Like many of the guys on here I really wanted some quality metal shapping equipment and didn't have the budget to buy the good stuff. So I started researching the tools I wanted and built my own. I built two tools, an english wheel and a plannishing hammer. My total investment on these tools is way less than the cost of the Harbor freight copies and they work way better. Build 1- Plannishing hammer Steel- from the local metal recyclers. You want to find something that is strong enough that is holds it shape and the force of the hammer is not lost to the spring of the frame. The larger the throat, the larger the steel required. Here is the finished product. A plannishing hammer is a simple machine, but there a few things that make the build easier. Step one- Frame design Decide how big a machine you need, how big a part do you plan to put in it? You don't want it too big unless you have unlimited floor space. My machine has a 25" throat. Buy the adjuster bolt before you build the frame so you can build around it as well. The other thing you should consider when building the frame is a comfortable working height. Step two- Weld up the frame The main thing to consider is making it square and strong. Even heavy material can get pulled out of square with too much welding in one area. My front legs have adjuster bolts under them so that they can be leveled to the floor (three point contact). Step three-The adjuster bolt I used a large grade 8 bolt that I picked up at industrial bolt supplier. I had a friend machine the stamping marks off the top and machine a hole that fits my dies. The bottom nut is welded onto a piece of pipe. The piece of pipe needs to be long enough that the bolt can be turned down so that you can change the dies. The pipe is then welded to a flat plate that is bolted to the base. I is important that the plate is bolted to the plate as you may need to shim between the base and the plate to align the die and hammer. You can thread the base if the material is thick enough or flush weld nuts into the base (I used 3/8 nuts- drill a 5/8 hole). Step four- The hammer I used a cheap air hammer that I had in the shop and it seems to work really well. The hammer is mounted to a flat plate that is welded to the frame. The clamp is just a piece of pipe that I split on one side and pushed onto the air hammer. I welded a couple pieces of flat bar with a 3/8 bolt to clamp the air hammer. Make sure you weld everything up nice and square and aligned at this point. Step Five - Controls I picked up the air pedal at Princess Auto. It works as a variable control for the air hammer. I also have a small regulator and gauge that I can adjust on the machine. I installed a cheap in line oiler and a air line swivel that seperates the hammer from the regulator to try to minimize vibration. The dies I purchased my dies from Hoosier Pattern in one of their e-bay auctions. The dies have six different radiuses. I have also noticed other made in the US dies on e-bay. The upper hammer is just a surplus aircraft rivet set. The English Wheel Build If you can build a hot rod you can build and english wheel. Step 1- Frame Design What do you plan to use the machine for? There are very large forces on the frame of an english wheel and they require a heavy frame to work properly. I recommend that you look at the frame design spreadsheet that is available on allmetalshapping.com before you buy the metal for your frame. I would like to thank the guys on allmetalshapping for their ideas that helped my build, especially Kerry from Imperial English Wheel who shares his vast knowledge of these machines with all who ask (if you plan on buying a machine check out Imperial English wheel). My machine has a 27" throat so I could effectively wheel a panel up to 4 feet. You are better off to build a smaller machine with a strong frame then a big machine that flexes so much that it does not work. My frame is build from a scrap 3x6 3/16 building pillar that I picked up. You will notice that I built my frame in a C shape. It takes more effort to build the frame this way, but it should be stronger due to a shorter backbone than a frame made with 90 degree angles. I have an old horizontal bandsaw so cutting the angles was not a big problem for me. If you don't have a bandsaw I would just cut my angles at 90s. Make sure you consdier the size of your adjuster, and wheels when designing your frame. You can easily build the frame out of cardboard on the floor of your shop with your wheels and adjuster to make sure it all works out. Step 2 - Build the Frame If you build a C shapped wheel the key angle is 22.5 degrees. All of my cut angles are 22.5- the frame and even the feet on the legs. Make sure you keep it all square and flat when welding it together, skip around so you don't warp it. Step 3- The adjuster My adjuster is the jack out of a craftsman radial arm saw. You can pick up an old saw for $50 or less. Just strip down the saw and pull out the jack. I used many of the mounting hardware parts and bushings for the hand crank in my build. The jack is bolted into the frame so I can remove it if there is ever a problem. You will also notice that the clamp holding the adjuster is also bolted to the frame. This is important so that you can move it if you need to adjust the alignment of the wheel. My crank wheel is a model T swap meet item. This adjuster works very well. Step 4- The lower and upper anvil holders My lower holder is just a piece of 2.25x2.25 1/4 wall tubing. It fits my 2" wheels perfectly. I has a piece of 1/4 flat bar welded to the bottom to strengthen it. It is mounted to the lower tool arm with a single 3/8 fine thread grade 8 bolt in the center of holder. Under the lower anvil holder there are 4 3/8 bolts threaded into the tool arm. These bolts can be raised and lowered to adjust the alignment of the lower and upper wheels -WHEEL ALIGNMENT IS CRITICAL ON AN ENGLISH WHEEL. I screwed up and put my bolts at the four corners of my anvil holder; a t pattern would have been better. The upper wheel holder is also a large piece of tubing that fit my upper wheel. It is mounted with a single 1/2 inch bolt so that it can be turned if need. You will notice that I have used washers to shim my upper wheel. I did this so that I can offset my wheel if I want to use an embossing lower anvil Wheels- the lower wheels are critical for a good english wheel. You are better off to have one good quality lower than 6 junk pieces. A good lower should have a machined flat and not a constant radius. The flat is what makes contact with the metal and does the work. I recommend Hoosier Pattern for Anvils. My upper wheel is from Hoosier as well but it is their starter budget cast wheel. It works find if you don't wheel over welds. Step 5- lower tool arm You want the lower tool arm to be bolted to the frame so you can adjust it for alignment and change if you need something for a special project. My tool arm is made out of same 3x6 as the rest of my frame, I just pie cut it to slim it down. Step 6- Final mounting Bolt on the tool arm. Bolt the lower anvil holder to the piece of flat plate that you are using as a mounting plate. Set your wheels in the machine and align everything. Shim or grind between the top of the tool arm and the flat plate to align the wheels, then weld the flat plate to the tool arm. Legs- Make sure your legs are wide enough that they support the machine. Do not put casters on the wheels- you will be chasing the wheel around the shop. Final alignment You should be able to put a piece of flat glass between your lower and upper wheel and add some presure and the glass should stay flat if the alignment is correct. Change the alignment with the adjustment bolts under the lower anvil holder. You can also align the wheel by using a flat lower or just an axle in the lower anvil holder. I just finished my machines two months ago and I love them and have already been building patches for my A coupe.