English wheel usage

Received and assembled my HF English Wheel. Also go the accessory (6 each) lower wheels to go with the machine. Question: How tight does one crank up the pressure on one of these machines? I'm a first time user and am practicing on a piece of air conditioning plenum scrap. Thickness measures 0.021 inches so, I guess, (correct me) this puts it in approximately the 25 gauge category. Machine is rated for 16 gauge, which is almost three times thicker.

Also, what is the purpose of the cam lever on the lower wheel? Simply to release the material without changing the setting?

Played around with it for about 30 minutes (got tired) and the best I could do was create a surface that has a radius of about 2-3 feet. I assumed that it would eventually reach the radius of the lower die which is about a 5-6 inch radius.

Am I actually trying to crush and stretch the metal? The metal is slightly dirty (glue and fibers from insulation) on one side. Should I remove the glue and fibers? Do I need to keep the wheels clean and polished?

Any references to books or web sites greatly appreciated. Advice greatly appreciated.

Thanks Ivan Vegvary

Reply to
Ivan Vegvary
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Have you visited MetalMeet yet?

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More info on metalshaping than you can read in a few days.

Reply to
Gary Brady

I've never used one of these but I've watched the master at work at Oshkosh. Go to

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for more info. I would start playing with aluminum to learn this machine. Good luck and have fun. Tom

Reply to
Tom Wait

Start with light pressure, from some experience with my home built one you don't need much pressure to do the job but you will pickup what is required from experience.

Yes thats what they normally have for the purpose but I haven't seen the HF one.

Keep the metal and wheels clean and free from dirt and other surface contaminants. Any dings etc in the wheels will be replicated on your workpiece.

Reply to
David Billington

An ewheel has two operating modes, planishing (smoothing) and shaping. Shaping requires higher pressure.

If you want to play with shaping on your wheel, use aluminum, it will take shape quickly, while steel takes shape very slowly. To shape steel, use a hammer and a tuck fork and then use the wheel to smooth the steel.

The suggestion of looking at Metalmeet.com is a good one, but almost too much information.

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is another resource for metalshaping.


Ivan Vegvary wrote:

Reply to
Richard Ferguson

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