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washbush

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Greetings ... I am giving some serious thought to Ron Fournier's QuickShaper. It is a work station complete with English wheel, shrinker/stretcher, sand pad, and more, all in one unit. Only the price is stopping me so far.

Has anyone used one? What's the feeling about "all in one" stations? Has anyone ever seen a used one for sale? Can anyone give me any good decision making info?

Thanks

John Washbush
Milwaukee

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timstach

Posts: 69
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John,
I have had the privilege to use one of Ron's shapers at his shop. It is a well designed and built tool. When I designed my wheel I included the stand for my bag and a provision to mount forming heads or other tools of the side... The idea for the head mount came from Jim Bailie. It is very convenient when blocking a part to only move a step to start wheeling it smooth.

Tim

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choppperguy

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Hi John,

I have used his quick shaper at Rons motorcycle metal fab class and I can say that it is an excellent machine. It is pricey but you usually get what you pay for. I built my wheel and for a lot less than the $3000 price tag and it does every thing that Rons does. If you have more money than time than I recommend his machine.

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bellytank

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Question Why wouldn't you just make the additions to a purchased e-wheel ? There's any of 10,000 ways to build any or all these tools, power hammers, Yoders, Pullmax, Yomax's, bead rollers, Ewheels, pressbrakes, etc.

No offense to Ron or any of his stuff, more power to him matter of fact, but it just seems that anyone who can do metal fab ought to want to and be able to build their own tools ? I personally couldn't see paying 3700.00 for an e-wheel with some add-ons.

I built a combo machine like the "quickshaper" with the e-wheel, shrink/stretch, anvil/bag arm -AND- planishing hammer & removeable quick attach tubing notcher all built together over 20 years ago and never thought anything of it.

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washbush

Posts: 9
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Greetings ...

Thanks very much for the advice, guys. I really appreciate it. But, for me, this is a chicken and egg kind of problem. It's more like not getting a job that requires experience because you couldn't ever qualify for any jobs that give experience without the experience.

The reason I am not thinking too seriously about making ALL my tools is because, ... well, I don't have any tools. A lot of tools needed for making tools, I don't know how to use, because, ... well, I don't have any. See the problem?

Take welding for example. I am getting to be pretty good at it now, after taking night school classes for 5 or 6 semesters. I am working on oxyacetylene welding of aluminum sheet now ... but I wonder how much of my work will be lap welds on 2"X 4" pieces. I would give anything to practice welding at home on a real project ... but, I don't have a wheel and, ... I don't have a welder.

Actually, this is part of the reason why, for me, in order to join you all in your magnificent craft, I am looking at buying everything ... an English wheel, a planishing hammer, a stretcher and a shrinker, dollies and hammers, mallets, picks, materials, layout tools, AND a welder.

I will happily do just that ... as soon as I can sell a car, and a baby grand piano, that will supply the money for it. I have decided that I want to use my hands to make shapes in metal worse than I want to make music. Eventually, this will all work out, it us just taking a long time.

However ... since there may be lots of people who read this, I would like to take advantage of this chance, if I may. If there is anyone who lives within a reasonable distance of Milwaukee, who would be willing to lend a little space, a little help, a little advice and the use of a welder, I will have a go at making one myself. I would love to do it ... really. It definitely would be a huge step in the right direction.

Also, if any of you know someone who is looking for a 1937 Everett baby grand piano that just underwent a total mechanical renovation and restoration, I know someone who has one for sale.

Thanks guys,

John Washbush
West Allis, WI

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unklian

Posts: 517
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Idea Check Ebay for Pianos.



Just put a suitable reserve on it.

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ghiafab

Posts: 95
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Hi Bellytank,

A couple of reasons to buy a tool like Ron's; Ron started out a lot of folks in the metalshaping. His contributions to the craft are huge. You can be pretty sure that it will work right out of the box, so any problems are most likely due to a lack of experience by the operator, not a combination of a homemade tool, and an inexperienced operator. Don't get me wrong, I make most of my own tools, but every once in a while I buy one that I could make just to support someone else in the metalshaping world.

John,

You might want to consider starting out with a ballpeen hammer and shot dolly (metalcrafttools.com) filled with sand just to get a feel for stretching the metal at a price under $50. Then a post dolly and slapper to get a feel for smoothing the metal... then think about an english wheel.

John www.ghiaspecialties.com

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patrick2001

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John,

I can really understand your viewpoint because I have been in much the same position.

