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Woodward Fab VS Harbor Freight Bead Roller

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by chevelle bob, Aug 14, 2013.

  1. chevelle bob
    Joined: Apr 1, 2010
    Posts: 209

    chevelle bob
    from Linton

    Sorry but I could not find an answer to this question with the search function. Woodward makes a bead roller that looks like the HF one, which is better? I know they are both cheaper units but I am putting in floors and will probably only use it for this project so hate to sink a lot in one. Any ideas would be appreciated.

  2. chevelle bob
    Joined: Apr 1, 2010
    Posts: 209

    chevelle bob
    from Linton

    I also have been looking into ways for putting in ridges without bead roller. There was a tech article on here some time ago about using welding rod and beating the pan around it.
  3. BILL54
    Joined: Jan 17, 2009
    Posts: 18

    from oHIo

    I purchased the woodward fab one, its alot heavier than the harbor freight roller. I added bracing to mine to stiffin the frame.
  4. vega1
    Joined: Feb 15, 2012
    Posts: 193


    Ok so I bought a roller shear brake combo from h.f. It looked just like the one Woodward had. Not so. Tried to shear one piece of sheet metal busted in two at the main body that is like a inch thick the casting was damn near hollow. And was full of porosity and I was only shearing 20 g metal their shit is junk it was the first and last

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  5. No real contest,,both Woodward and HF offer a off shore bead roller that the only difference I am aware of is the paint color.

    I have the cheaper HF roller and my friend Dave has the Woodward :rolleyes:

    Woodward does offer several other nicer and better built bead rollers but there is also a huge price difference. HRP
  6. 64Cyclone
    Joined: Aug 30, 2009
    Posts: 1,496


    I also have a Woodward roller and the main body is thicker and shafts are larger than the HF one. But it still could use some bracing. Mine flexes some when doing 18g steel.

    I didn't like the crank handle and a member here made me an adapter to put a Grant style steering wheel on instead. Much easier.

    Since you have to brace it anyway, you might want to get a HF roller since another member here makes a variety of roller dies so it's more versitile. I can't remember if he's making them for the Woodward or not.

    For the money, this one looks like a good deal since it comes with a stand and appears to be stronger. And it's US made. Never heard any reviews on it though.
  7. HF is always a crapshoot... FWIW, I have a HF bead roller as well as a press brake/shear and haven't had any issues. But as noted, most of the 'other' brands are just the same thing with different paint, so whatta ya do....
  8. I got a woodward one. the shafts are 1" asapossed to 22mm. The guides also hve grease zerks. But other than that it looks the same. I also saw bailiegh has a similar one. But I haven't seen one up close
  9. Slimmey
    Joined: May 7, 2013
    Posts: 87


    I bought the one from eastwood, don't know if it's the same as the others, it works good with the exception of the crank handle sucks. In the middle of mounting it on an old upholstry sewing machine. Hard to get it slowed down, so I'm looking for a garden tractor belt driven hydrastat system, that way I will have full control of speed and reversability. Make it a one man operation.

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  10. Slimmey
    Joined: May 7, 2013
    Posts: 87



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  11. alchemy
    Joined: Sep 27, 2002
    Posts: 16,875


    Do you pump the sewing machine's treadle to roll the beads?
  12. VoodooTwin
    Joined: Jul 13, 2011
    Posts: 3,455

    from Noo Yawk

    Either one will require beefing up to prevent distorted beads. Get the cheaper one and start reinforcing it in all the right places. There are tons of threads here on this exact topic.
  13. I have the HF one and it flexes like Gumby after a night of binge drinking.
  14. willymakeit
    Joined: Apr 13, 2009
    Posts: 1,326


    I rebuilt my HF roller. I'm going to try and adapt a HF thread machine to it like I'm using on my tube roller. Don't believe it will be to fast,just need the time.
  15. Slimmey
    Joined: May 7, 2013
    Posts: 87


    No alchemy, it's eletric mtr. The motor runs full out 1300 rpm the pedal controls the veriable speed clutch belt engagement.

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  16. You are lucky,,this is what happen the second day I used mine. HRP

  17. chinarus
    Joined: Nov 9, 2010
    Posts: 499

    from Georgia

    RE: " it's electric mtr. The motor runs full out 1300 rpm the pedal controls the variable speed clutch belt engagement."

    So you just removed the sewing head and found a pulley to fit the shaft ?
    I have an old Singer straight stitch that has a new clutch motor setup.
  18. Don's Hot Rods
    Joined: Oct 7, 2005
    Posts: 8,319

    Don's Hot Rods
    from florida

    I realize budgets sometimes enter into the choice of things you can buy, I have a budget like most people. But sometimes, especially with tools and equipment, if you spend a few dollars more you get so much more.

    We have a Pro-Tools motorized bead roller and it has really made work so much easier. No flexing at all, and it even lets me make straight or curved beads that come out pretty good looking.

    For example, I know the HF one goes for about $ 200 and I imagine the Woodward Fab one goes for about the same. The Pro-Tool hand crank one is a little more at $ 450.00 but it requires no reinforcing to make it work like it should. The motorized one is a little more at $ 750 but it lets one person do the job by himself and is easy to control the speed on.

    There are more expensive ones on the market but this one does everything we need it to do, and it is made in America.


  19. 29moonshine
    Joined: Dec 30, 2006
    Posts: 1,319


    get the hf one it comes with the dies. you can get it on sale for $100 then beef it up
  20. My HF as modified with masonite table and angle iron fence, works great. But it still sucks for some jobs as the throat depth is only 18", the 24" would help on some projects.


    The T handle or a quick form of adjustment here is a must as you will be opening and closing this adjustments more then you know! :D

    Joined: Aug 8, 2008
    Posts: 3,623

    Alliance Vendor

    Don't forget Baileigh has a small army of HAMB'ers that are running our bead rollers. If you are a HAMB member you get a pretty slick discount on top of free promotion of your builds on our website.

    just give me a call direct for the hookup 920-482-3220
  22. heatnbeat
    Joined: Jan 6, 2009
    Posts: 184

    from Madera,Ca.

    I had. HF bead roller and gave it away! I ended up making my own. The upper shaft moves in/out 1-1/4" the shafts are 7/8" and the ends turned down to 20MM with a 6MM key way ( matches Lazze's bead roller ) I haven't bought any beading dies from him yet, I made my own.
    View attachment 2004664
    It is powered by a 3 phase gear motor 98:1 and a 120volt in 220 3phase VFD. Variable speed, forward/reverse pedals 24" deep. The sides are 3/8" with
    1x1-1/2" bar top, back, and bottom then 1/2" on the sides rear half. I can bead up to 16 gage with it!:)

    Attached Files:

    Sergeant82d likes this.
  23. Cyclone
    Joined: Mar 31, 2006
    Posts: 219

    from Sonoma, CA

    We have the Woodward, put a ring off of a dept store clothing rack on it. Have only done a few things w/it so far.
  24. That is a big hoop sir
  25. ryno
    Joined: Oct 6, 2005
    Posts: 3,471


    If you really only think you'll use it one time, I'd suggest finding someone in your aera that has a nice one and just pay them to make the beads for ya. They shouldn't charge you more then a hr or so of shop labor time.

    You'll be more the dissatisfied with the outta the box performance of a Woodward or HF unit.

    I have a baileigh power unit and love it.

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