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Technical Shrinker Not working: Upgrade tools or sent body to a pro

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by indestructableforce, Aug 14, 2018.

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  1. Upgrade tooling

    12 vote(s)
    92.3%
  2. Farm out the work

    1 vote(s)
    7.7%
  1. Hey everyone I bought a chicom shrinker stretcher (figured this would be the only project I'd use it on and then it'd just sit around). Big mistake. Thing is rated to 16 gauge cold rolled steel. Worked ok-ish briefly on a section of 20 gauge cold rolled then stopped. Noticed the upper jaws didn't expand fully at the top of the stroke and at the bottom they were sticking together. Lower jaws don't want to come together. Disassembled and found rough machining and burrs. Little work on the sander and polishing smoothed them up well but still the same problem. Followed the Lazze Youtube videos but didn't help much.

    I guess my question is, should I drop the cash on a nice shrinker/stretcher? If so, what brand? If not, who's a good body man who could take a few sections of T body panels, fabricate what's missing and turn it into a roadster body?

    Been eating at me I just can't seem to get the thing together and if it takes farming some work out I'm ok with it.
     
    loudbang and chryslerfan55 like this.
  2. Tim
    Joined: Mar 2, 2001
    Posts: 12,444

    Tim
    Member
    from KCMO

    I think the tools would cost you far less than what someone who can professionally knock out some panels from scratch is going to charge you.
     
    loudbang and Texas Webb like this.
  3. Watch this:
     
    Rolfzoller likes this.
  4. Another thing I'm considering is my time. A talented guy can knock it out in no time. I don't know my arse from a hole in the ground when it comes to this and I'm learning as I go. I think the book and videos only go so far. You've got it or you don't got it.
     
    loudbang likes this.

  5. Good video. Tried the stuff he talks about but no luck. Maybe I need to buy a lanchester unit?
     
  6. Some times frustrating,but the more you do the more you learn and get better.
     
  7. Metaltwister
    Joined: Jul 10, 2007
    Posts: 891

    Metaltwister
    Member

    Possibly some replacement jaws from like Eastwood or another mfg. would work in your shrinker? Ive found 18 ga. is about the max to move much.
     
  8. I'm really considering replacing the whole unit all together. In my experience Eastwood stuff is usually made by the same supplier as HF and the like but for a comparatively premium price. My media blaster actually was cheaper through Eastwood, though and it's pretty good. Wouldn't mind a cabinet but I'll need another building first. Considering a Lancaster ( https://www.tinmantech.com/products...ers/lancaster-shrinker-stretcher-machines.php ), or a Baileigh ( https://www.baileigh.com/shrinker-stretcher-floor-stand-mss-16f ) ( https://www.baileigh.com/shrinker-stretcher-mss-18 )

    Thoughts?
     
    Al T likes this.
  9. fordcragar
    Joined: Dec 28, 2005
    Posts: 3,179

    fordcragar
    Member
    from Yakima WA.

    What shrinker did you buy? Do you have a picture?
     
  10. 1946caddy
    Joined: Dec 18, 2013
    Posts: 1,717

    1946caddy
    Member
    from washington

    I bought a stud gun from HF and it worked as advertised but the slide hammer that came with it didn't work and would not grab the stud. I took the hammer back and the manager went in the back room and came out a few minutes later with one that worked. Said he had to go through five boxes before he found one that worked. A friend of mine has one and his works just fine. Maybe I got one from the graveyard crew in China.
     
  11. oldolds
    Joined: Oct 18, 2010
    Posts: 3,153

    oldolds
    Member

    Look up Mittler Brothers Machine and tool. I was told it is where Eastwood stretcher is made
     
  12. 48stude
    Joined: Jul 31, 2004
    Posts: 1,177

    48stude
    Member

    I bought mine from U.S. Industrial Tool & Supply 28 yrs ago. They are worn and a little sloppy ,but they still get the job done.
    https://www.ustool.com/
     
    indestructableforce likes this.
  13. john worden
    Joined: Nov 14, 2007
    Posts: 1,699

    john worden
    Member
    from iowa

    What is a "chicom shrinker stretcher"?
     
  14. eberhama
    Joined: Dec 19, 2003
    Posts: 673

    eberhama
    Member

    I believe its a portmanteau of CHInese COMpany, aka harbor freight.
     
    john worden likes this.
  15. 5window
    Joined: Jan 29, 2005
    Posts: 8,115

    5window
    Member

    Harbor Freight is often the only game in town now that Sears and Craftsman are toast. Most of the stuff I have from there is ok if I don't push it. My wrenches are good, old stuff. If you have the mindset to do the work, buy the right tools and sell them later if you want to. With the 'net reviews are always possible and you can't err buying the best.
    I'd suggest find a fabricator you like and find out a price, AND A TIMELINE, to do what you want. Then, find the tools to do the job and figure out the relative costs. Then decide if you are up to the job yourself.
     
  16. justabeater37
    Joined: Jan 1, 2009
    Posts: 1,356

    justabeater37
    Member

    What panels are you trying to make? I may have built a T recently and could maybe give you an idea.
     
