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stephenson

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Hello Group,

I found MSA while searching on the Net for information to build an english wheel. In Brazil, this sort of equipment is very hard to come by.

At the moment, here at Shorline, were building a mock Spaceship for our local Planetarium. The outer shell is to be molded in fiberglass, and so far weve actually managed to make most of the molds using aluminium sheeting with steel tubes using our rolling mills.

The next part is the nose, which requires shaping the material in every direction. Hence my idea of using the English Wheel. We have most of the tools and equipment necessary to build the English Wheel, but I need advise on specifics such as wheel sizes, anvil contours, top adjuster vs lower adjuster, adjuster thread type, what pitfalls to avoid, and any other details that I need to know before getting started.

If there are any plans to help out, they would be of great use, and certainly speed up our production.

The actual part we have to make resembles 1/4 section of a semisphere measuring 2.0 m x 2.0 m (78" x 78")

Any suggestions on building the wheeling machine and making a part of this size will be very welcome!

Thanks!

John Shores

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unklian

Posts: 517
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Cool Welcome John.Lots of good info here,and on out Yahoo board: http://groups.yahoo.com/g[...]hapers/

For an adjusting screw,look for a piece of 25 mm course threaded rod,with matching nuts.
Or slightly larger.
Most people use 1" Acme screws,but they are overkill,and not readily available.
That's what I used,because it was free.If I had to buy some,I'd use 1" UNC.

While some will insist upper adjusts are vastly superior,
in the real world,any design is a compromise.
Same thing with upper vs lower adjusters.
No matter what you design,or how big you make it,there will come a day when you will wish something was different.

Basic Ergonomics dictates you don't want to be reaching up over yoour head to operate controls,
if you don't have to.An angled lower arm with a hand wheel operating a compact lower adjuster,might be a good compromise.
The shaft could be extended to include a removable foot wheel.As long as the foot wheel is within a couple inches of the floor,the "standing on one foot" argument doesn't hold water.

Check out the albums here,Jim Bailie has a good english wheel ablum,Seca Tim just finished a nice one with an angled lower arm,I've got a couple showing some of the details on the english wheels I've built.There are many others.If you click on the small pic,they get larger and frequently include an explaination of what is being shown.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



Are you sure you don't want to make the nose cone out of Fiberglas ?
Might be quicker/easier/cheaper to make a plug out of foam,pull a mold,and make the part in 'Glas.

Not trying to discourage you,just looking for other ways.

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stingshp

Posts: 278
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John
Glad you you found us , we have a great deal of info. on E-wheels ,Ideas and construction . Dig around on site Metalshapers.org , I believe you will find as many different ways to build them . One common Factor i found while building mine was wheel -size relationship ,Uppers most of the time are 3 times the size of the lower and the lower Anvil{roller} was common sized at 3" wide X 31/2"Dia. .Tops are commonly 3"-31/2" wide . You will notice in the Album pictures that the upper wheel is Dished out and holes drilled thru to lighten it"s rotating mass,it does make a difference . There is a great deal of food for thought on Frames /strength . So check around the site albums for them . Plans from http://www.metalcrafttools.com/ and a John Glover Book should get you going .
GordonB

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pinkertonk

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Ian, I must take exception to your attached comments. Yes, I prefer upper adjusters and because I own one (and have build and sold over 30.) I can only assume that the "militant hardline fanatic" applies to me and, to be honest, I find that offensive.

John, I will agree that most things in life are compromises, including machine design. Yes, I prefer and build upper adjuster machines. I've built and used both and I prefer the upper adjusters. It's still a free country. Ian can do what he wants. I won't call him names.

Ian wrote:
While some militant hardline fanatics will insist upper adjusts are vastly superior,
and so are the people who own them,in the real world,any design is a compromise.
Same thing with upper vs lower adjusters.
No matter what you design,or how big you make it,there will come a day when you will wish something was different.

