By Brian ‘woody’ Swearingen
Friday, May 14th, 2010
There are a lot of options these days for tubing benders. The vast majority of these companies come into the market with a simple manual bender and then grow their business into more sophisticated systems.
Baileigh Industrial has taken the opposite approach. They have furnished production-quality metal working machinery for many years, and have scaled their expertise down to products that an enthusiast-level consumer can appreciate, and afford. Two products that meet this criteria are the new RDB-050 Manual Tube Bender and the new TN-250 Tube Notcher.
If you’ve spent any time on their website, then you’ve already drooled over their RDB-Series of Rotary Draw Benders. Their line includes hydraulic and nc controlled systems that can fully automate a bend. But as we all know, the big limitation to these is the pocketbook…an individual or a club just can’t justify the expense.
The RDB-050 solves that issue. Manually operated…180 degree dies available…multiple bending speeds…integrated degree wheel…and the power to handle 2.50″ x .120 wall DOM or 2.00″ x .120 Chromolly.
I’ve had a bender for many years that’s been on ‘long-term-loan’…you know the deal…buddy buys one, uses it for a project, and then… It then sat in my garage for a couple years while friends used it, and just as I get to the point where I’ve got a project I need to work on, that dreaded email shows up. “Hey woody, if you are done with the bender, Jim needs it for a project he’s starting.” Fortunately, enough had changed for me that it was time to have my own…and it didn’t take much shopping time to pick the one I wanted.
Baileigh is a short 40 miles from my home, so Jason Mace and I scheduled a shop tour with Shane Henderson. Impressive. Shane showed off the capabilities of the RDB-250 for me with some solid aluminum. Again, impressive. We toured the entire facility, and they have stock on the vast majority of their machines…and quite a few on the loading dock ready to ship out. (Gallery photos at RockCrawler.com) Definitely helped solidify my decision with regards to what bender to purchase.
“Some Assembly Required” is an understatement…the RDB-050 takes a solid 3-4 hours to put together. But everything fit well and was top quality…no shortcuts taken.
The final step was the test bending…I needed a hoop for an FJ40 buggy bezel, and that seemed like the perfect start. 1.50″ x .120 DOM tubing was the choice, and once things are set and ready, the bending process was a breeze. The integrated dial indicator is indestructible, and helps keep consistency with your marks and bend points.
Baileigh, nice job. Stay tuned for more projects, my new Polaris RZR needs a roll cage!
(The TN-250 isn’t in hand yet…watch for it soon!) View Photos