PE bends and rolls

Going to pick up a PE bending tool tomorrow since I’ve recently acquired quite a few kits with PE. I was wondering, how to people make curved edges in PE for example in things like these two pieces here for my T-54 build?

I’d be tempted to make a simple bending form out of a couple pieces of styrene tube or rod (or brass or aluminum, depending on what I have laying around in my shop) that have the correct radius for the bends.

Probably glue them down to a piece of thick sheet styrene and, maybe, fill the gap between them with epoxy putty (troweled and smoothed).

Anneal the brass PE parts and then use a non-marring tool, like a piece of bass wood, to form the PE parts over the form.

If this is a one-time use form, then it only needs to be durable enough to form the coupe of parts shown in the instructions over. However, if the bends need to done for several parts, then it’s worth the time and effort to make the bending form more durable, say out of brass tubing soldered down to a piece of brass sheet. I’d still use epoxy putty to fill the gaps.

It might also be possible to carve the form out of a piece of wood or maybe even styrene, but that would probably take longer than just fabbing it up out of scrap stock laying around.

Forms, jigs, fixtures, templates, gages, etc. are usually worth the little bit of time and effort to make up. They can add a lot of precision to your work and make repetitious jobs a lot easier.


Get a set of cheap drill bits -if you don’t already have one. They come of every size from 1mm up and work great for these round PE parts. I tend to use one slightly smaller than the final part.


I have a gunsmithing set with brass and steel punches for removing various pins and catches, lots of diameters and options already on hand. Now for that piece in your instructions I’d follow SkAufKla recommendation on fabbing a jig to be spot on. But for simple radius bends, anneal and I’d recommend that punch kit, plus if you do own guns its handy to have. I’ve borrowed many a tool from my gun bench and fly tying bench. As varanusk said, you can pick up an index bit set at most hardware stores, if you’re in the US Harbor Freight has a super cheap set, that don’t drill too well but the shafts on the bit is handy doing what we do.

1 Like