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Old April 6, 2016   #1
FourOaks
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Default Anyone familiar with "Hoop Benders"?

I don't want to start a war or anything. I just want to make sure im not missing something.

There is a particular company selling "Hoop Benders" for High Tunnel, Low Tunnel,etc. production. The benders come in different varieties depending on your needs. Some are listed as "Professional" and some as "Hobbyist". The website claims that they are the inventors of said product.

The benders only make one size of hoop.

The benders are made from 3 pieces of pipe. 2 of which are bent into the radius needed to bend your pipe.

I was looking at a Hoop Bender for a 12 foot wide High Tunnel. Im considering a 12x48, mostly to put flats of plants in for spring and fall sales.

The bender is something like $53 plus shipping.

I decided that I wasnt about to shell out roughly $70 for something that could be easily built. So.. I made my owner bender from a scrap of 2x6 cut into a arch and a piece of pipe strap to hold the pipe in place. Total cost. About $1 The most complicated part is figuring out the length of the arc needed to create the radius.

I went this morning and bought two pieces of chain link fence rail, which is what the "Hoop Bender" people use, and went at it. In a matter of about 5 minutes had my 12 foot bow made. I pounded some scrap rebar into the ground and slipped the bow into place. My bow looks pretty darn good if I do say so myself.

Am I just missing something, that explains why the Hoop Benders are so expensive? Anyone use one, and can you justify the price?

Last edited by FourOaks; April 6, 2016 at 01:03 PM.
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Old April 6, 2016   #2
BigVanVader
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I think a pic tutorial would be good , I have wanted to try and build one but math and I are like oil and water and sometimes I get tired of having to make/build every single thing from scratch so I can see why some people would rather just pay.
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Old April 6, 2016   #3
FourOaks
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Originally Posted by BigVanVader View Post
I think a pic tutorial would be good , I have wanted to try and build one but math and I are like oil and water and sometimes I get tired of having to make/build every single thing from scratch so I can see why some people would rather just pay.
I agree with the idea that their is a customer for every product coming and going... but gouging is something else.

On the pic tutorial I will work on that. Watch for the update. Hopefully I can get that on this evening.
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Old April 6, 2016   #4
ChristinaJo
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Check out www.lostcreek.net
They've got how to videos and instructions.
I was weak and bought them. I purchased them on sale,though. I'm happy with them.
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Old April 6, 2016   #5
Cole_Robbie
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I have the lost creek high tunnel bender, the one that is supposed to make a 20' wide high tunnel hoop out of three pieces of top rail. Here's a pic. I spent more money building the table to mount it to than I did on the bender:
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Old April 6, 2016   #6
pecker88
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Originally Posted by FourOaks View Post
I don't want to start a war or anything. I just want to make sure im not missing something.

There is a particular company selling "Hoop Benders" for High Tunnel, Low Tunnel,etc. production. The benders come in different varieties depending on your needs. Some are listed as "Professional" and some as "Hobbyist". The website claims that they are the inventors of said product.

The benders only make one size of hoop.

The benders are made from 3 pieces of pipe. 2 of which are bent into the radius needed to bend your pipe.

I was looking at a Hoop Bender for a 12 foot wide High Tunnel. Im considering a 12x48, mostly to put flats of plants in for spring and fall sales.

The bender is something like $53 plus shipping.

I decided that I wasnt about to shell out roughly $70 for something that could be easily built. So.. I made my owner bender from a scrap of 2x6 cut into a arch and a piece of pipe strap to hold the pipe in place. Total cost. About $1 The most complicated part is figuring out the length of the arc needed to create the radius.

I went this morning and bought two pieces of chain link fence rail, which is what the "Hoop Bender" people use, and went at it. In a matter of about 5 minutes had my 12 foot bow made. I pounded some scrap rebar into the ground and slipped the bow into place. My bow looks pretty darn good if I do say so myself.

Am I just missing something, that explains why the Hoop Benders are so expensive? Anyone use one, and can you justify the price?
I bought the johnnyseeds gothic high tunnel 14' wide bender. It would have prob. worked with 1-3/8" chain link fence material, but I used industrial grade 1-5/8" material. It made all 22 bows but it def. wasn't designed for this material. The cheater bars that came with it were a complete joke. They kinked in 1/2 after 1 attempt with the 1-5/8" pipe. We had to use 6' long 2" sch 40 pipe for cheater bars.

Cost was $90+shipping which is a complete rip off. Yes it worked but generally was cheaply made (prob < $5 of material). It did save time though; building the bender would have taken quite awhile. Dunno, but now there it sits in the garage.

Last edited by pecker88; April 6, 2016 at 02:50 PM.
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Old April 6, 2016   #7
Worth1
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I dont know why you would think you would start a war.
As for the math I put on some thread here how to do this with a drawing but I cant find the drawing.
Is is very very easy.
Here is the so called math.
If you want a 12 foot tall hoop then you will have to have a little over 37 feet of pipe.
That half circle is called the radius so a circle with a 12 foot radius is 24 feet in diameter.
The 24 feet will be multiplied by 3.14.
This will give you 75.36 this is the circumference.
Divide 75.36 by 2 and you get 37.68.

Now to get that on a plywood form all you need to do is take string a screwdriver or what ever and a pencil and use it as a gig compass.

Look for tubing rollers.

Worth
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Old April 6, 2016   #8
FourOaks
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Thanks everyone. I was curious if anyone here had used one, and yall haven't disappointed.

Worth, you hit the nail on the head. Thats pretty much how I made mine. As far as my "start a war" comment, I really dont want to bad mouth a product. But clearly, from the comments made, I have a good reason to question the price. And we are clearly discussing the same company here.

