RansomEli

Need advice on buying slip roll tool

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Need some tool advice. 

 

I prefer to do my own restoration work: mechanical, bodywork & paint. So far so good. Now, I'm advancing to another level: fabrication. 

 

I'm building a 1913-ish speedster. Want to build a round 30" x 14" gas tank. From my initial research it looks like I will need a slip roll tool to build the tank. About 20 gauge steel. 

 

I can have one made starting at $1,000. Cost goes up depending on what I want and how fancy it is. Been doing research on this forum and uncovered some really good advice.

 

Here's my dilemma (albeit, a nice one). I'd prefer to fabricate the tank myself. I'd have to buy a  30-inch slip roll or a 3-in-1 combo shear, brake & slip roll. Prices start at about $700 and go up real fast. I know that I can buy for less but those tools are seemingly junk - not worth the $$$. And I can't afford to pay $2,000.

 

Is there something in the $600-1,000 range that will do the job for me? Or am I better off just paying someone to manufacture the tank for me? Like I said, I'd prefer to do it myself but don't want to waste my money on expensive yet substandard tools.

 

I'm also looking for a bead roller. Same predicament except at a lower price level

 

Is there anyplace to buy used equipment at the 'hobbyist' level? Craigslist is real hit and miss. National firms over the internet seem to target heavier equipment.

 

Any recommendations or advice is appreciated. 

 

P.S. My regular job involves software verification and validation for medical devices. I find working on my cars extremely relaxing and rejuvenating. Two days working on my Franklins is the equivalent of a week in Hawaii. Really.

Edited by RansomEli (see edit history)
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Why buy the cow when all you want is a gallon of milk? Have a local shop shear and roll the sheet of your choice and take it from there. Likely less than $100. Have them roll 2. Almost as cheap as one and you'll have an extra when you screw up the first one. Have them cut and flange the ends too. How's your TIG skills? Quite a few ways to skin this cat.......Bob

Edited by Bhigdog (see edit history)
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Bhigdog has a valid point. I have a lot of tools that I justified the purchase by "maybe" will use them again later. However most of what I am speaking to are things in the under a couple hundred range. If it is in the $1,000 range plus that is money I can put into needed parts that I cannot make in my home shop. Plus you get to meet some neat guys taking work to local craftsmen. 

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A 100 gallon propane tank measures approx 14.5 x 48 inches and is thick enough to weld and take any amount of abuse. Seems like that might be good core to start with. Just one way to skin the cat......bob

 

Edited by Bhigdog (see edit history)

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Your tank will need some kind of coating to resist rust if it is steel. Suggest you use galvanized steel and solder it together. That is how they would have done it in 1913. A local sheet metal shop or duct shop should be able to help.

 

If you have money to burn a copper or brass tank would look spectacular, all polished up.

Edited by Rusty_OToole (see edit history)

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I think the 14.5" dia x 48" propane tank is a 100 lb rated one, not 100 gallons.  But, that should work, cheap enough, easy enough to grind off the top cover and bottom foot.  Also avoids issues about welds with leaks.  Use a new tank that has never had propane in it to avoid some worries about a big bang.

 

Of course, a 48" tank is too long for you, so it needs to be cut cleanly and welded back together - without leaks.  You can also start from scratch using a 24" length of Schedule 10 carbon steel pipe 14" o.d., 0.25" wall thickness, about 73.5 lbs.  A local steel shop can get it for you.  Then you need two flanged and dished heads.  You can get non-code rated (i.e. not rated for high pressure) 14" heads in 3/16" wall thickness from TankHeadExpress.com or other vendors.  Here's an example for $41.22 each in carbon steel;  http://www.tankheadexpress.com/a1-14-g2.html.  This will make a heavier tank than you were thinking of, but pretty cheap.  You still have the welding issue, so take it to a shop that does this kind of welding.

 

Actually, I think going to a good sheet metal shop and having them make the thing for you is still the best plan.  You would need more tools than just the slip roll.  And if you are not an expert TIG welder, you still have to pay for welding.

 

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1 hour ago, Gary_Ash said:

think the 14.5" dia x 48" propane tank is a 100 lb rated one, not 100 gallons

 

You are correct. My mis-speak.

1 hour ago, Gary_Ash said:

Actually, I think going to a good sheet metal shop and having them make the thing for you is still the best plan

 

As do I. I just like to skin cats................Bob

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Rusty has the best idea!  The 10-3/4" x 28" tank should hold about 11 gallons.  A 14" x 30" tank would hold about 20 gallons.

 

I've been to Lang's Model T Parts several times just for fun.  Nice people, good stuff.  When the Ford Museum wanted ten "new" model T's to use at their facility, Lang used original chassis and engine blocks, supplied all the other parts.  They claim they have reproduction parts available for 75% of a Model T.

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If you're going to have the cylinder portion of the tank made, I suggest making it from stainless steel. It CAN be painted, and will not rust. Whereas even galvanize will rust at every welded seam. And that zinc coating doesn't last forever. I had a stainless tank made for my Hupp, by guys in the same sheet metal union I used to work out of. 

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Instead of spending that amount of money, I too suggest a good tinsmith who can replicate your tank with all rolled and soldered seams..no rust. I had mine built by a tinner and it fit perfectly!

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Thanks for all the advice. Gary, I've been following your fabrication adventures and found them extremely useful.

 

Following your advice, I contacted a local fabricator. He can do my tank just the way I want it (in 16 Gauge) for about $250. Stainless would be double that amount. He will also work with me on customizing the gas caps and fillers (I'll have two).

 

You guys were right. The quote was much less than I expected. And they will do a better job than me. 

 

For now, no purchase of any machinery. I'll post photos of the finished product.

 

Thanks, all of you, for the expert advice. 

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