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  1. #1
    mrpat's Avatar
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    Shrinker Stretcher

    Anyone ever have any fun with a shrinker stretcher? What have you made with them? Any pointers or tips?

    I'm new to this tool and looking for some inspiration.

    I got a set for Christmas and just now finished making a stand with foot pedals for them. In the process of painting the stand so it will be rust free and prettier.

    Thanks!
    Pat

    Last edited by mrpat; 03-11-2018 at 06:36 PM.

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    Nice job.
    Fenders, chain guard and exhaust heat shield. I don't remember who posted a thread on this, cattailhaas? Maybe FOMOGO will see this, he made his shrinker/stretcher and uses it.
    I started with 20-24 gauge 1008 steel with ours.
    You might as well make room for a stump, a baseball bat hammer, and a shot bag. I'm starting work on those three tools for our shop next week.
    Hope this helps,
    Steve

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    I like it Pat. It looks good. You will get a lot of use out of it when you start using it. Here is mine. I see one thing that might be a challenge on yours. My pedals bottom out on the bottom of the stand. They are at full travel without anything in the jaws when they bottom out. So you are above the stand when you are working a piece of steel. You may want to add a piece of square tubing across under the pedals to stop any over travel which will wear out the jaws. Also you need to brace under your heads like mine is done. They will flex if you don't. The pull rod in the yellow head looks to long too. You have a lot of leverage advantage with the foot pedal and you are increasing it even more with the longer pull rod. I can measure mine and give you the length on the pull rod and the pedal so you can figure the lengths. I got all my measurements off of a commercial unit that was at a shop I went to. Put a couple of small wheels on one side so that you can tip it over and roll it around...



    It will get the better of you until you learn just how quickly it will move the metal. I actually push down on the short lever that the pedals pull with my hand and let the weight of the pedals do the work. Just give it a good push and the pedal will do the work for you. This is best when you only need to move the shape slightly. The foot will over power it and then its an oops... I would suggest getting some 20 gauge sheet and bending it 90 degrees and play with it until you get the feel for it. Thicker takes more effort and is slower to move. The 20 gauge will move easily and better show the actual movement when you clamp down on it. Also if it seems to be taking more effort to get the results that you want then you need to take the jaws out and clean them. When they fill up with metal they don't grip and you have to use more pressure to get the same results.

    Great tool that is always in the way like a cherry picker or an engine stand until you need it. Then nothing else will do what it does.

    I made the clevises on mine in the lathe with the milling attachment and the pull rod they are welded to is just a simple piece of 1/2'' conduit.

    I took mine to school and made all the inner fenders for our 1/2 scale chassis project. Everybody that uses mine likes it.

    Doug

    If you over shrink or over stretch don't be afraid to put it in the other head and take out what you overdid. If you do this more than a couple of times it will tear the metal and make a mess so be aware of your foot pressure.
    Last edited by FOMOGO; 03-11-2018 at 06:17 PM.
    "A day without laughter is a day wasted." - Charlie Chaplin
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  4. #4
    mrpat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SAT View Post
    Nice job.
    Fenders, chain guard and exhaust heat shield. I don't remember who posted a thread on this, cattailhaas? Maybe FOMOGO will see this, he made his shrinker/stretcher and uses it.
    I started with 20-24 gauge 1008 steel with ours.
    You might as well make room for a stump, a baseball bat hammer, and a shot bag. I'm starting work on those three tools for our shop next week.
    Hope this helps,
    Steve
    Thanks Steve. Great ideas

  5. #5
    mrpat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FOMOGO View Post
    I like it Pat. It looks good. You will get a lot of use out of it when you start using it. Here is mine. I see one thing that might be a challenge on yours. My pedals bottom out on the bottom of the stand. They are at full travel without anything in the jaws when they bottom out. So you are above the stand when you are working a piece of steel. You may want to add a piece of square tubing across under the pedals to stop any over travel which will wear out the jaws. Also you need to brace under your heads like mine is done. They will flex if you don't. The pull rod in the yellow head looks to long too. You have a lot of leverage advantage with the foot pedal and you are increasing it even more with the longer pull rod. I can measure mine and give you the length on the pull rod and the pedal so you can figure the lengths. I got all my measurements off of a commercial unit that was at a shop I went to. Put a couple of small wheels on one side so that you can tip it over and roll it around...



