I have a job to bend some sway bars out of 1.25″ OD steel bar using as tight of a bend radius as possible. I made a temporary die to try it out, but the forces involved quickly destroyed the non-hardened steel. So, looking at the die rack I had a 1.125″ dia x 1.43″ CLR die that I’ve never used in 7 years – too bad it wasn’t 1.25″! Since it’s made of hardened tool steel normal machining was not going to touch it – had to devise a different plan. Off to local pawn shop to buy sacrificial $20 belt sander, then machine a new front roller that was 1.25″ dia minus the thickness of the belt. The smaller wheel made the belt too long, so I clamped an “idler” block in to take up the slack. 4 belts later I had the 1.125″ groove opened up to 1.25″ with a nice finish. Below are some pics of the sander, modified die, sway bar bending in progress, and finished bar.
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