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Can I make english wheel anvils on a 7X10?

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  • Can I make english wheel anvils on a 7X10?

    I am a complete newbie on home machining. I do metal sculpture and want to build an english wheel to form 20 ga. sheet steel. The lower anvils are typically 2 or 3 inches in dia. and have a curved face with varying radii. Here is a link that explains this and shows some of the anvils (fig. 23 is good):

    Commercial models use hardened anvils but I have read that as long as you avoid wheeling welds that mild steel anvils work fine.

    I understand that these anvils would (I think) physically fit in a 7X10 lathe but could I use such a small lathe to actually turn one? Is there enough power to do this?

    I have always wanted to learn home machining but I could never figure out why I needed a lathe. The 7X10 lathes can be had very inexpensively, less than $400, and I thought I could try this without breaking the bank (I know I will need several hundred dollars additional in tooling). This may be the perfect solution!

  • #2
    Starting with 3" bar stock, drilling a patterne to hold with a jig, Then turning in lathe to a fixed template. Yes, but not very fast.

    Instead of purchasing a small lathe you mentioned you might not ever use, think on a used larger machine, or hiring it out to someone local who needs the work. Making them out of 4140 by a local shop, the price was $50 each. Some of them on ebay are not made all that well, out of round. BUT, the bearings cost too. If you buy them with good bearings they cost more. If you need the profiles I have them in jpg somewhere.

    Trailer bearings work. As do gocart bearings (*not as well) or if anybody else has a good source lemme know. They need to be able to carry a ton or so of load smoothly.

    David (we all were newbies once) Can't is a four letter word.


    • #3
      There is Boiler tube, proper 3" outside with a 1" through hole in 4140. I saw it once or twice. That way most the work is done. Just chuck it in and drill your retainer pattern on the end and turn outside to shape.

      Turning a 1" hole in tough metal works a small machine to death. (see previous posts on dying chinese motors_)


      • #4
        Does anyone here know where I could find boiler tube?


        • #5
          Anvils are pretty inexpensive compared to the tools and time needed to make them. They're also widely available in many radii. There's also kits available tho at a pretty spendy price. Being a cheap-o, I'd build the frame and buy precision anvils ready to use.

          There are a number of how-to build plans on line. For light weight work, self-aligning bearings can be used for the lower.



          • #6
            From personal experience, you'll be hard pressed to turn lower anvils on a 7x10. You can do it but as David says, it will take you forever. (Light cuts of .010 or less) 3" diameter anvils will be about the limit.

            Forget trying to turn the upper wheel. Even though the swing is about 7" on the lathe, there's not enough room between the tool post and the work for even a 6" wheel. You'll have to mount the tool on the back side of the tool post with a large overhung bit.

            For all the money you'll have invested in the lathe and tooling, you can buy very nice 4130 anvils and an upper wheel. And you haven't bought the stock yet.


            • #7
              I failed to mention the reason I want to do this. Since I am a sculptor and not a car builder I want to experiment. I want to try unusual things like a grooved anvil and a hard (or soft?) rubber upper wheel.

              I just thought it would add another dimension to my bag of trick. I understand though that it would be painfully slow.

              If I did try this how does one go about turning a curved surface without CNC control of the cutting tool?


              • #8
                Answer is "NAH"- see my comments to Alastair.

                Great machine for toy making and you could even make something to take the bumps out of modelling clay. Having said that I can't think that Leonardo made his all his gubbins with a Chinese lathe. You could make cups for the Last Supper. Real-ly!

                You could, if you tried, crush something like framboise from Amboise- or the odd grape with the current designs of wheeling machines.

                Sorry to be such a Tours de force!
                Ironically, I was helping to sort out a couple of Hotchkiss cars and a Delahaye.
                Wheelie and truly.



                • #9

                  Notice, I had to build a spindle holder for the other side.

                  Template is made onto a C-clamp which tightens up onto the bed of my machine. Largest outside dimension is cut truing up wheel, then scribe is set to follow template and "hand back and forth" tedious and aggravating but it works.

                  My last ones were stolen I think, I had a guy around my shop who wanted them to put on HIs invalid mothers bedframe. I tried to tell him what they were for but he had the "deer in the headlights look". ANyways they are missing. I need a set too.