    It will get the better of you until you learn just how quickly it will move the metal. I actually push down on the short lever that the pedals pull with my hand and let the weight of the pedals do the work. Just give it a good push and the pedal will do the work for you. This is best when you only need to move the shape slightly. The foot will over power it and then its an oops... I would suggest getting some 20 gauge sheet and bending it 90 degrees and play with it until you get the feel for it. Thicker takes more effort and is slower to move. The 20 gauge will move easily and better show the actual movement when you clamp down on it. Also if it seems to be taking more effort to get the results that you want then you need to take the jaws out and clean them. When they fill up with metal they don't grip and you have to use more pressure to get the same results.

    Great tool that is always in the way like a cherry picker or an engine stand until you need it. Then nothing else will do what it does.

    I made the clevises on mine in the lathe with the milling attachment and the pull rod they are welded to is just a simple piece of 1/2'' conduit.

    I took mine to school and made all the inner fenders for our 1/2 scale chassis project. Everybody that uses mine likes it.

    Doug

    If you over shrink or over stretch don't be afraid to put it in the other head and take out what you overdid. If you do this more than a couple of times it will tear the metal and make a mess so be aware of your foot pressure.
    Thanks Doug. I'm using 1/4" plate for the top plate, but I think I will have to gusset it. I just used scraps laying around for the stand. I was thinking of welding a nut to the base on each side so I can thread a bolt and use that for pedal adjustment.

    I can always cut down the tubes that are locked into the shrinker/stretcher to make it less aggressive.

    Once I got the bugs worked out, I plan on trying some simple clutch covers and fenders.

  6. #6

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    I have a shrinker-stretcher set. I used it a lot when restoring cars. I like it.
    I haven't used it for a few years. I haven't done any "body" work on a minibike yet.
    Mine uses short handles and not foot pedals. The handles were always plenty for what I did...

    Danford1
    Time is the best teacher. Unfortunately it kills all of its students.

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    FOMOGO's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrpat View Post
    Thanks Doug. I'm using 1/4" plate for the top plate, but I think I will have to gusset it. I just used scraps laying around for the stand. I was thinking of welding a nut to the base on each side so I can thread a bolt and use that for pedal adjustment.

    I can always cut down the tubes that are locked into the shrinker/stretcher to make it less aggressive.

    Once I got the bugs worked out, I plan on trying some simple clutch covers and fenders.
    Pat mine is 1/4'' plate with 1/4'' plate struts. They will move if you don't support them. Lots of leverage there.
    "A day without laughter is a day wasted." - Charlie Chaplin
    If stupid could fly you would be a jet.
    Duct tape cant fix stupid but it can muffle the sound.

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  10. #8
    cattailhaas's Avatar
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    For me they are a must have tool. I have a Baileigh. I mostly use it for shrinking. I prefer to stretch with my planishing hammer or my True Edge nibbler shear as they don't leave the teeth marks or tend to tear the metal. There is a lot of good videos on you tube for tips and tricks. I use mine for fabricating car parts but you might remember I made some fenders for my 2017 build off bike (cat 400x modified ) I've included some pictures of a transmission cover that I shrunk the whole end down into a dome shape, before turning the bottom flange, and a inner structure of some doors I made for a 33 Ford roadster.

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  12. #9
    mrpat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cattailhaas View Post
    For me they are a must have tool. I have a Baileigh. I mostly use it for shrinking. I prefer to stretch with my planishing hammer or my True Edge nibbler shear as they don't leave the teeth marks or tend to tear the metal. There is a lot of good videos on you tube for tips and tricks. I use mine for fabricating car parts but you might remember I made some fenders for my 2017 build off bike (cat 400x modified ) I've included some pictures of a transmission cover that I shrunk the whole end down into a dome shape, before turning the bottom flange, and a inner structure of some doors I made for a 33 Ford roadster.
    WOW!
    Your work is amazing!

  13. #10
    mrpat's Avatar
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    I painted the beast and added some 3"x3" gusstes under each side. I stuffed a piece of scrap sheet metal and messed with it a bit just to see what it'll do.

    Gonna mess with it more and watch some YouTube vids.

 

 
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