How to Bend a Metal Rod

Metal rods, typically made of steel or iron, are used in a wide variety of construction applications.
Most often metal rods are bent, cut and welded according to the specifications of the project. Use an oxy-acetylene torch to bend metal rods. Oxy-acetylene torches are versatile welding tools used to heat metal to high temperatures, which allow for easy manipulation. Use an oxy-acetylene torch if you want a welding tool that is portable, easy to use and less expensive than other types of tools.

Step 1

Place the rod to be bent in a table vise so that the area to be heated and bent is just above the jaws of the vise.

Step 2

Put on your welding gear. This includes long pants, a long sleeved shirt, leather gloves and a welding helmet. A leather work coat or apron can also be worn to protect clothing from sparks.

Step 3

Open the acetylene and oxygen tank valves. Start with the acetylene tank. Open the main valve a half-turn. Open the regulator valve until you reach a psi of 5 as indicated on the pressure dial. Open the main valve of the oxygen tank all the way. Open the regulator valve until you reach a psi of 10.

Step 4

Open the torch valves and light the flame. Open the acetylene torch valve slightly. Light the gas with a flint welding striker (always point the torch away from you). Adjust the flame until there is no dark smoke being emitted. Then open the oxygen torch valve and adjust until you achieve a neutral, blue flame.

Step 5

Heat the area of the rod to be bent with the torch until it is glowing bright red-orange. Turn off the torch valves. Turn off the oxygen torch valve first, followed by the acetylene.

Step 6

Grab hold of the end of the rod (do not grab around the heated area, grab above it) and pull it over the jaw of the vise to bend it. Use a hammer to hit the rod just above the heated area to help create a sharp angle.

Step 7

Allow the rod to cool or submerge it in cold water.

Things You Will Need

  • Work gloves
  • Welding helmet
  • Leather apron (optional)
  • Table vise
  • Oxy-acetylene torch and tanks
  • Welding flint striker

About the Author

Mason Howard is an artist and writer in Minneapolis. Howard's work has been published in the "Creative Quarterly Journal of Art & Design" and "New American Paintings." He has also written for art exhibition catalogs and publications. Howard's recent writing includes covering popular culture, home improvement, cooking, health and fitness. He received his Master of Fine Arts from the University of Minnesota.