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Bead roller

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by coololdcars, May 6, 2013.

  1. Whats better, Eastwood or Woodward fab as far as bead rollers. I know Harbor Freight has them too, but..........
  2. cornfieldcustoms
    Joined: Feb 2, 2008
    Posts: 893


  3. Don's Hot Rods
    Joined: Oct 7, 2005
    Posts: 8,319

    Don's Hot Rods
    from florida

    Also, I suggest you spend the few bucks extra to buy a motorized one vs manual. Makes it easier for one person to do it by themselves and is probably smoother in operation too.

    We have a ProTools motorized version and it has been great to have and use. Made in America also. I recently made a table for ours to support the work and that has made it even better in all respects.


  4. This isnt the answer you are looking for but I would not buy another manual unit. The next one will be motorized.

  5. Have you guys priced the better units? Everything I looked at was 3 times the price of my Baileigh, and didn't come with dies. I would have loved to step up on this tool, but it wasn't a case of a few more bucks. It was a lot more.
  6. I haven't really seen much difference between any of the small hand cranked units. I would buy the cheapest one I could find if that was all that I could afford because eventually you are going to get tired of it and either have to spend money and time beefing it up and powering it or buy a powered unit. They are a pain to use by yourself.
  7. Koz
    Joined: May 5, 2008
    Posts: 2,346


    Agree with all of the above with some thoughts. I have owned both harbor freight and Eastwood along with an extremely good Pexto. In hindsight, the Harbour freight was the best all around deal. The Pexto is smooth and tight but not enough to justify 5x the cost for occasional use. If you use it everyday, yes. I liked the Harbour Freight better because the frame was fabbed of plate and could be welded on to beef it to the point it could compete with the Pexto for accuracy. The Eastwood used a cast frame that you could not weld to, (easily), and as such was harder to beef up. Both were pretty much unusable as purchased. I routinely rolled 16ga. after some work.

    In the past tooling pretty much had limited availability for the budget machines or you needed to make you own. Now just about anything is available. There are several people hawking sets on here, the best seem to be FidddyFours'. Hoosier Profiles, , makes some very high quality stuff for these machines. One thing I did do, is tooling that I use a lot I had heat treated and hardened at Reading Heat Treating. Once polished the difference was incredible. There are a lot of articles on here on how to beef these budget machines and some YouTube stuff on how to motorize.

    I have a small rod shop and use mine with some regularity and it works just fine.

    Hope this helps. Just my observations.
  8. The hand crank ones are okay but you really need someone to crank while you manage the sheet metal. Plus you better be able to communicate to the "cranker" when to change speeds or you'll end up scrapping a good bit of sheet metal. :(
  9. We have a ProTools motorized version and it has been great to have and use. Made in America also. I recently made a table for ours to support the work and that has made it even better in all respects.

    Great idea !

  10. Love that table idea Don. Consider it officially STOLEN :D
  11. BTW hand cranks are USELESS! I made a 36" wheel. Any smaller wouldn't have worked for me.
  12. fab32
    Joined: May 14, 2002
    Posts: 13,985

    Member Emeritus

    Agree with Tinbender. If your stuck using it by yourself forget the crank and mount as large a steering wheel as you can find to power it (providing it is a manual machine). A deep dish wheel is even better as you mount it with the offset toward the machine so you don't have to reach so far to turn it. A little practice and you can do a very presentable by yourself, just don't try to set any speed records....slow and easy does it.

  13. everyone talks trash on the hand crank but i do okay with mine....makes me wonder if i should make a wheel for it and really see how good i can work it
    Joined: Aug 8, 2008
    Posts: 3,623

    Alliance Vendor

    win tech week and get one for free :cool:
  15. I kicked a hornets nest up on this one!!! :)
  16. chopt top kid
    Joined: Oct 13, 2009
    Posts: 959

    chopt top kid

    The Eastwood roller is blue and the Woodward roller comes in either silver or gold. Other than that, I bet you can't tell the difference. They are both made in China and prolly are made in the same sweatshop. When you get it, at least one of the metric sized grease fittings will prolly be broken off and the threaded part will be stuck in the bushing. My Eastwood roller has a steel frame and the hand crank works fine. It came with six sets of dies and I bought it at the Eastwood Store on the auction site...
  17. Hot Rod Bob
    Joined: Mar 21, 2007
    Posts: 1,146

    Hot Rod Bob
    from T-ville Ky

    Summit Racing has the Woodward Fab bead roller for I think it is $129 check it out.
  18. falconsprint63
    Joined: May 17, 2007
    Posts: 2,359

    from Mayberry

    I have the eastwood unit. works fine for what it is, but if I had it to do over I'd save up a little more and get a motorized roller.
  19. ETwagon
    Joined: Apr 6, 2007
    Posts: 97

    from Arizona

    Any of these you buy, you will have to beef them up to prevent flexing.
  20. I am hopin' to just do floors with it. Something to prevent oil canning. But like anything else I'll probably be doing something more than its designed for!!! \0
  21. Mnkyboy
    Joined: Apr 21, 2013
    Posts: 0

    from Kalama, Wa

    I just bought the Woodward unit from summit, I've had it a few days and have only played with it a little but it is definently gonna need beefed up to get rid of the flex but otherwise it seems to work ok.

    Only other complaint I have is one of the beading dies was made incorrectly and doesn't work rolls beads but you can see the blemish in the sheet metal.

    Basically I did what others have said. I bought the cheapest one and I'm gonna put some work into it.
  22. You should. I have some issues with my hands, but still the crank sucks. With my large wheel, dished like Fab32 mentioned, I can stand directly in line with the rolls. I have to to do accurate work. If I need the clearance, I can reverse it. For me it eliminated the need for motorized .
  23. paco
    Joined: Oct 19, 2006
    Posts: 1,141

    from Atlanta

    Love it Don - looking good. Again ... I wish you lived a bit closer!

    How's Dans mustang doing??

  24. Don's Hot Rods
    Joined: Oct 7, 2005
    Posts: 8,319

    Don's Hot Rods
    from florida

    Sure, go ahead, I stole the idea from Metalshapes and a lot of other guys on here. :D:D

    Paul, it is collecting dust. I'll send you a PM. :)

  25. Any one want to share a pic of one with the big steering wheels???
  26. Kevinsrodshop
    Joined: Aug 22, 2009
    Posts: 590


  27. Motomike43
    Joined: Jan 13, 2013
    Posts: 156


    I started out with a hand crank woodward fab unit. Worked great. Def need 2 people to do any large panels. Comes with all the rolls you need ( several bead sizes and several step flange sizes). Never had a problem with it. Its built cheap and looks cheap... hell it is cheap. But it works fine. I built several cars with it and later sold it for damn near what i paid for it. You can always upgrade later. It not like its super expensive and your gonna totally waste your money. It will get the job done.

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