The "Wheeling Machine" looks simple - and it is, to a point. Many years ago, Kent designed this compact space-saving machine that can be built to very accurate tolerances. Since then we have all seen many "wheeling machines" come onto the market, cheaply. Kent has used most of these machines, and thinks they are much "over-simplified." True, the machine is only a roller on the bottom and a wheel on the top, with a "squisher" mechanism to make the pressure - but some of these things only seem capable of breaking walnuts or pressing out pasta. Smooth sheet metal parts come from a smoothly-operating machine (with some operator skill added in.)
Having round parts made to within .0005" tolerance (no lumps with half a thou. tolerance) and then making the bearing bores concentric to that outside surface is very important. Also important is having the bearing bores the right size, so the bearings fit properly (NOT so tight that they sound as though they have grit in them!). The bearing bores have to be round and not tapered. All of this sounds silly, but you would be surprised to learn what Kent knows about "Wheel details." Even the lift mechanism can be made smooth and accurate so it moves up and down rapidly and accurately - for repeat settings.
Having hardened parts is important, too, as the rolls "spank" the wheel every so often, when the panel is withdrawn under pressure. This spanking dings unhardened tooling, and all of your parts from then on will have marks in them - unless you re-machine your tooling.
When the frame is right, when the bearings are right, when the tooling is right, and when the lift-jack is right, the machine is a delight to use. Panels come off with a beautiful polished finish, needing no touch-up.
Our Benchtop Wheeling Machine is designed for building at home, with simple cutting, drilling and welding operations. The tooling is a bit more difficult, as it requires a good lathe, and knowledge of hardening steel, and the plans include every part needed for the complete machine. We can supply the nice tooling and the lift mechanism parts, but they are not cheap.
Compact, space saving, 25.5" throat depth will shape a 51" panel (over 4 feet wide). The stout 4x6 tube frame can be further stiffened with 3/8" stiffener plate if needed. (Kent made many complex polished parts for the Hughes H1 replica on this exact machine.) Durable TM design will give positive value for many joyful years to come.
In 1986, Kent built his own wheeling machine (English Wheel) from scratch, using information gained from several fine craftsmen (Dick Troutman was one). Since then, demand for high-quality wheels has grown. It is about a lot more than just shiny paint—this tool is for those rare people serious about quality work (and not wasting time chasing Lumpy around the panel - there were actually 8 Dwarves.) This machine is only for someone who wants a smooth, accurate, durable, and well-designed machine. Not a "Hobby Tool", this is an industrial grade machine. Kent has made a P40 belly cowl and several P51 parts on this machine, along with many panels for Taruffi's Ferrari 335S, Bondurant's CSX2601 (Daytona Cobra Coupe), and a few TR 250s.
Advantages to consider: Ideal Stiffness: Arched 3/8" thick frame. The true arch provides the best geometry for the big machines—not possible with tube shapes! This frame will work: 1/8 aluminum, 16 gauge titanium, 14 gauge steel, .090 2024 t6 skins, etc.—without flexing and flip-flopping over center, and without getting sprung and "taking a set." Pattern-cut and welded construction is the same used on the Pullmax and much of the American machinery for nearly a century. No quick release to wear out—the fully bushed and well-supported flywheel-type handwheel has rapid down-drop and lift-up. The upper and lower saddles can both rotate 90 deg, enabling you to work into the throat on those long or twisting panels. Triangular caster location provides stability with no legs underfoot. Machine only moves if and when you want it to. minimal shipping costs because you have the frame built at your location, using our professional drawings and patterns. Paint quality and color: your choice. Our TM design gives you the best of all worlds. Hardened, accurate tooling, smooth and effortless work, immense pressures when you need them, and a mobile frame that rolls to the job. Saves hours of walking, believe me
If you are building one of our Benchtop English Wheels, you might need this kit. It includes everything needed for construction of the front Lower Assembly. Hand wheel, acme shaft, nut, nut-plate, thrust bearing, pushrod and slider assembly. The precision-cut acme thread with fitted bronze nut provides the finest smoothest turning action, and the best long term durability.
All seven parts are fitted into the tube, and once you have it, you only have to align the assembly in the tube, stand it on the frame, and weld on the two side plates. Drill and tap the frame to match the two plates, and then bolt it down.
If you are building a TM Floor Model English Wheel,
you can either source and machine your own parts, or you can
purchase this handy kit which contains the parts you’ll need
for the construction of the lower assembly.
The kit includes a 12" lower hand wheel, acme shaft, nut, nut-plate,
thrust bearing, and pushrod. The precision-cut acme thread with
fitted bronze nut provides the finest and smoothest action, with
the best long-term durability. All parts are machined and ready to
assemble. Our cast-iron handwheel is bolted to the end of the acme shaft and has smooth, fully bushed and supported fly-
wheel action for rapid down-drop and lift-up. Easy touch and precise adjustment of any pressure, using the TM vernier scale for
exact settings every time.
The upper wheel and lower rolls (anvils) are sold separately, allow
ing you to source your own or order from us. Our
lower rolls can be purchased individually or as a complete set of six.
These end-bearing mount on the top-frame of our Benchtop English Wheel; one at the front, the second at the rear. The machined shaft (shown below) slips though them, allowing the upper wheel to roll smoothly and effortlessly, while delivering massive pressure. Mounting bolts are included. Note: By adjusting the mounting position of the front and rear bearings, you change the pitch of the upper wheel. (This unique feature may not be important to apprentices.)
Most Wheels (English wheels, Irish wheels) today have stub axles. Even Kents Big Wheel does. But it was decided to use the full length shaft, hidden inside the frame, to deliver more force onto the wheel. This shaft runs the entire length of the upper frame of our Benchtop English Wheel and allows for a more stable upper wheel. This is considered the trademark of a quality English Wheel. (This shaft is machined to fit through the end bearings, shown above, and into our nine inch upper wheel.).
Cast iron hand wheel. This part is bolted to the end of the acme. Our handwheel has smooth, fully bushed -and-supported flywheel action for rapid down-drop and lift-up. Positive feel, solid touch, and precise adjustment of any pressure, using the TM Technologies' vernier scale for exact settings, every time..... No More Guessing. .... Period !!