Basic Ergonomics dictates you don't want to be reaching up over your head to operate controls,
if you don't have to.An angled lower arm with a hand wheel operating a compact lower adjuster,might be a good compromise.
The shaft could be extended to include a removable foot wheel.As long as the foot wheel is within a couple inches of the floor,the "standing on one foot" argument doesn't hold water.


Basic Ergonomics dictates you don't want to be balancing on one foot. Try finding a lower kickwheel when you are holding a large panel in the wheeling machine. This is the exact situation that caused me to build my first upper adjuster machine. On small panels it really is not an issue other than clearance around the vertical adjuster post. Bridgeport milling machines have been copied in the thousands by companies around the world and to this day, still have a overhead controls.

The problem with a compact lower adjuster as Ian describes is that with compact bearing lengths, compact adjusters are subject to play (wobble). That is not to say that a precision compact adjuster can not be built, it's just not as easy to fabricate as 'taller' units, especially for home builders. imho.

You can do good work with either style machine. It's a matter of what you get used to. Upper wheels are frequently 8" diameter in 2 or 3" widths. Anvils are frequently 3" diameter.

Kerry Pinkerton
Wheelingmachines.com

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66tiger

Posts: 84
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Hi John,

I've been doing the same as you: collecting ideas for building an e-wheel based on some of the good ideas I've seen shared here. Here's a link to my album that shows some of the progress I've made. At least, I think it's progress

Here's a picture of what I've got so far:


Here's a picture of the upper adjuster:


And here's one of the lower quick release:


Ian suggested one of these as an alternative:


If you visit the album you'll be able to see the large versions of these pictures, and the last two are even animated to show how they work.

-- Arden

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unklian

Posts: 517
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Hi Kerry.
Sorry if you found my comments offensive.They were not directed at anyone specific,
certainly not you.I have edited my original comments and hope this meets with your satisfaction.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Some "manufacturers",who obviously don't use their own product,make English Wheels with the lower adjuster 6"-18" off the floor.Of course you need to stand on one foot.And yes,that would be very awkward.

That's why on mine,the top adjusting wheel is less than 2" off the ground.I can easily adjust the pressure with the toe of my boot while my heel is firmly planted on the ground.No balancing involved,no problem.

My design also features a quick release,so I don't have to worry about the adjuster when I'm changing anvils.

A compact lower adjuster,with a minimum of slop,is just a matter of proportions and thinking outside the box.It can be done,and without alot of fancy machining.Maybe I'll have to make one.

The Destaco clamp idea in Arden's post came from a picture that Tom Lipton posted a few years ago.I think Tom removed it from his machine,it's position might have made it too awkward to use regularly.

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stingshp

Posts: 278
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Arden
One item i'm going to change is the adjuster wheel itself , if you invert your wheel so it's closer to the upper wheel it's easier to reach[Not as high ] i found when i work ,my anvil height is about mouth level i have to reach to high to turn the wheel . I'm going to build one that almost touches top beam when upper roller is contacting lower .
GordonB

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66tiger

Posts: 84
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Gordon,

I see what you mean. I was planning on having is at about chest height, but it sounds like you'd recommend that it should be higher, correct?

-- Arden

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stephenson

Posts: 3
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Idea Thanks very much Ian and all involved in giving such quick responses!!
Im now sorting out all of the advice, tips etc..
As this tool is most likely to be used on few and very special parts, Im thinking of keeping
the design simple. The upper adjustment seem a more obvious one to make, with fewer parts, but maybe a little more tiresome for the operator.
For the top wheel Ive been thinking of modifying a cast iron wheel used on wheelcarts.
From what Ive understood so far, the pressure applied between the wheels is not so great.
Arden thanks for the photos!

