Benchtop English Wheel and tuck forming

  1. optima21 Forum Supporter

    halifax, England
    as Im starting to make a proper effort to work on my Triumph Herald, I decided to have a bit of a tidy up and had a repair panel for a door and a big chunk of C section channel so decided to have a go at tuck forming. so I drilled a 3" diameter hole in the C panel and ended with this


    rather a tree stump used for tuck forming or tuck shrinking. (if you dont know what I mean there are plenty of videos on youtube), you you can create the tuck in the hole and flatten the tuck on the flat section. The door panel was flattened and one edge was tuck shrinked. and ended up like this


    the panel is about 6" wide and was just to see how it worked as I'll need to make a pair of inner wheel arches for my herald as shown below, which can be made in 2 pieces.


    I'm suprised at how well it worked, but dont think I'll do it this was as I have a deep shrinker stretcher that I modified from a standard one

    a few years ago I bought a benchtop english wheel from chronos, and back then I think it was about £120, but now they are just short of £200.


    thats after its had a few tweaks, and the the big wheel is 6" diameter and the small wheels are 2" diameter both are 1" wide. out of the box the fit of parts is appauling.


    the nut on the bottom of the frame for raising the smaller wheel is not square with the frame so that was cut and tweaked to realign it and then welded up again. some nuts were also welded on the frame so that grub screws can be used to tighten up the support for the small wheel. the care on the thread rod was replaced with a wheel just as its more easier to use.


    the threaded rod used to raise the lower wheel was extended and a nut put on the end so it can now be used to lower the lower wheel too. washers were also screwd to the saddle for the lower wheel to prevent lateral movement.

    although the frame is still flexible it seemed to work pretty well for the tuck formed panel above


    and came out pretty smooth. and as can be seen it is aslo suitable for getting shallow compound curves on smaller panels


    and you can get radiused curves by using a tyre innertube over the larger wheel

    DSC01696.JPG DSC01697.JPG

    and the radiused rollers


    so my thoughts are that yes they do work as long as you dont expect miracles. they are simple enough to make, especially if you a lathe big enough to make the larger wheel (and are able to turn the radius on the smaller wheels). are they worth £200 probably not, and seemed to be better value when I got mine. but for smaller panels they might have a space in your workshop if you dont have the space for a full sized english wheel

    and I know I should have used clean steel for the wheeling rather than the painted surface of the repair panel (which was going to be thrown away before I had a play with it)
    MattF, 8ob, decca and 6 others like this.
  2. RichardM Member


    I made a small one years ago, the top wheel is a cast steel very heavy duty castor wheel, the bottom wheel a redesigned tractor linkage ball.
  3. Tom O Member

    Lol I bought one of those too it’s definetly too flexible, eventually I’d like to build a nice solid one that swings up against the wall for storage.
  4. Tinbasherdan

    Tinbasherdan Bodger in chief

    Bolton, England
    Any dimensions?
  5. RichardM Member

    ^^^ Dims for which bits?
  6. Tinbasherdan

    Tinbasherdan Bodger in chief

    Bolton, England
    Sorry, for the frame itself. Was fighting the dog and had meant to put more detail in the question :D
  7. RichardM Member

    Only a small one :laughing: That's a 4" vice holding it.

    I'll measure it up tomorrow and let you know
    Tinbasherdan likes this.
  8. Tinbasherdan

    Tinbasherdan Bodger in chief

    Bolton, England
    Cheers bud. I don’t need owt huge , need to make a small bonnet bulge to weld on to clear my turbo :D
  9. RichardM Member

    Internally between the box section length 18" height 10"
  10. cardiffrob Member

    Discovered yesterday that the 'other' hangar at work has a full metalshop in a room bigger than my house with the Biiiiiggggeeeessssttt wheel I have ever seen. Used to form new skins for Boeings. 2 foot shrinkers, 2 foot stretchers, a full CNC room.......and nobody who knows how to use it all.

  11. Tinbasherdan

    Tinbasherdan Bodger in chief

    Bolton, England
    Time to pester management to sell it