Straighten Bent Heads The Easy WayContributed by Lee Sears of A-1 Yards Unlimited:
I feel certain there must be many others around the country who, like me, have spent hours heating, cutting and splicing in an often vain attempt to straighten a bent sweeping head. If so, then you'll be as happy as I was to discover a truly slick way to straighten one out.
To use the technique, you'll first need to get a couple sections of stout pole, each about 15' long. Put your bent sweeping head on edge, and put one of the poles into the intake and the other one into the outlet hole on the other side.
All that's needed from that point is to lift into the bend by applying pressure on the appropriate pole. I have found that I need to slightly overbend, sometimes, to get it to be perfectly straight when released. Hours and days of heating and welding are over in 10 minutes.
By the way, when drag bars bent, we used to straighten them and then reinforce them before re-use. One day we were short on time and just straightened, without adding any reinforcement. When the head subsequently hit something and the bars rebent, I decided that was actually a better way to do it. Because the drag bars gave way easier, it gave some cushion to the head and it came away undamaged. And, of course, drag bars are much easier to straighten than sweeping heads.
Editor's Note: When we first received this Tip, there was general skepticism about how well it would work. Since publishing it, however, several other contractors have called to confirm that it works fine if the head is just twisted. Well-padded (so they fit tightly into the intake/exhaust tubes) 4x4s will even do the job.
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