  17. john worden
    Joined: Nov 14, 2007
    Posts: 1,699

    john worden
    Member
    from iowa

    If after applying Lazze's tips to your shrinker/stretcher they don't work properly you most likely have incorrectly made tools.
    Even the best shrinker/stretchers require maintenance.
     
    indestructableforce likes this.
  18. vtx1800
    Joined: Oct 4, 2009
    Posts: 1,293

    vtx1800
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I believe expression ChiCom originally came from the Korean War describing the hordes of Chinese Communists that came across the border during the "forgotten war". That's what I remember from when I was a kid and listening to the guys that were there.
     
    H380 and indestructableforce like this.
  19. You mentioned that it didn't help much. Maybe you are expecting to much out of the tool? Lancaster style shrinker/stretchers don't move a lot of metal with each pass, especially if you are doing it by hand, and you have to make multiple passes to move the metal any great amount. Post up some pictures of your machine and the piece you are working on.

    Sent from my SM-G950W using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
     
  20. The distributor was Arksen I think. Work piece is just a cutoff scrap 20 gauge cold rolled steel section I had previously used to get a feel for my planishing hammer. Just seeing what it'll do was the goal with the panel, no real plan. I think I can feel the dies contacting the panel and coming together without biting in. It gives the illusion it's biting once the jaws stop moving and all the pressure forces the jaws straight down into the sheet, the panel itself isn't being compressed as intended. Think a lot of this may be from the wire maybe being pressed inward during the downward stroke by the guide not being wide enough? If so I'm really liking the idea of one of the shrinker die sets in a unit that resembles a modified arbor press. That may be worth the extra expense.
    IMG_1575.JPG
    Pardon all the crap around it. Everything is pushed to one side for the wood for reinforcing the trusses, putting up a ceiling and insulation this winter so it won't be so punishing to work out there.
     
  21. john worden
    Joined: Nov 14, 2007
    Posts: 1,699

    john worden
    Member
    from iowa

    Try inserting the sheet only half way into the dies.
     
    40ragtopdown and tb33anda3rd like this.
  22. justabeater37
    Joined: Jan 1, 2009
    Posts: 1,356

    justabeater37
    Member

    What panel are you trying to make? Trying to shrink that edge on that wide of panel is going to be difficult. If it’s a bun panel, a stump and hammer for tuck shrinking would be a better option in my opinion. This was just hammered out in the stump to shape and shrink the edges planished on the english wheel 93534C47-360B-459A-BD23-54DDFBA19593.jpeg D5D2C580-5953-4822-9181-4DE033AABAEB.jpeg
     
    indestructableforce likes this.
  23. I'm not really trying to make any panel yet, just trying it out on a scrap piece. Am I just expecting too much? Think the jaws not biting in because there's too much stress in the piece already? I had bought it to put the curve in the rockers that I needed (mating a cowl to the rear section of a touring car). I put a 90 degree edge on it so the shrinker could make the curve and I could work the curve over before welding it in.
     
  24. justabeater37
    Joined: Jan 1, 2009
    Posts: 1,356

    justabeater37
    Member

    If you bent it 90, and there isn't a terrible long edge, it should make the curve. If the legs of your 90 are really deep, shrinking on the edge will cause a lot of tension and not do what you want. the tuck shrinking allows you to go deeper into the panel, but if you are bent 90, it can be tough to get a nice tuck and hammer it out while not making a kink in the face. How close to the 90 can you reach? Like John says, varying the insertion depth, and sometimes the angle even, can really change how the piece moves.
     
  25. justabeater37
    Joined: Jan 1, 2009
    Posts: 1,356

    justabeater37
    Member

    Try bending a piece of paper folded to 90 degrees to give you an idea of what wants to move and how much. the folds would be your tucks if you are tuck shrinking. Otherwise it would show you how deep you need to shrink with the shrinker. If it's too deep, you may not be able to do it with the shrinker alone.
     
  26. fordcragar
    Joined: Dec 28, 2005
    Posts: 3,179

    fordcragar
    Member
    from Yakima WA.

    Like John mentioned, insert the piece only half way into the jaws. Don't try to over shrink. Another thing that you could try is some extreme pressure grease on the jaws, so they slide on their ramps.
     
    indestructableforce likes this.
  27. The edge is 4 inches longer than necessary so it'll be easier get a hammer in there. Man this is all over my head. So shrinking pliers like this would be a good idea to have then.
    IMG_1579.JPG IMG_1580.JPG
     
  28. Atwater Mike
    Joined: May 31, 2002
    Posts: 10,588

    Atwater Mike
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Chinese communists were called 'Chinese Reds', or 'reds'.
    'Chi-Coms' were what we called leftist demonstrators in Chicago. (laughable)
    During the Cold War, some made a dark joke about the impending 'doom' of communism, "Better Red than dead"...
    Funny, all these 'buzzwords' and colloquialisms.
     
  29. Not trying to insult but you are sure you have the dies in the right way? What you are describing sounds like one set of dies are reversed. The space between the dies top and bottom has to be offset not lined up.

    Sent from my SM-G950W using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
     
  30. Hey no offense taken. As I admitted I don't know jack about this field but yeah. They're reversed from one another.
     

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