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DIY Rebar Bender

By Chris Deziel
Close-up of rebar stock

Steel reinforcement bar -- rebar for short -- is an essential ingredient of concrete foundations, footings and walls, and it has many other uses as well. Pros often bring a rebar bender with them to a job site, but if you need to make a only few bends, there is an easy way to do it without a professional's bender.

Vise and Pipe Method

You can bend 1/2- and 3/4-inch rebar quickly and easily by using a vise and a length of 1-inch steel pipe. Mark the position of the bend on the rebar, then insert it into the vice with the mark aligned with the jaw. Tighten the vise, then slide the pipe along the other end of the rebar until it's just short of the mark. Stand in front of the vise and pull the pipe toward you to bend the rebar. The longer the pipe, the more leverage it will give you.

Add Heat

If you need to make a bend near the end of a length of 3/4-inch rebar, you may have trouble doing it while it's cold. Using a propane torch to heat the joint makes the steel malleable and easier to bend. Be sure to wear goggles and protective gloves -- the rebar and pipe will get hot.

 

About the Author

 

Chris Deziel has a bachelor's degree in physics and a master's degree in humanities. Besides having an abiding interest in popular science, Deziel has been active in the building and home design trades since 1975. As a landscape builder, he helped establish two gardening companies.