I've been thinking about what I need to complete my shop with metalworking tools and equipment. I've mentioned here before that I'd like to have a louver press. Another way of making louvers is with special dies on a bead rolling machine. Just so happens I have one of those. I just don't have the dies, which means if I'm planning on taking the bead rolling machine route I need to either make or buy some dies. I came across the above photo on the Motorsports books web site while shopping for Christmas presents. The dies themselves are from Williams Low Buck Tools - $115.00. Very reasonable for what you're getting. The only problem I see is the fact that you're going to be limited to flat panels. No way you're going to be able to reach out to the center of a hood or deck lid. However, Williams has a Metal Machine that has a big "C" frame with a plate on the end of it that will accommodate louver dies and a variety of other items such as a planishing hammer. Depending on if you would buy the frame and the dies or make the frame yourself to use his dies, the cheapest you'll be able to buy in is about $500.00. Maybe I'll hold off on the louvers for awhile, save my money and put it toward concrete in the back of the shop or a brake. However, I'm thinking it would be nice to at least save room for one or make a stand that will hold the louver press and something else as well.
Maybe a set up like the Fournier QuickShaper:
Since I've already got my English wheel taken care of, maybe the big throat for a louver press and then add the shrinker/stretcher and the spots for the shot bag and stakes. I've got a stake plate. Put that on one side and the shot bag on the other. Bolt on the louver dies or the planishing hammer as needed and I'd be in business.
If I ever get all this stuff built and done, there's going to be one hell of an auction when I'm gone.