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Old 09-16-2007, 07:21 PM
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E-Wheel technique

This is a VERY basic question. In the little bit of wheeling I've done it seems I'm producing the curvature of the metal in the same direction as the wheels are facing (the metal is wrapping around the lower anvil front to back, not side to side across the top of the anvil). I always thought the metal would curve diagonally to the direction of the wheels - in other words it would curve across the top of the lower anvil bending down at each side toward the axle of the lower wheel.

Am I doing something wrong or is this normal? Or is the metal being curved both both side to side and front to back at the same time - and I'm just seeing more of the front to back curvature?

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Old 09-16-2007, 08:25 PM
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That is about normal to me..try turning the metal endo and on a diagonal to get a better feel of what your e-wheel will do..

Sam
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Old 09-17-2007, 07:39 AM
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I'm sure there are more qualified people around here to answer you question but I think the amount of curvature will differer in each direction depending on what size of upper wheel and lower anvils you are using. I find that with my 3 x8 and 3x3 lower I get fairly uniform curvature in both directions.

What is important to remember is that all you are doing in the wheel is stretching and that you will have to rearrange the panel by hand to convert the shape you have created by stretching with the wheel into the desired form you want. I'm very new at this to but it is my understanding that any shape can be created by wheeling in one direction, only it is not practical or effective as you will find your self making very short track where is would be easier to change direction. Changing direction will also help to create a more uniform shape.

hope this helps
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Old 09-17-2007, 07:52 AM
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What is important to remember is that all you are doing in the wheel is stretching and that you will have to rearrange the panel by hand to convert the shape you have created by stretching with the wheel into the desired form you want. I'm very new at this to but it is my understanding that any shape can be created by wheeling in one direction, only it is not practical or effective as you will find your self making very short track where is would be easier to change direction. Changing direction will also help to create a more uniform shape.
That's a good description. Changing the direction will give a smoother appearance also. Dan
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Old 09-17-2007, 09:10 AM
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Yes, I'm changing direction all the time...including 45 degree to 60 degree angles to get the edges done without constantly slipping out from between the wheels. It's not that I can't get my pieces to curve, I can, it's more wondering which direction is supposed to give me the MOST curvature so that I can control and predict how my workpiece is going to curve based on the anvil, direction, and pressure I am using. I get curve...it's just not always predictable or where I want it to be.

I realize a lot of this has to be learned through experience but I was hoping to reduce the learning curve a bit by zeroing in more on the physics and theory of the wheel.

It's interesting, but a search of the web turns up tons of wheeling videos for sale (which I assume discuss wheeling theory as well as technique) but little if anything out there for free which discusses the very basics of what the wheel is (or is supposed to be) doing to the metal. (Yes, yes, yes...I've spent a ton of time on Metalmeet wading through the tutorials and forums, but at least in my searches I haven't stumbled up this very basic sort of discussion on wheel theory.) I see lots of pictures of what folks have DONE, but little on what the wheels were actually doing to make the metal bend in a specific way at a specific time.

I do appreciate the comments so far. Every morsel of new information helps.
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Old 09-17-2007, 03:09 PM
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[QUOTE=cboy] it's more wondering which direction is supposed to give me the MOST curvature so that I can control and predict how my workpiece is going to curve based on the anvil, direction, and pressure I am using. I get curve...it's just not always predictable or where I want it to be.[/QUOTE


As far a predicting which way the panel will curve there is no text book answer as every setup will react different, when the metal is tracked it is stretched, this extra metal must go somewhere and depending on the size and radius of you wheels it may be easier for the panel to arc more in the x direction as apposed to the y direction. If you find that with you wheel it is arcing more in the x direction then use this to your advantage when planing out you tracks. I find that with my wheel it curves about equal in both directions so I usually switch directions as this prevents a lumpy pattern from forming.I was overwhelmed by the unpredictability of the wheel when I started but it became easier when I discovered how easy it is to change the shape of your panel by bending it with your hands.Let me explain


Lets say you track evenly from one side of a panel to the other in one direction and you find that it has curved more in the x direction then the y. if you want to make the curvature even in both directions all you have to do place the panel upside down and push down on the ends to reduce the curve in the x direction. As you have stretched the panel this will both reduce the curve in the x direction and increase the curve in the y direction. I find it hard to create any shape by just tracking, i usually find myself wrestling with the metal a bit.

Do a search on metalmeet for "flexible shape patterns", this will give you an idea on how you must both adjust the shape and form of your panel to achieve the shape you want to create.
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Old 09-17-2007, 04:30 PM
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Just a question. Does tightening the wheel to put more pressure on the metal help getting more of a radius? I noticed Winfield was always tightening his wheel when he was giving us demonstrations. I am no expert by any means, just an observer. Dan
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Old 09-17-2007, 04:44 PM
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Originally Posted by dinger
Does tightening the wheel to put more pressure on the metal help getting more of a radius?
From my very limited experience I'd give a definite yes.

And stepside, thanks for the quick run through. It's good to know things are supposed to be a bit unpredictable. Makes me feel better about what I am seeing. I had a totally different concept in my head going into the wheeling venture (that the metal would always bend side to side rather than front to back). Even today I could predict a bit better what would happen as made various adjustments and changes in direction on the wheel.
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Old 09-17-2007, 06:12 PM
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cboy...are you working any of the metal with your hands? By that I mean as you are going back and forth, are you applying any downwards pressure to the metal? I would think you would have to work it with hand pressure somewhat along with applying the wheel pressure. I remember watching Jesse on West Coast Chopper working a gas tank for the bike and it seemed like after he beat the panel into submission, he used the wheel to smooth it, but also used his hands to raise and lower the metal as he was moving it back and forth.

Kevin
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