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Old 01-04-2013, 10:30 AM
tech69 tech69 is offline
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recommendations on good but cheap metal fab tools

I have a brake, a sand bag, a shrinking disk, and some plastic mallets.

BRAKE

I'd like to eventually get a better brake where I can bend in one direction, take it about 1" and bend in the other direction. This seemsmandatory for rockers and I can't do that with my current $69 HF brake. Anyone know if their 36" brake can do that or relatively cheap one that can? Please don't preach about getting more expensive tools cause metal fab tools are EXPENSIVE and I plan to get your basics...not billy lane over here.

ENGLISH WHEEL

will get the harbor freight one and make it more structurally sound. Not worried about the dies not being perfect cause I'm sure I won't be doing perfect work learning to use it. Just want to have fun with it and learn and progress. If I get good at it, later I can decide to buy better but I see no point in getting the best as of now.


BEAD ROLLER

once again I will get the HF bead roller for only $200 and learn to use it and maybe later set it up to be motorized so I don't have to crank it while pushing metal thru it. I hear this is a great idea for this bead roller.

SHRINKER/STRETCHER

was thinking about getting the Eastwood ones for $200 but have noticed the deep throat ones are more. Is there really a need for the deep throat ones? I can simply shrink deep in the middle of the panel by using my shrinking disk and stretch with a hammer/dolly so doesn't seem to be a need for that. Opinions?

HAMMER FORMING

Was thinking about getting some T dollies, making some wood shapes to hammer form into, a tree stump(should it be flat or bowled?) and dollies to set into a vise.

OTHER TOOLS I'M CONSIDERING

slappers(but is a dinging spoon good enough?), maybe some more plastic mallets and I can shape the heads all differently, and later a tig welder(one day)


VIDEOS AND BOOKS

I have found Lazze on youtube and a few others. Any good recommendations?
Young Guns Fab is another good one.


Sorry for my ignorance on this but just trying to itemize everything so I can game plan on coming up with the money for all this. All opinions on equipment and tool suggestions is why I'm here asking and would be greatly appreciated, thanks.
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