How to bend your own custom exhaust pipes
If you are looking at building your own custom exhaust system, you could easily bend your own tubing or you can get Kwalkraft to bend it for you. Bending the pipe yourself is quite a delicate process but is easily achievable with the right tools. You will need to fill the pipe with sand in order to prevent crimping while bending. You should also attach a thick walled squash pipe for better gripping for the vice.
Step 1 – Design Pipe
First you will need to measure the curves of the exhaust pipe that you want to create. You should consider making a model or sketch of the pipe because it will make the pipe bending easier. Buy materials that are a bit longer than the required length because attaching he squash pipe will result in a small amount of waste.
Step 2 – Create Squash Pipe
You would first have to square off the ends of the pipe. Then, you would place a nut face down on a flat surface and ensure you centre the pipe over it. You would then weld the nut onto the pipe and screw the bolt into it. Check the thread and then finish the weld off if it’s good.
Step 3 – Flatten End of Bending Pipe
You would then take the thin metal pipe and squash the end of it together, either using a mallet or squeezing it closed with a vice.
Step 4 – Weld Squash Pipe to Exhaust Pipe
Next, you will have to weld the squash pipe to the open end of the flattened pipe. Earlier, we mentioned that you should fill the pipe with sand, do this now through the hole in the nut on the squash pipe. The sand has to be completely dry or it will create moisture when the pipe is heated later. Coarse builders sand that has been dried overnight is the best option. The sand has to be compact inside the pipe. Make sure there is no sand on the thread of the nut and then screw in the bolt.
Step 5 – Heat Pipe and Bend
It is best to pre-heat the pipe in an oven before bending it. You would grip the squash pipe in the vice and use a torch to heat the pipe until its glowing red. Slow and steady wins the race when it comes to pipe bending. Pull as you bend so that kinks do not form in the tube. Allow the pipe to cool between bends if you are bending it in multiple directions.
Step 6 – Cut and Clean Pipes
Once the pipe is bent just the way you want, you can cut off the squash pipe and drain the sand. Clean the pipe thoroughly as well as your work station.
If this sounds like a mission or sounds like it’s hard to do, let the experts handle it. Kwalkraft specialise in tube manipulation and bending for the automotive and also other industries.