Eastwood Shrinker/Stretcher Combo

2 separate bodies: 1 shrinks, 1 stretches... no switching needed.

Eastwood Shrinker/Stretcher Combo - EW51088

The Eastwood Shrinker/Stretcher Combo Set handles most of your automotive metal-shaping jobs.

▶   Ideal for perfect-fit rust-repair metal work around wheel openings, door jambs, windshields and trunk gutters
▶   Shrinker/Stretcher Combo Set includes 2 jaws, 2 housings and 2 handles
▶   Works on up to 18-gauge mild steel, 20-gauge stainless, and 16-gauge aluminum

The Eastwood metal Shrinker Stretcher lets you easily fabricate gentle radius bends and contours in steel, aluminum, stainless or copper. Compound 45:1 leverage allows effortless forming without making relief cuts, heating, or hammer-forming.

Eastwood Shrinker/Stretcher Combo

Shrinker/Stretcher Metal-Shaping Combo reproduces wheel wells, dog legs, trunk corners...almost any metal fabrication requiring a combination curve and angle. Use the shrinker to contract metal for inside curves; use the stretcher to expand metal for outside curves.

Eastwood Shrinker/Stretcher Combo

The hand-operated metal shrinker stretcher press multiplies your pressure by a factor of 45, creating leverage to work on up to 18-gauge mild steel, 20-gauge stainless, and 16-gauge aluminum. Clamps in your vice or mounts on your bench or pedestal stand.

Application

Shrinker/Stretcher Metal-Shaping Combo reproduces wheel wells, dog legs, trunk corners...almost any metal fabrication requiring a combination curve and angle. Use the shrinker to contract metal for inside curves; use the stretcher to expand metal for outside curves.

The hand-operated metal shrinker stretcher press multiplies your pressure by a factor of 45, creating leverage to work on up to 18-gauge mild steel, 20-gauge stainless, and 16-gauge aluminum. Clamps in your vice or mounts on your bench or pedestal stand.

Basic Machines & Techniques

Sheet metal fabrication is the act of forming, shaping, and joining metal together to build and or repair a tangible part. There are many techniques and tools. It's been done since the beginning of time when even the simplest tools were used. In this article we will share the most common and important tools, machines, and techniques for the DIY fabricator.

Metal Shaping

Metal Shaping or forming can only change metal in four ways. You can bend, cut, shrink and stretch metal to form it. Below are the common tools and techniques to perform these tasks.

Bending Metal

Form Bending- This is the simplest way to bend metal. In this method you are bending the metal over an edge or shape that is located under the metal. For instance you can push a flat piece of metal over the edge of a table (with your hands) to make a bend. You could also use a hammer and shaping dolly to bend the metal around the shape that is desired.

Metal Brake- A metal brake is the most common way to make clean, precise bends in metal. A metal brake works by placing the metal on a flat, gated surface and then clamping a flat bar on top of the metal and lifting the gated portion to bend the metal to the desired angle. Most metal brakes can make bends to just over 90 degrees. We offer a selection of diverse sheet metal brakes on our site.

Cutting Metal

Hand Shears- Using hand shears or 'aviation snips" is a manual, way to cut metal that's necessary no matter how many large tools you have. Snips or hand shears are one of the first tools you should purchase when entering the world of metal fabrication. We offer a full line of Hand Shears and Aviation Snips that range from the simple straight, left and right snips to specialized jaws.

Power Shears- Power shears are best described as power "scissors" for cutting metal. They allow you to cut sheet metal more quickly and with less manual effort. There are many different types of power shears ranging from pneumatic shears and electric shears. Most power shears aren't able to cut intricate shapes or tight corners. Some specialized throatless power shears or "nibblers" on the market can cut tighter radii. Most power shears do waste some material when cutting (determined by the spacing of the stationary jaws). We offer both pneumatic and electric power shears at affordable prices.

Throatless Shears- This is another type of mechanical cutting or "shearing" of metal. They're often times described by a well-known style of these shears called the "Beverly Shear". These are designed to allow you to cut metal in straight lines or shapes and radii in sheet metal with no marring of the cut edge. They are hand operated and use a hinged blade that swings down and cuts the metal that's lying on a stationary adjacent blade. Throatless shears waste no material when cutting. These are a must have for anyone making more than a few cuts in steel. This should be your first big cutting tool purchase! We offer a bench mounted economy throatless shear that can cut up to 14 gauge mild steel.

