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Can you bend a 3 point saddle?

  • Yes!!!

    Votes: 102 89.5%
  • No!!!!

    Votes: 12 10.5%

Can You Bend A 3 Point Saddle?

97533 Views 74 Replies 35 Participants Last post by  Stan Mason
Alot of electricians go through out their career
and never learn how to do this bend.

The thing is, ITS NOT HARD!!!!!
I'VE BEEN BENDING PIPE FOR 3 DAYS and i can do it.

for those who might not know:

1. mark the pipe where the center of the bend will be (directly above the obstacle)

2. Measure the height of the obstacle. Multiply the height by 2 1/2 and make a mark that distance from the center mark.


4. Make the center bend at a 45 degree angle. (does not have to be 45, some prefer 60, some prefer others)

5. make the other 2 bends 22 1/2 degree bends. you gotta do these in the air.

6. Place the new 3 point saddle above your work and adjust if necessary

So thats it. I've memorized it:thumbsup:
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Thanks for refreshing this one i havent done that way for quite a while.,

normally i go by sight and feeling when i shape the pipe with out mesuring and 80 % of my time i hit the target the rest just say this >>:censored: or :whistling2: one of the two depending on the mood you are in ..

Merci , Marc
You mean you don't just bend a bubble in the middle of a full stick, then just cut off both ends until the bubble is over the obstacle? :jester:
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Thanks for these bending tip posts. I especially liked Tab's rolling offset tip the other day. Maybe Joe or one of the other pipe wizards will post a tip for "kicks". That's another puzzle that troubles people.
Alot of electricians go through out their career
and never learn how to do this bend.
Pipe bending is a dying art. With the increasing use of MC cable there is not as much call for good pipe benders. :icon_cry:

Not to brag but, I have always prided myself on my pipe bending.

I teach pipe bending in my apprentice classes, but the students don't get much pratice in the real world anymore.

I admit, this is a big hole in my experience. Coming up on 17 yrs in the trade, and I have done very little pipe bending. I have done mostly residential, but even on the commercial jobs, the boss will get someone with more experience than me to do it.
It really only takes one reasonably sized pipe job to learn everything you need to know. Now, on a Rob-Roy job... I want the guy that knows and not the guy who's learning, to bend the pipe.
3 point saddle (emt)

measure center point of saddle and mark

measure and mark both directions away from center

pipe in air, emt bender
first mark, closest to end of conduit lay on center mark of bender, bend to 22.5
second mark middlle, lay on star of hand bender and bend to 45
last mark, lay on arrow and bend to 22.5

Your center will always turn out correct.
I usually have a minor straightening adjustment at the end.

Try it guys, it works great.
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I usually have a minor straightening adjustment at the end..
Yeah! Maybe the question should have been, "Can you bend a 3 or 4 point saddle with no dog-leg?" :laughing:
No, I mean the saddle seems to come out a bit "open" for some reason

But I do churn out the occasional dog leg
But I do churn out the occasional dog leg
Me too, but mostly due to impatience. Bigger (read-more expensive) pipe, I'll take my time to do it right. The 'no dog' offset level pretty much cures that if I'm not too lazy to walk to the truck to get it.
the faithful "no dog" works great on a chicago.
tricky for a hand bender
There should have been a 3rd option, sometimes. I gone back and looked at some I thought looked ok when I put them in, but later wondered who installed that junk?
No, I mean the saddle seems to come out a bit "open" for some reason

But I do churn out the occasional dog leg

when you say "open", do you mean alot of space on either side of the object?
if thats the case, use a 60 for your first bend and 30 for the others.
No, I mean when you lay it on the floor, one end is elevated, not flush
No, I mean when you lay it on the floor, one end is elevated, not flush
Yeah, with a hand bender, that's almost guaranteed to some degree, I don't care who you are. With a sidewinder or Chicago, not so much.
We were working in a coal mine load out facility that was expanding their belt system last fall. We had to run about three runs of 3/4" rigid conduit down the side of this beltline for about 200-300 yards. The first thing the maintenance electrician wanted us to was bend four point saddles on all three pieces and start there. Talk about a rough start! I hadn't bent a whole lot of saddles to begin with.
A tip for kicks;
The cosecant rules still apply, but you need a new mark on your bender.
Because a kick like an offset is the difference between similar edges of the pipe.
Your bender has a mark(notch) for center of a 45. And most people that can do 3 point saddles already have marks on their bender for the center of 30's (the point of the letter 'A' in the word back)and center of 20's(for doing those infamous 1" saddles).
Well to apply the rules to kicks you need to find the back of the pipe after the bend for different degrees. It's tough to explain and I'm still working on the exact amount to add for different common degree kicks.
But I will say, when figured out all your shrink and exact degrees can be figured in for a precise kick which I've always thought is toughest thing to figure(until I see the old guys do it)
The key thing is to remember the bottom of your pipe has to measure to the back of your bend(duh)
I've been working with 2" rigid this past week, so this lesson has rang true because 'fudging' it in is not an option.

And Tab gave a very good tip, I'll often use his tip of measuring one way then the other, then using a square piece of cardboard or something else square, mark it out then measure between.
Or else just use pythagorean's theorum (a2+b2=c2)
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The trick is to straighten your dog before you make that third bend, you can't straighten once there're more than 2 bends.

Why do you use the star Tab? the notch is center for a 45.

And I have no idea why anyone would ever put 60 in a pipe. That makes 120 degrees just for one simple maneuver. I seriously try to avoid a 45 at the center except that the cosecant for a 22 is so easy.

Lefty, when you start pulling what you bend, you'll re-think how you do things and will soon avoid 60/30 saddles all together. In fact I don't think I've ever needed to do such a 'steep' saddle, and I know I never have done a 60 at the center.

I learned to do saddles from my ugly's while I was doing that parking structure. It's too bad back then when I needed a 1" saddle it came out 4 inches high because Ugly's only teaches to use a 45/22
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wheres that rolling offset thing?
It would be fun to walk into class and just pull one off and impress the all:thumbup:
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