View Full Version : parts to build an English Wheel

11-18-2004, 10:49 AM
Does anyone know of a good (i.e., cheap) source for the two wheels and/or other specialty parts needed to construct a homemade English wheel? I have a friend who's establishing a business building racecar bodies and has everything except the english wheel. I thought I'd help him build one...
Maybe a source for a kit that isn't 10 times overpriced?

Thanks for any assistance,

11-18-2004, 11:05 AM
A good substitute for the expensive upper wheel and lower anvils are used bearings.

Get a large one, maybe 7 to 8" diameter for the upper roll. For the lower use the cartridge bearing assemblies out of self aligning pillow blocks, these have a radius on the face.

A big advantage of bearings over custom turned parts is the true running and the hardened surface. Yu can run over welds, grit, anything without worrying about marking your wheels.

Look around for outfits that maintain and repair heavy equipment. They may be a source for the used bearings. I found mine at scrap yards.

11-18-2004, 01:21 PM
Super ideas! Thanks!

11-18-2004, 01:25 PM
There are several companies that offer the upper and lower anvil assemblies in various states of completion,ranging from 45 bucks for a shaped and polished 4140 lower anvil ready for heat treat and bearings , all the way up to 2-300 bucks for a hardened and polished upper wheel.Kits are also avalable.C.Cook Enterprises,Metalcraft Tools,TM Sheetmetal,And Eastwoods, are just a few who offer Complete wheels,kits and parts. If you make your own, be sure to use a heat treatable alloy(4140 is my favorite),and put a high polish on it before and after heat treat. also make sure your frame/body of your machine is RIGID.The Wheels avalable from Eastwood , Irvan Smith,Metal Ace and the like,flex quite a bit and are not as predictable as a rigid (cast/fabricated heavily gusseted tube ) Wheel.If you can find a copy of John Glovers Englih Wheel plans They are pretty good along with a little tutorial on how to use and trouble shoot problems. good luck.

11-18-2004, 02:37 PM
Take a look here:


11-18-2004, 03:09 PM
The Tinman site sells a kit. Nice stuff but I hope yer sittin down when you look at the price!

11-18-2004, 03:42 PM
Chester, that's exactly what we were looking for. Thanks! And thanks, too, to all the other replies. I've got tons of great info here.

11-18-2004, 03:47 PM
Or look here..pretty steep maybe

11-18-2004, 07:11 PM
lowbucktools.com sells the anvils (wheels) just need to build framework.
Are you the dirtforum KP? If so its nice to give you info for a change!

11-18-2004, 07:14 PM
The metalmeet site www.metalmeet.com (http://www.metalmeet.com) has LOTS of forums including a English wheel forum.

They discuss frame design, what to make it out of, adjusters, wheels, etc.

You DO have to register, but it dosen't cost anything and you dont get junk E-mails and other junk.

Hope this helps,


11-18-2004, 07:20 PM
Best top wheel I have had, a forged one from www.grainger.com (http://www.grainer.com) search out forged, and wheel. I think less than $150..

It comes with real good quiet bearings. The squeak squeak squeak makes me crazier than normal.

Best lower bearings are trailer axle bearings at 12$ a pair. CUt the profiles to the previous post pictures I did for Alistair. I clamped a sheet metal pattern to the back of my lathe and traced it with a probe on the compound slide.. it worked.. Not sure if that picture is still up or not.. It was in the hints post we had.

I think I still have the different anvil profiles on there, if not email me. Do a search on history top right of this screen.

My frame, thou I like it is kinda flimsy, all the measurements are there on that picture page too.. it makes all kinds of noises while wheeling.. A real english wheel is made or cast of metal like a giant C.. weighs hundreds of pounds.
My frame constructed out of 2x4 tubing has a 2x2 socket, I have several tools that sit in there, making the frame useful instead of just taking up space 90% of the time. Right now I have the harbor fright style metal bender in it (made in USA my butt). My tubing bender fits right in there, as does the small box break I have. This makes it useful, but where to store everything while not in the frame? I have a problem.... it is all piled up around it making me lift it each time..

Hope this helps.

