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john marcus

ROLLER MILL BUILD STARTING

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with the encouragement of Dave Stephens i have started building several roller mills based on Hugh McDonald's design. I am going to build several extra of the parts that require mill work or lathe work if anybody else is interested. I have re done the orignial plans to all english dimensions and parts.

 

if you are interested in any pieces let me know. To be fair to Hugh you must own the roller mill cd that he sells to buy these parts. it allows one build per cd.

 

i will post pics as the parts progress.

newmill1.jpg

newmill2.jpg

newmill3.jpg

Edited by john marcus

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I'm excited about owning one of these.

 

Here's a link to some video of one in action for those that might be interested: http://www.anvilfire.com/bookrev/mcdonald/mill.htm

 

Anyone who currently owns or uses a roller mill: It would be great to hear your opinion/experience with these.

 

Dee, you own one, right? How do you like it?

 

--Dave

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I would be interested as well. I have a copy of the CD and would be very interested in getting / buying a copy of the plans in all English dimensions.

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Dave,

You can find a video on the movies page of my site ( http://www.matthewdwalker.com/movies/ ). I mostly use mine as a finish tool. It seems more efficient than my press or hammer on bars 1/4" thick and under. I'm no where near as good at using it as Mr. McDonald and probably haven't pushed it's potential. It'll leave a nice finish and uniform dimension and hardly makes the stock any wider. After having one I wouldn't want to be without it. I happened to find a 1-hp gear motor that was DC. The variable speed was real nice when I was first learning to use the machine. I'm still fascinated with his design.

Good luck .. Matt

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I've ran one for quite a few years, and wouldn't want to be without it. It doesn't take long to learn what it can and can't do, and adapt it to your forging process.

 

The way it's drawn (to me) makes sense for a lefty. I'm left handed and that's how I built mine. I can still hold the stock in the my right hand, regardless whether I'm hammering it or rolling it.

 

The original was built for a gentleman that was shorter than I am. That height carried through to the plans. When I get around to rebuilding mine, I'm going to make it taller.

 

Jamie

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I've had mine for several years and it makes a great companion to the press.

 

Only thing I would not bother with again is the stepped handle assembly (the red part in your drawing). I built it from the plans, but don't use it. I just reach down to the acme nut adjustment and turn it a couple of times to close the rollers. When you get used to it, it's easy to make small or big bites with it.

 

Dan

 

{edit} on the handle assembly, I should clarify to say that the handle itself is a good thing. I use it to pull a distal taper while running through the rollers. I don't use the stepped cog thingy down at the bottom of the handle that allow you to "instantly" change the the roller settings in stepped increments. Was more awkward than anything and it's just easier, for me, to turn the star nut as needed.

Edited by dan pfanenstiel

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I was thinking about making one but I was going to put a garer reduser on it insed of the pully.

I think kick ass did the same thing

Al high

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I was thinking about making one but I was going to put a garer reduser on it insed of the pully.

I think kick ass did the same thing

Al high

 

 

 

i think a gear reducer and maybe one chain might be a good combo.

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hey john...i contacted norm larson today about getting the cd... he said he's out at the moment call him back in 10 days... that being said very interested in the parts your machining... could you please pm me with details?... i saw the demo video bout 5 years ago and have wanted one ever sense...

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The first version of mine was powered with a gear reducer instead of the pulleys. The one that I used didn't have a high enough torque rating, and didn't work as well. If you go this route, make sure it's a beefy reducer.

 

I used the cog with the different cut outs once, when I initially set the position of the cam. I use the nut for major adjustment and the handle for minor. I also use it for tapering.

 

Jamie

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hey john...i contacted norm larson today about getting the cd... he said he's out at the moment call him back in 10 days... that being said very interested in the parts your machining... could you please pm me with details?... i saw the demo video bout 5 years ago and have wanted one ever sense...

 

 

i have redrawn the roller in inches in autodesk inventor. this will allow testing fitting the pieces in cyber space first.

 

the parts that need to be machined with a lathe or mill i will make extra of........ the rest are angle iron or channel with a few bits and pieces.

 

i have decided to use better steel than MS for the rollers and cam as it doesnt really cost much more.

 

I am going to stick with the bronze bearings per hugh's comments..........

 

deciding on the drive details will be the most challenging as we would like a bullet proof drive at a reasonable cost.

 

i have three phase power so for mine i may add a vfd for speed control they can be run off single phase as well but the unit usually needs to be derated one size.

