draw it through the draw plate, but it needs surprisingly little.

Even though a draw bench is required for 6 mm tubing, I have successfully drawn 3 mm tubing through using just hand power, so the lack of such a machine does not necessarily limit one.

How to bend tubing hollow bangle

Here is the 7 mm tubing being shown off as a bangle.

The weight of the bangle is 12 grams.

How to bend tubing cross sections

When the former is a lot smaller that the inside diameter of the tubing, say a 3 mm former in a 4 mm inside diameter tubing, then the profile becomes an oval.

This in itself is not a bad thing, because were one to make a bangle or a ring, then that profile lends itself to more comfortable wear, much like the 'comfort shape' of a ring profile.

How to bend tubing that is sqaure

I had some square square tubing lying around, so I decided to draw it and see what happens.

So I rolled some 6 mm stainless steel rod down to about 3 mm square in my rollers.

I would have thought stainless steel would dislike rolling, but surprise surprise, it rolled down to 3 mm from 6 mm without even being annealed.

How to bend tubing the sqaure tubing curled up

It drew down perfectly in terms of curling.

How to bend tubing the sqaure tubing cross sections

But the profile was slightly deformed.

I suspect that the deformation was caused by the fact that the former that I rolled out was a bit too loose inside.

A tighter fit might give a better result.

How to bend tubing into a circle for making a spring ring clasp

Another example of a wax carved woman figure with robes which is then cast into silver.

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