BENDING SHORT STEEL BARS, BOLTS AND NAILS by David Horne
The exhibiting of bending steel bars and nails has long been an integral part of most professional strongman's repertoire, basically because the lay-man would appreciate the difficulty, and understand the feat. From the times of Topham in the 18th century, through the Golden Age of vaudeville strongmanism (late 1800's - early 1900's) to the modern grip athletes they have all bent varying lengths, and strengths of steel.
Nails, bolts and bars come in all different lengths, widths and strengths. Obviously the longer the bar is, the easier it is to bend, and of course if it's too short it's unbendable. Nowadays most short bar bends are of a bar, bolt or nail measuring 5-7" long. The strength of the bar, bolt or nail will depend on the width, and what kind of steel (Cold Rolled Steel, Hot Rolled Steel and Mild Steel) it is manufactured from. Other points to look for are whether it is tempered or hardened, the composition of the steel, and the country it is manufactured in. There is no need to delve any deeper here on the metallurgy of bars as we have companies now that produce bars specifically for bending. These companies are IronMind, FBBC and of course the Torque Bars that we sell. These companies have their own certification systems and lists so you can see how you compare with others. This has attracted even more people to bend steel which in turn has produced some incredible bends.
A lot of bends from the Golden Age were done using the braced style; this is where you bend the bar over your thigh. Although some unbraced bending was done, the styles and rules got penned by Pat Povilaitis and I in 2003 and later Eric Milfeld. The sport of bending has grown immensly since then with bending being featured in many contests to date.
STEEL SHREDDER CONTESTS
TORQUE! Test your wrist and hand strength with the Ultimate steel bending event!
REVERSE STYLE BENDING (UNBRACED)
FREESTYLE BENDING (UNBRACED)
DOUBLE UNDERHAND BENDING (UNBRACED)
PAST BAR BENDING CONTESTS
CLIMBING AND BENDING