So adding a dial indicator makes it a "precision" rail bender? LOL! What I cannot see from your photo is how would one push this along the rails? My understanding was that you pushed it back adn forth and wiht the dial indicator in teh way that's rough to do with this model.
I've got a Train Li dual rail bender and while I did not splurge on the code 250 rollers (I should have) I'm just starting to make plans to use it soon. So my experience is nil at this time.
I did not post all the pictures as I have the web site there. I know nothing about this bender that is why I am asking. I am not implying that this is a good bender. I want to know if anyone has one of these and if they like it or not.
IMO, and after looking at their website, a rail bender is not a high precision device requiring frills like a dial indicator. Simplicity of use and solid construction are all that is needed. That said, I have built an extensive railroad using flexible track in 6ft lengths, with both a Train-Li bender and a single-rail one by Lindsay.
I understand the "theory" for adding the indicator to the bender, but not the practicallity. If you notice the chart included in the ad, those are very small movements of the indicator to make your bends. I doubt very much that the bender would hold "repeatabilty" every time you make those bends. As a tool and die maker by trade before my retirement, I used indicators on lathes and mills to return to a given position, for repeatable cuts. But you DON'T move the machine-you move the table or slide. With this bender. every move you make to move the bender along your track, you will probably jar the indicator position. You are only talking about just a few .000. NOT practical.
I have used G Specialties dual rail bender and very happy with it. A lot less $$$$$.
I stand corrected on the price (humble apology). When I purchased my bender at SWGRS last June, Jonathan Bliese had the G Specialties bender for about the same price as the one you are talking about. The indicator is STILL impractical, IMHO.
I believe when I saw this first it did not have the dial indicator, so you just grabbed hold of the center to move it along the track. I'd much rather have a scale and no dial indicator so I could get a good grip on it to use.
My recollection was that it was very light and did not feel substantial, but that is not really important, it's how well it's machined and the tolerances it is made to.
Maybe someone will speak up and give some long term experience to help your decision Jason. If you don't get feedback and you want to save some $$, check the one from Robby at RLD for $240, it's definitely substantial and made well.
My apologies..I did not notice the web link at first....still my thought is how are you going to push this back and forth with that "accurate imported dial indicator" mounted where it is? Even a porrly machined dual track bender will do the job. I got a giggle out of each turn of the knob being exactly .050 of an inch = 3/64" Hmmm? Precision rounding to a fraction? As Is aid I've not yet used my Train Li bender BUT from reports on other threads that influenced my purchasing decision was that running the bender back and forth multiple times at varying settings to acheive the desired radius was the norm? Depending on track material too. I'm using stainless so that was what I paid the most attention to. Brass forms easier. At least initially. All materials work harden to some degree and if we are re-forming already bent or curved track it's already been worked once from the factory. Your mileage may vary of course but looking at it completely from an ease of use ow do you push this back and forth on the track? Dial indicators from MSC or McMaster Carr are pretty in-expensive to replace but I'd rather not have to becuase I accidently pushed on it?
The principle of operation for this rail bender is no different then that of Train Li bender. Too me I do not see any real big difference. Who cares if it has a dial indicator.
The question is have you used this bender?
how well does it work?
is it better than most or worse?
How hard is it to operate? etc
You can not give an opinion on a product if you have never used it
Well, you can give a limited opinion, like "where do you hold it?", and I have held and operated the previous version without the dial indicator and I did not like it. It has to be worse with the indicator in the way. I feel fully justified in this opinion, and it's reasonable even if you have not operated it.
I think that people could make this statement even if they have not used it because it's pretty obvious.
So, there's part of your "how hard is it to operate?" question.
So, I agree, direct experience is best, but people are trying to be helpful.
Maybe I'm the only person on this thread who has actually held one and actually run it over some rail? (did it at Jonathan's booth at a show).
Anyway, maybe some people with extensive use of one, or who have used one with the dial indicator will pop up.
I noticed that this bender works the rail head, while others work the railweb.
Anyone tried both methods and does the track bend at 90 degrees to level? Or does bending one side cause a twist?
Regarding the dial indicator..overkill and fragile as located. I have a one rail On3 bender and the 'dial' is a sliding scale driven by the same roller adjusting screw and all internal. Granted this is for much smaller rail, but the principal could transfer.
Engineering is never done in fractions! 0.50 is a round off as opposed to 0.47 and the line marker is bigger too.
A note: I do not believe any "dual rail" bender works on the web. The ones I have used (Train-Li, Massoth, RLD, Aristo and this one) work on the railhead. If a bender worked on the web, it could not go over rail joiners.
John - Engineering is most certainly done in fractions. Machining is rarely (if ever!) done in fractions. Beigna drafter designer by trade I can design in the two software programs in fractions as well as decimal and in metric and convert between them at will (some easier than others). Thus taking the product developments groups request to add 3/64's to something and make a thread that will advance the rollers by exactly .050. It is truly a mnor thing though and best left to those who have to decide how it works for them. It drives me bonker for folks to use in advertising technical terms that they have no clue about how to refer to them without sounding like a snake oil salesman to someone who knows.
Although I do not desiign model train "stuff" I do have a product design background and am currently working on a "very" ergonomic item at work. Form is as important as function in this "item" as with the bender. There are MANY dual rail benders on the market now that function virtually the same. Various differences include types of materials made from and how to hold the bender while working the rails. Regardless of whether I've used the item or not is not as important as if you've used any of them or not or read any of the various topics on this type of bender in the past? Fit and feel while using is VERY subjective. Thus stems my concern that the dial indicator would be in the way especially when usign on stainless steel track where a heavy unit with a firm grip will most likely be needed.
My apologies if my advice or thoughts was not warranted. As with life it's all a learning experience. From using tools and which tool to buy that suits you to interacting on the web. I'd invite you down to Western NY to hlep me layout my simple oval soon with my Train Li unit?
I CAN give an opinion on the rail benders I own AND have used. One is a single rail bender by Sunset Valley and it works great-but one rail at a time. The second I have used a lot is the G Specialties dual tail bender. I have bent aluminum code 250 and brass code 332 (LGB) with it. It is a very substantial in its construction. All NC'ed parts. This is all you need for a nice dual rail bender. I KNOW from experience that the indicator id going to be in the way as you are pushing the bender over the track. From your reply, it seemed like you were being a little hard on the folks trying to give an opinion. Remember rail benders are not "rocket science'. They DO need to be rugged in construction with the wear and tear it will be getting. The indicator being added is NOT a big plus.
I really love the people in this forum. you are all so sensitive. I made the comment "You can not give an opinion on a product if you have never used it" and you all took it way to serious. I am sorry. Greg seems to be the only one that has used this bender and everyone else is talking about other benders. Maybe I am easily confused.
No problem NT! I'm tired and my brain is over flowing with product design meetings and plant layout drawings currently. We purchased a million dollar de-greaser system (think 44 foot long dishwasher) this spring and it needs to be added to the plant layout file. On tp of the regualr daily emergencies from the technicians engineers and various folks from teh plant floor asking for more information or another copy of a print. It's been a hectic day so far! Add in being up late with a "sort of" sick child and I'm a really beat camper today! I did not add in my experiences with single rail benders as I felt it wasn't relevant and they were pleasant. Ebay blunder on one and fun making cork-screws with the other.
I have a train-li dual rail bender, rugged, reliable and vendor support is excellent. Well worth the price I paid. Used by me and several club members on Aluminum, Bras and SS track...Seems it has bent way more track that I own from being loaned out.