I sold some really cool stuff to make room and because I don't want to spend a year building the tools, I have been ordering the equipment to get going. I have found the top people for educating metalshaping also seem to offer the best blend of tools if you do not have the time to build your own. I have quite a list these days and after a lot of research almost all items will be purchased from Ron Covell, Ron Fournier, Kent White and Cal Davis' MetalCraft Tools. Each of these people only sell top notch equipment and they each have some unique tools. They all support our group which I also like.

This is a fun and talented group. Many do build their own tools and the discussion of how they have made them have helped me a lot. In the future I hope to build some additional tools once the shop is properly equiped. You will find that everyone understands that you can't alway build all your own tools. Quite a number of people in the group have been willing to have some off line discussions with me to help figure out where I will get the best value for my use.

I hope the piano market is good in Wisconsin.

Pat

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yomaxhammers

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Yomax hammer



Attached Files:

  • 100_0331.JPG (154 kb)

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    bellytank

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    ;]

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    unklian

    Posts: 517
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    Idea Someone who will spend $3000+ for a high end English Wheel is not going to be satisfied with a machine that can sell profitably for $500.Different market segments.Operator skill is probably the weak link,but that isn't the point.

    Having built a couple English Wheels from scratch,I can tell you there is more than
    "some machine work and welding" involved in making all the parts correctly,
    particularly if your making your own anvil wheels on a manual lathe.Assuming of course,
    you have access to a lathe,know how to use it,and can source the materials.

    "Special knowledge" ?
    How wide should the flats be on the anvil wheels ?
    How do you machine the radi ?
    Material type ? Heat treatment ?
    How stiff should the frame be ?
    Why not weld the upper yoke in place?
    How long would it take to machine an upper wheel from a solid bar ?
    What is your time worth ?

    From what I've seen,the design is very well thought out,and the product is intended for a small niche market.We are not talking McDonalds here.




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    ronfournier

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    Hi there,
    I would like to correct a few points of fact regarding our QuickShaper please. Materials for our QuickShaper far exceed $150 -- I think folks with a little knowledge of what a high quality set of anvils costs could back me up on that. We designed and produce this English wheel because we think it is an excellent piece of equipment and believe it is well suited to both a small start-up shop as well as full-time professional shop. (I would be pleased to send photos of them in service at metal working shops, schools, universities and military bases across the nation.) And, of course we do believe that buying equipment and/or tools from someone with experience in a particular field usually does offer intrinsic value. That's part of why we always send folks to our friend & associate Clay Cook for planishing hammers. He has a vast amount of experience, and certainly knows how to design, produce and sell high quality planishing hammers! And, by the way, the foot-operated shrinker does include a stretcher jaw as well. We are a small, family business and work very hard to earn a living. I hope you will respect that, and wish you a good day, Nicole Fournier-Osborne

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    ghiafab

    Posts: 95
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    Hi Bellytank,

    If you read my post again, I was not recomending that John buy the tool, I was reponding to your question of why anyone would. In fact, I recommended he start out with simple tools bought cheaply.

    When someone has done as much as Ron Fournier has for bringing back the craft of metaslshaping from near extinction, that means something to me and a lot of others. The same reason I buy tools or videos from the other people Pat mentioned as well..Ron Covell, Kent White, John Glover, Fay Butler...and vendors like Cal Davis, Jerry Gulley, and many others a little newer to the scene. These folks are enthusiasts first, business people second.

    To use your guitar analogy, my mother bought me a nice Fender Telecaster in the mid '60s along with a bandmaster amp. It was a one time splurge on her part, having come into a small amount of money. She could have afforded a Sears silvertone a whole lot easier, but bought she got me a nice guitar instead. As an enthusiastic but inexperienced player, I'm thinking I was a lot better off with a nice instrument that stayed in tune, than I would have been with a cheap piece of junk...or making my own (I did try). I still play, and am thankful that she spent a little more than she probably should have.

    It is one thing to be frugal...making your own tools etc, and another to be cheap. I care about where I spend my money. I want the people who do the work to make the money...this is why I don't shop at walmart. Cheap junk made by slave labor is not a bargain in my book. If we try to tear down those who attempt to make a decent living supplying the tools of our chosen craft or trade, cheap junk will be what we are left with. I made my own English wheel apparatus using Cal Davis anvils, but I would have bought whole thing already made if I had had the money to do so.