For anyone wondering what were yammering on, Ill show you how to do this. Now you can make ANY size hoop, with a dirt cheap hoop bender that can be made in very short order, to any size. I have included photos at the bottom for your viewing pleasure.

Step 1.

How wide is your hoop house. Lets assume 12 Foot. Thats what im building.

Step 2.

Determine your radius. A 12 footer has a radius of 6 foot.

Step 3.

Gather some supplies. A sharpie, some string, some misc screws, a drill, a tape measure, a 2x4 and a scrap of 2x6 (or 2x8, or x10, or x12) I couldn't locate a decent scrap of 2x6 so I used a cut off 2x4. I made the actual prototype with a 2x6 which for strength I would recommend. See photo 1.

Step 4.

Take your scrap of 2x6 and find the center. I would hazard a guess that the minimum length should be around 24 inches. This will give you plenty of bending radius. 36 inches would work really well. Be sure to mark the center of your scrap as shown by Photo 2. Butt the long 2x4 up against the long edge of the 2x6. Make a"T" shape.

Step 5.

Measure in 1 inch from the top of your "T", mark this with your sharpie. See photo 3.

Step 6.

Continue measuring up the length of the long 2x4 until you reach 6 foot. Now add 1 extra inch. 6 foot because this is your radius, plus 1 inch because you measured in 1 inch in the previous step. See photo 4.

Step 7.

At the 6 foot plus 1 inch mark that you just made, run in a wood screw, and tie on a string. Use string that won't stretch. Photo 5.

Step 8.

Place your sharpie on the original 1 inch mark and tie the string around it. The string should be taut. See Photo 6.

Step 9.

Now swing your marker from one side of the 2x6 to the other. Try to keep the string taut, and the sharpie 90 degrees to the wood.

Congratualtions you now have an arch. See photo 7.

Step 10.

Cut the arch out. I used a bandsaw, but a jig saw would work just fine. Just follow the line and take your time. Photo 8.

Step 11.

On one end you need to mount something like a pipe clamp or pipe strap. I use a 1.5 inch strap. I straightened the sides and attached with screws. Leave some play. If the strap is too tight you wont be able to slide the pipe thru it. See photo 9.

Step 12.

Mount your hoop bender to something really stout. I mounted mine to the side of my well house. I built the well house and darn well know its not going anywhere any time soon. I mounted it about 7 foot up in the air, to allow the pipe plenty of bending room. Photo 9.

There you go. Now you can make any size bender you want easily. If anyone wants, Ill do a bending tutorial tomorrow. The official mfr. has instructions that span something like 46 pages. I can sum it up in a couple paragraphs.
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Old April 6, 2016   #9
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Excellent job.
So the hoop house is 6 feet tall and 12 feet wide right?

Worth
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Last edited by Worth1; April 6, 2016 at 07:22 PM.
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Old April 6, 2016   #10
FourOaks
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Excellent job.
So the hoop house is 6 feet tall and 12 feet wide right?

Worth
Worth, the pipe im using is 10'6". Because of that, its not a perfect circle. It comes out to be a bit over 6.5 feet tall. Yes, it is 12 feet wide.

Looks like you would need 9.42 feet of pipe to get a perfect circle. (each section I should say.)
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Old April 6, 2016   #11
PhilaGardener
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Great job! Thanks for sharing the instructions and especially the pictures!
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Old April 6, 2016   #12
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Thanks! Seems simple enough.
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Old April 6, 2016   #13
Cole_Robbie
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I don't see a way to secure the hoop to the rebar stake? My first greenhouse was a Clearspan kit. The ground stakes are slightly larger pipe than the hoops, which slide into them and then carriage bolt together.
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Old April 7, 2016   #14
FourOaks
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilaGardener View Post
Great job! Thanks for sharing the instructions and especially the pictures!
Thank you, and your welcome. I like pictures because it is true, a picture is worth a thousand words.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BigVanVader View Post
Thanks! Seems simple enough.
It really is that simple. Obviously different size bows/hoops would require different amounts of pipe. If you go to the "Hoop Bender Peoples" website they have the info. on quantities of pipe, etc.

On another note, if you dont want to fool with their website, and you want a simple calculator:

http://math.about.com/library/blcirclecalculator.htm

If you plug 12 in the box for diameter it will tell you the circumference is 37.6991118. Divide 37.6991118 by 2 (because you are making a half circle) your answer is 18.845. Thats how much pipe you need per bow to make a perfect half circle. Obviously we dont have to be that accurate. Im not cutting the pipe down.

A 20 foot wide hoop:

62.83/2 = 31.41

You would use 3 pieces of the pipe.

The calc. is nice because you can check on how much waste you might have, without going thru the trouble to actually make the bender and bend the pipe. For instance, lets say you wanted a 16 foot wide house.

50.26/2 = 25.13

You have 2 options. Cut off roughly 5 feet of pipe, or do the math and leave approx. 2.5 five feet on each side straight.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cole_Robbie View Post
I don't see a way to secure the hoop to the rebar stake? My first greenhouse was a Clearspan kit. The ground stakes are slightly larger pipe than the hoops, which slide into them and then carriage bolt together.
Obviously this is something that an individual would have to take into consideration based on their location. If I lived in the Plains or the Midwest, then I wouldnt hesitate to use concrete for anchors.
Im in the Piedmont region of NC, so no coastal winds and no mountain snows. Its pretty ideal really. With that being said, I will probably use the same method that is on my small GH. It uses 30 inch ground stakes with steel cable in each corner. So far, so good.

Last edited by FourOaks; April 7, 2016 at 09:14 AM.
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Old April 8, 2016   #15
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good write-up, thank you
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