View Full Version : Do you really need a tube bender?

10-24-2010, 01:13 AM
I've been thinking about making "mesh seats" - are they more comfortable?

is it worth the trouble?

I was thinking of using a small gage square tube - instead of the round tube's and the cost of a tube bender

any ideas on, square vs. round tube and seat mesh?



And where do you get the mesh material's?

regards; PaulPb

Odd Man Out
10-24-2010, 01:32 AM
I would think that square tube would be harder to bend. Also square tube has those 90 degree edges that your body could find uncomfortable.

10-24-2010, 01:35 AM
It's not that I wan't to answer my own questions......I found a few things -

the recommended material : Phifertex



10-24-2010, 01:40 AM
I wasn't suggesting you 'bend' the square tube -

I was suggesting to cut the square tube and weld parts together......

(although you couldn't get that nice lumbar support 'bend') - but does that matter -

You could make a basic seat -


10-24-2010, 05:37 PM
I just made a mesh seat by following the plans on Recycled Recumbents:

I found the tubing easy to bend, and the benders only cost me about $15 US each (one for 1/2 inch EMT and one for 3/4 inch EMT) at the local hardware store. These are heavy cast aluminum benders without handles, designed to screw onto a length of threaded black pipe. As OMO says, round tubing is nicer to your person than square tubing would be.

The seat I ended up with is decidedly more comfortable than the foam-on-plywood seat I built originally. On the other hand, it was more work to build, and it's a bit heavier. I had the stitching done by a local person who repairs camping gear.

10-24-2010, 08:43 PM
I dont see any reason why you cannot use square tube, say 12mm.
You dont lay on the tubes if you make the seat wide enough.
The lumber support can be shaped in with a few cuts and welded without a problem.
Draw a full size pattern on some card and make sure both sides follow the pattern.
Ensure the front edges roll down so you dont have a sharp edge of the mesh across the bottom of your thighs. Make the "bum" portion long enough and angled up a couple of degrees so you dont keep sliding off the front. I personally find the recycled recumbent seat too short in the bum area, this could be alleviated by tilting it backwards more.
Just remember, the mesh seats are not as soft as you think they may be but I find them comfy enough.
The best part is the ventilation they allow in our hot climate.

10-24-2010, 09:03 PM
I was too late with the edit but meant to add---
Have you considered lacing the seat onto the tubes like this--
finished seat here
build on previous page.
I know its round tubes not square but the process would be better for the square tubes as it will prevent the sharp corners of the square tube wearing through the mesh with every little scrape. (yes, scrapes will happen)

07-10-2011, 09:07 PM
i know I am replying to an old thread but smaller square tube can be bent with a round tubing bender
I bent the square tube in the back seat of my golf cart with an electrical tubing hand bender.
The tubing is 3/4" x 3/4" and I bent it with a 1" emt conduit bender.



07-11-2011, 09:20 AM
Good Job! Thanks for sharing! And we DO like pics!