A ring roller is a great tool for metal shops. A ring roller works by forcing steel material through three rollers also called dies. The three rollers are set in the machine in a triangular fashion. The two bottom rollers can be adjusted up into the top roller or drive roller to achieve various degrees of arches. The metal is wheeled through a ring roller until the desired radius is formed.
The drive roller pushes and pulls steel through simultaneously so that the steel has no where to go and thus forms a metal arch. If the ring roller operator moves the two bottom rollers or dies up, it changes the size of the ring. The rollers or dies are moved using a small hydraulic jack and lock screw on the ring roller. The operator unhooks the lock screw and pumps up the hydraulic jack and then tightens the lock screw once the desired span is achieved.
Standard dies that come with a ring roller usually handle flat strap metal. The roller Tom uses is the Shop Outfitters #238 Ring Roller. This is the discontinued Shop Outfitters Ring Roller and has been replaced by their newer and improved model, the 338 Pedestal Ring Roller. Shop Outfitters newest ring roller is able to accept wider steel, 3″ X 3/8″ steel rather then 2″ X 3/8″ of the previous model. The 338 Pedestal Ring Roller also has an aluminum handle and a heavier hydraulic jack. The 338 Pedestal Ring Roller also is able to roll square tubing. The square tubing dies are purchased separately. Special recesses in the dies allow for either tubing, round stock or square tubing.
A Ring Roller is an essential tool for many metal shops. Tom has used his ring roller to build items such as custom spinning pot holders, decorative metal tables and large wood racks.