Metal Fabrication Techniques: Tipping Wheel Part 1



Hi, it’s Wray Schelin from Pro Shaper sheet metal in Charlton Massachusetts and tonight’s video will be on the tipping wheel. I have a couple of them have had different iterations of them. I’ve had this one for probably 15 years, 12 years or so now, and I use this quite often for tipping edges and stuff, and I’m gonna show you how this works. But before I show you that I want to show you my other tipping wheel and That’s a work in progress. Both of these are works in progress, but they both work, really good and there’s a lot of potential to make them even better.


Here’s. My second tipping wheel, which I use for different

special operations and I’ll, show you later on in the video This one’s a little

more rugged and, as you use tools, whether it be a tipping wheel, English wheel

or whatever. You always find shortcomings on the tool. And so a tool shouldn’t

be a Finished product. It’s always a work in progress and that’s the case of

this one, and I intend to make it better.


Even Okay, before we talk about the tipping wheels, I want to

talk a little bit about Prepping the metal before putting it in the tipping

wheel. The tipping wheel essentially will tip an edge up and there’s a bunch of

different ways. The tipping edge up is about a bunch of different ways to cut

your panel and stuff. I want to go over that a little bit before we start

actually using the tipping wheel, So I’ve pre-cut out a few of these. These

were just freeform cuttings, With a little radius on it.


This one has some tighter radius is a Con cave radius and convex

radiuses. So what I want to show you is a Proper way to cut sheet metal. That’s

a piece of This is l40 aluminum, probably 3003. Okay. So I want to put a radius

right here and The radius can be dictated by the buck or by a plan or whatever.


But let’s say I’m preforming a radius right here. It’s very

difficult to take a pen and just run a nice radius and get it Perfect right the

first time. So what I like to do is use this vinyl 1/8-inch Striping tape, and

you can use this Fine line. Vinyl tape. You can use this to lay out beautiful

lines, So That’s a nice clean line right there.


Now, if I was going to say, tip an edge and the edge is going to

be a 5h Flint five-eighths Wide flange right here, but this is all extra

material. I’M going to cut off So this is all going here, so normally what I

would do on something like this is, I would use hand shears and I use the hand

shears for years and years and years – and I would do sometimes a preliminary

cut like this, because the Smaller amount of Material to get here, the better,

the shears will actually work. So the Kyle who was telling me about this, told

me that you could actually cut right on the line. They got nice carbide, four

Edged blades that you can turn and they’ll. This thing will last quite a long



It comes with two batteries, the same with the borscht too. So

The deal with this is: if you get the light just right, you can run it pretty

good on the line. Now you see there, I’ve heard on the side of being wide of my

Tape line, and so what I do there is I’ll take a little 3-inch grind I’ll use

the Norton blaze 50s, with a little ear. Grinder and I’d air grind that to

perfection. So all my lines are really good.


Now, sometimes this will leave a little burr That it’s not bad

at all on this one. So that’s how I do all my cuts now, all with the cordless

years. I Hardly use the regular snips anymore at all Now as far as tipping an

edge there’s a whole bunch of different ways to do it. I wanted to show you

some of the methods, and One of the simplest methods is just to take a pair of

vise grips like this, and you can weld on Some little tabs on it like this and

again you want a line So we’re going to we’re Going to eyeball this line here

and give ourselves say a nice 5/8 or so Margin here, so we’re going to tip this

up 90 degrees with the pliers. Now we might not do the whole thing, but I just

want to show you the process.


The nice thing about the vise grips is you can squeeze with them

good and clamp, and you can do that. You have to do this incrementally a little

at a time If you try to go up too much, you’ll get a Strong radius and you and

usually on a tip. You want a pretty nice shop radius. Yeah Now this will leave

where bites it’ll leave little bite marks, but they’ll all come out. So this is

an effective way to do it and, back at my grandfather’s restoration shop back

in the 60s and 70s, when I worked there, He wasn’t too keen on buying a lot of



So this is how we had to do a flange, very simple method. Now,

once you get it to this Angle, then you can take a dolly and finish it off with

the dolly. Now I have this dolly I made this dolly up. I don’t know if anybody

makes anything like this. I made this especially for tipping edges and Typically

I would have that blue tape.


On the other side, I right now I’ve got it on the inside and

it’s going to get Marked up a little bit, but that gives me the indicator where

I need to be So. This has a nice angle tool. It’s got a nice Sharp edge and not

to shops. It’ll cut the metal but shop enough, so you get a nice 90 there and

you can bring this up Pretty Nicely Now. You see what happens when you bring

that up.


