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Best way to cold bend landing gear

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Old 08-22-2010, 07:53 PM
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KitBuilder
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Default Best way to cold bend landing gear

I'm coming down the home stretch on a build and noticed that I have ome postive incidence in the wing when sittiing on the gear. It's a low wing trike gear. I have put larger tires under the wing and a small one on the nose but it's still positive. Icould find a nose gear of the proper length but I was wanting to keep the clearance so Idon't have prop issues. So i was going to try and bend the main gear more vertical... Iwill lose some shock absorption but I'm ok with that.What is the best way to do this. The pic shows what I want to accomplish.

I will need to make two bends.. One at the top to come down more vertical and another at the axle to make it parallel to the grond again.

Reading the tempering the bending of the wire I realized it's best to just do this cold. Do Ibend in a vise with a hammer / mallet or?....

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Old 08-22-2010, 08:08 PM
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Default RE: Best way to cold bend landing gear



I have had great luck with Harry Higley's Bending Jigs. Clamp them in a vice and they support the bend. Several web-sites carry them.
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Old 08-22-2010, 08:53 PM
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Default RE: Best way to cold bend landing gear

I've used the vice and a hammer and it works OK if that is what you want to do.
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Old 08-22-2010, 09:41 PM
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Default RE: Best way to cold bend landing gear

I bend it in the vice all the time. Wear a heavy leather glove. You may not even need a hammer if it is 5/32" diameter piano wire or less. When I make a new bend, I like to grind a notch groove in the jaw of the vice that will allow the bend to have a rounded bend rather than a sharp bend. The sharp bend will frequently shatter like glass. Can rip your hand open, thus the leather glove. Going by the sketch you showed, you may even be able to bend it without a vice. Just use two hands and two leather gloves. Hold it as close to the existing bend as possible and it will bend at the original bend. I'm 74 and feel I would have no problem doing it by hand. Try it. The vice is needed when starting with a straight piece of piano wire.
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Old 08-22-2010, 10:10 PM
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Default RE: Best way to cold bend landing gear

I use a K+S music wire bender. Makes life easy. Good Luck, Dave
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Old 08-22-2010, 10:18 PM
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Default RE: Best way to cold bend landing gear

When I first got into the hobby, about 35 years ago, I bought a Breiten Wire Bender from Ace R/C. Sadly, neither is still in business. The wire bender allowed you to bend right angles perfectly, and with an optional attachment, bend coils for nose gears. I still have it and occasionally bend things for club members. Too bad it's no longer made. Try the Bay, you might get lucky.
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Old 08-22-2010, 10:46 PM
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Default RE: Best way to cold bend landing gear

Too sharp in the bends and it will surely break sooner or later

I have also heated larger diameter wire to bend it but this leaves it soft in the bends
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Old 08-23-2010, 07:42 AM
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Default RE: Best way to cold bend landing gear

For what you want to do, the vise & hammer will work just fine
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Old 08-23-2010, 10:22 AM
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w8ye
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Default RE: Best way to cold bend landing gear

A friend worked as an electrical engineer for the electric power company.

He scratch built a Robinhood and had the wire landing gear tig welded together rather than being wrapped with copper wire and and soldered

Needless to say, the landing gear broke near the welds for the welder did not post heat the wire to normalize it.

The owner then made a new landing gear that was heat treated after the welding and it held up fine.
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Old 08-23-2010, 10:30 AM
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Default RE: Best way to cold bend landing gear

A vise and hammer will work if you don't want much of a bend. Hammering the spring steel wire will tend to work-harden it. I've had many a wire snap off right at the vise. Also, a vise will not allow the wire to move. When bending wire, you usually wind up pulling it through the holder. The Higley or K+S wire benders are your best bet. They will put a nice radius at the bend, where a vise will put a crimp.

I managed to get a Breiten wire bender and wire cutter in the 1970's. They do an absolutely wonderful job for up to 5/32" wire. Bigger wire won't fit, so I've had to work out something else for larger-diameter wire.
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Old 08-23-2010, 11:05 AM
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Default RE: Best way to cold bend landing gear

Thanks for all the replies... I'll looked online at the higley benders and will order some going forward. Since the bend is already in place and I just want to add some more... i'll give the vise / hammer option a try and see about cutting a small groove to support the bend in the jaw..

one more question...
Would it be better to strike just off the bend area as i manual pull on it as well.. or hit at the bend itself... I"m thinking just 'off" the bend.
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Old 08-23-2010, 11:09 AM
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Default RE: Best way to cold bend landing gear

Just off the bend
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Old 08-23-2010, 11:19 AM
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Default RE: Best way to cold bend landing gear

Please do use proper tools for this. I've been bending wire by hand all my life but...

