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My response to a hand fabricated wheeling machine on another site.

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  • My response to a hand fabricated wheeling machine on another site.

    I made this response to a post on 'another' site, and thought I might post it here as well. I did my best not to appear confrontational.

    " A bad ewheel is hard to use, hard to master, and produces work slowly."

    I agree with this statement. What parameters determine what is or isn't a 'bad' ewheel?

    I would humbly submit that while rectangular tubing is better than I-beam construction, any form of tubing that has parallel walls and the same thickness walls is subject to 'lozenging' where the load deflection occurs in both vertical and horizontal directions at the same time, but at different rates. Frames made in segments will react to a load by deflecting at different rates, starting with the longest segment, then to the next in length, etc. Welding accuracy is a concern as well. I have built several fabricated wheels using a heavy steel 'fixture' to hold the upper and lower wheel mounts in alignment while welding, and they would still end up with some sort of mis-alignment from weld distortion. I was always able to correct that alignment by running a weld bead to have the heat distort the metal to make the wheel mount come into alignment. This indicated to me that any type of non uniform welding would result in non-uniform load deflection. I am under the impression that any form of annealing or heat treating of the finished assembly would warp the entire frame out of alignment and only make matters worse. Bolted joints transfer load at a different rate than welded joints.

    " A bad ewheel is hard to use, hard to master, and produces work slowly" is as true a statement that I have seen on this site. It is clear that a LOT of gentlemen have made a HUGE number of number of quality parts over the years with fabricated wheels, but is my contention that 'produces work slowly' is the most accurate part of the above statement. I personally struggled with the 'hard to master' portion of that statement.

    I hope that you consider all your options and if you choose to build your own wheeling machine, that you do so with as much accuracy as you can. Building your own equipment has always been exciting and gives you something to be proud of. Best wishes.

  • #2
    I would agree with that, I can do fairly good shapes on my cheap wheel frame, but much slower than Peter's cast wheel
    thanks neil

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    • #3
      I actually waited 30 years-almost to the day- from seeing my first picture of a cast iron English Wheel (Mark Gerish working on AC cobra panels) to having one in my shop. shortly after seeing that picture & article, I began seeing fabricated wheels but had no interest in building one or buying one- partly for aesthetic reasons and partly because I strongly believed that if a fabricated frame performed as well as a proper cast iron frame, they would have been better represented in the industry before the home built/hobby phase of panelcraft really took off in the mid-late 80's. Companies never made things more complicated and expensive than they had to just because... They did what works then, just like now. When you're selling to people who don't know any better, they'll buy anything.

      all I can say to anyone here is if you have ANY ability to afford one of Peter's HandBuilt English wheels, make it happen. It will be difficult to equip a fabricated frame with quality upper wheel & lower anvils for significantly less than what Peter's kit entails via a trusted shop. The frame you fabricate will likely have a resale value that is small fraction of what you think it should sell for. Many people who have a fabricated wheel may admit to project creep & how that cheap fabricated English wheel ends up costing nearly as much or more than the $3500-ish that my HandBuilt wheel cost, especially if their time has any value.

      I have no doubts I could sell my HandBuilt wheel and not lose significant money. Everything I buy has to be just another bank account because that's the way my life is. buying my wheel from Peter was heavily influenced by Will's experience and then accommodated by Peter. It wasn't about helping a friend. It was only about buying the best machine I could afford, protecting my resources and having a way to get the majority of my money back if & when needed, in the process, I got a great machine.

      Thanks for great advice, Will & Thanks to Peter for producing what I believe is one of the highest quality metal shaping machines available.

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      • #4
        making some comments about the two post above ....All I can say is that the cost in order to have a GOOD fabb wheeling machine is simply too much, I have tried many Years ago and ended up with a VERY GOOD MACHINE but.... the cost was incredible........ and here why
        A inner frame was made then jigged and welded , then I had have 10 mm laser cut plates welded at the bottom sides and top in order to close it all ,between the initial frame and the plates I made some reinforcing ribs and weld them on a certain way ,all of this is also been jigged , then I need to make the bossing which are machined round stock where we put the shafts trough , they would have to be machined in such way that bearings can be fitted , they also would have to be jigged and welded to the frame . Then we have cradle, shafts and bearings cost +top wheel and lower anvils etc etc. My machine way back in 2000 cost me finished about $ 5500 AU ...simply impossible to sell it and make some profit on it . As I said ..... beautiful machine working very well, but far to expensive to make in my opinion any other quick way or different way to make a fabricated frame is simply a waste of money
        Peter T.
        PS with cost of machining and material now days I would hate to think what such machine cost is today.......
        Last edited by Peter Tommasini; 09-29-2019, 03:52 PM.