There’s too much material here. This is a Convex curve and when

you have a convex curve, you’ll end up with too much material in the flange. So

then you have to shrink it out. So we’ll go over to the shrinker and we’ll

shrink that out. So Now, when you use the shrinker, you don’t want to go all

the way in like that, because what’s happening here Is this outer edge has to

move in, it has to push into itself and it doesn’t have to push into itself at



At the root of the bend, so it’s just out there It’s always this

triangle action like this, so if you go in a quarter or that maximum half of

the way You Can Move that nicely. If you have a straight edge here, you can

we’re just going to eyeball it. So it is a pretty nice little curve and we kept

maintained the straight and the radius can be tightened up a little bit more,

but that’s not bad the way it is, and That’s one way of doing it just with a

pair of vise grips All right. Now I’m going to cut that flange that we just

made off right here and I’m gonna put a new line in here kind of mimic.

Parallel that line I’ll cut it again with the shears.


That’s a nice clean cut and now We’ll move that line in again

five eighths of an inch Now here is using the Dolly. Only When you hit this,

you want to hit it the route so you’re going to have your hammer Target it so

that route of that bend and you can do some shrinking on that flange as it

comes up, you can get a little gather like that and That will shrink right

there Just the way you hit it. It is tipping the edge just with the hammer and

the dolly, and It does still have a little bit of a curve to it, and you can do

this to where you can drive it down Like that and that’ll make a wave in the

flange. Now that’s pretty straight and if you hold it down tight and You gather

it up, you can actually do all the shrinking right here without having to go over

to the shrinker. So there’s The vice grips and Then the hammer and dolly method

Will cut that off.


We don’t have to make it perfect, We’re just showing the

different the whole spectrum of how to do this Another and then Well. We won’t

put the tape on this one. This one will Tip on the planning ham We’ll come over

here to the planishing hammer. So in this case here I put a magic marker line,

because this is going to Beat up on the tape. We’ve got the planning hammer set



I got a black magic marker Line and I’m going to put some air on

here. You see that’s an effective way of tipping the edge. Also Now what

happened here was it’s actually stretching this edge a little bit too. So it’s

going to need a little more shrinking, but that’s not a big deal, so that’s

another way that you can tip an edge. Alright, all these edges have been tipped

now and this one was with the planishing hammer.


It’s a valid method, They’re all work good and it all. It all

shows you this the techniques that are really important, not so much the tools.

Now I want to show you how the tipping wheel approaches this problem. So we’ve

got this panel here and We’re just going to throw a flange on it and we won’t

do the whole thing. But we’ll do Maybe this section here with a nice tight



This is a Convex or concave one and here’s a convex. So we’re

going to put a line with our tape, I’m just going to eyeball this about 5/8,

3/4 or Sean. I Really like the blue vinyl tape, because it allows you to really

see really well the line, and that is one other method. It’s there. Erco has a

flinching tool, Eriko flange egg tool very expensive and There’s quite a few

people that have those I really haven’t used.


One They’re really fast, There’s a lot of tooling. It goes with

it, but It’s another one of those tool, solutions to a problem that you know

it’s really nice tool, but not everybody can afford to have one and they do

take up space. So There’s other ways of doing it, as I showed you, okay, so now

we’re gonna see what the tipping wheel will do Doing the same operation, and

all of these things are all about levers and fulcrum. So This is the fulcrum

right here. We’re going to be bending against that fulcrum, and this is the

lever – and This is a modified English wheel – that used to make these years



So now I get a light here. I can see what I’m doing it’s nice

and slow and Super accurate. So that’s what I like about! I don’t like motors

on my Stuff because it’s too fast and you lose control with it this year, you

have instant reverse. If you want to reverse I’m right on the line with the

lower wheel, is just an industrial material handling wheel, it’s a urethane, I

believe, and then the top wheel.


I used to buy these metal slitters that have really sharp edges

and I just put them in the lathe, and You can put it on a drill press for that

matter. If you didn’t have a lathe and just round the edges a little bit and

that Won’t bite into the metal, So the purpose here is just to use that as a

fulcrum not to dig in so if you dig in your gonna actually, especially on aluminum,

you can bite through the aluminum, So I just want enough pressure on that. So

you get a good nice tight radius with it and When it goes slow, just work. My

way around, I got a good light on the subject. I got total control and I’m

lifting up with my left hand as I’m driving through here Now.


