Concept image for the fixture
Concept image for the fixture

Oh hey there.  As part of the theater show I’m working on I’ve been making these industrial gooseneck type things for the bar lighting.  As you can see, a big part of it is the loop of conduit that goes up and around to support the fixture.  I figured, no problem, I’ll just get a conduit bender from Home Despot and bend it to suit.

You get some odd looks when you ride BART with a conduit bender.
You get some odd looks when you ride BART with a conduit bender.

So that was a disaster.  I could get bends up to 90 degrees just fine, but after that the bender would start to slip on the conduit and I would get squircles rather than a continuous loop like I wanted.   My results could be summarized thusly:

conduit diagram1

As I am nothing if not persistent, I went to the idea store and came up with this:

Win.
Win.

There’s a circle cut from MDF on the inside radius of the conduit.  As the handle is turned, it pulls the conduit in, and it’s forced to bend around the circle.  I had to ask a dancer stand on it while I was bending it to get enough torque (thanks, Cici!) and it has a tendency to pulverize the MDF at the working surfaces, but heyo it works!

WIN_20131020_172623

WIN_20131020_154344
Conduit being pulled into the break

Here’s a sneak peek work-in-progress picture of the fixtures I’m building:

IMG_20131106_230251

I am aiming to be America’s #1 blog on improvised conduit bending machines, so more on this topic soon!

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