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        • #5
          Like many hobbyists I have a home made wheel and had my upper wheel and anvils machined locally. I have less than 1 thou runout on the upper and am unable to detect any movement in the frame at the low pressures I work at. All up cost $1000. Does it produce good results? No, but I suspect the true cause may be operator inexperience. I am interested in any opinions on what is acceptable runout and if the poor quality of anvils is the bigger problem with cheap wheels rather than the flexibility of the frame. The guy in the link has 10 thou runout but I have heard of 50 thou in some. But David Gardiner tested a Horror Freight wheel and seemed ok with it.
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nI_dgC5DuLw

          Comment


          • neilb
            neilb commented
            Editing a comment
            hi Phil welcome

        • #6
          Originally posted by PhilT2 View Post
          Like many hobbyists I have a home made wheel and had my upper wheel and anvils machined locally. I have less than 1 thou runout on the upper and am unable to detect any movement in the frame at the low pressures I work at. All up cost $1000. Does it produce good results? No, but I suspect the true cause may be operator inexperience. I am interested in any opinions on what is acceptable runout and if the poor quality of anvils is the bigger problem with cheap wheels rather than the flexibility of the frame. The guy in the link has 10 thou runout but I have heard of 50 thou in some. But David Gardiner tested a Horror Freight wheel and seemed ok with it.
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nI_dgC5DuLw
          I too have a cheap crap wheel, I have an upper wheel from Joe Andrew's and the lowers I have spun them up on my lathe and made them much better, as good as they could be? no but useable. I have removed the quick release from the frame, as it had way to much slop in it. I can get fairly good results with my wheel but when I use peters cast frame I can feel the panel which I can't really on mine.
          thanks neil

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          • #7
            I'd be prepared to risk Melbourne weather to try out Peter's wheel, maybe one day he will have longer courses that make it worthwhile coming down. I have an old lathe, a New Visby, and will one day would like to have a go at turning up my own anvils. Problem is I have about the same amount of skill on the lathe as on the wheel so the quality may not be any better than the cheapies.

            One of the reasons I was asking about runout tolerence was that I recently aquired some castors with a polyurethane surface and I wondered how they would go as a soft upper wheel. hardness is about 80 but the runout is 20 thou. I might be able to correct that on the lathe but thought I'd ask first to see if it's worth the trouble.

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            • #8
              well as the saying goes, if you dont like melbourne weather just wait 10 minutes lol
              thanks neil

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              • #9
                It was recommended to me by a full time expert that I respect that I can achieve more accurate performance by converting the slip in-axles of my lower anvils (Hoosier Profiles) to press-in axles, then truing the anvils for runout if needed. I haven't done this but it makes sense to eliminate any possible vertical and lateral movement.

                Comment


                • #10
                  Originally posted by PhilT2 View Post
                  Like many hobbyists I have a home made wheel and had my upper wheel and anvils machined locally. I have less than 1 thou runout on the upper and am unable to detect any movement in the frame at the low pressures I work at. All up cost $1000. Does it produce good results? No, but I suspect the true cause may be operator inexperience. I am interested in any opinions on what is acceptable runout and if the poor quality of anvils is the bigger problem with cheap wheels rather than the flexibility of the frame. The guy in the link has 10 thou runout but I have heard of 50 thou in some. But David Gardiner tested a Horror Freight wheel and seemed ok with it.
                  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nI_dgC5DuLw
                  is that david gardiner ?

                  Comment


                  • #11
                    ah we would all love one of peters wheels , i have a hare and forbes unit ,, 1 thing i notcied was the top wheel didnt run true , too them to local machine shop it have it sorted he saud it wouldnt turn down due to incosistant hard spot in the metal , he managed to get it a little better by putting it on his grinding machine but the bottom line is it move metal but no where near the standard of peters big wheel in his shop the macphereson , havent used his new ones as of yet

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                    • #12
                      Originally posted by ekdave View Post

                      is that david gardiner ?
                      No it's not.

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                      • #13
                        Originally posted by PhilT2 View Post
                        ... But David Gardiner tested a Horror Freight wheel and seemed ok with it.
                        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nI_dgC5DuLw
                        Definitely not David Gardiner.

                        The wheel is a disgrace and is not fit for purpose; reminds me of my HAFCO drill press, which was supplied with a table with a 0.25mm curve in it!

                        Buy the best you can and if you can't, inspect every new machine very closely before you buy it,

                        Cheers Charlie

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                        • #14
                          Regarding the concern over lower anvil run out. I have a thought or two, as I have looked into this in the past when considering removing the ball bearing, most commonly found in the current design of lower anvils and replacing them with ROLLER bearings that will not only increase the load capacity but lengthen the replacement intervals. The minimal clearance needed to use push in axles vs press fit axles and the manufacturers tolerance that can be accomplished with a total of .0005" to perhaps.001". It is my opinion that WHATEVER tolerance build up in the rotating parts is, it is of little concern because the run out will always accumulate at the bottom edge of the axle due to the load of the work piece. It is my thinking that what is of REAL importance is the run out between the bearing bore and the anvils outside diameter.
                          Last edited by RockHillWill; 10-11-2019, 11:55 AM.

                          Comment


                          • #15
                            Since I have no experience using a fabricated frame English wheel, I have other questions.

                            If a fabricated frame tends to be too flexible for effective panel shaping when compared to a well-designed cast iron frame, what is or are effective ways to use a fabricated frame? Basic smoothing of walnuts? How does flex impact using something like a go cart tire or soft upper wheel? Is flex less of an issue because less pressure is being employed?

                            I know Neil is going back and forth between his fabricated frame and Cast frame versions at Peter's shop & Will is familiar with both in his shop.

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