Angle Grinder- I am a firm believer that if you plan on working on anything made of metal, you need to own an electric angle grinder. These suckers are the workhorses of most shops. They simply spin the attached disc or wheel at a fast rate of speed for removing material in a quick manner. Thin cutting discs are available for cutting metal. These are noisy and messy, but they will get the job done. This is my choice if I need to cut through multiple layers of sheet metal. I prefer to have two of these on hand, one with a flap or sanding disc and one with a cutting wheel to avoid having to save time. We offer a few different selections of angle grinders that are eager to be star players in your shop.

Plasma Cutter- Plasma cutting can be as aggressive and powerful or delicate as you want if setup properly. A properly adjusted plasma cutter can cut sheet metal quickly with extreme accuracy and minimal clean up. These are extremely helpful if you need to make long straight cuts that may be difficult to handle alone on a throatless shear. Eastwood Company offers plasma cutters that allow you to cut paper thin sheet metal all the way up to ¾" steel.

Shrinking Metal

Tucking Metal- Tucking metal is one of the earliest methods of shrinking metal. In this method you're literally bunching the metal together by forcing it between a crevice with a spade hammer or by folding the metal over at the edges with a homemade tucking fork. This method is one that has been used to form some of the earliest most valuable sports cars. A good hammer and a wooden stump with cleverly placed cuts and crevices formed can work wonders!

Shrinker- A shrinker is a lever-operated tool (hand or foot) that has moving textured jaws that grasp sheet metal from the top and the bottom and force it together tightly. This method is much more precise than tucking with a hammer and form, but moves the metal much slower. You can carefully work particular areas to shrink them as desired. The shrinker leaves minimal marring on the metal, most of which can be removed or smoothed out with a sanding disc or file.

Heat Shrinking- This is a method that takes a lot of practice. The basic idea is that you heat a overstretched area (with a torch) almost red hot and then as the area cools it shrinks. The type or amount of stretched metal or damage will determine how you shrink or smooth the area out. You may need to hammer and dolly the area or quench the area with a wet rag or compressed air to get the desired shrink. Alternatively there are shrinking discs on the market that are attached to an angle grinder that use friction to create the heat. These are a bit more precise and avoid using a torch/flame to heat and shrink the metal.


Stretching Metal

Hammer and Dolly- This is the most basic way to stretch metal. With this method you firmly hold an object behind the metal and hit the other side with a hammer. This forces the metal to be compressed and ultimately stretch. Metal can also be stretched in a similar method by using a sandbag and plastic mallets to quickly stretch metal and make shapes.

Stretcher- The opposite of the shrinker mentioned above. This is a mechanically operated tool that puts the metal between two flat textured jaws and pulls the metal apart slowly each time the lever or foot pedal is pressed. The shrinker and stretcher together are must have items for anyone doing sheet metal fabrication.

English Wheel- This method works in a similar fashion to using a hammer and dolly or anvil to stretch the metal out. The metal is placed between a large, flat-faced upper wheel and a lower "anvil" that has a radius to the face. The lower wheel is then screwed up to pinch the metal between the two wheels and the metal is rolled back and forth slowly stretching the flat metal over the curved lower wheel. This method stretches the panel to create a uniform crown. You can also use the English Wheel to smooth out imperfections in the metal caused by using a plastic mallet and sandbag as described above. We offer a couple DIY English Wheel options that can handle most panel shaping needed.

Metal Fusion

The last important method of sheet metal fabrication is fusing small panels together to produce larger complex parts. The most common type of metal fusion is welding. The most common methods of welding during sheet metal fabrication are listed below.

Oxy Acetylene Welding - This type of welding is the oldest method, but it's still used by many today. Oxy Acetylene welding uses tanks of Oxygen and Acetylene that are mixed together with an adjustable torch to create a precise, controlled flame that a piece of metal can be heated with. While heating the base metal you add a filler rod that joins the metal together. This method does take a lot of practice to master, but the welds produced are the softest and most pliable. Oxy Acetylene welds are the easiest to planish (smooth out) with a hammer and dolly to get the weld joint as flat as possible.

