No announcement yet.

question about English wheel???????

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • question about English wheel???????

    I am making an English (not Scottish but )English wheel when you set the under wheel I.e the dolly wheel (I call it)how do you stop it revolving out of sync with the top wheel as you wind it up or does this no matter I feel it must be important otherwise it will not work properly however the book I have is very vauge on this lower wheel mechanism Alistair
    Please excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

  • #2

    I don't think it matters. Your large top wheel should be flat and the smaller bottom wheel/anvil should have a curved surface.. The more shape you want, the more the curve in the bottom wheel/anvil should be.

    I think all you care about doing with an english wheel is form a compound curve. How its done and where its done is another question



    • #3
      Seen this before: Yep I have..

      Take you a hammer and a sandbag, rough shape what you want. then wheel it. Get all the lumps out and if it looks like you want quit right there.

      One big, one little? if they are fractionaly out of synchronization in proportional ratio they will turn differently. If you have marks on the wheels, they will make marks on the metal going under them in pressure.


      • #4
        Not sure I understand the question. It ought not to matter in the least how the anvil and upper wheel rotate in relationship to each other. Also, make your lower (anvil) wheels
        flat in the center - not full radius. Lower wheels are only radiused to keep their edges out of the way as the metal forms, not as some think for the metal to conform to.
        Great website that will answer all of your questions is


        • #5
          I just wondered if the lower wheel should remain in line with the upper as you rolled back and forwards seems it doesn't that makes my problem (I had created <envisaged)easier to understand.
          I have made one lower wheel so far, with bearings etc but it is virtually as flat as the top wheel. I take it this will not be really efective! however I plan to make more with a slight radius comments needed please keep em coming thanks so far guys Alistair
          Please excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease


          • #6

            Beware of spurious characters!

            The best book on the subject was the Repair of Vehicle Bodies by Alan Robinson.

            I used it for my Ciity and Guilds with Alan as one of my lecturers at Gateshead Tech.

            Somehow, I suspect that Alan has passed away- he had cancer. The present edition is now revised and is in its 4th Edition.

            Even Edition 1 or 2 will have wheeling in.

            Also, a design for a rather flimsy one appeared in Model Engineers Workshop. 3 or more years ago.

            Ours had 3 wheels and I suspect it was an Archdale. A big heavy bugger that would do a bus roof is what you wanted it- and muscles which you never knew existed.

            Keep well, me old Haggis



            • #7
              I have an English wheel that I made a few years ago. Mine is keyed so that the wheels both turn on parallel axis. you work the steel or aluminum back and forth between the wheels to cause it to thin and crown. the upper wheel should be flat and the lower wheel or anvil should be flat in the center then rounded toward the edges. Most wheels have several innerchangeable lower wheels with different radiuses. Its not important that the wheels turn together the pressure you adjust into the machine causes both wheels to turn. A feature that is nice to have is a way to let the pressure off to check your parts shape then reapply the same pressure to continue to shape the part. Usually this is done with some sort of an eccentric. There is a book available from Lindsay that has a few designs and instructions on how to obtain shapes called "The English Wheel Book" by David Anderson that I found very useful when I built mine.


              • #8
                Alistair, You have to lock the lower wheel shaft from turning. If you don't the lower wheel will not track properly. Here is a picture of the lower post and the arrangement that I will use to mine from turning. It will have a pin in the hole in the shaft that will slip into the groove. Some people use a key.

                The english wheel is on my to do list now, It is about 1/3 finished with all materials purchased.

                Hope this helps.



                • #9

                  The top wheel rotates in the body of the machine whilst the crowned wheels simply fit into a yoke which is tightened or slackened as required.

                  Please look at a professional tool.



                  • #10
                    I get the feeling everyone has answered everthing but your question.

                    The "lower anvil" must remain in-line with the "upper wheel" during the wheeling process. The lower anvil cannot move side-to-side or shift off the center line of the upper wheel. Any movement will cause patterns to appear in your work.

                    The lower mechanisum needs to move up and down without allowing the anvil to rotate or move side to side. (Think of how your lathe tail stock works.)

                    One way to do it is to use a captured screw (doesn't move up or down when turned) acting on a riser tube within a guide tube. Use guides or gibs on the guide tube to keep the riser from turning and keep it in-line with the upper wheel axis. Your lower anvil "cradle" would be mounted to the riser tube. On mine, the quick release setup is mounted to the riser and the cradle is mounted to the quick release tube.

                    Here's a picture of mine using gib screws.

                    The lift screw is "captured" by using a flange bearing with set screws. This allows the screw to turn and not move up or down. Tuning the screw will force the riser tube to move up or down.

                    This is the lower "kick wheel" used to make adjustments. (Mine has a quick-release for changing anvils or inserting/removing work)

                    [This message has been edited by CCWKen (edited 04-29-2005).]