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admin

Posts: 146
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Edited for MSA Forums and Re-posted from Yahoo list by Admin:

On the subject of the upper and lower adjustment, my personal choice is lower adjustment. This is due to 4 shoulder surgeries and the fact that my first wheel I made almost 20 years ago was a lower adjustment, so that's what I am accustomed to. Of the 20 plus of my Big Bertha 44 inch machines and over 150 of my bench top machines, that I've sold -- all were lower adjustment.

Now for wheel height -- there are many varying opinions on that, so personal choice prevails. I prefer my wheel contact area to be low, 90 degrees at the elbows. In other words, stand up with your arms hanging down move your lower arm to a 90 at the elbow and measure from the elbow to the floor, and that is where I prefer my wheel contact area to be, but you may be different. This is my personal choice due to comfort to me. I can not do the wheeling with the metal up in my eyes. It hurts my shoulders and hands too much. For those of you building your own machine, you will learn to read the metal wherever you have to place the wheel height, whether it is up at eye level or down lower. Just keep your comfort in mind when establishing wheel height.

As we all get older and I am almost 57, we all want our wheeling to be enjoyable & comfortable to do. If it causes me pain it won't get done, and I have a lot of wheeling and planishing to do over the next year or two on the DeMo'nd.

Dan Pascoe

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stingshp

Posts: 278
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Arden
I don't like to stoup over when pushing or pulling something . After DanP's post many good points . One of my reasons for having it near eye level was reading the metal as it's moving , but Dan killed that thought . Maybe thats why i made mine with bolt-on arm and head ?I can change it .
Sorry for taking so long to reply ,shop stuff
GordonB

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unklian

Posts: 517
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Again,a compromise.
Up high,it's easier to see the shape,but puts more stress on your shoulders.

Around elbow height is much easier on the arms and shoulders,
but now you can't see the shape as easily.

Of course,the actual dimension would be different for each operator,
elbow height for me might be eye level for someone else.

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jfsmith

Posts: 13
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Question I have a pretty good shop for machining and doing metal. What kind of steel should the anvils wheels be made from? Will 4 inch by 6 inch square tubular steel work well for the frame? I can get smaller dimensions on the tubular steel, but I have this size available at the moment. I do have a plasma cutter and Monday I am getting my Lincoln TIG 275 delivered. I can heat treat anything up to 14 by 14 by 10, but you don't want to know the energy costs.

I was thinking about S-7 for the Anvil Wheel, and then not hardening it.


Jerry

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raferguson

Posts: 55
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For a 78 inch diameter hemisphere, you would need a throat of at least 44 inches. 4 by 6 inch tubing is too small for that big a throat, the wheel will not be stiff enough. 4 inches by 12 inches by 1/4 inch wall thickness would be closer, but it would depend on the wall thickness and how stiff you want the wheel. Will you be working steel and other materials, or primarily aluminum?

I have a spreadsheet that models stiffness for e-wheels with simple C frames, so if you want to suggest an available tubing size in the range of 4 by 12 inches, I could run the numbers and let you know what the wheel stiffness would be. Different people prefer different stiffness, and the material you are wheeling also affects how stiff the wheel should be, you need a stiffer wheel for stainless steel than for aluminum, for example. To me, there is probably an acceptable range of stiffness, you don't want a really limp or a really stiff wheel.

Richard

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unklian

Posts: 517
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Cool Jerry: what size frame are you planning ?

Several guys are using wheels made from mild steel,or 4140,
without any heat treatment.

S7 would be overkill,
unless you had a bunch extra sitting around that nobody will miss.

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jfsmith

Posts: 13
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I have from 1018 thru S 7 in steel in my shop, as well as O-1 and W-1. I want to build a wheel more for some ornamental metal work than doing auto body, but I use use old car hoods as a source of steel for my ornamental work. Plus a lot of non steel metals. Plus I have the hand crank actuators from several hospital beds in my overhead.

raferguson, can I get a copy of that spreadsheet from you. It would be appreciated

unklian, I am still in the figuring out stage, so some guidance would be appreciated.

Thanks,

Jerry

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