Bending Update

I know what you're thinking. "Another friggin' post about bending stuff? Just buy a press brake* already..."

The reason for hitting this topic again is that I had another small breakthrough last night. So you will have some idea of what I'm talking about, the pic below shows the steel stock I am currently bending.
The nails are laid out in order of difficulty from left to right; white, green, yellow, blue, and the ridiculously hard red. You can also see my bending pads, which are two 12"x12" pieces of cordura (similar to the stuff of which backpacks are made), folded in thirds and then tightly rolled and secured with rubber bands.

Stock Dimensions
White - 3/16"x6" Beginner 1
Green - 3/16"x5" Beginner 2
Yellow - 1/4"x7" Intermediate
Blue - 1/4"x6" Advanced
Red - 5/16" x 7" Insane

After bending the IronMind yellow nail yesterday, I decided to take the day off from bending. In fact, I took the day off from all exercise because I am ill. It's just a minor head cold, but I did feel pretty crappy today. When I got home from my evening class, I ate some leftover pasta and took some NyQuil. I expected to crash pretty quickly, but an hour later I was still awake, so I decided to bend a few nails prior to bed.

After a couple warm-up bends with green nails, I decided to tackle two white nails at once. With my newly polished technique, I found the double white to be pretty easy. I knew that I should stop after that, but I really wanted to bend the blue, so I wrapped it up and went to work on it.

It took about 5 minutes to get it done. I took two breaks of about a minute each where I put the nail down, shook out my hands and cursed a lot. My initial attempt put about a 30 degree kink in it, but after that it didn't budge for several very long minutes. I just kept at it, until I finally felt it begin to move. At that point, I started to notice the ends of the steel digging into my palms through the cloth pads, but I pushed through it and got it finished.

Soon, I will do battle with the red nail. But not today - my hands are wrecked and my arms are killing me now...

*Ok, you probably aren't saying EXACTLY that unless you have worked in a metal shop. A press brake is a tool that is used to make precise bends in sheet and bar stock...


becca said...

I never thought I would hear the words "I just decided to bend some nails before bed . . . "

What do you do with the bent nails? Can you unbend them and then re bend them? Will you eventually pound them into something (a trophy case built with bent exercise nails?

His Sinfulness said...


Good question! Some people work the bent nails back and forth until they break as another form of hand exercise. I haven't tried that yet, but it sounds really painful...

My plan for the bent ones is to give them to my roommate who is an artist. She will make something cool out of them, I'm sure. :)

Mayren said...

no judgement on the new hobby. just along for the ride here.
i'm torn between cocking my head to the side and watching you and wanting to cheer for you?

His Sinfulness said...


I understand - I've spent the last few months with my head cocked to one side while watching YouTube vidoes of bending...

It's hard to explain, but it is very satisfying, and more than a bit addictive. Although I really need to take a day off, I am mentally planning my next bending session. I'm going to try some two bar bends - a green and a white, then two greens, and then a yellow and a white...

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