Photo 18 — Close up view of the completed double flare.
Flaring ends on tubing requires considerable force to make the required formed ends. We have found that warming the tubing with a propane torch can make the task easier. You want to be sure the tubing is held tightly in the holder. Tubing not held tight can foul up the flare and may gouge the tubing (Photo 19) requiring you to start over, which will slightly shorten the length of the final tube). That is why it makes sense to flare one end before you make your bends in case you need to cut off the end and start over. Should the tube end up being gouged in the holder, if it is not too severe, you can use emery cloth to sand it smooth (Photo20). Also the nut itself may cover the area. A few wraps of tape around the clamping area of the tube is one technique that helps to minimize gouging (Photo 21).
Photo 19 — An example of some gouging at the tip as a result of the tubing vise. In some cases the flare nut can cover this area which maybe acceptable.
Photo 20 — If gouging occurred during the flaring process, emery cloth can sand the area smooth.
Photo 21 — A couple layers of tape wrapped around the tubing can help minimize gauging of the tubing surface.
Bending — Several alternatives are available to bend your tubing depending on the radius of the bend desired. Photo 22 shows three different types of bending tools, each has their advantages. The spring bender can make graceful large radius curves while the other two are better suited for making sharper bends. The black bender with the U-shaped bending anvil and grooved forming handle is the bender we used for all the bends shown in this article. The angle numbers on the edge, the forming handle and its ability to make slight bends to full sharp bends, and to control the rotation of the tube being bent are the reasons why it is favored (Photos 23 - 26). The completed oil line (back from the chrome plater) is shown at Photo 27.
Photo 22 — Three different benders are shown, at top is a stiff spring, middle is a lever bender against grooved radius guides and below is a hand held former with two sets of radius wheels. The middle bender is preferred by the author for its angular gauge.
Photo 23 — The first bend in this oil line tubing. Note the edge of the tool on left which keeps the tubing from slipping around the tool's radius.