Anyone have a Harbor Freight or Jegs English wheel?

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eyesore

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 6, 2007
Messages
908
Does anyone have a Harbor Freight or Jegs English wheel and are they any good and worth the money? I think they're currently about $300.

iSore
 
My2cts...

a friend of mine has one and I just fiddled a bit with it and here`s some things that I found...

The anvil holder / quick release system had a ton of play in all directions and the anvil didn`t lay flat against the top wheel.

Also, (forgive me if you have the knowledge, I just see many who don`t) you need to understand how the E-wheel works. It is a hammer & anvil. You crush the sheetmetal between the wheels, making it thinner and therefor enlarge the surface, which results in a curve. It has little to nothing to do with bending into the radius of the anvil- wheel.
That said, you need a really really stiff frame. Thats where these cheap e-wheels lack imo. Ofcourse you can stiffen up the frame, and redo the quick release system for play. The price is still ok even for just a set of wheels.
 
What Dutch said, the frame is the weak point on them, but then we aren't using them for everyday production. Here is a video of an upgrade for the H/F one.

https://youtu.be/EcQU4ZFSlYk

X2 I have one and have used it very little. It is great to learn on. I only have used it for a few small patch pieces, I get better results than just a sand bag and mallet. I'm no expert by any stretch of the imagination.
 
They make great C clamps. Lol For the price they're handy to have around the shop but probably wouldn't try to make a living with one but that's with most HF tools. Here is an upgrade I considered but haven't got around to it

http://www.homemetalshopclub.org/news/07/newsletter0703.pdf.

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I have a HF English wheel and they need a little attention before they are really ready to use. A little attention goes a long way. I mostly use it for 22-18 gauge steel. It works well. I often pre-stretch the edges of steel panels before butt welding them. I'm pretty happy with it.

An easy way to stiffen up the frame in the low cost fabbed frame models (HF) is to fill it with some form of media. Lead/steel shot would probably be best. A good source for shot is sway bars, the tube type. It needs to be packed in tight to be really effective. Increasing it's mass (weight) really helps. If you think you want to beef up the frame with extra steel do that before filling, especially if you use sand.
 

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