My new rail bender

This forum is dedicated to Riding Scale Railroading with propulsion using other than steam (Hydraulics, diesel engines, gas engines, electric motors, hybrid etc.)

Moderators: Harold_V, WJH

User avatar
BMC
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat Jan 11, 2020 11:51 am
Location: Kansas

Re: My new rail bender

Post by BMC » Sun Feb 07, 2021 2:17 pm

I was in a similar situation after recently acquiring rail for my railroad.

See attached photos for my version of a home brew rail bender. I had some help from a friend machining the rollers. The handle was "borrowed" from my wife's spiral binding machine. I ended up lag screwing down to the work bench to increase stability.

Works very well for 1" high aluminum rail.

Brennan
Attachments
rail bender 01.jpg
rail bender 02.jpg

OddDuck
Posts: 334
Joined: Fri Dec 16, 2011 1:00 am
Location: Somewhere south of Mt. Katahdin
Contact:

Re: My new rail bender

Post by OddDuck » Sun Feb 07, 2021 6:55 pm

I like the lever adjustment, looks like very fine adjustment would be possible.
"If you took the bones out they wouldn't be crunchy!" -Monty Python's Flying Circus

User avatar
Erskine Tramway
Posts: 333
Joined: Wed Sep 10, 2014 4:13 pm
Location: South Dakota
Contact:

Re: My new rail bender

Post by Erskine Tramway » Mon Feb 08, 2021 11:48 am

Here's a modification I made to my Eaton roller. The 'yoke' over the adjustable roller makes fine adjustments easy, and holds its' setting better than just the bolt that Eaton uses. For repeat curves, you mark the pointer location on the blue tape. It wasn't my idea...I stole it from another fellow.

Mike
Attachments
15203297_1117765238350349_7602906762661955802_n.jpg
Former Locomotive Engineer and Designer, Sandley Light Railway Equipment Works, Inc. and Riverside & Great Northern Railway 1962-77
BN RR Locomotive Engineer 1977-2014, Retired

User avatar
Gary Armitstead
Posts: 257
Joined: Sat Mar 02, 2013 12:35 am
Location: Burbank, CA

Re: My new rail bender

Post by Gary Armitstead » Mon Feb 08, 2021 2:56 pm

Erskine Tramway wrote:
Mon Feb 08, 2021 11:48 am
Here's a modification I made to my Eaton roller. The 'yoke' over the adjustable roller makes fine adjustments easy, and holds its' setting better than just the bolt that Eaton uses. For repeat curves, you mark the pointer location on the blue tape. It wasn't my idea...I stole it from another fellow.

Mike
Great idea Mike. I also have an Eaton Rail Bender and I have always had issues getting it to repeat the same bend on more than one rail. Fine adjustment is always an issue. Could you post more photos of your design change on the yoke? Much appreciated.
Gary Armitstead
Burbank, CA
Member LALS since 1980
Member Goleta Valley Railroad Club 1980-1993

OddDuck
Posts: 334
Joined: Fri Dec 16, 2011 1:00 am
Location: Somewhere south of Mt. Katahdin
Contact:

Re: My new rail bender

Post by OddDuck » Mon Feb 08, 2021 8:08 pm

This is turning into a "show me your railbender" thread. I'm good with that. Might be good info to disseminate unto the masses yearning to make one...
"If you took the bones out they wouldn't be crunchy!" -Monty Python's Flying Circus

User avatar
Erskine Tramway
Posts: 333
Joined: Wed Sep 10, 2014 4:13 pm
Location: South Dakota
Contact:

Re: My new rail bender

Post by Erskine Tramway » Tue Feb 09, 2021 4:25 pm

Gary Armitstead wrote:
Mon Feb 08, 2021 2:56 pm
Erskine Tramway wrote:
Mon Feb 08, 2021 11:48 am
Here's a modification I made to my Eaton roller. The 'yoke' over the adjustable roller makes fine adjustments easy, and holds its' setting better than just the bolt that Eaton uses. For repeat curves, you mark the pointer location on the blue tape. It wasn't my idea...I stole it from another fellow.

Mike
Great idea Mike. I also have an Eaton Rail Bender and I have always had issues getting it to repeat the same bend on more than one rail. Fine adjustment is always an issue. Could you post more photos of your design change on the yoke? Much appreciated.
Hi Gary...

Right now, it's out in the Car Shed, in the cold :shock: I didn't take any more pictures, but it's pretty simple. A 'yoke', made out of 1/4x1 bar stock. The top piece could be thicker, and is threaded for a 1/4" bolt. The 'follower' that bears on the side of the roller frame has a 'dimple' in the center to locate the end of the bolt, it just slides between the legs. If you're concerned about it falling out, it could be "H" shaped, I just hold it in with my fingers when I'm adjusting it. The legs are spaced to fit over the body, and pointer, of the roller, with the ends drilled to clear the roller bolt. You'll need a longer bolt, I used a 'nylock' nut to give it a little freedom of movement. I don't remember how long the legs are, but you should be able to make a good guess from the photo.

