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Old 06-19-2019, 08:00 AM
verbos verbos is offline
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Default Equipment for alu sheets and tubes

Hi,
I would like to start new project (making alu body for the car) and I am gonna work with aluminum sheets (probably 0.063) and alu tubes.
I would like to know what equipment for shaping the metal I will need. I am considering the English Wheel but I can't decide between the Planishing / Reciprocating / Power Hammer which one do you think would be most helpful working with aluminum.

Do you think I can do the job just with these 2 machines or I will need to get something else (e.g. bending machine)?
Could you please recommend me same brand or equipment series which is not expensive but reliable at the same time (goog value for the money).


Thank you very much.
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Old 06-19-2019, 11:10 AM
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Kerry Pinkerton Kerry Pinkerton is offline
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Martin, you can build a car with hand tools but it will take a while. A Wheeling Machine will speed your smoothing and stretching. Shrinking aluminum can be done on a stump or you can do all stretch with smaller panels. If the three power machines you described, I'd vote for the reciprocating machine. I have no idea what is available in Europe.


Having said that, take at look at the MechHammer. It is both a planishing hammer and a reciprocating machine. The developer, Ben Van Berlo is a member here, a good friend, and a heck of a good tool developer and shaper.
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Old 06-19-2019, 11:50 AM
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Originally Posted by Kerry Pinkerton View Post
Martin, you can build a car with hand tools but it will take a while. A Wheeling Machine will speed your smoothing and stretching. Shrinking aluminum can be done on a stump or you can do all stretch with smaller panels. If the three power machines you described, I'd vote for the reciprocating machine. I have no idea what is available in Europe.

Having said that, take at look at the MechHammer. It is both a planishing hammer and a reciprocating machine. The developer, Ben Van Berlo is a member here, a good friend, and a heck of a good tool developer and shaper.

OK thank you Kerry,
I had no idea about the prices. I would need the equipment just for this project so far and I am not sure if I will use it much later. Is there some decet English Wheel for about $500 and Planishing Hammer around $1000 (or what is the minimum amount of money I will need to invest?).

Is there possibility to buy some used stuff?
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Old 06-19-2019, 02:09 PM
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Kerry Pinkerton Kerry Pinkerton is offline
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Used stuff is probably available but I have no idea what is available in Europe or what prices are. You can probably get a Chinese wheeling machine like thing for the kind of money you're talking about but it won't be a very good tool. That said, some folks, like Jack who is doing a magnificent job on his Caddy, can make the Cwheels work fine. More experienced shapers can do better with inadequate tools than novices can.

I'd encourage you to buy David Gardiners, Metal Shaping with Hand Tools DVD. It's the best education you will get for the money. https://www.classicmetalshaping.co.uk/dvd/

Finally, I know nothing about your skills, background, and aptitude. I would expect that a very novice builder would have a difficult time scratch building a car body. Of course, it's been done and done well by other novice builders before. I'm saying this to tell you that building a body from scratch is a very non-trivial task...depending on the body of course. A Lotus 7 (LoCost) body is mainly simple curves and you don't need an ewheel for that. Anyway, be honest with yourself and go for it.
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Old 06-19-2019, 02:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Kerry Pinkerton View Post
Used stuff is probably available but I have no idea what is available in Europe or what prices are. You can probably get a Chinese wheeling machine like thing for the kind of money you're talking about but it won't be a very good tool. That said, some folks, like Jack who is doing a magnificent job on his Caddy, can make the Cwheels work fine. More experienced shapers can do better with inadequate tools than novices can.

I'd encourage you to buy David Gardiners, Metal Shaping with Hand Tools DVD. It's the best education you will get for the money. https://www.classicmetalshaping.co.uk/dvd/

Finally, I know nothing about your skills, background, and aptitude. I would expect that a very novice builder would have a difficult time scratch building a car body. Of course, it's been done and done well by other novice builders before. I'm saying this to tell you that building a body from scratch is a very non-trivial task...depending on the body of course. A Lotus 7 (LoCost) body is mainly simple curves and you don't need an ewheel for that. Anyway, be honest with yourself and go for it.

OK I understand. Thank for recommending the David Gardliners's DVD. I think it could be possible to get some machines in US (maybe even used one) and get it shipped to Europe.
Is there some option between $1000 crap machine and $6000 good machine I know $6000 is probably not much for professionals but I don't know how much I am gonna use it.
What is the cheapest/quite good option in US for English Wheel and Planishing hammer (I hope it is not the one for $6000 ).


Edit: Is it possible to make planishing hammer diy or there are some problems with it which could cause the final product won't work properly?
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Last edited by verbos; 06-19-2019 at 02:37 PM.
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Old 06-19-2019, 03:22 PM
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Martin. Give some time for it and look at some of the shaping procedures on this forum. A lot of practices are seen on Youtube.
I'll give you one advice. I got it from Peter. The sheet must always be soft. If it hardens, you're quitting. How you shape it is up to you. There are many ways. Art is not only in machines and power.
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Old 06-19-2019, 04:20 PM
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Martin, you can build your own quality Ewheel by following the directions in the Ewheel build seminar I posted. Look in this forum: http://allmetalshaping.com/forumdisplay.php?f=29


Get good rollers. At least an 8" diameter upper and 3" diameter anvils. Don't be tempted to go with smaller diameter because they are less expensive.
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Old 06-20-2019, 11:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kerry Pinkerton View Post
Martin, you can build your own quality Ewheel by following the directions in the Ewheel build seminar I posted. Look in this forum: http://allmetalshaping.com/forumdisplay.php?f=29


Get good rollers. At least an 8" diameter upper and 3" diameter anvils. Don't be tempted to go with smaller diameter because they are less expensive.

I have been looking at your post on making Ewheel in Imperial way. Really great information Kerry.

I have decided to get just the hand tools and make the Ewheel for now. I am thinking about the throat depth of the Ewheel now. What is the big enough depth so I can comfortably shape on the Ewheel even the larger panels like car hood. Maybe something between 40-50" ?
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Old 06-20-2019, 11:40 AM
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you don't need that big. You sheet metal is 48" wide. Make a 26F clone. Work to the middle and then turn the sheet around. If you run across some larger steel tubing, use the calculator to determine how big you can make it.


I love my 66" big wheel (Viagra), but almost never use more than 24" of his throat. That said, the deeper frame means that the angular deflection at the contact point is less. Irrelevant if you are using true radius anvils but significant with contact flats.
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Old 06-21-2019, 05:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kerry Pinkerton View Post
you don't need that big. You sheet metal is 48" wide. Make a 26F clone. Work to the middle and then turn the sheet around. If you run across some larger steel tubing, use the calculator to determine how big you can make it.

I love my 66" big wheel (Viagra), but almost never use more than 24" of his throat. That said, the deeper frame means that the angular deflection at the contact point is less. Irrelevant if you are using true radius anvils but significant with contact flats.
I would like to use your post on Ewheel frame. It is 31" throat deep but when I use 4x8x1/4 or 4x10x1/4 the frame should be stiff enough, right?

Also I am not sure if I just did't see it in the post. But what was the dimension of the long part of the frame which replaced the bottom #3 part in the upgrade version?

Is it better to have shorter distance between the amrs (18" instead of 24")?


Edit: I will probably incorporate the tube buck into the plywood buck so I will need something to bend the aluminum tubes, could you please give me some recommendation on this also.
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Last edited by verbos; 06-21-2019 at 05:23 AM.
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