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  • Full radius or flats ?

    I run full radius wheels and unless I’m being impatient or reckless I don’t seem to have a problem with lines or surface issues. Maybe I’ve been lucky enough to have been taught by Pete but can someone please explain why flat wheels are supposedly easier or better. My wheels are just standard 75mm wide but now I see guys running 270mm wide uppers and lowers. Am I the only person that doesn’t know why ? Just Johnny

  • #2
    John ....it's plain and simple, all you need to do is to make a panel with a reasonable shape in it with a full radius lower ,then try to make the same panel using flats and see the difference, has I said ...it's plain and simple. Now anybody that would like to argue about full radius versus flat ...again plain and simple ...come up to my shop and I will demonstrate the difference, not only that.. but shortly I will have a video showing the difference between the two
    Peter T.

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    • #3
      Good morning Peter. I have been having ongoing conversations with myself and others as my curiosity continues about wheeling machines, lower anvils and flats vs full radius. I am becoming more enthused about your wheeling machines as i get to know them better. The greatest thing that I leaned from you was 'technic', and as I observe other styles of technic with fabricated machines and your cast iron machine, I am becoming more impressed with the versatility of your machine. It goes without saying that hundreds of talented metal shapers have made thousands of nice panels using the fabricated wheel, but it is my contention that the cast wheeling machine would have the same results in MUCH LESS time under any conditions, using your wheel and the apropriate technic.

      In addition to this understanding, I am convinced that your wheeling machine is even more superior when being used by an aircraft panel fabricator where much stronger materials are used. I have been thinking that the use of flats in your rigid wheeling machine can be useful in shaping those stronger materials just past their ultimate yield into the flat area, resulting in a change in contour without the formation of lines due to the increased strength of these stronger alloys. In this situation, I believe the addition of roller bearings in the lower anvils would extend the life of the anvils as well when used under these higher load applications. It is my thinking that under these conditions your cast wheeling machine has no contemporary competition.

      Any one considering the acquisition of a wheeling machine should perceive this as leaving only one option, regardless of the material that they are going to be shaping.

      As always, this is just the ramblings of an old man!

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      • #4
        Hi Will
        Very soon I will be able to make a video on just this subject I will explain and more important show ( just as your mention above ) about the flats working better on aircraft panels and material, and why they are not so good on cars panels (steel or aluminium) this video will be so detailed that people will understand exactly why there is a use for flats and a use for full radius in any machine types ( fabb or cast ) .................................................. ...
        keep your eye out for it it will be very very interesting
        Peter T.

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        • #5
          I wonder if the hatred of full radius wheels stems from the fact that - at least in the USA - when this hobby became popular 15 or 20 years ago people produced both true radius (TR) sets and wheel sets with flats with the same radius? Whereas a 12" radius is flat enough for a wheel WITH a flat, it is fairly aggressive for a full radius wheel. Yet the sets produced whether true radius or with flats BOTH had their flattest wheels set at 12" radius. Peters sets made by Hoosier which I have start at 36" which is going to be a hell of a lot "flatter" than a 12" radiius wheel. Seems like the 36 and 24" radius TR wheels are the most used - but these were missing from the TR sets of 15-20 years ago.

          Well, that's my theory.

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          • #6
            i think the hatred of full radius anvils stems from the lack of knowledge by the user.

            that and i think knowledge that is paid for is held in higher regard than knowledge that is given for free. unfortunately there are people that believe what the paid teacher's say is gospel, is in fact not.

            i did post in this discussion on AMS after i did some digging of my own, now i hold peter in very high regard and others like him that had the same education in the trade, it's simple when you put them all together, they have the same basic knowledge and technique's, just with their own flair and personal touches. i read about a company called 'rippon brothers' the oldest coach builder in the uk, i contacted the writer who was researching the company for some information regarding lower anvils. he forwarded my question to someone i had never heard of before but clearly a talented guy just like peter, Gardiner, and Moss among others. Dave Moroney was the person tasked with answering my question, the answer i got was here:-


            ''Hi Neil,

            Jonathan Wood has asked me to reply to your inquiry regarding lower wheels on a wheeling machine. I would be tempted to say that all wheels would have a radius. However, I have original wheels from a Ranalah machine and one with quite a shallow radius has a very small flat in the centre. If the panel hasn’t got much double curvature my preference is to use this wheel because it ultimately leaves less lines in the panel. I will often finish a panel with this wheel and very little pressure leaving a great finish. Of all the wheels I have used that is the only one I have noticed with a flat and it works really well and looks original. Hope that answers your question?

            Kind regards

            D Moroney (Bodywork) Ltd''

            now listening to another traditional coach builder who has original wheels from ranalah with only 1 with a flat, it would seem it was made for a specific purpose. what that is who knows... but only 1 anvil with a flat in a set would indicate that it was for something specific.
            thanks neil

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            • #7
              I agreed with these 2 gents above , I also only have ONLY ONE FLAT , and it's a anvil that I use for a SPECIFIC purpose.... just like Jonathan Wood said.
              As mention on another discussion about flats versus radius I will be filming about them at the weekend
              Peter T.

              Comment


              • #8
                Been thinking about this for a while but are flats better suited to weak frames that suffer from torsional rigidity ( as opposed to stiffness )? Imagine a frame made from “I “ beam. Yes it will probably provide plenty of stiffness in clamp pressure but I would imagine if you ran over a few walnuts or a weld it’s ability to limit movement laterally would be insufficient to keep top and bottom wheel in the same vertical plane which would produce uneven pressure resulting in “surface blemishes “. If this was the case then it would probably make sense to increase the contact area in order to diminish the point loading. I’m guessing that flat anvils would achieve that at the cost of having to increase the psi to be able to create shape? I just don’t seem to understand the way flat anvils actually work ?!!! JL

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                • #9
                  i don't think so, it would seem the 1 lower anvil dave is speaking about has been around way before fabricated frames, am i right in thinking that anvils with flats only naturally produce a curve in 1 direction, where as a full radius anvil will naturally produce a curve in 2 directions?
                  thanks neil

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Good thinking 99. That’s interesting. I love getting to the bottom of techie stuff so Let’s see what else comes in. There’s got to be a genuine reason a flat crown anvil was created all those years ago and it would be great to finally get to the bottom of the story. I think it was a training wheel that allowed apprentices a little latitude but I would be happy to be proven wrong !! JL

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Kiwi john View Post
                      Been thinking about this for a while but are flats better suited to weak frames that suffer from torsional rigidity ( as opposed to stiffness )? Imagine a frame made from “I “ beam. Yes it will probably provide plenty of stiffness in clamp pressure but I would imagine if you ran over a few walnuts or a weld it’s ability to limit movement laterally would be insufficient to keep top and bottom wheel in the same vertical plane which would produce uneven pressure resulting in “surface blemishes “. If this was the case then it would probably make sense to increase the contact area in order to diminish the point loading. I’m guessing that flat anvils would achieve that at the cost of having to increase the psi to be able to create shape? I just don’t seem to understand the way flat anvils actually work ?!!! JL
                      John within a few days a video will be posted about the subject , explaining and showing WHY the flats do not work either with stiff or weak frames. One thing is for sure after this video I will be hated by some fox's LOL
                      Peter T.

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                      • #12
                        only hated by the people that don't matter lol
                        thanks neil

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                        • #13
                          Just know that you are among loved ones Pete ! Keep doing what you do as we are very appreciative .....

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