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i have redrawn the roller in inches in autodesk inventor. this will allow testing fitting the pieces in cyber space first.

 

the parts that need to be machined with a lathe or mill i will make extra of........ the rest are angle iron or channel with a few bits and pieces.

 

i have decided to use better steel than MS for the rollers and cam as it doesnt really cost much more.

 

I am going to stick with the bronze bearings per hugh's comments..........

 

deciding on the drive details will be the most challenging as we would like a bullet proof drive at a reasonable cost.

 

i have three phase power so for mine i may add a vfd for speed control they can be run off single phase as well but the unit usually needs to be derated one size.

would you like ta use 1080 for the rollers ?????..........i will put some up for the build if you want...

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I love my mill. I used a 1.5 Hp motor. I would safely state mine would have been fine with 1 hp.

 

I would add I like having the notches in the side handle, its one more option of rolling and keeping a setting for longer stock I dont heat all at once, which I could not do if I was spinning the star adjustment on the ram. Its easy to build this section, and also easy to not use if you don't need it, but its there for when we do.

Edited by Steve Sells

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I love my mill. I used a 1.5 Hp motor. I would safely state mine would have been fine with 1 hp.

 

I would add I like having the notches in the side handle, its one more option of rolling and keeping a setting for longer stock I dont heat all at once, which I could not do if I was spinning the star adjustment on the ram. Its easy to biuld this section, and also easy to not use if you don't need it, but its there for when we do.

 

 

steve thanks for the added input...........i will probably have a stack of adjustment plates cut by water jet so it will be really easy....use or dont use at the operators discretion !!

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ive had my rolling for years ..

but, i also dont use the handle part.

 

ive met Mr McDonald .. and ive seen first hand the damascus that he had made with his roller .. including the distal taper that he was able to put in with the handle adjustments ..

 

but, i find that i can twist the adjustment nut a lot quicker than moving the handle ..

and i prefer to deal with tapering by hand, hammer and eye.

 

so for me, it just something that sits there.

but, having said that .. its not in the way .. and certainly wasnt too much of a hassle to install it .. so its not like its a big thing to avoid or anything

:)

 

good luck on the build.

^_^

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any comments on this direct drive setup ???

 

super simple compared to chain drive...........

crusher2_3.jpg

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dee thanks for the additional info.....

 

how old is mr mcdonald ???

 

 

np

 

... err ... white hair ... retired .. can get grumpy at times .. tehehe

i wouldnt like to say an age for fear of insulting.

but when i last saw him ... which was umm ... about ... 10 years ago? ... he was (by his words)

"too old and grey to worry about those kinds of things"

 

nice guy .. knows his machines, thats for sure.

lived about .. 20 minutes away from me.

kinda freaked me out when i found out that the Hugh McDonald that everyone kept talking about was the guy who i kept talking to at the blacksmiths shop i starting learning at.

:)

 

funny ol' world sometimes.

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i will probably have a stack of adjustment plates cut by water jet so it will be really easy....use or dont use at the operators discretion !!

 

That's similar to what I did, except I laser cut them. I'm occasionally working on a design that has the majority laser cut prior to assembly.

 

Jamie

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tomorrow we will make the cam shaft ..... it will be made on a lathe with a four jaw chuck to machine the eccentric part of the cam.

 

I am using 1144 stressproof steel it is strong and machines fairly well....... it has sulfur added added for machinability so i don't think i would use it for the rollers for fear of contaminating the hot metal being rolled with sulfur.

 

pics tomorrow

Edited by john marcus

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i think you mean concentric. are you a machinist or what ?

 

 

concentric is done on a 3 jaw or a collet

 

eccentric is done on a four jaw by offsetting the center of the workpiece relative to the center of the lathe

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the 4 jaw chuck allows the piece to moved off center..............the adjustment cam is then machined to print

4jaw.jpg

camcu.jpg

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ah so i ASSumed you meant concentric because i had been doing a lot of concentric turnings in 4 jaws because 3 jaws don't always put a round part exactly in center. may be out several thousandths. cool pics.

Edited by Ty Murch

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ah so i ASSumed you meant concentric because i had been doing a lot of concentric turnings in 4 jaws because 3 jaws don't always put a round part exactly in center. may be out several thousandths. cool pics.

 

 

i knew a great machinist who got rid of his 3 jaw and did every part 4 jaw style........... his work was superb !!!!!!

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