About The Company:
Imperial Wheeling Machines started as partnership of Kerry Pinkerton and his
eldest son Kris who left a District Manager position with a fortune
company to help build the company. They are based in Harvest, Alabama
which is near Huntsville in the northern part of the state, not far
the Tennessee line and I65. Kris has returned to retail management and
Kerry's younger son Cameron is now in the business.
Kerry has been an amateur metalshaper for many years fabricating patch
panels for himself and friends. Several years ago, he became involved
in the Metalshaping community and began an avid poster in several
groups, gleaning information regarding tool building. In 2002, he
MetalMeet founder Wray Schelin to help design a wheeling machine to be
given to Randy Ferguson, host of Metalmeet03 and a good friend.
During the construction process, Yahoo changed their requirements for
archiving photos, and the yahoo group Metalshaping lost the ability to
archive photos, a critical aspect of sharing knowledge on metalshaping.
As new avenues for hosting a free and non-commercial metalshaping
community evolved into MetalMeet.com, Kerry became member #6 and later
was asked to become a board member.
The process of building RoboWheel, as it came to be called, was a tremendous education in terms of fabrication
techniques as well as what worked well from a design standpoint. After completing RoboWheel, Kerry asked Wray for input on a basic
for a completly new frame based on a quanity of 10x2x14" rectangular
tubing he had found. Wray Schelin again provided great inspiration and
suggestions with the caveat that the information be posted to the
MetalMeet.com site and be available free.
Many of the lessons learned were implemented in two prototypes that
taken to MetalMeet03. Prototype #1, a black frame with four legs and
skids, and #2, "Wheelasarus". Both were
used by nearly everyone there and the feedback was very positive.
Prototype #1 was sold at MM03. Wheelasarus became the basis for the
original Model 30 machines of which 5 were made.
Shown between the legs of Wheelasarus is a bolt on lower tool
arm that features an adjustable stub axle for the anvils instead of the
tradational yoke. This allowed for tighter work. The modular
construction of Imperial Wheeling Machines allows for easy construction of
special tool arms to meet specific needs such as tight shapes like a headlight
For Kerry, building is a process and every machine teaches him
that can be done better. A large quanity of 3x5 tubing was purchased
be used in building the first Imperial Wheeling Machine bench model. Realizing that 10x2 tubing was not suited for larger
frames (over 30") because it would have too much lateral deflection,
and discovering that no local mills made 10x3 or 10x4, the idea of
laminating two pieces of 3x5 came about. This was prototyped in
36" machine built for noted metalshaper Dutch Comstock of Herkimer NY.
The laminated design was even better than anticipated and provides for
VERY robust frame. It is MUCH stronger than a hollow 3x5 tube. It was decided to build the next generation of
model machines using this approach. The latest version of large machines
are made from 3x10x1/4 tubing which was finally sourced locally. Smaller
floor models have evolved from the original 3x5x3/16 tubing to 3x6x1/4".
New designs and features evolve with each machine as the modular design
lends itself to custom designs and enhancements.
Imperial Wheeling Machines are the only wheeling machines on the market
with bolt on upper adjusters and lower tool arms and offer unparalleled
flexibility and effectiveness for both industrial users and hobbyists.
Imperial Wheeling Machines can be reached by email at:
or by phone at (256) 859-2999 central time between 8am and 8pm