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yesterday, i got mt first lesson in pipe bending.
I discovered that I'm very accurate when it comes to measuring.
I also discovered that a small guy like me cant actually bend very well.
I teamed up with a big guy and we were a bending force to be reckoned with. We did alot of stuff that day. back to back 90's, 30 degree offsets, and even a crash course intro to 3 and 4 point saddles. We bent with an Ideal 1/2 inch EMT bender mostly but did some 3/4 inch EMT. no Rigid yet.

Im just kinda proud of myself, thats all:thumbup:
 

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You can learn to bend pipe, no matter what you weigh or how strong you are. 1/2 and 3/4 EMT are bubble gum. 1" is tough. I can just barely do 1-1/4" EMT in the hand bender by myself, but it is possible. I'm neither especially strong nor do I weigh much (about 170). It's a learned technique, that gets easier the more you do. Stick to it. Pick yourself up a Benfield bending manual online someplace. It's about a 15 dollar booklet that will tell you what you need to know.
 

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LGJ:

Practice, 1/2" is fairly easy, more skill than muscle.


There are a lot of very good electricians that can't bed pipe worth a hoot. But once you learn you'll be proud of the skill and it is one more benefit an employeer can look at when hiring you.


I actually got decent with 1-1/4" emt. Big mistake, when I was an apprentice this company I worked for had a job with 1000's of feet each 7' piece had a 4" offset. After a few days of nothing but prefabing I basically put my foot down and told the other apprentices that they BETTER learn how to do it. Little bit of muscle, lot of foot pressure and some finese. I'm 5'9' 175 lbs.

I never got very good with big pipe 3" and above.
 

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As strange as it may sound, for me bending pipe is the best part of electrical work. I do mostly resi construction and industrial maintanence now, but years ago I did all refinery and gas plant construction. We bent all sizes of rigid up to 6", and Rob Roy as well. Learning to install large duct banks, lay out conduit runs, and making it all look excellent was as much fun as I've had doing anything. Today I'm either roping houses (my least fav) or doing automation on sawmill equipment. PLC's and controls are great, but i miss the satisfaction of a 40 or 50 pipe run done to perfection. We used things like coupling lines, segment bending and wooden folding rulers.. These days commercial work has all gone to MC, and I fear outside of heavy industrial work, conduit bending is going to become a lost art
 

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Mountain:

I do electrical testing (among other things) and go to a lot of sewage treatment plants, pumping stations, waste water treatment plants, and they are all still rigid.

A good pipe job is something to be proud of. I have seen some beautiful pipe jobs, then some slack jaw adds a piece of 3/4" slop EMT and destroys the whole job.

A friend of mine did a power house a 30 way duct bank with 20' lenghts of 6" rigid 100's of feet long.
 

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I have to say that bending conduit is quite rewarding once it is done and looks perfect. Now, I'm not the most experienced pipe bender or anything, but I measure five or six times during bending and then hanging it. The way I look at it, that is what the customer and other potential customers will see. Not the connections in the boxes and whatnot.

The job I'm on now has alot of 2 1/2" and 1 1/2" conduit, but we don't have one of the big benders so we're just using factory 45's and 90's. I snapped a few pictures the other day and may work up enough courage to "show em off". LOL.

Congrats on the new accomplishment Lefty, keep practicing. I sure know I still am!
 

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Conduit is used here in the UK too. Trouble is apprentices are not tought this bending process in school. I think it may have something to do with calculations for cables space and temperature stuff'. But more I think in that MICC is often a better option. Both in labour and practicability.
Another question I supose is. Do you use Pyrotenax cable (MICC) in the US? It is great for use where mechanical damage is likely and it looks great in industrial locations. Great for Fire Alarm systems too.
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mineral-insulated_copper-clad_cable - 31k -

Frank
 

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Another question I supose is. Do you use Pyrotenax cable (MICC) in the US? It is great for use where mechanical damage is likely and it looks great in industrial locations. Great for Fire Alarm systems too.
Yes, we call that type MI (mineral insulated) cable in the US. Most guys will go their entire career and never use or see any of it. I've only used it once, and only seen it a few times. It's most often used for fire pump wiring and super critical circuits, in my experience.
 

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One time for me as well. The existing fire pump motor at our local Pyramid mall. It's one loooong run too.
Crazy stuff.
 

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I have been involved with a few MI installantion and have tested a slew of MI cable. One recommendation is to megger the cable when it arrives on site and after installantion. I have had more thaan one job where the megger readings were very low, 50-100 megohms, after installation. The installer had not meggered the cable prior to installation. So we did not know if he had damaged the cable prior during installation. We did contact the manufacture regarding the readings, the manufac`ture was not concerned with our readings.
 

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I am also fairly new to bending pipe. Over the past couple of weeks I have had the opportunity to do alot of 3/4 emt and am loving the satisfaction of making it look good. I find it amazing to watch my journeyman just eye a rolling offset or any measurement in general and be totally accurate! At this job we are above an acoustical ceiling with fireproofing everywhere and nothing consistent to measure off of. I hope to develop this knack over the course of my apprenticeship.
 

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Working non-union I had only bent pipe a couple times and was never taught what the marks on the bender mean.

My second job with the union was 6 levels of parking with a 3 story office space. The company I was with didn't have nearly enough guys manning the job. So as a first year apprentice without going to school once was in charge of installing 2 miles of 3/4 conduit on the remaining 5 levels of parking. All the pipe is exposed and the strut was embedding in the concrete.

A third year apprentice taught me how to bend for about 20 minutes one day then the rest was all on me. Every single piece had a bend in it and after a couple weeks I was throwing in 700 feet per day.
After that experience I'm now one of the most profficient benders(for a fourth year apprentice), I can simply look at something from the ground, throw it in the bender and be done with it.
 

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Working non-union I had only bent pipe a couple times and was never taught what the marks on the bender mean.

My second job with the union was 6 levels of parking with a 3 story office space. The company I was with didn't have nearly enough guys manning the job. So as a first year apprentice without going to school once was in charge of installing 2 miles of 3/4 conduit on the remaining 5 levels of parking. All the pipe is exposed and the strut was embedding in the concrete.

A third year apprentice taught me how to bend for about 20 minutes one day then the rest was all on me. Every single piece had a bend in it and after a couple weeks I was throwing in 700 feet per day.
After that experience I'm now one of the most profficient benders(for a fourth year apprentice), I can simply look at something from the ground, throw it in the bender and be done with it.
Thats amazing! Thats at least 70 bends per day, plus pipe installation. Was that working alone? How many hours each day? Wow!
 

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I live in the Western Mountains of Maine... Sugarloaf, Saddleback, Bigelow Mts. I'm about 5 miles N of Sugarloaf, and about 27 miles S of the Canadian (Quebec) border. It's currently a balmy 20 deg. F outside, and we just got another foot of snow to put us up to about three feet on the ground right now.
 
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