                    • #11
                      I do apologise to you and CCWKen.
                      I was trying to write about an English Wheeling machine which would cover most eventualities and something which was designed with limited application.

                      I was envisaging something that would be capable of tracking on its own volition, and the three wheels would outweigh the total construction illustrated.

                      Comparing the two, I would echo David's words and pick up a leather sandbag, my hammers and dollies and not f*** about.

                      I would re-iterate my earlier comments about
                      the muscle required to wheel something from scratch. Again, I would commend my old mentor's book. Furthermore, Alan's book was and maybe still the standard text book for the VBBRA in the UK.

                      It's a Bank Holiday in the UK. Perhaps, a couple of VBBRA members and mates of mine in Rotary will still have a proper machine for the Forum to compare.I do recall one outside the Morris Minor Centre in Great Ayton, near Middlesbrough. Outside it was. It was too damned heavy to pinch.

                      Alastair- beware of false prophets.


                      • #12
                        Voila! I now have the write up on this MEW "toy" in issue 42.

                        If you would like it, please E-Mail me with your address. Sorry, me old sport!
                        It would look appropriate for something akin to the Freemason's. Speculative rather than operative!

                        Feeling like that- they've withdrawn my pain killing medication. GRRRRRRRR!!!!!
                        Chewing nails and spitting rust.



                        • #13
                          Yes the bottom wheel must not be able to be rocked, I thought that was apparent.

                          I am impatient, I want to see results "NOW" and not later. My wheel vibrates, chatters and makes a humm while you are moving the metal. Perhaps it is not solid enough to put enough pressure on it? I built it from internet plans. It does a dozen different things now, more a tool post than a wheel. I mounted a motor and eccentric on top of it to make a "power hammer". We'll see how that works if I ever get done on the house. (that is live through the house) This is to save my shoulder.

                          I beat the heck out of it (metal), I have about a dozen hammers, one a old torch bottle cap with the big rounded end that works for "lots" of shapes. Then a assortment of hammers I have turned in my lathe, ground to profile and factory shapes. (wedge) I sometimes get in too big of a hurry and tear the metal. (then it hits the scrap heap)
                          I use the wheel to smoothe.

                          Norman: My shoulder has quit already this morning and I have 4 more top corners to do in my new bedroom in sheetrock mud. ALIEVE, is a pain reliever med (over the counter) that I use here. It lasts about 8 hours but they say don't take more for 12. My rt shoulder problem is arthuritus, torn Rotacuff, nerve damage (broken collar bone several times) and torn deltoid muscles (Sport Karate). Doctor says I will never pitch baseball again. Unfortunatly I never could. I guess he sees mostly sports injuries and is ignorant to "silly causes".


                          • #14
                            David, my dear young friend.If I had the blood pressure- which I ain't- my heart would bleed for you.

                            Respectfully, a famous American once said
                            " There ain't no substitute for ( dare I?)
                            CUBIC INCHES. When it comes to wheeling machines- English- of course- add, cast iron. Will you stop playing with these toys?
                            Not doing you any good.

                            Bless, you boy, your'e a good un.



                            • #15
                              I'll keep on hammering, welding, building things as long as I can. I got two dozen things started. Using the "cheap-arse" procurement method for parts for each. Waiting on it to come along.

                              As long as you "feel" productive you keep on moving (living and feeling useful).

                              My (step)grampa, we always said the year he didn't have a garden to think about, work in, he'd pass on. He did. I miss him, thou my real grampa passed away from building the liberty ships. He ruined his lungs welding down in the cargo hold. You can look at that two ways, either I didn't have a "real grampa" or that "we won the war". Lot of others died from building war materiels in unsafe enviroments. Many more died than in actual combat I think. My Stepgrampa was a great teacher too.

                              I plan on "pushing it" for the rest of my life. I stay busy here. I plan on publishing the power hammer once I am happy with the way it works and looks. The people here are shallow sometimes, they want "looks over function". They pick. Made me paint my old cnc a metalflake black w clearcoat to stop the jesting.

                              My 9 year old just filled in over a thousand or so drywall screws. What is so neat about the "new" method of using screws is that you don't have hammer marks to fill in too. She is dying to "have her own room here". And I am encouraging that thought.
                              She enjoyed using a putty knife more than steering the cnc with a joystick. I don't understand that thou I am trying. I guess she can't envision making something with a joystick. The room is real to her.

                              She cried when I sold the 51 studebaker truck w/flames paintjob. She says the current shop truck has asma. (6cyl slow engine)

                              Perhaps I will something equally crazy with the 54 sitting here, (motor pulled again, stripped down to the frame to clip) It didn't work with my son. I lost him to "girls" and a controlling mother.