English wheels so I am told were really designed to aid in the fabrication of body armor for knights.. the airplane builders resurected them. It really hurts when you pinch a finger.. so don't.. I wear gloves while wheeling. This helps with the myriad of paper like cuts on my palms..


[This message has been edited by ibewgypsie (edited 11-18-2004).]

11-18-2004, 07:42 PM
Ohh, and I use the wheel as a secondary tool..

I got a leather sandbag, I made here.. About 18x18.. hammers vary from a old torch bottle cap to a 2lb hammer turned in a lathe.. I love hammers.. I indented the harley fender on my bike on there, used a old stainless car tail light on it after I beat a dent of the proper style to socket the tailight into.

A good solid table made from 3/4 metal w substantial legs, a old railroad iron on legs.. I have beat on it with things and a sledgehammer.. You can shape anything you want if you are stubborn enough.. And before you ask.. yes I have a pile I throw my mistakes into..


11-18-2004, 09:09 PM
If you buy your lower anvils on Ebay, DO NOT buy them from Oklahoma Hardware ("oklahrdw") - aka "Custom Die". I had to rework every one of the five I bought from him. The flat anvil had .030+ axial runout and the others had the bearing seats over bored. You'll also get a mixed bag of diameters and widths.

Price wise, he competes with the others but the quality is sub-standard. Evidently, he has no quality controls in place. Either that or the stuff he puts on sale is seconds (mistakes).

From my contacts, Hoosier Pattern has the best wheels and anvils on the market with affordable prices.

Here's the wheel I completed a while back: http://img.photobucket.com/albums/0903/CCWKen/Tools/EwheelCombo-2.jpg


11-18-2004, 09:28 PM

As with the other things I have saw that you built, a thing of beauty.

(jealousy) Mine is painted with a brush.


11-18-2004, 09:38 PM
LOL... Thanks David. That paint is from Tractor Supply! It was the first time I tried their enamel and hardner. Works good but you have to watch the thinning. I decided to use their "Transit Yellow" on the tractor I'm building.

As a matter of fact, I just picked up the engine doner today. A Kubota 2-cylinder diesel garden tractor. One heavy SOB! http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif

11-18-2004, 09:59 PM

Wheel,8 In
Forged Steel Wheel, Wheel Diameter 8 Inches, Wheel Width 2 1/2 Inches, Weight Capacity 3000 Pounds, Wheel Bearing Taper, Hub Width 2 3/4 Inches, Tread Color Gray, Core Color Gray, Fits Axle 3/4 Inch

2G200 Forged wheel 149.30 (ouch).. current price.. I don't remember paying but 115 or so..??


{img} http://home.alltel.net/Dec4857/5.jpg
{img} http://home.alltel.net/Dec4857/3.jpg
{img} http://home.alltel.net/Dec4857/4.jpg

about all I got for ya tonighte.. five shots and I am done for the nite..

David http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif

[This message has been edited by ibewgypsie (edited 11-18-2004).]

11-18-2004, 10:24 PM
FWIW:http://www.eastwoodco.com/shopping/search/searchresultsmain.jsp?fresh=1&searchType=advanced&iMainCat=0&iSubCat=0&attribute14=0&attribute15=0&attribute16=0&RS=1&keyword=english +wheel

11-18-2004, 10:28 PM
David and everyone,
Thanks a million for all the help so far. Can't tell you all how great it is to find a source of such great knowledge (and humor, too! :-) ).
Merf23, yep, that's me. We've been a big part of www.thedirtforum.com (http://www.thedirtforum.com) for a few years now, but our sponsorship on the forums is ending this year. We'll still be all over 'em for tech help, just can't afford to advertise there.
It's great to find the same good folks in other places on the 'net too!

(and if anyone cares, here's our overdue-for-an-update website: www.kineticperformance.net (http://www.kineticperformance.net) ).

11-18-2004, 10:41 PM
I have heard of people using Steel casters.

11-19-2004, 01:44 AM
Sorry guys, I must've overwrote one of the english wheel profile pattern pages with the other..

My brain-fart.. I got it on paper, but not a working scanner here.