We decided upon the MidAmerican EZ Bend tubing bender and we couldn't be happier with its quality, performance, and price. For anyone following in our footsteps, be advised that Craftsman makes a generic tool stand (see photo below) that is a perfect fit for the EZ Bend.
The debate that preceded the bending of the main hoop was typical for our team - it was lengthy and loud. If our team has a problem, it is that we have a 2:1 debate to work ratio. I have to give Kang credit for pushing us forward. I think other team members, in fear of turning a $66 piece of steel tubing into a worthless pretzel, went into analysis paralysis. But it was Kang who remained steadfast and insisted that we had it figured-out already and we needed to man-up and start bending.
Kang looks confident, while Eric keeps things steady, and Ken (working the foot pedal) looks dubious.
Kang carefully checks the angle.
Hoop! Our first main hoop!
I couldn't be happier with our first attempt at a main hoop. It fit almost as well as we had hoped on our very first try. I was honestly expecting to have to make two or three before we made one that worked. I'm very proud of my team. Still, that was only the beginning. We still have the front roll hoops to bend, door bars to make, mounting plates to be welded. Also, the seat still needs to be mounted and the front-end needs to be finished. Then we need to make sure the car runs. The race is in 40 days. I'm shitting myself.