You can, I suppose, get a motor on this and go really slow with

some of those motors with variable speed, control. I’ve had that on different

ones, and I didn’t like it. I always like just the hand. Control gives me a lot

more control. I believe, and then Instantaneous reverse if I need it controlled



So now the advantage of this, if you’re doing with the body

hammer and the dolly you’re, making a lot of Mocks and stuff and with the vise

grip it’s biting on the edges of the tooling all the time Here, you can’t it is

it’s nice and Graceful all the way through you got to just take your time, and

The situation here is we’re basically breaking the edge just like in a regular

break and once you’ve initiated that bend. It wants to bend there so We’re just

going to come off the panel here now. We’ve only gone a few degrees up Now.

What we got to do is loosen up, go back in Reset out tension and We don’t reset

the tension tighter this time. At this phases of the operation, we just want to

pinch the metal.


That’s all we’re trying to do now. We can lift it up and put a

little more up action on you On your panel. That’s the lever – and this is the

fulcrum Just about all sheet metal tools – are nothing more than levers and

fulcrums. They’re, just increasing your leverage to allow you to do what you

want to do with the metal. Like, I said it out, all my classes are that metal

Sheet metal is the exact same thing as clay.


It’s just stubborn clay, so you need These different tools to

help you Shape it and bend it and warm it. The way you want, you can see how

nice that’s coming up now, as that comes up Now, you can see what’s happening.

Distortions are happening in the edges here. This needs to shrink, while this

is will need to be shrunk, and this needs to be stretched. So What you can do

to maintain control over the panel if you’re trying to maintain this is just a

flat panel But say it had a little bit of crown to it like it was a door skin

or something You trying to maintain that line of the Edge this case The line is

supposed to be straight and we’re getting a little distortion, so We can

probably go one more time and then I’ll show you a little bit more what it

actually looks like as it comes up So loosen up again Now, if I was going all

The way around I wouldn’t have to keep loosening and tightening, Because I

would just be going up a few more degrees each time, but right now We’re going

to go up a few more degrees here, All right.


So now we’ll go over to the shrinker and we’ll shrink that edge

up a little and get its set settle down again. This is an Erco shrinker and I

have a set of jaws that I designed myself to fit into the circle. It’ll also

fit into my shrinker These drawers are really flat. I haven’t relieved the

edges of them, so it’ll be difficult, I believe to get in here Around this

corner because it doesn’t have a curve to it. You want Some strong reliefs on

you on your shrink drawers in order to be able to get in there, So I do have a

relieve set for this one.


This is my own Pro shape or shrinker here, and these are

standard, Erco dies and I’ve killed. The edges on them here to allow you to get

into those tighter spots, Tighter radiuses Let’s see if this is set up right,

Okay Now this will actually pull the edge around too quite a bit. So you can.

You can shrink your way to success here. Remember you’re!


Only going about no more than halfway with the shrink of the

edge we’ll get beat up a little bit and then enough to clean it off the planner

a little bit. But if this is going to be a wide edge or a hem flange for a

door. Ski and it really doesn’t matter so Say you had a door skin and you’re

trying to shrink an edge, and you are over here Well, the user-friendliness is

not too good. So what I did is I made this, and this gives it a Lot more

utility, so that can be way out here. I Designed this tool after having it go

for many years.


Looking at the faults of the Eriko and correcting the faults,

He’s got stippled dies and Stippled dies have an interface, it’s like sandpaper

and It won’t cause cracking You get a nice Like a sandpaper finish on, a deck

holds and echoes, have in Michaan’s all have stipples the Lancaster’s style

that just you find a lot of Chinese knockoffs like the Opera Freight ones and

stuff. They have what’s called a defile interface, which can cause a little bit

of a cracking, especially in the stretching with a stretching jaws in aluminum,

and all these Operations is better to go a lot of little bumps like this and

try to hit it really hot. Let the little stuff accumulate rather than trying to

do it all in one go. So as you can see, that’s coming around pretty good. Now,

We’ll probably have to put another set of jaws in here.


To get this really tight. One Derecho does make what’s called

the duckbill jaws, there’s a set of ductile jaws and that allows you to, I

Think, Marshawn hasn’t that allows you to get into a tighter corner. But then

again you can do it with a dolly, as I was showing before you can actually

shrink that edge with a dolly and a hammer So that that was pretty good I’ll.

