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Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Westchester, NY
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How hard is it to learn to use an english wheel?

Title pretty much says it all. Not looking to make fender flares, just patch panels (for example the patch from the front part of the quarter to the outer rocker.
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Old 01-03-2012, 05:48 PM
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LWJ LWJ is offline
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From my buddy who worked on million $ rare cars - he wouldn't do it. It takes a real skill. Years. I understand.
Old 01-03-2012, 07:42 PM
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From a guy who used one a handful of times to build panels for Busch Grand National Cars in the 90's, they're not that hard to use.

I am a hands on guy, I try anything once or twice. If I can't figure out how to do it, I ask someone that has one and if after 2-3 more tries, I can't do it, THEN I pay someone to do it.

I found the wheel fairly easy to use as long as you are only going on one direction. I could not work reversing curves (not sure on the term) to save my life, but making concave/convex panels was not that hard.
Old 01-03-2012, 09:32 PM
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I agree with IMR, not hard at all if you are trying to form in a single plane. Also good to use to clean up work you've started with a hammar and dolly.

The thing is, just get out some scrap sheet, and start pounding away. With some time and practice, you'd be surprised what you can do.

My favorite metal working tools;

1. hammar and dolly/shot bag
2. planishiing hammar (you can do a lot of shaping with these, not just used to smooth things over)
3. shrinker-streatcher
4. english wheel (really only good for larger parts)
5. and the most useful...anything you can find laying around that will help you get the shape you need...your hands, a 2x4, 2 inch pipe, whatever.

Biggest wish, a big sliproll

All of my bodyworking tools were purchased on the cheap from HF. They work, though the english wheel is a little flimsy, and really should be reinforced.

Keep in mind that whole bodies were formed using nothing but a hammar, a stump, and some simple dollies. It can still be done. It's all just moving metal.

Good luck.
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Old 02-07-2012, 11:08 AM
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English wheel

This is a compound curve made on the english wheel. The lines on the metal are marker pen work guides. Work the short curve first and the long curve second.

http://forums.pelicanparts.com/paint-bodywork-discussion-forum/637878-long-hood-repair.html#post6346388


The panel that attaches to the rocker panel and quarter panel is mostly a single curve with a flange at the door opening. Formed over a wood buck and a folding jig for the door curve.

Old 04-14-2012, 09:32 AM
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if your good with working with your hands then in most cases you will pick right up on how and what to do .
if you work like your hands or made out of cement then it takes a long ass time or never .
Old 04-14-2012, 10:53 AM
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