A copper tube should never be bent without a specific tool: it would flatten inevitably. There are two systems for shaping copper tubes, which are implemented according to the accuracy and angle to be formed.
The bender or bending plier allows all angles up to 180° (to the nearest degree).
Tool less expensive, the bending spring is less accurate. You will not be able to make elbows as tight as with a bender.
You will find in DIY superstores two types of copper:
- Annealed copper (sold in crown) is malleable. It is not necessary to heat it to work.
- The hardened copper is rigid (sold in tubes of 1 to 5 m). It must be heated to be bent.
It is best to adjust the length of the tubes after bending to account for any positioning errors.
Heat the tube
Lock the pipe in the vise without tightening the jaws too much. With a soldering torch, warm the tube (hardened copper) to red over the entire length of the elbow, then immerse it quickly in water to cool it.
Insert the tube into the bender
Insert the tube into the groove of the bender until you align the tube mark with the tab of the graduated segment that indicates the beginning of the bend. Fold down the clamping hook on the tube.
Form the angle
Press the rounded notch of the bender against your knee. Pull the two sleeves to form the desired angle. Go a little beyond the graduation to compensate for the elasticity of the metal.
Bend the tube to the bending spring
Thread the spring to bend on the tube at the elbow to achieve. Place a cloth on your knee and rest on the spring. Pull the tube on either side of the spring to bend it.