TIG WELDING- This type of welding is the most desired by professionals in the sheet metal fabrication industry. It uses a "torch" that has a non-consumable electrode that creates a small, precise electric arc that melts the base metal. You can then join the metal together by adding filler rod to the puddle of molten metal with your other hand. TIG welds are the second softest weld but are the most difficult to master. TIG welding is more precise than Oxy Acetylene welding and most modern fabricators prefer it. Eastwood offers a full line of TIG Welders and TIG Welding Supplies that will round out your sheet metal fabrication tools.

MIG Welding- A MIG welder is the most common and probably the easiest form of welding to learn. This method uses a motor to feed the filler wire through the tip of the MIG gun. The wire then completes the circuit when it touches the base metal and melts the wire into the weld joint, fusing the metal together. MIG welding creates sparks and requires more cleanup than the other methods above. It's also the hardest weld, so it's harder to grind and hammer flat. Most beginners and DIY guys prefer this method because it's quicker and easier to master. Eastwood offers MIG welders that can weld sheet metal with ease and also diverse enough to perform heavier fabrication.

By following the basic methods and using the tools mentioned above you can tackle most any job you come across. The most important thing to remember is that you need to learn to watch the metal and learn to read what needs to be done to get it to where you want. So get out there and practice! Cut, bend, shrink, and stretch to make your dreams become reality in metal!
-Matt/EW

Safety

Use appropriate eye and hand protection when handling sheet aluminum or steel.

How To Metal Fabrication with the Eastwood Shrinker Stretcher

Eastwood's Shrinker Stretcher Combo Unit in action fabricating a patch panel for a 1973 Capri lower quarter patch panel. Shrinker/Stretcher Combo Set handles most of your automotive metal-shaping jobs

Shrinker & Stretcher Metal Shaping - Hood Scoop & Window Channels - Ron Covell

Master Metalworker Ron Covell demonstrates how to shape metal using the Eastwood Shrinker. In this video he removes wrinkles from a rounded, bowl-shaped piece of metal, forma a hood scoop and also makes a window channel. This video was filmed Live at SEMA 2013 in the Eastwood booth.

Shrinker & Stretcher Combo Set - Metal Fabrication Made Easy - Eastwood

The Shrinker Stretcher Combo is a set of tools that you absolutely need if you're restoring a car or truck and need to fabricate new door jams, windshield frames, trunk gutters or wheel openings.

