Very interesting build. Are plans still available? What do you think of them, are they complete?
I would love to see details of the build like jaws and the patterns/teeth and how to make the patterns. Do you have to use special steel or just cold rolled?
Shrinker/stretchers don't come up used often around here but there are HFT brand available. They seem a mixed quality.
I've only use mild steel and welded on pieces of cut file for the jaws. I don't know if it will work but time will tell. The plans look OK but after looking at the Metal Man one I bought, the jaw plans lack a little detail. Having said that though, good old google should be able to fill in the blanks with that. If you just search google images until you find a picture like the CAD one at the top of this thread you should find them. They are also on 'scribd' if you subscribe to it. All free.
I'll add some more pics soon.
Thanks for the tips. It would really help to check "real" one out closely. For that matter you can buy hi end jaws, but that would probably make the whole build moot. You'd end up close to what a shrinker/stretcher costs. I'm not even sure if you need or want hardened jaws. I watched a guy make new jaws for his vise with a Atlas shaper like mine. So it might not be as big a deal as I'm thinking it is, or I'm so clueless I can't know
It looks like the one you bought is one of the nicer expensive ones. I've been contemplating metal forming for a long time and just not gotten down to it in a serious way yet so can't really justify the big $$$ a name unit costs.
I look fwd to seeing more pics if you continue on with it. If you ever have reason to take your new one apart it sure would be fun to see some close ups of the innards.
No worries. Here in Australia you can buy new jaws sets off ebay for $40 each. The jaws in the bought one look very similar to the ones on the plans. It's just handy to have them for the detail that's not in the plans but, like I said google is great for that all you have to do is get parts breakdowns for jaws that are close and use some brains.
In the Google search I keep coming back to Lazze on YouTube and he has a couple of great vids on checking shrinker/stretcher jaws and tweeking them to work properly. VERY informative and logical now that I know what I'm looking at. You also get a close look at the jaws.
It also becomes quite apparent that the most useful setup is one with deep jaws, like the one you bought. You can do more useful forming without having fix the problem you caused from just forming the edge with the deeper throat. But the deeper throat is at least 3x the $$$. So as usual this type of research has jumped me into deeper waters :/
I purchased these from HF a few years ago. I just can't get to the restoration project so I can't give you any feedback.
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Paul Jones (07-16-2017)
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