Making a rail bender

I've been itching to lay down the last of the railroad track around our yard for a very long time. First we had to finish the house and establish the grades in the yard. Then we got Becke's modular home on the property and had to readjust the grades in that area. Once that was done the wonderful weather of summer made it far too warm to do the heavy work of laying track. The fall has been super busy to date but today it was finally time to begin the task. The first order of business was to build a new rail bender as my first attempt worked but the home made tool was a little light for the task and was starting to deform badly as it takes a great deal of force to bend a rail and I had under engineered the tool. We acquired the CNC plasma cutter since my last attempt and that made the task a whole lot easier and quicker! I designed the files on the computer and then let the machine do the cutting from the half inch steel plate. A little grinding, fitting and a bunch of welding completed the task in less than two hours from start to finish. The result is a very sturdy rail bending jig. I'll hook up the hydraulic cylinder tomorrow and start bending some rail. I'll post a video of that tomorrow.

Dan Sawatzky1 Comment