    John www.ghiaspecialties.com

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    bellytank

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    ; ]

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    pinkertonkap

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    I have to agree with Nicole. I don't have anywhere near Ron's metalshaping skills but we also make ewheels. If anyone thinks they can build a commercial quality ewheel for a couple - three hundred bucks, you could sell them hand over fist for 2-500% profit! The demand is there and you should plan on getting a good investment banker to handle all your money.

    Not only are steel and rollers expensive, you have to consider heat treating, shop space, supplies (priced MIG wire, gas, and grinding wheels lately), equiptment, fasteners, paint, insurance, selling costs, a little thing called LABOR, and a bunch more (some of which I wish I had known about before we started this business...lol). We're trying to make a living at it also and one day, perhaps this year, I hope to be able to draw a salary.

    Yeah, you can grab three pieces of tubing, some casters, and a trailer jack, grind some profiles on the casters and by 'definition' it's a wheeling machine. But you're not talking about the same thing at all. Kind of a Pogo Stick to a Harley comparison. Both may get you to the store but it's a whole different trip and might not even be the same store when you finally get there.

    This is not to denigrate anyone's shop built machines at all. There are MANY superior quality shop built ewheels out there built by folks who have access to the material, tools, and know how. There are also quite a few that don't work very well. And there are many folks who are just wanting to see if this is the thing they want to do and inexpensive machines are a decent way for them to test the waters. If they don't get discouraged because they don't get the results they expect, they may eventually build or buy a better machine or they may be happy with the one they've got, or they may get frustrated and take up knitting. We hear quite a few folks say "... tried metalshaping but couldn't get it to work like I saw on XXXX..."

    There is not an event we go to where at least one time, someone doesn't tell us that our machines work different than the one they made. (read different as better) Just last weekend, we sold a machine to a guy who came to a cycle show in Richmond and came by the booth. After playing just a few minutes he said, "...I understand now why I couldn't get the metal to do what I wanted on my machine..."

    Sixty percent of our clients are shop owners have the tools and equiptment to build a quality machine but can't afford to spend the unpaid time while they build a machine that may or may not work correctly when they finish. They can make more money doing what they do best and buy a machine from someone who knows how to build them. Twenty percent are folks who built their own previously and are ready to upgrade. The remaining twenty percent are folks who just want to start out with a good machine or do not have the tools/skills/time to build something.

    Having said all this, if anyone has the time, tools, and inclination to build their own machine, I encourage them to do so. I answer many emails asking questions that will never result in a sale. When I get the time, I'll be posting some info that will help folks build their own machine on this site similar to what has been posted elsewhere.

    Kerry Pinkerton
    Wheelingmachines.com

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    wdsmith

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    I am compelled to inject a little "food for thought" here but I did <snip> things down to the essentials:

    I would like to correct a few points of fact regarding our QuickShaper please. Materials for our QuickShaper far exceed $150 -- I think folks with a little knowledge of what a high quality set of anvils costs could back me up on that.

    = Confusion can really warp this in a hurry. The most common confusion is mentally comparing the cost of appropriate new steel with "I could buy that at Joe's Scrap Iron for......" I've been a "junker" all my life and only recently been exposed to the pure joy, clean look and highly improved function of buying proper new materials in the appropriate sizes.

    After a lifetime of "why buy when you can build one," I was recently shocked to find myself looking at one of those way-overpriced E-wheel kits and thinking,"That's a pretty good deal. All the hard stuff has been done. It would take me forever to make those parts and they still might not be right." And, if you really want to know how far I would go to build it myself, just take a look: http://www.smithsff.us/di[...]IG.html

    Machines are a lot like people... sometimes there is more to them than first impressions reveal. I built my first E-wheel <> 1963 from junkyard steel and nothing but a sketch general concept of what they did. It worked fine (considering and after much tinkering) and I have a replacement in mind now. Those overpriced kits are looking cheaper every day.

    And, of course we do believe that buying equipment and/or tools from someone with experience in a particular field usually does offer intrinsic value.

    = This might be a good place to point out the wisdom of "one thing at a time." A beginning metalshaper is not the person to build an E-wheel. Believe me, I well know the trials of building a machine you know virtually nothing about, then trying to teach yourself how to use it to further a process of which you have mimimal knowledge and no experience. It IS uphill all the way. Semi-fortunately, information unobtainable in the early '60s is now available on the 'net. I say "semi" because. like a 4-WD vehicle, it can get you stuck in more spectacular places. I would advise anybody to be well-versed in wheeling before they try to build one. Not much profit in fighting two battles at once.


