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Old 03-05-2007, 06:37 PM
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Anyone build their own English Wheel?

it seems easy. Seems like most important item is the heat treated anvils?
Anyone have any info on a DIY english wheel setup?

What i understand to be is:
A solid large wheel that is bracketed to the structure.

Then an adjustable smaller wheel, some of the wheels have more of a convex contour then others. This bottom wheel is adjustable in it's height, only to apply more or less pressure as you work:


here's a linke to an anvil set, with the radius specs on each wheel:
http://images.google.com/imgres?imgu...%3Den%26sa%3DG

Are the heat treated anvils really necessary? couldn't i make my own anvils on a lathe from steel or even stainless steel?
Am i missing something here? $1200 for an English wheel sounds like BS to me.

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Old 03-05-2007, 06:56 PM
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I found this information using the search function on this site. Click here to review a whole thread about english wheels. Harbor Freight English wheel
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Old 03-05-2007, 07:12 PM
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Riot,there are a couple of posts in knowledege base on how to,I dont know how to post link or I would..........
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Old 03-05-2007, 07:28 PM
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I made my own English wheel from a few scrounged parts.

The frame was made from some discarded mobile home tongues. A couple pieces 4" square tubing and various lengths of scrap strap and pipe. One very long 3/4" fine thread bolt.

The large wheel was made from a cast/wrought steel wheel from a mining or industrial cart. The smaller bearing was a common bearing used on farm equipment. 3/4" hole and about 2 1/2" od. about 2" wide. I spun the bearings (4) up in a lathe and ground varying degrees of crown on the OD's.

The frame was made in the basic "C" formation with the 4" sq. tube as the vertical holder for. A sliding fit smaller sq. tube/shaft that held the large wheel. This was drilled for a pin. To let the large wheel be raised up over six inches if the need was there. The lower wheel/axle assembly was mounted to the large (3/4) fine thread bolt about 15" long. This was then threaded thru a round plate 8" with a 3/4" fine nut welded in the center. This assembly was then dropped into an upright piece if 3" tubing (14") with a plate welded to the top and bottom. These plates had a hole in centers top and bottom that the screw just slip fit thru.

I used this contraption thru the mid seventies/eighties. The only real bugs were. 1 the 8" adjuster wheel wasn't large enuff. Had to use vise grips on it sometimes. 2 the lower wheel tracking, needs to be retained parallel to the upper (some type of guide/retainer)..

Oh well, It worked good enuff that it was stolen, along with many other hand made tools, in a shop break in, in 1990.
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Old 03-06-2007, 05:18 AM
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Stole your handmade tools? While that is definitely a bummer it speaks volumes about the quality of your work!
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Old 03-06-2007, 06:46 AM
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The magazine "Home Shop Machinist" just ran a multiple issue (step by step w/parts lists and drawings) series on building an english wheel. Back issues are available. I am sure the mag will come up with google. A phone call will let you know which issues are involved.

If I remember right the wheels were the diffucult part. I had no interest in building one so I just skipped over the articles just to pick up on any machining tricks that might be included.
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Old 03-06-2007, 08:32 AM
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Like you I was thinking about building one but I just found this E wheel at Harbor Freight. I've seen it on sale for $249 and if you are on their mailing list they occasionally send out coupons worth 15%-20% off which would make it closer to $200. It looks pretty sturdy and for hobbiest like me it would probably never wear out. You can't hardly beat that price especially considering the parts and labor it would take to build one.

Good luck,

Jerry
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Old 03-06-2007, 01:37 PM
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Go to Metalmeet.com they have all the information you could possibly want. Several builders are there as well. I have the Imperial 26F, and have never wished it were bigger or stronger. Kerry's wheel is pretty versatile as well. AND HE WILL SELL YOU PARTS !!!

You can make as much or little as you want. Hoosier Pattern makes awesome upper/lower wheels.
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Old 03-06-2007, 06:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Henry Highrise
I found this information using the search function on this site. Click here to review a whole thread about english wheels. Harbor Freight English wheel
This Harbor frieght item seems to be a fair price. I just want to do some small body panels and some roof section when i chop the top off the chevrolet i am picking up.

This seems kind of small in the picture but $300 seems like a great deal and even if it ends up being too small, i could always cut it and strech it out right? the wheels and the adjustment wheel seems to be worth nearly $300 alone.

Maching those wheels on a manual lathe would be difficult to keep the precision and i am not sure how important the radius of those wheels needs to be?
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Old 03-06-2007, 08:48 PM
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Here is a link to a E wheel build tutorial English wheel build. I built my adjuster using the method shown here easy to build and works great.
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Old 03-07-2007, 11:07 AM
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Riot,
Cutting/adding to that wheel frame is last thing you would want to do. The frames need to be extremly strong, or they don't work worth a darn. Put the money in a good set of wheels, and build the frame yourself. When you are done, you have something you can use.
When you think its overkill on the frame, you're about 1/2 way there. These beasts have to crush 18-20 ga steel. Think about how much force it is to deflect metal with a hammer. CONCENTRATED load. Remember, you need to squeeze the metal thickness as well, when shaping a panel. Its not as simple as watching Jesse James or Gene Winfield do it in 10 minutes. Panels take HOURS with excellent equipment. Something, somewhere tells me that the pressure needed was like 20,000 pounds./sq inch of pressure. I DO NOT remember exactly what, but it was a very large number. More than enough to deflect 3x5 tubing.
The more flexible the frame is, the more work YOU have to do.

HF does not give specs on the wheels to see what type radius they are.
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Old 03-07-2007, 11:19 AM
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You also have to think about the anvils. Wether or not there true radius or have a contact flat. It makes a world of difference in your technique. Building a good english wheel is sorta like build a bridge, it has to be strong or it won't work. Go to www.metalmeet.com or www.metalshapers.com and does some research.

Kris,
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Old 03-07-2007, 11:50 AM
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I agree with most of the posters...If you make the frame as big and heavy as you think it may need to be then make it stronger then you are on a good track..critical thing is the alignment of the wheels so they crush and not bend the metal.

Get the good wheels if you can afford it as they are a lot smoother and hold up better..

I have some HF stuff and it is barely OK..

Sam
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Old 03-07-2007, 11:02 PM
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English Wheel Building, On A Budget!
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Old 03-07-2007, 11:26 PM
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check ebay they always have print on there for stuff like that. You can usually find prints with parts links or how to make parts listed on them.
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