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English Wheel

Posted by SR on October 15, 2004

While Googling I found this...
"An Age Old Tool Returns..
As the old saying goes, "The more things change, the more they stay the same." This may apply to the English Wheel. Around the turn of the century the curved panels for early automobiles were made by beating the sheet metal into hollowed out stumps, sand bags, shot bags and over wood or steel forms. As the demand for higher quality grew the English Wheel was invented.

The English Wheel is shaped like a large "C". There is a large 9"x 3" wheel with a flat working surface mounted at the top. There is a smaller 3"x 3" wheel mounted at the bottom with a curved working surface. The more shape desired in the panel, the more curved the lower wheel or anvil will be. Steel or aluminum can easily be shaped by pushing the metal back and forth between the wheels. Very little pressure is needed to shape the panel. The panel is stretched or raised to the desired shape. Panels free of hammer marks and other flaws can be quickly and easily formed. Many specialty shops today use the English Wheel to build or restore specialty cars, customized cars, antique cars, and aircraft."