    We are a small, family business and work very hard to earn a living. I hope you will respect that, and wish you a good day, Nicole Fournier-Osborne

    After 30 years in the fantasy world of aerospace engineering, I spent 11 years learning exactly how difficult it is to make a living in a WallyWorld society. I may never buy any of your products but I do happily pay 5 cents more per gallon for my gasoline at the last remaining "full service" stations in town. "Support the people who support you," was once a way of life. Too bad it went away.
    And a good day to you as well.

    WDSmith

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    oldgoaly

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    just to make a couple of points about building your own,
    hopefully you are studying the how and whys of what makes
    a good tool? when building one you can see things that
    raise new question or answer one you have not asked yet!
    it is not welding and slopping paint on the tool, lots of
    time abd work goes into each machine, even the ones sold
    by others. It is you money spend it the way you want! And if
    someone says you can't make one of them, build one a show
    you can!
    In which ever way you choose have fun and share it with others!

    tt(oldgoaly)

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    kmlandor

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    wow! there was a lot of discussion on this one with a lot of excellant points.there is a lot of engineering ,materials that go into building a functioning peice of equipment and at the first attempts a lot of scrap.so at todays steel prices that scrap is a little harder to eat!!!

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    choppperguy

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    All I can say is, Ron Builds an excellent machine. This is a plate steel side frame design. not a tubular. His wheels are polished to a mirror finish. Being in manufacturing for 10 years I know that is machine is worth the price he asks. Everyone wants something for nothing these days. Sure you can make it yourself for less. But you have to ask yourself "what is my time worth?" I figure $50 per hour, and I figure how many hours is it going to take to make it. If half of the cost is material then Rons machine is well worth it. A saturn will get you to work, but a corvette feels alot better to drive to work. I use my wheel that was built for very little money. But I also had access to a 20,000 square foot steel inventory and I have my own lathe and metal tools. I bought the CP air motor for my planish hammer for around 300 bucks, yet I could have taken the time to reverse engineer it and have the tool room at work make me one on one of our 80 Mazaks, or I could have made on from a air chisel. but I didn't I spent what I consider to be alot of money for something that I don't use every day.

    So, I will say this shop around use some wheels and decide what you like and buy it.

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    bellytank

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    : p

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    bellytank

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    : }

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    unklian

    Posts: 517
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    Ries Niemi posted this on our Yahoo board:





    You are obviously not in business- my guess is you work for somebody
    else for a living, right?

    Because there is a world of difference between making one of something
    for yourself, when there is no deadline, and your time costs you
    nothing, and actually making a product to sell.
    Once you are in business, and trying to make a production item, all of
    a sudden all that stuff you dont have to pay for at home becomes a big
    expense.
    First off, there is a lot more than $150 of steel in one- I dont know
    if you have priced steel lately, but it has at least doubled in the
    last year. And the dies are not mild- they are stuff that costs several
    dollars a pound.
    To make one, you could use your 2 grands worth of tools- but to
    efficiently make tools on a production basis, you need a lot more
    equipment- I have been in Ron's shop, and I know there is well over a
    hundred grands worth of equipment there.
    And when you add in rent, insurance, utilities, advertising, taxes,
    employee salaries and their taxes, welding gas, blades, grinding discs,
    paint, casters, fasteners, sandblasting, and on and on, you start
    talking about real money. Every one of your products has to pay its
    share of all that stuff. My bet is Ron subs out the machine work, to a
    shop that runs it on CNC equipment, and I would not be at all surprised
    if he has several hundred bucks in the rolls alone. On top of all that,
    he has to pay himself a salary, and as a business he needs to make a
    profit- those are two seperate things. He has to either make payments
    on all the tools required to build this stuff, or pay himself back for
    it if he paid cash for it.
    All of these things may sound like greed to somebody who is a wage
    slave, but once you start your own business, you realize that you are
    gonna be broke quick if you dont do this stuff.
    My guess is the actual profit on a $3700 english wheel/ combo is
    somewhere around $500. And I sure think Ron deserves it.

    Now, would I buy one- hell no- but I did buy a kit from metalace for a
    grand, which I am sure you would also think is foolish. And I own a big
    honking lathe, and a mill, so I could have made every bit from scratch.
    But like a lot of guys who buy new tools, I do it because I know I can
    make more money doing what I do well, instead of hacking my way through
    re-inventing the wheel making an english wheel from scratch.

