Bending threaded rod

I need to make some brackets for my roof rack. I’m using 10-24 threaded rod. A 90 degree bend will work (and look) better than a U shape. Is it better to heat the rod, or can I bend it cold and come out alright?

I’m using them to attach blocks to the rack to alleviate lateral movement of the boat so I don’t expect it to be under a very high stress, nor is it a critical load bearing member.

be aware
even though not load bearing, the threads are built in defects. The vee notches will localize stress and could become a point of failure during bending or in later use. If steel is not already heat tempered, additional heating should do no harm.

Could you bend some smooth stock and thread to suit?

Yes, thanks for pointing that out. I’ve always had mixed results bending screws and that explains it rather well. I don’t know if the rod is heat treated. It’s std. hardware store stock, zinc plated.

Using smooth stock and threading it would be a good option if I had a the tools. I should look into the cost of a die.

local shop might be answer
if the die isn’t available or you just don’t want to bother, lots of small local machine shops can cut the threads in some smooth rod for you. on the other hand, it’s an excuse to buy a tool and i don’t sneeze at them!

Try your local Tractor store
You are describing a standard inexpensive part available in various widths and diameters at a tractor supply store. I think I may have even bought some at a large ACE hardware store.

More tools ;^)

If they are not structural
Why not just strap on the blocks with indutrial strength tie wraps. They come in black and they make very heavy duty ones.

Factory or add-on rack?
Because Thule and Yakima both make a canoe gunwale bracket that will do what you want. I have a Thule rack that rides higher than the factory rack of my van which is a good thing since I always seem to have to load my 17’ MR Explorer by my self but I haven’t gone the route of using brackets yet. I simply wrapped pipe insulation around the cross bars and slide the canoe onto the rack from the rear. I tie the front and rear down and then strap the canoe to both of the racks. It doesn’t move a bit plus the pipe insulation protects the rack and the gunwales. You do have to throw a few wraps of tape around the insulation to keep it in place though. It has glued edges which seals it around a pipe but it’s not meant to have a canoe slide over it. It’s not pretty but it works well. The Thule bracket would be a pretty solution but they are also about $70 and no one seems to stock them so I would have to order them.

Get it cherry red
and bend it over a form. Use a hammer. If you bend it cold you are more likely to tear it.

What Scott said
…and do not quench. Just let it cool to ambient.

These are indeed available commercially and realitively cheap too…TSC has these…

Thule blocks
Yes, the Thule canoe blocks are quite nice. I actually owned a set for a day. Unfortunately my cross bars are too narrow to use them. The rack on my car is “factory”, made by Thule so they fit on the bars like any Thule rack, but I couldn’t get them to work.

Thanks for the other comments as well.

Tractor store
Tractor store - yes I recall seeing a lot of square brackets on that type of equipment. My local ACE store has some but the smallest they have is about 2.5 in. wide. I need more like a 1.5 in. one.

The tie wraps are an option too, though I have had problems cinching them down in some cases.

To both comments.

Don’t Breathe the Fumes
The zinc plating will burn off before you get it cherry red. Avoid breathing in the fumes.

Muffler clamps are a cheap way to get U-bolts. They are not square cornered, but they are strong and at about $1.29 to $2 are a bargain for something that you can tighten till the rod bends or the rack collapses.

dies cheap
you can buy a set of tap an die set for less than 20 at sears an its good for ever

… and cut the threads AFTER bending…
if you think you are going to be grabbing them in the bending process. Not because you might mess them up … just same potential problems as bending threaded rod as above… especially w/ stainless.

to just drill a couple of holes in a piece of flat strap and drive a 1/4" carriage bolt into it. Make the hole slighly oversized and the “nut” portion of the carriage bolt will seat itself into the hole and allow you to tighten a nut onto it. Drill a 1/4" hole in a block of wood to act as an anvil and you can pound the carriage bolt in without deforming the flat strap. Or you can use still use #10 machine screws but I think that’s rather small. You can also just get a tap and thread the hole to act as a nut. In order to prevent rust you can use simply use stainless steel allthread (which might be hard to find) or brass (which I know Home Depot is at least supposed to carry). An acorn nut would give it a finished look.

If you’re handy with wood you can make your stop block longer. Cut a hole in it the size of your bar so that about an inch of wood would extend below the center line of the hole. Drill holes through the block and then split the block across the hole. That would leave the hole smaller than the bar which would allow the block to clamp itself onto the bar. It also means that the holes line up for a bolt to go through.

Well, it’s just a thought.