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Adminstrator And Sheet Metal Junkie
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
The other day I headed to harbor freight for a tube roller, and got side track on posting the Stretcher/Shrinker's.... Well anyway I brought home the roller the same day and ordered a wing set and billet dies from Swag Off Road which really upgrades the roller far beyond the HF tool itself. So here's what I got :)

Here's the bender from HF



Here's the kit from Swag ! !



Now these guys did a great job with the kit and comes with a great set of directions.

I had to weld the supplied spacers, on the 1/4 inch plates



They have a slot in the back of the plate to weld the spacers to and I used the 20 mm shafts from HF to keep them in line.



Here's what they look like all welded.



Here's one set of the wings welded in place.



And both sides...



I will post some pictures when I get it set up to roll some tube, and give you some feed back on how it works.

If it proves to be a good roller, I will add power to it along with a hydraulic to the down force to be able to roll larger diameter tube.
So far I have purchased 1 1/4 inch dies for a job I have on the 34 coupe, and a set of 1 inch square dies for some upcoming work on the back of the 55 gasser.
The dies that came with the roller were 1" 1 1/2" and 2" and there not very precision dies but will come in handy for something. :cool:
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
That's the one Mike ! ! I spoke with Troy Wednesday and I had the dies and wing kit Saturday, and just for 14 dollars shipping. Very pleased with it all. I'm not done yet, I'm going to add power to the roller, also from the kit that they have available. I could have ordered it all at once but wanted to see what the first part of the kit looked like before diving in to deep. :D
 

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Cool! And close enough I can drive there to get those kits! At $14 shipping, you're not much more than gas money for me to drive though!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Yup ! ! Vall the two sets of dies, and the wing kit, along with better bearings came to $429. The dies are first class and the first set of dies came with a new billet shaft with a key way. The HF roller was $169 plus the governor so just around 600 buck and HF came with there three sets of dies. But hard to find a roller for that price.... So when I'm done with power and everything I will be under a grand for it all. Now I just add ( purchase ) the dies when I need to and I will be able to shape about any material. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
Mike, I bend tube with a Pro-Bender from Pro-Tools..... I've had this bender since the early 90's, it is an awesome bender.





The difference Mike, is with the Pro-Bender I can isolate the bend were as with the tube (roller) it make short and long sweeps and even complete circles... :D
 

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Nice Steve.... your "ideas" are dangerous..... gives the rest of us "ideas".

The dilemma is whether to spend the money on more tools or on the car. Any hot rodder who builds any kind of car can NEVER have too many tools. The "right way" for me and others in my same situation (low-buck by necessity) is to limit my "tool purchases" to the ones that I will use a lot and have NO OTHER way of getting things done without it. I don't mean "one time" or occasional usage. The purchase of a tool, especially a metal working tool has to be a "need" NOT a "want". If that was the case we'd all have the many things that Steve has.

For me right now the "only" "metal working tool" that is a "need" is a "bead roller".
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
John even as a shop owner I have to make sure the tool is going to ( somewhat ) pay for itself. Now I know when I have a few jobs that need a particular tool that's not so far out of reach, I consider purchasing it instead of subbing out. This roller will come in handy like ( most ) my tools, to do way more then build hot rods. I would like to venture in ornamental art. Just for around the shop and the house, till I get an idea on what strikes my interest. Between shaping and bending, it could get interesting.... I was contacted this week by an art gallery that would like to contract me in some of there projects. I am overwhelmed with projects now and don't know how I would fit another job in such a tight schedule now. But we will see what happens. :)
 

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I agree John! I look at tool purchases as a great investment. I wont buy a tool that doesn't fit one of two criterias. It either needs to be something I'll use occasionally, or the purchase price will save me lots of money over paying somebody else to make parts with a similar tool.
In many cases the Pro Bender Steve has will be a better choice for most tasks I would use a bender. I rarely need the gradual bending of a tube roller, so if I did I'd either source it out, or figure a different way to do it. I've found that local tool suppliers and 2nd hand stores have the Greelee flip top benders occasionally for very reasonable prices, especially as contractors who used them go out of business. Haven't gotten a one shot yet, as I've got a cheap HF bender that destroys tubing, but it's on my list.
I also have an old customer that is a tube bending business and I can go to them and pay to have bends made. If you need tubing bent it's a cheap option to have someone do a few bends. I usually get 1/2" emt tubing cheap and bend up my pattern to check for fit. Then I take the pattern to a bender and have them match it with the real full size tubing I need.
 

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Oh I agree with you Vall and Steve on the tool purchases. I tried to limit the ones I would purchase when I built the shop. I did pick up one of the hydraulic HF benders at a garage sale not too long ago. I wanted to put a bend in my door bar for the car. It turned out ok, but I changed back to putting a straight bar in. But for $40 I can leave the bender in the corner for a need later.
 

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Oh I agree with you Vall and Steve on the tool purchases. I tried to limit the ones I would purchase when I built the shop. I did pick up one of the hydraulic HF benders at a garage sale not too long ago. I wanted to put a bend in my door bar for the car. It turned out ok, but I changed back to putting a straight bar in. But for $40 I can leave the bender in the corner for a need later.
That's the same price I paid for myHF bender at a swap meet a couple years ago! It's just OK, but I wouldn't try to do a cage with it. Tried it on my rollbar and it was a failure.
 

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Yep, I only did about a 60 degree bend and you could see the sides of the pipe starting to collapse. Not good. But boy with that bender Steve has I could have a field day. I think Vall is in agreement, Steve you need to move to the Northwest!
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
Yep, I only did about a 60 degree bend and you could see the sides of the pipe starting to collapse. Not good. But boy with that bender Steve has I could have a field day. I think Vall is in agreement, Steve you need to move to the Northwest!
:D :D The only problem with that move guys, my wife said if we ever move its got to be a MUCH warmer climate.... Now unless y'all plant Palm trees and big bright lights on the property it's a no go. ;) ;)
 

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.... Like "Ron Finch"

........ I was contacted this week by an art gallery that would like to contract me in some of there projects. I am overwhelmed with projects now and don't know how I would fit another job in such a tight schedule now. But we will see what happens. :)
W o W Steve ..... amazing ..... so now the hot rodders here on the GHR forum are not the only ones that will be able to enjoy the "magic you do with metal".

All of this reminds me of one of the Discovery Channel's Biker Build-off Champion "Ron Finch" (R.I.P.) who not only built ALL-THINGS wheels but also some of the most interesting, unusual & often bizarre works of art (not always combined with each other),

We met Ron at the "Easy Rider Custom Motorcycle Show" in Columbus, Ohio back in 2004. We talked about his unique "chopper building style" and then about the art he built for inside & outside the home.

Enjoy.....



This giant motorcycle was made of "found" and "fabricated" metal that has been welded and metal finished by Ron.











 

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:D :D The only problem with that move guys, my wife said if we ever move its got to be a MUCH warmer climate.... Now unless y'all plant Palm trees and big bright lights on the property it's a no go. ;) ;)
I guarantee we're warmer most the winter than Pa.! AAnd probably not nearly as hot as Pa. in the summer! Pretty rare to break 100 in the summer, and mostly 80's at the hot part of summer. Many winters we get little or no snow, and occasionally it will not even hit the 20's during winter.
If she wants warmer, we got that covered. Question is how much warmer, and does she want the summer heat to get warmer winters? :) You might end up adding AC to the shop instead of heating it!
 

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Well I am pretty sure there are some palm trees around here somewhere in a greenhouse. She could go out and visit them in the rain.
 
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