    There are guys who buy Rons machines, or who spend even more money on
    an cast english wheel like this one-
    http://www.tridenttool.ca/ewheel.htm$4800, and you dont get a bag, or a
    shrinker, or a dolly stand, and there are even guys who buy these-
    http://www.eckold.de/e_kf665.html
    Eckold Kraftformers can run from $40,000 to over a hundred grand.
    I am sure you would think they are crazy too- but some of em are so
    skilled they could whip out an english wheel with one hand tied behind
    their back- but they dont, because they are doing something else with
    their time instead, something that pays more, that they love more, and
    that no one else can do.

    Fact is, everybody is different, and for some people, $3700 is cheap,
    and the right thing to do. And for others, like you, its totally wack.
    But you really have to believe that not everybody is like you, and for
    some people, even if they could build every tool themselves, its
    cheaper to buy one.

    ries

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    bellytank

    Posts: 7
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    Wink Thanks. Your guess is wrong.

    Actually I own/run a buisness in close relation to this type of work every day. I just wondered why the guy wouldn't come up with a cheaper solution to exactly the same thing. I don't build these but very well could. I also own lathes and two Bridgeports, one is CNC. We develope and produce products for various types of race cars and racing. We sell to Summitt, Jegs, Doug Herbert and others. I haven't been a wage slave as you put it since 1988. I know what steel costs, we get it delivered frequently and it goes up at least monthly. My original posts was to try and help the think about coming up with a tool that does exactly the same thing for less money.

    He could buy a pro-built E-wheel and add those three attachments for $260.00 , plus $150.00 for the square tube to make it look like Ron's, and put a lot of money somewhere else. Maybe you'd even like to arrange them differently.

    G'night.




    edited by poster

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    washbush

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    Greetings, One and All ...

    Well ... I certainly had no idea of the kind of reaction that I would get when I asked what I thought was a relatively simple question. One of the things I have learned from all of this is that there is no such thing as a relatively simple question. We are all complex individuals and we all have our own individual agenda. It is good that, in a forum like this one, we can all read and listen, agree to disagree, and stay connected. I want to say Thank You to everyone who put in his 2 cents worth on this thread.

    In case anyone has become lost along the way, this is the original text of my first post:

    italics textGreetings ... I am giving some serious thought to Ron Fournier's QuickShaper. It is a work station, complete with English wheel, shrinker/stretcher, shot bag, and more, all in one unit. Only the price is stopping me so far. Has anyone used one? What's the feeling about "all in one" stations? has anyone ever seen a used one for sale? Can anyone give me any good decision making info?>>italics text

    It is interesting that a lot of information was uncovered as a result of asking this question, but I don't remember hearing from anyone who actually has lived with one of those units for any length of time. So, if there are any lurkers out there who have one in the shop, please let me know, on or off list, it doesn't matter.

    In all fairness to Mr. Arnett, down there in southern Indiana, I did ask for input, he gave me input, and I appreciate the sincerity of his responses. Whether his view is controversial or not, doesn't change the fact that he was sincerely trying to offer help to another trades person who asked for it, with advice that is based in his experience and the way he sees things. He did, after all, present a point of view that I would not have considered prior to his input, and that is what makes it valuable to me. So, thanks Byron, I hope I can meet with you face to face one day and say Thanks. .

    I have asked myself, at my advanced age, what I have learned from all of this. Mostly I just reinforced a few things I already knew. First, don't ask someone what they think unless you are prepared to hear the answer. Second, if we ask 13 people what they think, we will get seven different opinions and six different, irrefutable, undeniable, absolute facts. Third, the most a man can do is to ask his friends for input, consider all of them, and then make up his own mind based on what is right for him. And, for that, I thank you all very, very much. That is exactly what I intend to do.

    For the record, it is not that I don't have ANY tools. I have a garage full. I just don't have a welder or a planishing hammer or an English wheel. And, I don't have a proper place to work at the moment, other than the welding classroom of WCTC. I felt that I would wind up with an inferior product if I tried to create an e-wheel from scratch, or even assemble one from parts. I was facing the choice of living with an inferior product that more than likely would give inferior results, or stepping up, with cash in hand, and buy a more superior product that would give more superior results. I think we all face this decision every day, from the cars we drive to the food we eat. I felt that I needed more information before I could make that decision in an informed way. Well, I now see options that I never would have thought of, and, so, I officially declare the operation a resounding success and the patient LIVED!

    Also, I can honestly tell you all that in just under 40 years of work, with the possible exception of the time I spent in the Army, I have never met a group of people so willing to help another person come into their craft, share their knowledge and skills, and promote the quality of work that can be done, as are the people who call themselves Metalshapers. I am very pleased with my decision to become a retread and my only regret is that I did not make this decision 25 years ago.

