Using a rebar bender to bend reinforced steel bars can save you a lot of time and physical effort during the construction process. While simple rebar benders using manual force are available, hydraulic, or a combination of hydraulic and electrical powered benders and cutters, have revolutionized the construction process. Most of these machines are portable and can be used at site to undertake the rebar bending process. Learning how to use a rebar bender can be a fairly easy process once you follow a few simple instructions and follow some key safety guidelines:
Step 1: Understanding Your Rebar Bender
Rebar bending machines come in a variety of pressure output specifications and bending angle capabilities. Make sure that you choose the correct bender for the thickness of the rebar that you are trying to bend and the angle that you need to achieve. If you have an electrically powered bender, make sure you have the correct electrical connections available for the machine. Bender operation is typically conducted through easy-to-use foot pedals that ensure that you have both hands free to manipulate the rebar during the bending process. Foot pedals also ensure that you are able to step away from the machine and halt operation instantly in case of emergencies.
Step 2: Setting Up Your Rebar Bender
Your bender will come with a variety of bending rollers. You will need to ensure that you use the correct set to meet the thickness of the rebar you are going to bend, and the bending angle desired. You will also need to adjust the bending angle using the adjustment knob on most common bending machines. The adjustment knobs can typically manipulate rebar from angles from 1 degree to 180 degrees or more.
Step 3: Feeding The Rebar Into The Machine
Always wear protective gloves while handling the rebar. Once you have put these on, lift the rebar and place it into the feeding slot of the machine. Note that some machines allow you to bend multiple rebars simultaneously. However, if you are new to using this process, it is recommended that you start with one bar at a time to prevent alignment and handling issues. Use a firm grip on the rebar and stand in a position that allows you to quickly move away from the machine in case of a safety concern.
Step 4: Use The Foot Pedals to Start the Bender
The foot pedals will allow you to activate the machine once the rebar is in place. In certain models, an electronic interlocking system may not allow you to activate the machine until certain safety pre-requisites are met.
Step 5: Let the Machine Do It’s Work
The hydraulic mechanism will engage and start the bending process. You need to be very alert at this point to ensure that your hand is placed out of harm’s reach as the roller bends the rebar.
Step 6: Remove the Rebar
Keep clear of the foot pedals and remove the rebar from the machine. In many cases, you may need to add a second bend to the same rebar, in which case you can repeat the process as desired.
Your speed and efficiency of using the bender will improve as you practice using the machine a few times.