At long last, I now have a Tube Bender! This means that I can actually start fabricating the frame for the Mountain Wheelchair!
There were lots of tube benders to choose from, all of which were beyond on my budget, that is until I found this. This “Affordable Bender” came all the way from America, complete with dies to bend the two sizes of alloy tube I intend to use, and all for approx £500. Considering that the dies alone usually cost about £400, this was an absolute bargain!
I don’t expect this to last a lifetime, or to be able to produce complex bends, but it should be sufficient to get at least one Mountain Wheelchair built. In fact, given what I paid for it, I’m rather impressed with the performance. It produces smooth bends without kinks and is quite easy to operate. I’ve also been pleasantly surprised at how well the alloy tube copes with being bent. According to what I’ve read, alloy has a tendency to snap rather than bend. So all in all, it’s looking positive for the wheelchair.