  • Eastwood Shrinker / Strecher
    Must have tools if you plan on doing any complex sheet fabrication. I ended up making a stand simply because I wanted to hold the parts with both hands plus keep my bench clear for other things. The shipped quick and perform as they should. Looking back I should have bought a stand. All the steel was "scrap" so it was free and it did come out as I wanted but I spent quite a few hours on it that would have been better spent on other projects. At least I had an excuse to use my Eastwood Plasma Cutter and welder so that made it all worth it.
  • Works better than I hoped
    I was skeptical of these, thinking they were hobby-quality and wouldn't hold-up to the thickness or punishment I was about to deliver, but these are MUCH more useful than I anticipated. My old cab's doors don't line up with the jambs anywhere near what I needed, so I decided to make my own jambs to mate-up to my near-perfect doors. Mounted the shrinker and stretcher into my large vise (swapped like 1000-times) and ended up bending 18ga cold-rolled in ways I didn't think was even possible. It wasn't fast and my first attempt (rear of driver door, shown in pic) was rough, but I've got the hang of this just a jamb-or-two later. The nice thing about these is you can work slowly and the metal doesn't get away from you; mistakes are repairable with just a little rework.
    A few things worth mentioning: the actual jaw-bite is 1"; I tried making corners everywhere from 1.5"-wide to 3"-wide. The 1.5"-wide obviously bends easier, but the 3"-wide looks cleaner (2-3X more effort, though). I could cut-off the jaw-marks from the 3" and not have to clean anything, but 1.25"-to-1.5" wide seems to be the sweet-spot versus effort. Secondly, the stretcher-jaws work 5-6X faster than the shrinker does; don't get aggressive with the stretcher! Third, the less metal inserted into the jaws the quicker you can bend (for example, inserting only 0.5" into the 1"-jaws), but be careful... the less metal inserted the better chance for the metal to pucker instead of bending. Fourth, I found disassembly of the jaws for cleaning and greasing easy to do; not sure what others are talking about.
    Note: Each jamb (4) took me north-of 8-hours to bend to shape. I'm guessing if I had floor-stands and didn't have to constantly switch from shrink-to-stretch in my vise it would have been quicker (there's no way a floor-stand would hold up to the torque I was putting into the handle, but a foot-pedal connection probably would). The picture below shows several steps I made to create near-exactly what I wanted: 1) Cut strips off some old 18ga I had lying around 2) I simply used the brake to create corners after cleaning and deburring the strips. You don't need exact angles, as you're going to distort them anyway 3) The door's contours obviously aren't as straight as the metal I broke. This driver' door (rear) bends in/out at the top/bottom, but it also does S-curves along the edge's perimeter 4) The finished rear- jamb I'll weld to the cab's driver door pillar, once I get the bear-claw latch welded where I want it 5) The finished front-jamb for the driver's door, which I'll weld in-place once I get the hinges set where I want them
  • Very impressed
    Before I use to travel around body shops looking for hoods and fenders to use. I never could really get that perfect shape or fit but it was close enough. When I learned about the Shrinker/Stretcher I researched it thoroughly. Eastwood had the highest rating and I decided to give it a try. I was able to shrink and stretch a scrap piece of metal within minutes on my first try. I was very impressed on how this worked. I now save time and gas not running around to body shops trying to pick up used metal. I can now make my shapes and curves perfectly!
  • my new favourite toys
    i tried the shrinker/stretcher at a friends house about 5 months ago, i seen it online a million times and in video's, but after i tried it i never thought it would be so easy to use, i picked mine up about a week ago, and i've already mastered it, only took about 20 minutes to be a pro at it, i would love to get a proper stand for it, maybe some type of quick disconnect for it so i could easily and quickly change between shrinker and stretcher but i'll have to wait till the perfect one is available!
  • FANTASTIC!!! Wouldn't work without one!
    This Combo Kit is one of the BEST tool-sets I own...and I own a LOT of tools.
    As an avid Street Rodder and overall Hot Rodder & Blue Oval MadMan this toolset is going to save countless hours on my current project...a 1956 Ford F100 pickup truck.
    I purchased my Effie with the entire original sheet metal AND hard trim "mostly intact" and I am going to do my best to save everything I can for this build!
    The Eastwood Shrinker/Stretcher Combo Set I purchased, # 51088, is VERY versatile and portable so it travels well and works on everything I need from fenders to small trim pieces as well as patch panels...the possibilities are just endless!
    I can move the bodies from my workbench to my shop-vice or to my welding table on wheels, where ever I need it.
    Thanks again Eastwood for an awesome product!
  • shrinker / stretcher nice tool
    right out of box loved it ,,stretcher was perfect,the shrinker i took apart and polished the surfaces ,worked smoother and perfect..worth every penny fantastic tool guys and gals..easy easy to use and understand how to work tool..how did i ever do metal work without it ...must buy !!!!!!!!!!