Last week I was doing the final fitting of a cabane wires for my Skybolt. I was attempting to adjust a short piece of 1/8" music wire by hand and I strained really hard. This caused an inner ear problem putting me in the hospital overnight. I've had vertigo since then and am still out from work. Ambulance, ER, a day in the hospital, several days off from work. That's an expensive cabane wire.

I will never bend wire without proper leverage again. As soon as I'm able to get out of the house I'm going buy a wire bender.

Dave
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Old 08-23-2010, 11:36 AM
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Default RE: Best way to cold bend landing gear

I have a large vise and I filed grooves of different sizes in the jaws, that's all I have used over the years. I have a QUESTION myself. I'm bending a set of gears right now and I want to make them with a slight smooth curve but I don't have a round item big enough to check up in the vise to do a draw bend. Nothing I can think of at least. I have given some thought to using the large drumb sander in my wood shop but I know someone would have a fit if they saw me doing it?? Any ideas on anything most people would have on hand in there home?? Maybe I can turn a big piece of wood and cut a groove in it?
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Old 08-23-2010, 11:40 AM
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Default RE: Best way to cold bend landing gear

Northern hard maple or white oak?
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Old 08-23-2010, 04:11 PM
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Default RE: Best way to cold bend landing gear

It's a pair of vice grips for leverage over the corner of a 2 x 4 when I do it. For landing gears that just need a tweak like yours though, I just grab both wheels and bend them on the plane. Haven't broken one yet. When bending any kind of metal though you do have to be sure not to concentrate the bending force on just one spot. Spread the bend out over a small length of the wire in order to avoid a brittle spot.
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Old 08-23-2010, 06:48 PM
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Default RE: Best way to cold bend landing gear

WelI took them off the plane as the rod would be to thick to do still attached. Either way it was much ado about nothing SInce most of the bend was originally there... I put it in the vice.. and as i pulled down gave it a little persuassion with the mallet and it worked real well. I gained a 1/4" or so and it was enough to make the incidence very very close to zero. Top is before and bottom is after and actually Iangled it a bit moreto 90 degressafter this pic. Thanks for all the info...

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Old 08-24-2010, 08:34 AM
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Default RE: Best way to cold bend landing gear

Ok, I have a couple questions. After forming a nose gear with four (4) coils, do you need to heat treat/ temper the wire so that it is not too soft or too brittle to do the job? Second, if heat treating is needed, how do you do the job?

Thanks in advance for any help.

Mark
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Old 08-24-2010, 08:41 AM
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Default RE: Best way to cold bend landing gear

Normally, the piano wire is already heat treated and your cold bends, if not too sharp, do not significantly effect the metal and no additional heat treating is necessary.
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Old 08-24-2010, 09:25 AM
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Default RE: Best way to cold bend landing gear

I have been cold bending my own landing gears, including the coiled front gear, for well over 30 years. On very rare occasions I have seen music wire rods that bent "differently". It was harder or softer than what I expect. As a result of that, when I bend a main gear, I make certain (if possible) that I make both gears from the same piece of piano wire. That way the right side gear may deform or perform the same as the left side gear.
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Old 08-24-2010, 09:19 PM
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Default RE: Best way to cold bend landing gear

So the coiled wire of a nose gear needs no additional conditioning after cold bending.

Thanks,

Mark
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Old 08-24-2010, 09:32 PM
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Default RE: Best way to cold bend landing gear


ORIGINAL: Champ-RCU

So the coiled wire of a nose gear needs no additional conditioning after cold bending.
Correct
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Old 08-27-2010, 03:43 PM
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Default RE: Best way to cold bend landing gear


A good vise is a must , even a small one ;but well bolted to the table. What I've found that really helps with the leverage problem and stops any need to hammer the wire to death IS BUY A SMALL DIAMETER BLACK CAST IRON PIPE , like what they use for gas lines in a home. 18" is fine X 1/2 or smaller diameter. Hold the wire in the vise with the other end to be bent inside your black pipe and bend away.. Wallah, perfect bend no strain..
Good luck
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Old 08-30-2010, 07:54 AM
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Default RE: Best way to cold bend landing gear

Wallah?
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Old 08-30-2010, 10:14 AM
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Default RE: Best way to cold bend landing gear


ORIGINAL: MinnFlyer

Wallah?
That't the very-typical misquote of "Voila!" (can't put the accent grave on the 'a').

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