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1gary 03-24-2010 01:15 AM

A newbie question for sure.I appreciate good tools,Snap-on,Mac, pro level tools,etc.So when it came to Harbor Freight,Eastwood,etc-I haven consider them in the running for me to buy from them because I knew what I wasn't getting.

Now the question is what am I giving up from them when I consider a E-wheel,shrinker-stretcher,brake/shear,plasma cutter.I have tried to compare thickness of what they can handle to judge them.None that I have seen can handle 16 or 14 gauge 30" wide or bigger.Not sure if there are ones that can.:dunce:

Kind of give me visions of a hydro pumped brake with huge clamping ability.:eek:

Any and all input here is welcome,



gonejunking 03-24-2010 02:07 AM

The first question is, what are you forming out of such thick material?
How often are you useing that thick of material?
Most of the stuff we use is 18 or 19 gauge steel or 16 gauge aluminum.
14 or 16 gauge is pretty thick in steel.
Tell us what your making, then we can respond with what you need.


1gary 03-24-2010 02:23 AM

Jeff-thanks for the reply.It not something I am building at the moment,but more a matter of wanting to have metal forming machines for all things I guess and wanted to know what I am not going to be able to do or what I am going to give up by purchases with a Harbor Freight or Eastwood company.Kind of the pros and cons kind of thing.:confused:

tdoty 03-24-2010 02:23 AM

I won't get into the Snap On vs everything else argument........but, let's just say you're looking at money to work 14ga. I doubt you're gonna do much of it with Eastwood or Harbor Freight tools.

Marchant/Erco/Eckold shrinker/stretcher = money. A lancaster style shrinker/stretcher ain't gonna cut it.
Brake...shouldn't be too tough for 16, but the step up to 14 is gonna mean more money.
Shear....again, money, since it will likely have to be hydraulic to cut 14. Don't think I want to tangle with 14ga on a stomp shear (that may have something to do with weighing in at 170 - and that's my "winter weight" :lol:).
Ewheel? That's an easy one, talk to Kerry about an Imperial! Certainly not in the same price range as HF or Eastwood, but, imho, the best deal going.

Remember, to wheel metal 30" wide, you don't need a 30" throat. Just turn it around and work from the other direction.

Tim D.

Rod S. 03-24-2010 08:58 PM

Tim D
tim you never fail to make me giggle!!!! i drop in at 255 or so and you wont find my short fat butt getting on a stomper either:lol:

gearheads78 03-24-2010 09:58 PM

Patients is key IMO I have collected about 50K worth of quality equipment for my shop over the last two years. I have about 5K in it total including my $300.00 1000lb english wheel from the Netherlands :p
The only new item I bought is the Jet belt sander and I hate it. It has no power and drags down to a stop with way too little pressure.
Watch craigslist, ebay and local sales like a hawk and swoop down as soon as you see anything you need.

tdoty 03-24-2010 10:52 PM


Originally Posted by Rod S. (Post 10340)
tim you never fail to make me giggle!!!! i drop in at 255 or so and you wont find my short fat butt getting on a stomper either:lol:

Well, I found it a bit embarrassing at MM06 when I had to ask for help to cut some sheet on the stomp shear.....I was jumping on it and not making a cut. I managed to enlist someone to step on the other end :lol:

I don't have a shear in my "shop", just a variety of hand and electric tools for cutting metal. If I need a long, straight cut, I'll just take the sheet to the shop where I work - they have a hydraulic shear :cool: They don't mind if I drop in to do some quick work on my own time, so I do take advantage of it.

Tim D.

87hdrush 03-24-2010 11:06 PM

Don't get me on the made in china rant again:lol::lol::lol::lol:

Marty Comstock 03-25-2010 07:18 AM


Originally Posted by 87hdrush (Post 10355)
Don't get me on the made in china rant again:lol::lol::lol::lol:

Yeah, please dont.


1gary 03-25-2010 08:24 AM


Originally Posted by Marty Comstock (Post 10370)
Yeah, please dont.


Do you know of a company in our area that specializes on selling used/reconditioned metal machines??.



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