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Can't afford a Imperial wheel from Kerry.

The HF E-Wheel.What's wrong with them and what would be the fix??.

Don't have a 220 mig,but do have a 110 gas shielded mig that I could tack weld bracing to have a friend fabricator finish weld. That is why I couldn't build my own.
 

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Rod...from a Chrysler?
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You'll need to go around 3 sides of the frame with some substantial thick walled tube to make it stiff enough. This is only if you need the metal to change shape quickly. The machine will work right out of the box, you'll just have to keep at each panel longer.

Besides the soft frame, the wheels have been known to be out of round. If they are too far out, they will only put pressure on the sheet for about 1/4- 1/3 rotation of the wheel and this will give you hard time to get the panel stretching at an even rate.

I haven't tried a wheel being out of round before and I sure wouldn't want to.
 

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Slow but willing learner
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You'll need to go around 3 sides of the frame with some substantial thick walled tube to make it stiff enough. This is only if you need the metal to change shape quickly. The machine will work right out of the box, you'll just have to keep at each panel longer.

Besides the soft frame, the wheels have been known to be out of round. If they are too far out, they will only put pressure on the sheet for about 1/4- 1/3 rotation of the wheel and this will give you hard time to get the panel stretching at an even rate.

I haven't tried a wheel being out of round before and I sure wouldn't want to.
Pugsy is correct. They will work out of the box just not as quickly. We built mine years ago before they were as common as they are now. Way over kill. It does not require nearly as much pressure as you may think to raise the metal. One thing to watch out for on a cheap wheel is the way the anvils are machined. There needs to be a flat spot on the small anvils. The lower the crown the wider the flat spot. This will affect the smooth finish you attain.

John L
 

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hf tools

The english wheel is like most of their tools. needs some work. polish the wheels, check for out of round. the new ones have a new type of over center handle for the quick release. there is lots of info on how to upgrade them. I took a class from Ron Covell. He said the wheel frame work doesn't have to be super stiff. just true and most of the time he didn't have a lot of pressuer when working the aluminum fender he made, I won it in the 2 day class. now signed and hangin on the shop wall.
 

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I purchased one of the first ones. I added extra material in the corners. Filled the frame with sand mix concrete and re worked the roll mechanism. Turned the anvils true on my crankshaft grinder. The new and improved model is supposed to be better.
 

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or Jeff, or Doc, or...
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Im a guy who has wheeled on both an Imperial (my own) and a neighbors. If you are doing aluminum, you CAN get thru it, but the extra time you spend wheeling will amaze you. And fustrate you. 18 ga Steel? forget it. You'll be collecting social security befre its done.

Theres many ways to move mountains and molehills. You could wheel your brains out for 2 weeks on a heavily crowned panel, or beat it with a mallet/slapper & sand bag to get a general shape, then wheel the walnuts out and planish it smooth. This takes 20 minutes. The stiffer the spine, the faster it will work. The less fustrating it becomes.
 

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wheeling time.

I had done some metal sculpture-wrought iron work before I took the Covell class, I usually tried to build a wood form then gradually work the metal into the final shape. Ron torch carboned the aluminum sheet then flamed it off to anneal it, then as described above beat walnut bumps in it, I had hammered a lot of crash body panels and wondered what he was doing, I was amazed how fast Ron wheeled it smooth. A few years ago I took a semester class at UVU, street rod-panel fabrication. They had a large power hammer, the one with the short leaf springs and leather straps in the mechanism. It has sat in the shop for a couple years with out much use. the instructor worked some 18 ga steel with a doming die and a leather covered bottom anvil die. It came out very smooth.
 
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