To get you started with your custom bending ideas, below are some of our customers' most frequently asked questions put into easy to understand explanations. We hope this helps you when working on your custom bending projects.

The diagrams of the most Common Custom Bends page show examples of the most requested custom bent shapes. If you do not see what fits your needs, please call or email us to inquire about the shape you need for your project. The Sharpe Team is here to help you make your project a success!

Tip #1
Choosing a C.L.R. (Center Line Radius): With Sharpe's large inventory of tool bend dies, it is likely we already have a die to meet your bending needs. In cases where there is flexibility in the center line radius, choosing an existing die from the tooling list will save on tooling costs and lead times. A general rule to remember is a center line radii tighter than 1-1/2 times the tube diameter will increase labor costs.

Tip #2
Straight Length Between Bends: Typically bending processes with parts that have more than one bend, require a straight between the bends. Standard tooling can accommodate parts that allow a distance between bends of at least 3 times the tube diameter. Parts from 1-1/4" O.D. and smaller bent on a radius that is 3 times the diameter are the exception to this rule.

Tip #3
Specifying Tolerances: When specifying tolerances, it will be more cost effective to keep them only as tight as necessary. Our standard tolerances are (+/-) 1/16" on linear dimensions, and (+/-) 1/2 degree on angles. Specifying tighter tolerances will make the project more labor intensive and possibly increase your costs.

Tip #4
Wall Thickness: Keep wall thickness in mind when designing your parts. Many times it is thought that the thinner the wall thickness the less cost there will be in making the part. This is not always the case. Actually, thinner wall tubing may require MORE labor to bend because in some instances it may not be able to hold the roundness of the tube as it is bent and you can end up with results such as ripples or wrinkling within the bend of the tube. In some cases the additional labor costs outweigh the material savings, therefore it may or may not be beneficial to use a thinner wall material.

Tip #5
Submitting Drawings: When submitting a drawing of your part, some important information that we need is the type of material (steel, stainless steel, aluminum, etc.) O.D. (outside diameter), wall thickness, and the preferred C.L.R. (center line radius). Sharpe Products can accept the following formats for drawings: .PDF, .DWG, .DFX, .STP, and .IGES. You can fax (262-754-0374), e-mail ( or use our Request for Quote form to send your files.

If you have any questions or problems sending us your file, please do not hesitate to contact us at 1-800-879-4418.

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