Having used a fullsize slip roll in the past (and indeed on page 72 of this very issue where Jeb Scolman fabricates a hood), we were dubious as to the usefulness of a 12-inch slip roll. We have to say though, it soon proved its worth when we had to make the steel return lip for a ’glass grille shell, shown in the picture to the right. Admittedly, we also used a bead roller to form a step in this panel. We can see this slip roll being very useful for forming patch panels for doorskins, quarter-panels, and rockers, too. It should prove invaluable in a home shop, where its small size, and the ability to be stored when not in use, would make it an ideal addition to an occasional sheetmetal tool arsenal. After all, who has space in the average home garage for a slip roll, brake, shear, and so on? At least not if you want to get a car in there too!
Eastwood’s slip roll can tackle sheetmetal up to 20 gauge or aluminum up to 17 gauge, up to 11 3/4 inches in width. If you’re wondering what the three grooves in the lower rollers are for, they enable wire of 5/64-, 1/8-, and 5/32-inch diameter to be rolled. Though the cast-iron base should be bolted to a workbench, we used C-clamps to hold ours for the purposes of this story, with no problems.
Cones can also be formed by setting the rear roller at different heights at each end. While you’re never going to fabricate a complete transmission tunnel with this tool, you could form one in sections easily enough. Making cylinders as small as 1 1/2 inches diameter is also possible, thanks to the quick-release upper roller for removing such pieces. This is one of those tools that you’ll find a million uses for, and wonder how you did without it, we’re sure.