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VitalesChopShop

homemade english wheel

6 posts in this topic

a few months ago i found an online schematic for making a vice mounted English wheel out of some ford wheel bearings and tube steel. i entertained the idea of making one but i can't justify having one because i will use it on very rare occasions. has anyone made their own and is it worth the time to make one? this link isn't the original one i saw but the build is almost the exact same.

home made english wheel

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well if you aren't going to use it much why make it? you can get away with just a hammer and dolly for the rare metal job. I'm a firm believer in having the right tool for the job, and so of course i try to have as many tools as possible. if you can do a good job and sell them after your done, it would be worth it. The harbor freight wheels and dies are pretty cheap, and dont have too much run out, so i would just make a metal frame and buy them.

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there are 2 reasons i want to build it. first one is on the occassional sheet metal job i do i want to make sure it looks as good as possible. i've done the bag and hammer method and i can never smooth the metal out enough so i spend hours and hours and dollars and dollars trying to smooth them out to look good. the other reason is i just like to build stuff. any chance i get to break out the welder i'll take it.

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The two things you need in an English wheel are stiffness in the frame, and a choice of radii for the "top" wheel.

Most home built frames won't have enough stiffness and only having one top wheel, sucks.

That said...

I built something similar, and as long as the curve of what you've hammered out matches the top wheel, it's a quick and easy way to planish out panels you've beaten out.

Forget putting any shape into anything though.

When you're trying to planish out by hand, are you using a stake anvil, or a hammer and dolly? Because a stake anvil makes it a lot easier.

For that "Mustang" tank I made, I used the bossing mallet clamped in the vice as a stake anvil and planished everything out on that.

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