Learn How to Use An English Wheel – Lots of Tech Tips From Eastwood
How to Use an English Wheel
An English wheel is a simple, easy-to-use machine designed for sheet metal forming and fabrication. The machine is used to produce different types of curves in sheet metal. Generally, the machine is manually operated. However, hydraulic drives are sometimes used on larger machines.
Understanding the English Wheel Design
Understand that an English wheel is used to bend and form sheet metal to make useable parts. It is, essentially, a rectangular frame bolted to a large stand.
- The frame is shaped in the form of a closed letter ‘C’. At one end of the frame are two wheels that are used to form the sheet metal. The top wheel is called the rolling wheel, while the bottom wheel is known as the anvil wheel.
- On an average, the size of the rolling wheel has a width of 8 centimeter (3.1 in) (3") and the anvil wheel has a diameter of 25cm (10").
- The depth of the C frame is known as the throat. The depth determines the size of the sheet metal that can be formed using the English wheel.
- Equipment manufacturers can produce English wheels with throat depths up to 120cm (48"). Some machines even have designs that allow the wheels to turn at a 90° angle so as to incorporate larger sheet metal.
- Two common metals that are formed using the English wheel are steel and aluminum.
- The lower jaw of the frame that holds the anvil wheel is adjustable to provide a range of forming capabilities as the metal thins.
- The die holder for the anvil wheel is controlled by a screw with a handle which adjusts the gap between the anvil wheel and the rolling wheel.
- There is usually a lever attached to the lower wheel which will open jaws so that the formed metal can be easily removed.
Using the English Wheel
Choose the die.Usually, an English wheel comes equipped with five or six different anvil wheel dies. Choose the die according to the type of forming you wish to achieve.
Attach the die to the frame.The lower jaw of the C frame has two carved grooves and the anvil wheel has an axle which extends on either side. Place the die onto the lower jaw by fitting the axle into the grooves.
Adjust the gap between the wheels.Turn the handle under the lower jaw to adjust the space between the wheels. A smaller the gap will apply more pressure to the sheet metal.
Begin the metal forming process.Pass the sheet metal through the gap between the rolling wheel and the anvil wheel.
Move the sheet metal back and forth between the two dies to help form the sheet metal.Note that the sheet metal part can be manipulated in every direction.
Remove the sheet metal after forming is complete.Many English wheels are equipped with a lever just under the anvil wheel. The lever increases the gap so you can remove the sheet metal easily without changing your settings.
||English Wheel - A Tool to Maintain Smooth Surface on Metal Sheet|
- For creating curved objects such as motorcycle tanks, you can use the English wheel to stretch only the center of the sheet metal while leaving the edges of the same thickness.
- Choose the roller depending on the amount of curvature you want in the sheet metal.
Video: English Wheel Techniques
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