Originally Posted by Atomicrider
There's lots of ways to skin a cat, it all depends on what you have available to you. I like to use 6063 for bending, but my point with a previous post with the picture of bends is that if you anneal the metal (6061-t6 which is very hard) it takes the hardness out of in and allows bending. I just used a oxy-acetylene torch to coat the aluminum with soot and then used a neutral flame on a heating torch to "burn" off the soot. Be careful not to overheat and melt the pipe. Once it's cool, then you can use a mandrel bender to bend how you need. Again, it all depends what you have available to you.
this is odd because every materials data sheet implies 6061-t6 hardened pipe doesn't bend it cracks.
as explained to me, this is why nrs uses 6061 for straight sections (side rails and crossbars, which can flex a bit but you don't want your frame remembering the prior trips loads), and 6063 for the stuff they need to bend (like footbar, etc).
but then I've known people who have said they have bent 6061-t6. Now maybe they got lucky, or preheated, or didn't really have the 6061. But based on what I know I would try preheating before bending to remove the hardness around the bend location, or just weld 45's if you dont have a bender but do have a good way of precisely machining.
I'm assuming when you weld two pieces of 6061 plate or pipe that if its going to bend anywhere it will bend near the weld ...