    Thanks to everyone.

    John Washbush
    Milwaukee, Wisconsin
    John@Washbush.Com


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    hotrodcruzer

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    All,
    I happen to own a QuickShaper (sorry bellytank!) and love it. I am POSITIVE I could eventually build my own but I don't have enough experience with the machine to know what exactly I'd need to do to build it. I DO try and build everything I can but as someone else mentioned, it takes a good deal of time and other machinery to do so.

    I think that anyone just getting into the Metalshaping business (or hobby as I am) needs to assess his own talents, bankbook and timeframes. While I can and do build as much as I can, my main goal is building Hot Rods.

    I started out with a garage full of lawn equipment and other junk. I have done a fair share of machine shop work and realized that I would need to make some fairly heady decisions. I decided I wanted to build a couple of Hot Rods instad of doing a bang up job on my lawn. My total home tool assortment consisted of a roll-away full of basic automotive type hand tools.

    I took a few welding classes at a J.C. to "formalize" my welding skills and started buying tools. Just as bellytank suggested I started with some basic stuff. A welder (instead of an inexpensive MIG setup I have a rather expensive TIG setup) a metal cutting bandsaw and a compressor. Then I took a Metal shaping class at Ron Fournier's place in Mich. That was a great experience! The folks there are very helpful and you get to learn from the best.

    Once I got back home I did a bit of primitive shaping using hammer forming but really wanted an English Wheel. I looked at a few kits and build it yourself options but I just couldn't imagine the time and effort it would take to make the thing and then hope I did everything correctly. Don't get me wrong if my goal had been to make an E-wheel, I would have done it in a heart beat, but my goal is to build my Hot Rod.

    This may sound a bit lame, but as a guy that "lives" in his gargage in a suburban part of So. Calif, I can tell you that my major concerns are space, space and space. The QuickShaper not only does the things I need it to do but it easily moves out of the way when I am not using it. Of course attaching casters to your homemade version is an easy thing to do but, I was looking for something I could simply "use".

    It is all a matter of what you are comfortable with and where your experience lies. I work for a major computer OEM. Yet I would never buy a computer built by ANYONE. They are simply too easy to build on your own. Yet people pay thousands for them. They simply don't have the time nor the expertise to know how to build it or what they should put in it for that matter. While building an E-wheel seems like a no-brainer to you bellytank that doesn't make the rest of us foolish for not making that attempt. You are just very experienced and have the know-how (and tools)many of the rest of us are still working to aquire!

    I love the QuickShaper and would recommend it to anyone that just doesn't have the time or the tools to build one themselves. The real key is NOT telling your wife what you spend on your tools in general!

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    bellytank

    Posts: 7
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    Wait a minute.....I never said anyone was foolish for not building one. The thing that initially struck me about the whole deal was that the John (orig. poster) was being hindered on his startup by the big initial purchase price.

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    unklian

    Posts: 517
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    Announcement OK Byron.You have made your point,REPEATEDLY.

    If you have a CONSTRUCTIVE suggestion,we would like to hear it.

    Otherwise,we have heard more than enough on this subject.

    Ian - Moderator

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    admin

    Posts: 146
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    All,

    I'd like to remind everyone of one of the stated values of this association (which can be found on the Purposes and Objectives page):

    Values
    MSA members shall have a commitment to preservation, innovation, creativity, honesty, integrity, and sharing of information.

    We may not, individually, agree with the all opinions and views expressed by others who use this forum, but we must allow for dissenting and sometime unpopular views to be expressed. One of the authors has expressed his viewpoint as he sees it, and has done so with some eloquence and careful thought. You may not agree with it, but a personal attack is not an acceptable response. Similarly, I'm concerned that Ron Fournier has been singled out as the object of criticism, with a strong implication that he is overcharging for his products. I would like to caution you that while it is acceptable to propose that the cost of a product is too high for some, it is unacceptable to sully the character of one of our members in this public forum.

    As I see it, an unpopular idea leading to some acrimonious discussion may move some to respond emotionally in an effort to end the conflict, but end up perpetuating it instead. Please, let's be careful to NOT let personal attacks enter into our community, but respect each other's opinions.

    Thank you all for this spirited discussion, and let's all move on now before we allow our emotions to lead us into actions we may regret.

    -- Arden
    Metalshapers web editor/moderator

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