Anyone who has worked in concrete construction is probably aware of the importance of rebar. These steel bars reinforce the concrete being laid, which helps to prevent cracks in the concrete and to provide structural support. Rebar can also be used in the garden to reinforce birdbaths or to act as a stake for growing vines.
As important as rebar proves to be for these projects, however, it isn’t always easy to use. Getting rebar to the correct length often requires that a person cut or bend the rebar so that it will fit within the structure being created, and the professional rebar benders sold in stores aren’t cheap!
Should You Make Your Own Rebar Bender?
Learning how to make a homemade rebar bender can come in handy for when you decide to take on your next home improvement project: it will save you the hassle of trying to find one in a hardware store or online, and it may also save you money.
There are, of course, some alternatives to using a homemade rebar bender. Besides merely going to the store and buying a rebar bender, you could also cut the rebar to the appropriate length using bolt cutters, a saw, or an angle grinder.
However, these alternatives may take more time than simply bending the rebar, and once you have created a homemade rebar bender, you will be able to reuse it again and again for new projects you choose to work on!
How to Make a Rebar Bender
To see how you can make a rebar bender for yourself, check out our how-to guide below.
Step 1: Gather Your Supplies
For this project, you will need a wood board (2 x 4 inches), a galvanized pipe (with a diameter large enough that the rebar can just barely fit inside), four short metal pipes (about 6 inches long and 3/4-inch in diameter), four floor flanges (3/4-inch in diameter), and 16 wood screws (about 3/4-inch long).
You will also need a drill and a set of drill bits.
Step 2: Attach the Floor Flanges to the Wood Plank
Arrange the floor flanges on the plank of wood so that two are close to each other on one side of the wood, and two are close to each other on the other side of the wood. They should be set in a way that creates a narrow space between each pair to fit the piece of rebar so that it is held in place while it is being bent.
Using the drill and the 16 screws, attach the four flanges, with four screws in each flange.
Step 3: Attach the Four Short Pipes
This step is very simple. Simply take the four short pipes you prepared and attach one of them to each of the four floor flanges that you put in place in the previous step.
With that, your homemade rebar bender is ready to be put into use. Continue reading to learn how to actually use it.
Step 4: Measure and Insert the Rebar
For this step, you should know at what point you need the piece of rebar to be bent. Insert the rebar between the pipes so that it runs parallel with the length of the wood plank, with the point at which you want the rebar to bend set against the corner flange closest to the short edge of the wood plank.
The pipes should hold the rebar in place while you bend it. After placing the rebar correctly, insert the other end of the rebar, which is sticking out from the wood, into the galvanized pipe. This way, the rebar should be set with part of it held in place by the short pipes, and the other part inserted into the galvanized pipe.
The place where these two parts meet should be the place at which you wish the rebar to be bent.
Step 5: Bend the rebar
Using the short pipes as a fulcrum and the galvanized pipe as a lever, take the galvanized pipe and pull it so that it is at the desired angle and so that the galvanized pipe is now essentially perpendicular to the short pipes rather than running parallel with them as it was before.
The rebar will bend with the pipe as it is being moved to this angle.
That’s it! You now have a properly bent piece of rebar, and your homemade rebar bender is ready for repeated use.
The next time you want to work on a home improvement project, or need to add a flair of functionality to your garden, rebar might prove to be a necessary part of the plan you create.
There are many different ways to manipulate rebar in order to get the proper length for your particular project, including cutting or bending the rebar; however, some of these alternatives can be quite costly, take a lot of time to work, or be difficult to find the proper tools for.
Making a homemade rebar bender can be a cheap and sustainable option. With just a bit of time taken to build your own tool, you will be ready to tackle whatever big project you decide to take on next.