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Blocking and wheeling

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  • Blocking and wheeling

    Once again, probably a Peter question. hopefully will be good info for others here so I'll ask...

    I've been watching the Dino nose wheeling video and thinking about the instruction to do all of the gradual crown development via wheeling & proper holding of the metal by the two workers. I want to know more about why only wheeling is used. In my novice perspective, I would have probably blocked the center a little to raise a crown faster & then smoothed everything out on the wheel. While carving, Ive been thinking.

    Is the wheeling-only approach better suited for these low crown pieces because it
    1. maintains uniform metal thickness, which
    2. maintains consistent pressure between upper wheel & lower anvil
    3. To develop shape more consistently
    Is this thinking correct? I haven't done a large low crown panel like that yet. Now I'm thinking that the spots blocked by hammer contact might be slightly stretched, thus thinner and would defeat uniform metal movement. Knowing if this is a legitimate concern is hopefully a way to better service worked pieces in general, whether they are big or small, without just cranking up the pressure.

    or have I been overthinking things?

  • #2
    i'll have a go lol, blocking with a hammer creates a lot of area really quick. ideal for high crown areas where you can wheel and smooth to the final finish. wheeling alone can be quite slow work but, creeping up on the shape is better than over shaping and then having to remove shape. another issue i have come across with blocking then wheeling is the area right next to where blocking has been done takes some effort to blend in (at least for me).

    even when just wheeling some areas will be thinner than others anyway, watching the video you'll see doing short runs in the centre, then getting progressively longer. by the time a full run has been made the centre has been stretched more than the rest by having more passes over it.

    i would like to add something peter has said to me in the past about blocking then wheeling. blocking out roughly then wheeling to smooth it out needs to be done correctly. which has led me to think about why the pear shaped hammer is why it is... blocking out, some parts are stretched more than others, basically where ever the hammer has been, is stretched more than where it hasn't. wheeling in this state would even out the stretched area and then be lower than the final shape. that's when you see people blocking out again then wheeling some more.

    i have come to believe the pear shaped hammer is to be used:- the small end for blocking out to create your shape, then the big end is for picking up all the areas in between the hammer strikes created by the small end. this creates a more uniformed, smoother shape before going to the wheel. i've been using this method for the past month or so now.
    thanks neil


    • #3
      Thanks, Neal. That makes sense now that you explained it that way.


      • #4
        i'm glad my gibberish has made sense to someone lol
        thanks neil


        • #5
          Cliff .. As Neil said blocking with the hammer is only suitable for high crowns panels .For example 90% of door skins are just wheeled and not blocked , the Ferrari nose is just like a door skin, with the exceptions that once I am close to the shape needed, I will block the very front in order to put some metal on the radius where the metal is needed in order to turn the edge over .... If I was to block the Ferrari panel It would start to buck and not behave properly almost immediately, making it hard to wheel evenly and probably fight with it all from the start Check out the video that I posted here , about the Jaguar front nose panel been made in England, and you will see the resemblance on the two panels been made
          Peter T.
          Last edited by Peter Tommasini; 29-09-19, 05:16 PM.


          • #6
            Thank you Neil & Peter. I watched the Jag video as well. The advice & explanations help my understand more about why it works instead of just knowing how it works.

            I don't have any baseline about using various English wheels. Other than a couple of passes on an imperial at Jim's RR that Patman was using to demonstrate his gear, I haven't touched another one except my HandBuilt. It seems like things happen really fast on mine. Doing stone- when things go wrong- big pieces are big mistakes. I'm used to gradual progress (small pieces, small mistakes) and want to learn to wheel the right way.


            • #7

              [ Quote].......I don't have any baseline about using various English wheels. Other than a couple of passes on an imperial at Jim's RR that Patmam was using to demonstrate his gear
              .................................................. .................................................. .................................................. .................................................. .................................................. ........
              I used the Imperial wheel in a few classes in the US and my opinion is that the machine is average, simply because of the frame movement and no feel when using it.
              It took too long to get any shape on the panel ,then when trying to squeeze I got lines,then when I back off the pressure I got nothing I also try to use full radius anvils on it, that was even worse it was either too much ,or too little The only positive thing about it ,is that one can put rough shape in to a panel by using a high crown anvil, but then it's a fight to trying to smooth things off . In another words the machine is far too expensive for what it does ..... Patman told me that he has fixed some of the problems with the frame, there for making the machine more expensive but I have not used the ''new frame'' so I can not make any comments on it
              Peter T.


              • #8
                Pete I know how you feel , there are so many cheap Chinese wheels out there ... it’s just not worth it lads . Poor run out on Wheels on the yoke !!!!, .... weak frames ... cheap bearings ...etc.
                you are just hitting your head against the wall before you start .

                get yourself down to Peter , Geoff , or even me , we all have high class English Wheels and are pleasure to use.

                here in the UK I have just bought a Ranalah which although is in fantastic condition the Top Wheel was out by 0.001” / 0.002” So we did notice this when making the Ferrari door sills last week ! Because the panel was long this was highlighting the very small high spot on the top wheel .
                we have got this sorted now .

                cheers Matt.
                Click image for larger version  Name:	352FB61A-D880-4CE0-BF40-89AAE431CB52.jpeg Views:	0 Size:	86.2 KB ID:	2699 Wheeling Lower O/S front wing . Ferrari 275 GTS rhd.... original panel was 0.75mm
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                Click image for larger version

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                Last edited by Moving molecules .; 17-03-20, 11:02 PM.