                  You can get cast wheels and cut a pattern on them, use rollers from Harbor Freight. It must be a significant roller. Top roller is available at search out Forged roller. I think about $120-150.
                  On ebay you can buy complete sets cheaper.

                  They are bad to pinch %##$% fingers.

                  Norman must've used a "real cast" frame wheel. Them are heavy enough to put some "press" onto the metal and make things happen. I hammer the crap out of my projects then wheel-fix them.


                  • #10
                    Hell if you are in the ballground I know of?

                    You are about 30-45 minutes south of me off 225/411. I live in Tunnel Hill Ga. South of Chattanooga Tn about 30 minutes, North of Atlanta about 1 1/2 hrs.

                    I'd appreciate some help, I'd be leery about turning you loose with my tools till I knowed ya thou. (like I said I been burned before.)

                    I can set up the lathe and start the boring cuts. I have two dozen cold roll 3" slugs bored and drilled (cnc) in a five bolt pattern to retain bearings.

                    My wheel, I am redoing it with a power hammer on top. I have some air motors that'd do a excellent job on another one. It is waiting on me to complete my house project thou.

                    I'm a crackpot artist too, Tattoo, sculpture, welder, electrician, computer geek. My cnc has a joystick, two tons of 2hp dremel tool.



                    • #11

                      That's the Ball Ground. Actually I live right off of GA. 20 right between Cumming and Canton. I am retired (I am only 57) and am interested in all the stuff you are (except tatoos!). I will PM you with my email address.


                      • #12
                        A friend made a top wheel out of a heavy duty caster wheel.
                        Chucked it up, turned it true and it worked a treat...but I'm pretty sure he bought the lower wheels.


                        • #13

                          Yeah, I had a close friend with 160 acres in Canton. He married a "too pretty" woman. Came home one day there was a ambulance and sherrif. Took him off to the mental hospital for evaluation and she sold him out. He was a bodyguard/bouncer, loved to fight and hurt people. He's passed on now.

                          I'm too easy going for that, though I have had a exciting life so far.

                          I'd say we can get together somewhere in between the two places and see if we can help each other.



                          • #14
                            Complete agreement with your guess.

                            I used an English wheel. What you fellas are using is ?

                            A Catherine Wheel.

                            The bigger and heavier the construction and the wheels the better. Can't think that Henry Ford and Henry Kaiser used the present toys.

                            What went through the wheels- knew who was Boss.

                            Nice thing about our Leonardo. Died in Amboise, near Tours. Framboise is of course strawberries. Poor old fella had rotten shoulders before he snuffed it- I feel for the guy now that they've taken away my medication.

                            A nice subject for a pub quiz or trivial pursuits- me thinks.

                            Keep him of your swag- David. Heed the gypsies warning!

                            GB from GB.


                            • #15

                              I wish I had a picture of my purple fingernail that my wheel mashed. It looked like a grape, not a strawberry. Last time I crashed a bike I had strawberries all over me thou. (I bought a set of racing leathers since)

                              My frame will take about a ton of pressure. The "real" english wheel frames here cost $5000-10,000+ used. I started to make one when several sheets of 1/2 plate hit my stoop.

                              My frame just sits and rusts. I put a socket on the lower to set some of my other tools into it. HF-strap bender, Tubing bender, Spot welder, bandsaw mount, grinder mount, U-joint press, Small pan brake, and soon the Pexto cloned metal roller. If it don't do more than one thing, look out, I'm modifying it.

                              I have this 50 ton press I have thought briefly on mounting my rollers in. Now that'd move the world. I have a fender die in it I have been working on for two years now. So far it wrinkles metal and frustrates me. (ever seen a 300 pound man throw a piece of sheetmetal?)

                              I have to finish the silly house before I can go out and play.

                              DOn't tell the wife, I snuck out this morning and made a coil bracket for the bike, on the right is the original, my drawing, and the new bracket made in stainless. My hand is shaking (not a good day for a tattoo either) and it didn't turn out aces, but is still prettier than the rusty bracket. I shaped it on a old railroad iron I welded legs onto and the sandbag. (homemade anvil, home-sewn leather bag) The curves will hopefully keep it from vibrating off and breaking.

                              [This message has been edited by ibewgypsie (edited 05-02-2005).]