Mike
Former Locomotive Engineer and Designer, Sandley Light Railway Equipment Works, Inc. and Riverside & Great Northern Railway 1962-77
BN RR Locomotive Engineer 1977-2014, Retired

User avatar
Gary Armitstead
Posts: 257
Joined: Sat Mar 02, 2013 12:35 am
Location: Burbank, CA

Re: My new rail bender

Post by Gary Armitstead » Wed Feb 10, 2021 12:44 am

Erskine Tramway wrote:
Tue Feb 09, 2021 4:25 pm
Gary Armitstead wrote:
Mon Feb 08, 2021 2:56 pm
Erskine Tramway wrote:
Mon Feb 08, 2021 11:48 am
Here's a modification I made to my Eaton roller. The 'yoke' over the adjustable roller makes fine adjustments easy, and holds its' setting better than just the bolt that Eaton uses. For repeat curves, you mark the pointer location on the blue tape. It wasn't my idea...I stole it from another fellow.

Mike
Great idea Mike. I also have an Eaton Rail Bender and I have always had issues getting it to repeat the same bend on more than one rail. Fine adjustment is always an issue. Could you post more photos of your design change on the yoke? Much appreciated.
Hi Gary...

Right now, it's out in the Car Shed, in the cold :shock: I didn't take any more pictures, but it's pretty simple. A 'yoke', made out of 1/4x1 bar stock. The top piece could be thicker, and is threaded for a 1/4" bolt. The 'follower' that bears on the side of the roller frame has a 'dimple' in the center to locate the end of the bolt, it just slides between the legs. If you're concerned about it falling out, it could be "H" shaped, I just hold it in with my fingers when I'm adjusting it. The legs are spaced to fit over the body, and pointer, of the roller, with the ends drilled to clear the roller bolt. You'll need a longer bolt, I used a 'nylock' nut to give it a little freedom of movement. I don't remember how long the legs are, but you should be able to make a good guess from the photo.

Mike
Thanks Mike.
Did you find that adding that yoke, you were able to get repeatability? Especially with very small adjustments? I have quite a few friends all over the country with this Eaton bender and they alll have tried different designs to make it more rigid. You seem to have found a simple and straight-forward way to accomplish this.

I'm going to draw up your design in MasterCam and actually machine a heavy yoke. No welding if I can avoid it. If it works, I post it on this thread.
Gary Armitstead
Burbank, CA
Member LALS since 1980
Member Goleta Valley Railroad Club 1980-1993

User avatar
Erskine Tramway
Posts: 333
Joined: Wed Sep 10, 2014 4:13 pm
Location: South Dakota
Contact:

Re: My new rail bender

Post by Erskine Tramway » Wed Feb 10, 2021 10:48 am

Gary Armitstead wrote:
Wed Feb 10, 2021 12:44 am
Thanks Mike.
Did you find that adding that yoke, you were able to get repeatability? Especially with very small adjustments? I have quite a few friends all over the country with this Eaton bender and they alll have tried different designs to make it more rigid. You seem to have found a simple and straight-forward way to accomplish this.

I'm going to draw up your design in MasterCam and actually machine a heavy yoke. No welding if I can avoid it. If it works, I post it on this thread.
Hi Gary...

Thanks, but as I say, I stole the idea from another guy. But, it's a lot better than trying to get the bolt tight enough to hold the movable roller. Yes, repeatability is as close as you are able line the pointer up with a pen, or pencil, mark on the blue tape. If you were doing lots of rails to the same radius, I suppose you could scribe a line on the metal, once you figured out where the final setting was. Then, you could go back to it, even if you needed to do a stick with a different radius. With 20 TPI on the adjusting bolt, you can move the movable roller in very small increments.

When I rolled the rails for my switch and siding, which are sharper than the 'mainline' curves, I made a little gauge out of lath to tell when it was right. I went into my CAD program, and laid out the curve. Then, I made lines, the length of my piece of wood, on center, and measured the 'offset' at the center. I transferred that measurement to a pointed piece of lath, which I glued to the center of the long piece. When the rail hit both ends, and the center pointer, at the same time, I had my radius. Amazing as it may seem...they even fit 'on the ground' just like my layout drawing :D

Speaking of my drawing...here's one I made for an upcoming article in the British '7-1/4" Gauge News' magazine.
img465 mail.jpg
Enjoy,
Mike
Former Locomotive Engineer and Designer, Sandley Light Railway Equipment Works, Inc. and Riverside & Great Northern Railway 1962-77
BN RR Locomotive Engineer 1977-2014, Retired

User avatar
Gary Armitstead
Posts: 257
Joined: Sat Mar 02, 2013 12:35 am
Location: Burbank, CA

Re: My new rail bender

Post by Gary Armitstead » Wed Feb 10, 2021 2:05 pm

Thanks Mike. I might try to increase the TPI for a little more capability to "tweak" the radius. The issue I have with the Eaton bender is that you don't have to move that arrow very much to make a BIG change in radius. :)

Nice drawing, btw.

I use MasterCam to do exactly the same calculations you did for your radii :).
Gary Armitstead
Burbank, CA
Member LALS since 1980
Member Goleta Valley Railroad Club 1980-1993

Post Reply