Metal Working System Instructions
Part #28060

The Eastwood Metal Working System can be configured with different mandrels to form a wide variety of beads (1/4” I.D., 3/8” I.D., 1/2” I.D.), channels/flanges (1/16”, 1/8” or 1/4” deep) and cuts in mild sheet metal panels (up to 18 gauge). Its 18” throat will form the center of panels as wide as 36”. This tool is an ideal solution for fabricating replacement floor and trunk pans, as well as for making custom panels for street rods.

Set Up a Template

Draw the pattern you want to form right on the panel. We recommend using a T-square and straightedge or long ruler. Take your time and lay down your design as neatly as possible. A little time taken at this stage will make the rest of the job go that much more easily.

Set Up the Metal Working System

Clamp the body in a vise with the roller adjuster end toward the top and tighten securely. It is helpful to use a vise with a swiveling base, since you will be able to rotate it to a comfortable position for working.

Forming Straight Line Beads

With the roll block tensioner bolts loose, slide the metal between the bead roller mandrels until the innermost line you’ve drawn aligns with the center of the bead in the top roller. Tighten the roller tensioning bolt until finger tight, then tighten a few more turns with a wrench. Do not overtighten, as this may tear the metal or jam the roller. Tighten the roll block bolt (upper side bolt) to hold proper tension on the piece.

Next, have a helper turn the crank slowly as you guide the metal along the guideline. Keep the line in the center of the upper roller as you go. When you reach the end of the guideline, you may re-roll the bead by turning the crank in the opposite direction. This produces a more sharply defined bead. Loosen both the roll block and tensioner bolts. Move to the next line toward the outer edge of the metal and repeat the process.


TECH TIP: When forming beads, be sure to work from the inside of the piece toward the outside. The bead roller shrinks metal and if you work from the outside toward the center, the bead you previously formed will be distorted and the entire piece may warp.

Forming Curves

The trick to forming curves with the bead roller is coordination between your helper cranking the handle, and you moving the metal. It is critical to a good job that you keep the guideline centered in the groove of the upper roller. If the outside of your design forms an oval, start the roller in the center of a straight section. Do no attempt to start right at a corner, since it will be difficult to line up the bead perfectly when you finish. By using combinations of curves and straight lines, there is almost no limit to the designs you can create with the Metal Working System.

Other Suggested Products

#28060P Adjustable Guide Fence Guides metal and helps make beads perfectly parallel.