making a shower curtian/hoop from 15mm chrome tubing

28 Apr 2004
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United Kingdom
sorry that this isn't strictly a plumbing question however it does involve plumbing tools so you guys would be the best people to help me.

I want to make a circular shower hoop with a 70cm diamater from 15 mm chromed copper tube. I thought i could buy some pipe benders and bend the pipe into a circle.

What i want to know is can pipe benders do this or will the tube get in the way of it's self if im trying to do a full circle, and how easy would it be to get a reasonable looking circle.

Yes I know you can buy these but they are either too big (90cm) or too expensive.
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Hate to say this, but although it may be possible, I don't think it'll look very good. Pipe benders stretch the pipe so any attempt to make a uniform circle by this method will not look good.
It would be very difficult to make a seamless circle. Pipe benders are designed to bend to a radius of the order of 5-10cm. It would be nigh on impossible to bend a little bit, then slide it out, bend a bit more etc.

You can buy ready made ones

These are quite pricey, but the top one, at £90, is not much more than a heavy-duty pipe bender and a few lengths of chromed pipe (bending does take some practice to get it right).
ok thanks for the advise i think i will have to forget this idea. Im glad i didn't buy a pipe bender!
Thanks for the link Andy although that one is too large and also a bit too pricey. I have found someone in wembly who can make me one from a stainless steel bar for about 50 quid so i think i might have to go down that route.

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You may be able to do it using a bending spring which stops the pipe from collapsing as it is bent. Would be worth finding something the correct diameter to bend the pipe around or cut a former from 18mm ply / MDF.

Yes, it wouldn't be hard with a spring I think. You can even get chrome plated solder fittings. Tees might be useful to give supporting legs?
I dunno: only experience I ever had of trying to bend a pipe with a spring ended up with the spring irretrievable from inside the pipe! Jammed in there, couldn't get it to budge.

So I went and hired a bender. A mechanical one, not a rent-boy. :rolleyes:
The trick with a spring is always to bend a little further than you want, then back a bit. Then the spring will fall out, unless you tried to bend too tight a radius.
Tie a bit of string to the loop on the end of the spring, thats what it's there for. 350mm radius should not be a problem.

Forget the whole idea of bending a chromium plated tube. Chrome is not maleable (ie, doesn't like being stretched or bent). Even if you manage to bend the tube really smoothly, the plating will crack and come off in flakes.

An alternative would be to bend a standard copper tube, and then take it to an electroplaters for plating.

The easiest way to bend the tube would be to make a former from wood, router the edge (to give the profile of the tube you are using), and wrap the tube around it using a pulley wheel on a trammel.
ok thanks guys. i have a pipe spring so i think ill give that a try, using an mdf former. Ill let you know the outcome regarding the chrome flaking off.
im sure youve thought of it allready

is it for hanging a shower curtain on :?: :?:
if so have you thought about how you support it

big all
yeah its for hanging a curtain on. If i make it out of chromed tubing i was going to hang it from the ceiling with a cuple of chrome pipe clips, the ones that hold the pipe an inch or 2 from the wall, like you see used for urinals etc.
However if i am going to have to make it from 2 semi circles then i may need to join the 2 halfs with compression tees and then use them to attach it to the ceiling some how.
so yes i've thought about it but not very thoroughly as you can see.
the point iwas making youll need clips that pass the supports
unless you happy with just pulling the curtain back

and would a bit of tube or pipe internaly not look better

big all

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