  • Great quality
    I purchased these primarily for making a rear windshield channel on my 69 chevelle. Upon bending a 2" strip on a brake to form a 90, I began a test piece shrinking the metal. Surprised to find never using Shriners before just how easy and tight of a radius the metal shrank. Would highly recommend to others. The attached photo is a rusty piece of metal I used but jaw marks were minimal and easily removable with a little filing/sanding.
  • shrinker strecher combo
    worked good right out of the box would recommend to any one who is looking for good value for there money
  • Awesome Tools!
    So I purchased these about 4 months ago, and I'm absolutely so glad I did. They are a must have set for anyone working with sheet metal. I built my own mount for them. Now I'm ready to put them to serious use. A must buy in my opinion.
  • 5 stars says it all
    Great for me in Sweden, I use it on 0,7-0,8 mm sheet metal (20-22 gauge) for cars.
  • Works Great!
    Bought this for a 72 Road Runner Project. It worked great. screws came lose holding shields over die, just tightened. Used in a couple vices, wish I had a plate and stand with foot pedal.
  • I was surprised how well they worked
    I've done some car restorations over the years, and was able to buy all the floor pans and fender repairs I needed. Starting on a very rough TR3 now, ( you can buy most body parts but expensive) I've already made the one wheel arch repair up, and one lower dogleg, came out fantastic, the cost of this and the Eastwood bender were way cheaper than buying one dogleg. so many little angle areas, trunk gutters, firewall extensions, that will be easy with this tool. Very heavy, which I like, and bolts easy to any 2 by work bench. Very Happy with it, and highly recomend.
  • A very good product
    For the price this is a seriously good bargain! Mine arrived recently and it works as easily as the Eastwood Youtube video shows. i will save hours of beating with these in my workshop!
  • For my Husband
    I bought this as a Christmas gift formy husband. He already had this pre-selected and the site was so easy to use. Shipping was super fast and the overall experience has been GREAT!
  • Another great tool for my garage!
    It takes a little time to learn how to use it, it works great it just takes practice and for the price you cannot beat it.
  • shrinker strecher combo
    worked great right out of the box would recommend to any one who is looking for good product and value
  • GREAT ADDITION TO MY GARAGE METAL WORKING TOOLS
    Works great out of the box,simple to use thanks to great videos on youtube
  • Eastwood Shrinker/Stretcher
    i bought the shrinker stretcher because i need to make repairs too the back window of the 1967 cougar i am repairing the window channel had several small holes in the window seal area that allowed water to enter the car the shrinker makes nice curved pieces that fit into the area and with a little welding no more holes and the repair looks like it came from the factor after a little grinding you cant tell its been repaired great tools these make form home use
  • Nice Tools & Good Deal
    Caught these on sale about a month ago. First time I ever used a shrinker/streacher and I picked it up pretty quick. I'm restoring a 55 Ford Victoria and had a rusted through drain channel around the trunk opening to repair. In the past I would cut out three pieces and weld them together to make a channel. That process works, but really doesn't match what the factory did. I shrunk a 90 on the top side and then stretched on the top side to make it angle down at the bottom end. I should have taken a picture, but was caught up in doing it and I forgot. Someone mentioned watching the Lazze videos on YouTube, a lot of good information on there.. I only rated these a 4 star only because after watching the Lazze tune up videos I discovered what he was talking about, otherwise they would have been 5 star. Thet work so much smoother after the tune up. I'd buy these again without hesitation.
    Dave
  • Great tool
    I got the stretcher/shrinker combo for some metal work on my car project. Theses things are great, I suppose you could form lips and edges with a hammer and a buck, but for someone less skilled with a hammer (like myself) these are pretty amazing. If you stick to think metals (as stated in the description), you will be very happy with the results. I'd highly recommend this combo set.
  • Quality blew me away!!
    This purchase was the first in a series that I'm making to get into metal shaping. Been welding and fabricating for a while, but this is the next step. Watched heaps of videos on YouTube (Eastwood, Lazze and a few others already mentioned in other reviews). It's hard to add to the already great review that precedes mine - but I can endorse it, and the product without reservation. Setting up air-over-hydraulic with a proper indexed JD2 bender, then running hyd dimple dies and cut-outs alongside a bead roller ultimately. When I saw what the shrinker and stretcher could do (first with Chip Foose at the wheel on an Overhaulin' show) I knew it had to be one of the first sheet metal tools I would need. The solid rivet kit from Eastwood will be next. Thanks guys. Read about your history and how you began. Hats off. This New Zealander living in the Middle East is ENORMOUSLY grateful for your support! Cheers Guys
