Professional metal shops with copious amounts of space allow you to keep job-specific tools on hand. Dedicated tube benders and press brakes are great, if you’ve got the cash and space — but what are small shops and dedicated hobbyists to do? The Universal Fabricator, a metal fabrication multi-tool, combines a powered pipe/tube bender with a hydraulic-press-brake-type plate bender.
You can use the tube bender either by hand or hydraulically. It’ll handle both round and square tubing, up to 1-1/2″. Mounted up top, the “Handy Bender” can bend 5/8″ x 2-1/2″ mild steel up to 90 degrees. It comes with a V-block, for forming lighter material, and a repeatable bending attachment that allows you to precisely make repetitive bends on multiple pieces for production.
The setup costs $4,500, without the various pipe bending dies. Not cheap — but it packs a lot of functionality into a package that takes up less floorspace than all its component parts would.
The Universal Fabricator [Shop Outfitters]