Straightening out bent metal
August 2, 2020 10:37 AM   Subscribe

I am trying to assemble an exercise bike that I bought on Amazon. The first step is connecting the main frame to the front "stabilizing bar" -- picture a half cylinder that goes over a thick metal rod and has a couple of bolts to hold it all together. The problem is that one side of the "half cylinder" is slightly bent on one side so it won't fit flush against the rod. I've tried bending it with pliers and banging it with a hammer, all to no avail. Any other ideas for bending the corner out?
posted by Clustercuss to Home & Garden (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
A picture would be a real help here.
posted by pipeski at 10:56 AM on August 2, 2020


Good point! Here is a link to a few, hopefully this will help things make sense
posted by Clustercuss at 11:15 AM on August 2, 2020


Vise....leverage....force?
posted by Freedomboy at 11:18 AM on August 2, 2020


The best answer is a adjustable wrench torqued down to the bent section. This gives you a large lever to yield-stress the metal (bend) back to what will work.
posted by sydnius at 11:23 AM on August 2, 2020 [1 favorite]


A long (10+ inch for leverage) adjustable wrench like sydrius suggests is a good option. But you still have to solidly hold the other end of the curve. A large pair of vise-grips is a good multipurpose tool which might help.

If these tools are not available, you can try the hammer again, but supporting the back of the curve on a flat surface. In picture 3 you can see a fairly straight line where the piece was likely mis-stamped. If you can position that line on a substantial surface and strike the hammer across the inside you may be able to help open up the curve.
If there is a second matching piece which is curved properly, you can also try using it as a support to hammer the bent piece into.

Depending on the thickness of the tube it is supposed to curve around, you may be able to force it in place by assembling it with the bolts and drawing the two pieces together. It may just bend the tube instead of bending the arc though. Wider washers may give enough support to keep from bending the tube.

Freedomboy's suggestion of a vise is right on, but not many of us have one handy.
posted by tronec at 1:01 PM on August 2, 2020


If it arrived un-assemble-able, it’s reasonable to ask the company for a replacement . Walloping it may make it look like your fault to begin with.

More fun tho, if it works.
posted by clew at 11:40 PM on August 2, 2020


Thirding a large adjustable wrench like this one.
posted by liliillliil at 12:12 PM on August 3, 2020


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