  • great product
    Have used sparingly but the stretcher /shrinker work perfect for reproducing trunk weatherstrip channel. Plan on using for lower fender repair later on. I don't know how these parts could be made without the stretcher/ shrinker. Very affordable tool to reproduce parts that are unavaliable. I made my own base plate to hold both stretcher and shrinker from 1/4 metal plate.
  • Must have tools.
    This set has made sheet metal repairs so much easier. I restore classic cars and as you all know they can be rotted out in certain areas. I purchased this set to shape sheet metal around the back window and the windsheild openings, I was pleasently suprised how will these tools worked. I would reccomend these tool to anyone needing to form sheet metal.
  • Nice Combo
    I have a little experience constructing replacement sheetmetal panels and after a little practise found the tools perform better than I hoped. It has opened the way to making all kinds of replacement parts from wheel well lips to trunk lip filler pieces . The foot operated stand would be alot handier than the vise I now use.
  • GREAT BANG FOR THE BUCK
    I BOUGHT THE EASTWOOD SHRINKER/STRETCHER FOR SOME HOT ROD & CHOPPER PANEL FABRICATION AND IT DID BETTER THAN I IMAGINED! WORKS PERFECT ON MILD STEEL AND ALMOST AS GOOD ON ALUMINUM, THE STRETCHER WILL TEAR 20 GA ALUMINUM IF YOUR NOT CAREFUL. WOULD DEFINATELY RECOMEND TO ANYONE!
  • Performed way beyond what I was expecting
    Within 30 minutes of receiving the shrunken/stretcher, I had it chucked up in a vise after mounting on to a 6" piece of 11 ga. tubing. An hour later I had completed my first of 2 door jamb covers using 16 ga. Cold roll. Best purchase I made this year for my 36' coupe restore.
  • Great value, great tool
    I do not have a lot of body work experience, but after 10 min of practice I was able to make replacement patch panels for the lower rear sections of the front fenders on my 50 Ford panel. The pieces where as good as any you could buy.
  • Good value
    I purchased this combo to work on aircraft aluminum. Just used the shrinker to make some end caps for a fuel tank. Tool preformed well and really quite powerful, had to stretch where I over did the shrinking:-).
  • Good buy
    I've used these a couple of times now and am happy with them - the bodies are heavy cast iron and everything else is heavier duty than I expected. Shrinks and stretches metal faster than I thought it would.
  • Great addition to any tool box
    It took a little time to get the hang of using them but once you understand how they work you can make alot of different replacement sheetmetal parts that saves you time and money.
  • Good bargain
    A good price for a quality product, fantastic to have the possibility to order from Scandinavia and have it shipped for less money that I could by it for in my own country.
  • Good Product
    I got this last Friday but just got a chance to work with it today. Once you get the hang of it it works real smooth. Works nice for repairing rusted wheel openings.
  • shrinker[stretcher
    excellent tool we have been using it on our latest hot rod project. a 31 model A pickup. for my mother, we already built, a 32 roadster for oour father.
  • Great addition to the shop
    Made life a lot easier when patching wheel opening. Takes a little muscle to use on 18 ga. If you don't have a foot pedal a helper comes in handy.
  • Worth every penny.
    I've used these tools to make panel supports and fender edges. Easy to use, excellent quality. very happy with the tool and the results.
  • did what i wanted to do
    I have a 40 Chevy that I needed to make some repair patches for and the shrinker/strecher worked perfectly for making these pieces
  • Great Product
    Great product. Only thing that would make it better would be to order a stand with it, but can clamp in the vise. 2 thumbs up.
  • Well made tool.
    Worked perfect right out of the box. Follow the recommendations on shallow bites and you will be pleased with the performance
  • Jim
    Great buy!
    These things work wonderful! It is nice to have equipt. that works the way its supposed to. A must have for any project!
  • great tool
    I was,not real sure about ordering , I was afraid they would'nt work well. To my surprise these things work great.
  • Great set!!!
    This shrinker /stretcher set is a great set! It makes it very easy to make repair panels.
  • out standing tools
    i shopped around for these tools for ever and you guys have the best price of any one
  • Enjoyed
    Easy to work with. Opened up a world of possibles outside the auto body field. tinker
  • good tools
    worked perfect right out of the box, would recommend to my friends, great service!
  • Perfect
    Great Product.I bought this product a month ago.I recommend it. Thank You..
  • D&W
    shrinker/stretcher
    Amazing how easy I can make a panel, don't know how I got along without it.
  • good value product
    have used the machines and they certainly do the job well
  • Quality product @ fair price
    A must have for your restoration projects.
  • Excellant
    Works very nice for my application
  • awsome
    awsome worked as advertised
  • Good deal
    Nice well built tools.
  • this tool even makes me look good. works excellent.
    great tool