Do the stretch draw right here? It will change out and put the stretch jar in



Okay. So now I’m going to do this Concave section, which has to

be opposite of this, which is now a stretch instead of a shrink. So again, just

take nice little bites on it. Here again, only half way in or so Sometimes just

slip, and you fall in all the way like that and That’ll cause the problems

they’re going to be very careful not to Let it slip in and you can all the

stretch So now I got it going This way, because when that comes up, it’ll

straighten out again, you can over shrink make it go this way. So when it comes

up it straightens out again, so let’s go back to the tipper So this is a flat

wheel and Generally I bring it up about 30 degrees or so with that flat wheel.


Then what I’ll do is change that out, and then I made this one

in the lathe with a 60-degree lathe bit, and That is not a 90 degree. What that

does is gives you a little squeezing action as you’re going through there and

that’ll help you bring up to the 90. Now this is different when you’re using

this wheel, you got to get it in there and then you crank down and Every pass

on this one. You do add some extra downforce and that’s what brings it up to

the 90 Again now you have to use the leverage so we’ll put a little good amount

of downforce on it and we use the leverage, maybe a little bit more Instead of

taking it out. I’M just going to reverse the process, but I’m going to increase

the pressure, and this is 19-gauge cold rolled steel That is about thirty-eight



So the light on the nineteen games – usually it’s about 39 or

40, but It’s pretty stout stuff and again we’re lifting up The edge is getting

really wonky here, which needs shrinking and stretching, And I show all of this

at my coach building class is also There’s a lot of subtleties about it, so

that’s as far as we’re gonna go with this one back that off and now you see

that there that just walked out a bunch, so this needs to all be stretched that

needs to be having shrunk. This needs to be stretched here, and You might even

have to Clean it up a little bit with a hammer and Dolly here and there it can

be all done with the hammer and dolly also, for instance, here you want to come

up to can rest of It you can do it with the dipping wheel too. Now you can see

with that. The shrinking technique works really good. There’s the gather right

there That’ll shrink up tonight, you get another gal.


Yeah they’re going right down. You get another one here So that

again proves that If you know the techniques, you really don’t need all the

tools. Now you can see here, We’ve got a little bit what I call the ski jump

effect here Now we want to bring that out. We’ll need to put the dolly on the

heel like this and then take a slap or not a hammer. You could, I suppose, you and

you want to get this back to a flat plane again, so you have total control in

order to do this.


Real tight radius you’d need More of a rounder shop, dolly like

that. That would go in here and you take a couple of the gathers and shrink

those down and This you can put on a hot piece of metal or a dolly like this,

and You can stretch right on that edge. Instead of using a stretch, die and

You’ll straighten that out by stretching this out, like this Essentially, it

has to fan out like that, so that’s tipping an edge I Want to show you how to

do some decorative stuff on the tipping wheel, which is amazing, And it usually

Wow’s everybody at the coachbuilding class. So First we have to do. Is change

out this wheel again, so we’ll make this a two-pot video.


This is a lot more to show. Well, I will show the wiring and how

to put radiuses and straight radiuses and curved radiuses and on panels and

pot. This is pretty cool Now. What we have here again is a fulcrum and layer of

lever machine, so I’m gonna go get a piece of metal now, So I’m just going to

do a decorative like a bead in here. Show you the potential of using this

fulcrum effect here.


So I have the top wheel down a little bit lower and What I’m gonna

be doing is pulling down on this a little bit and I’m driving through and

what’s so nice about. This is It’ll, create these really super cool beads, And

it’s just so simple. It’s ridiculous, no, really expensive or a special

tooling. Today you have a beautiful transition, and now This would be a tough

thing to do and say, like a pull max Where you have a non-parallel bead. So

this has got a nice taper to it.


So if you’re, making like a door skin or something and you drop

in the beltline bead down and the Possibility is just endless – And you saw it

only took them a couple minutes to do it and you can deepen it a little bit. If

you want Now, if this is a panel, that’s going around on a curve Wherever it’s

doing the curve, you’re gonna have to pre stretch it. Otherwise it’s going to

suck in on you and you won’t get the same height, But this panels flat. So you

get us the same height now, if you want to increase the height, you just got to

crank it more Well, that’s it for tonight on pot, one of the tipping wheel.

Hopefully we get the pot two up again this week and We’re going to continue

with these videos.


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Read More: Metal Shaping for Beginners: English Wheel Basics

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