My shop centers around the Excel English Wheeling Machine and my preference for metal shaping always rests on doing the bulk of my work and training on the steady quiet rhythm of the wheeling machine.
Wheeling is simply the stretching of metal between two steel rolls known as wheels; the upper wheel has a flat face and revolves freely on its own bearings and the lower wheel also revolves but has a convex curved face and is made interchangeable so that different shaped lower wheels from nearly flat to full curved can be used. These two-wheels meet at a common center at which stretching takes place when the wheels are tensioned by applying pressure through the top wheel against the panel which is pressed into the bottom wheel. As the metal panel is pushed through the wheels, a stretched area , the length of the panel is produced and is known as the wheel track. By carefully allowing these wheel tracks to overlap on the entire surface of the flat panel being wheeled, a curve in both directions develops. As the panel is pushed through the wheel the pressure can be increased gradually until the desire curvature is obtained. Therefore the skill of wheeling lies in the correct use of the correct wheel pressures and careful manipulation of the panel through the wheels; this can only be learned through practice and experience.
I have had the priviledge of training others the metal shaping techniques using the English wheeling machine. The art of wheeling lies in the operator’s ability to handle the panel successfully in the machine.
If you are looking to build your skills using the English wheel or if you are a shop owner looking to train your crew on the wheel, I am here to help you.