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Old 03-24-2011, 10:10 PM
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Brian Martin,Freelance adviser
 
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My shop was across the street from a glass shop. I must have done a hundred of those jobs before I got a shrinker/stretcher. Man would it have came in handy. They are THE fab tool above all else.

Brian

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Old 03-25-2011, 04:23 AM
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after the mig welder ,of coarse
Brian, Do you remember waaay back when you got your first set of torches? the feeling you got.....something like ........SUPERMAN ???????? I was 16 ,My first two tanks were used cutting everything up in sight.
Ahh ,those were the days ... ......these days I havent used them in sooooo long I'm not exactly sure where they even are...
but the stretcher/shrinker is one of those tools..

Last edited by deadbodyman; 03-25-2011 at 04:40 AM.
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Old 03-25-2011, 08:02 AM
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Brian Martin,Freelance adviser
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deadbodyman
after the mig welder ,of coarse
Brian, Do you remember waaay back when you got your first set of torches? the feeling you got.....something like ........SUPERMAN ???????? I was 16 ,My first two tanks were used cutting everything up in sight.
Ahh ,those were the days ... ......these days I havent used them in sooooo long I'm not exactly sure where they even are...
but the stretcher/shrinker is one of those tools..
LOL, oh yes, my torch is a Craftsmen, I haven't fired it up in a while either. But once in a while I will come across it and literally hold it and reminisce, I have had some good times (and bad times) with that cheap old torch.

Yeah the only thing that can compare with the power a boy can have cutting a piece of metal in half is shooting a bullet thru it. POWER!

Brian
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Old 03-25-2011, 11:18 AM
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LOL,or blowing it up with homeade gunpowder...I was a bit of a problem child. Even at 5yrs old I wasnt happy with my cap gun I'd hit a whole box of caps (5 rolls) at a time with a big rock. Mom remembers a lot of funny stuff and loves to tell my adult kids how bad I was when they start complaining about their kids...
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Old 03-25-2011, 04:14 PM
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I'm definitely going to pick up a shrinker/stretcher. It sounds like a tool that's worth having. I tried forming those corners without one and the end result wasn't the best, but I haven't formed much metal in my time either, if any at all . The shrinker/stretcher seems like a fairly simple tool, so how do you think the harbor freight shrinker/stretcher will hold up? I have a 20% off coupon.

Good call on stripping the roof first. I want to try and get to that this weekend.
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Old 03-26-2011, 06:16 AM
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The HF S/S tool it works very, very well. .... http://www.woodwardfab.com/index.htm
has one for 140.00 but its one handle with two jaws ,you'll have to change them.
for someone that cant afford one ,you can start with a piece of sheetmetal and fold it at a 90 degree angle then cut slits at 1/4"-1/2" intervals on one side that'll allow the metal to bend,but all the slits will have to be welded too, its the hard way but its get you by without a shrinker.
to streatch start with a 90 degree angle and with a chisle body hammer or the like ,and beat one side of the angle ,that'll streatch the metal ,also a lot of work and time consuming but you can get by.once you've done it these ways will be the only way you can truely appreaciate the tool....

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Old 03-26-2011, 09:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deadbodyman
The HF S/S tool it works very, very well. .... http://www.woodwardfab.com/index.htm
has one for 140.00 but its one handle with two jaws ,you'll have to change them.
for someone that cant afford one ,you can start with a piece of sheetmetal and fold it at a 90 degree angle then cut slits at 1/4"-1/2" intervals on one side that'll allow the metal to bend,but all the slits will have to be welded too, its the hard way but its get you by without a shrinker.
to streatch start with a 90 degree angle and with a chisle body hammer or the like ,and beat one side of the angle ,that'll streatch the metal ,also a lot of work and time consuming but you can get by.once you've done it these ways will be the only way you can truely appreaciate the tool....
I tried making the patch that way last weekend and it would have worked but I wasn't happy with all of the slits. I went and got the SS from harbor freight last night. I was able to use the 20% coupon on the sale price so I got it for $160 and I love it. I was able to make a patch that is pretty close to what I need in an hour messing around with the SS. Great tool. Now, can you guys help me to use the SS better to make the window corners? Here is what I did messing around.

I took a straight piece of sheet metal 1.5 inches wide and bent it down the middle into a 90 degree angle using my vice (3/4 x 3/4). Then I shrunk the bottom side to get the bend I need. After that I stretched the top side to make the whole thing bend down a little.

After I shrunk it, the piece didn't really want to fit in the SS, so should I have stretched it first? I managed to get it to work but I had to do a little finessing with the hammer after I stretched it.

Should I cut the metal to match the window curve, then bend it in a 90 and then shrink/stretch? It seems like it would be harder to bend the 90 this way.

Anything else?
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Old 03-26-2011, 02:20 PM
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just shrink the one side ,clamp it down or use drill screws (i like drill screws) ,set the trim piece in to see how it fits the radius,a couple of light taps with a body hammer should be all it takes.Also,you'll notice 2-3 layers of steel in the (pinch weld) when you use screws and start from the outside layer making each piece and screwing it in,you can use the screw holes to properly align everything as you remove and replace the pieces workng your way in,they're pretty cool and have a lot of advantages over Clecos (reusable aircraft rivets) mainly,there ez to get and cheap, also faster because they drill their own holes. Clamps always seem to be in the way like when fitting the trim pieces for a nice (no bondo) fit.
Oh ,when you need a compound curve that wont fit in your S/S you can heat the steel up cherry red and bend the piece by hand very easily to get that second curve or if you dont have torches you can bend it cold with the chisel end of a chisel hammer against something round like the horn of an anvil ,that'll also strech /bend it in the other direction.
send some pics of your progress....sounds like your havin fun...
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