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Old 01-27-2005, 06:29 PM
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english wheel

I hope i'm posting this in the right forum. has anyone used or does anyone have any of the fab tools that Eastwood sells. I'm talking about their English wheel and their shrinker- stretcher. Are they any good or does anyone know of another place to get these tools? I'm going to have to make some filler panels for the Merc when I chop it and a couple of other panels also. Thanks

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Old 01-27-2005, 06:49 PM
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The English wheel they sell is a joke! You can buy kits or completes on Ebay that are much better.
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Old 01-27-2005, 06:49 PM
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I have english wheel components from Eastwood. I would suggest making your own C-Frame and welding the other components in. The wheel works great. Start slow. I do not have a shrinker.
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Old 01-27-2005, 07:04 PM
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Go here

http://www.metalmeet.com/forum/index.php

and then enter "english wheel" in the search function to find some great plans and personal experiences with home made EW's.
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Old 01-27-2005, 08:09 PM
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I have a number of fab tools Eastwood sells. The shrinker/stretcher works GREAT. It is in my opinion the first tool that should be bought if you want to fab parts. The 36" sheet metal brake, it is borderline useless. I use it, ok,it is all I have. But it really is crap. The middle of the thing flexes and the bend is "softer" there. If you use some large C clamp vice grips in the middle it helps a lot. The leather "shot bag" and plastic mallets are top knotch in my opinion. I am sure a real pro fabber may find others that are better, but I like them just fine.

The Roper Whitney punch (item number 28041) is another MUST have tool. The deeper "XX" model (not sold thru Eastwood) is even better, it has a deeper throat. I found the "Jr." that Eastwood sells at a garage sale along with a number of other sheet metal guages (eastwood #28043) ,knock out punches (eastwood #28028), a little sheet metal brake (eastwood #28140) and a whole bunch of stuff for $100.00.

The english wheel doesn't look like a "joke". Both they sell would be do a good job I would think on smaller parts. You aren't going to wheel a hood or something. However, a few more bucks will get you a super nice full quality one from Covell and a number of other people. I have a "Dollar Stretcher" bench mount englishwheel, now that is a piece of CRAP. I found a new lower wheel at a swap meet, had a buddy turn it out for a sealed bearing and it is much better, but still junk even compared to the Eastwood ones. It does do an "ok" job on small items. At the very least it is a "starter" wheel to get your feet wet.

The planishing hammer, don't know a thing. But Covell also sells a decent tool. That I have seen at car shows, looks pretty nice to me. Covell (click here) . Again, I was lucky enough to get a couple of real nice vintage panishing hammers for next to nothing,they are out there.
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Old 01-28-2005, 09:11 PM
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Gotta make this short n sweet. replied earlier explaining what i found, went to sent it and could not get back on board, so I lost my reply which took forever to type, not good at this. took over 15 min before I could get back here. I have to get real early, 3:30, anyway thanks for pointing the way guys. Nitey nite.
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Old 01-28-2005, 11:14 PM
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Iroc,
Send me an e-mail rodbuilderandco@frsb.net and I'll put you in touch with a friend of mine who is a pro metalshaper in East Herkimer, NY. He can give you all sorts of advice on what you need. I can also give you some answers to your question. My advice is to stay as far away from Eastwood as possible!!

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Old 01-29-2005, 02:45 AM
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This is my industrial strength english wheel.

To my knowledge, it's the worlds largest, excluding the huge powered wheels used in shipyards for shaping thick plate steel.

That's me taking a break during MetalMeet'03

The gentleman standing next to the column is about 5'8"



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Old 01-29-2005, 11:51 AM
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I have the stretcher-shrinker from Eastwood...I just got it a few weeks ago while the wife was off on vacation. he still has'nt noticed it yet. But I digress. I'm still kicking myself for not buying one years ago...Having the right tool, especially one that works well, is sheer joy. Next up on the want list is a Beverly Shear and then a planishing hammer. I'll probably build the planishing hammer. It looks simple enough....
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Old 01-29-2005, 10:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Randy Ferguson
My advice is to stay as far away from Eastwood as possible!!
Randy please elaborate. I am miles from a fab specialist, but I am also a nut for quailty tools. As I mentioned I have a number of these tools (I am not taking your comments personal) and I find that many of them are top knotch. I know, I know Eastwood also sells the lame "Powder coat" and magic potion rust products. However, I think they offer the "mid level" or beginer an opportunity to dabble in some of your more "high dollar" equipment at a much more affordable price.

I would imagine the metal masters of the world aren't going to go to Eastwood and buy an english wheel, or many of the other tools. But if you want to "get started" there are some super nice tools available. Some of these tools are very hard to find like the Roper Whitney punch. I see the Chinnese copy junk punches all over, but a real Roper Whitney (the standard of the industry from what I understand), I had to search and search and finally found my XX at a wholesale major equipment supply. There is no way your average home hobbiest is going to find it.

The shrinker and stretchers, again, they work GREAT. I am sure there are better, but at many times the cost. The leather shot bag and plastic mallets work super as well, are there better out there? I have the nibbers (item number 28191) and I am very happy with them. Cutting a hole for a sunken antenna or license plate they really work well. Even the Rotary shear (#28248) what looks a little hokey has really worked well for me. I have cut 6" long cuts with it (with a helper) in sheet metal, worked pretty nice.


For the average guy doing fab work on his street rod I think Eastwood is pretty right on. Most of the tools are not "Chinese red army" Harbor Freight junk, they are pretty nice mid to high quality.
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Old 01-30-2005, 09:24 AM
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MartinSR,

The main reason I stay away from Eastwood is they steal tool concepts from small companies that can't afford to defend patents. The planishing hammer is a stolen design from Stan Carter (no longer, but once one of the most helpful small business/tool makers in the metalshaping industry). They bought dozens from him, then started having them made by cheap labor elsewhere...they are the walmart of automotive tool companies as far as I'm concerned. A less important reason I stay away is the amount of useless junk they sell as must-have to do the job.

John www.ghiaspecialties.com
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Old 01-30-2005, 09:45 AM
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John, now THOSE are some damn good reasons I can agree with. If that is indeed true (it makes sense) I will boycott them with every fiber of my being.
Are you sure it isn't because they refused to distribute your discs? Come on now, you can let it all out here.
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Old 01-30-2005, 10:12 AM
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Actually I was approached by someone about the possibilty of make shrinking discs for them and refused....would not be surprised if they have them made by someone and use my instruction sheet....now you see why I'm not a good business man (insert smily emoticon)

John www.ghiaspecialties.com
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Old 01-30-2005, 11:25 AM
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Get an english wheel from either eastwood or northern tool.They are great.
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Old 01-30-2005, 03:35 PM
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jimk,

If you have nothing else.....perhaps. But once you've used just about every one on the market, you will soon realize those are extremely sub-standard e-wheels.

John Kelly pretty well covered it.

Randy Ferguson
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