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Reply to "Thunder Ranch build thread"

@edsnova, I have some experience with HF sheet metal tools, or as I like to call them, "kits".  A lot of their products get you 75% there, but you need to finish up the last 25% on your own.  

English Wheel, very flexible, needs to be stiffened up.  I welded a box frame around mine, made a new top wheel mount so I can put the wheel on 90 degrees from normal, added a bolt to tighten the fit on the lower wheel raising mechanism.  Works real well now.  Wray makes a kit to help out these Wheels.


Shrinker/Stretcher.  Not bad, tune up the jaws, but difficult to operate.  They need foot pedal operation.  I built the stand with the foot pedals, much more useful now.  I also build a deep shrinker using a set of HF jaws I found on eBay.  Lets me reach in much further.


Next up, the Shear.  Terrible fit and finish.  Totally disassembled, bead blasted back to bare castings. A bunch of time with a hand file to get the gears to mesh nicely. Honed the blades.  It cuts amazingly well for what it is!  It took them 3 tries to get the blade retention screw correct, see holes in the picture.  LolIMG_1175IMG_1176

Lastly for now, the planishing hammer.  I looked at the HF, I thought it was so bad I decide to build from scratch.  The zip gun used on the HF unit is weak.  Grizzly had a model that used what looked like a needle scaler on it.  I bought a needle scaler, removed the needles and got a top die from Grizzly.  I built the frame about 50% bigger than HF, and made the mount changeable.  I added a foot pedal, got lower dies from Grizzly, and for good measure added an auto oiler.



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Last edited by LI-Rick