Jump to content
matt trout

New toy completed and christened

Recommended Posts

Finally finished my McDonald rolling mill and got the bugs worked out. Ran it hard last weekend. When combined with the hydraulic press certainly makes a hugh difference. As other threads here said it draws incredibly well on hot steel. Found welding on the press then drawing to work best for me but still in the experimental stage,

 

Any thoughts or discussion welcome. Other similar mill users comments or suggestions appreciated.

 

Did brand my left bicep with a rebar logo while adjusting the wheel. That won't happen again!

 

Matt

 

millfront2edit.JPGmillback2edit.JPG

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Gracious what a beast! Have fun with it and be careful.

 

She is a bit of a beast but a very quiet one. Runs almost silent, slight clicking of the chain drives. Still seems odd that I pulled a 1.5 in thick damascus billet down to less than 1/8 in two heats with no banging or hydraulic pump roaring.

 

On the first full production day with it I found I could reduce the number welds by 2 on a 250+ layer billet by drawing it longer and cutting more pieces to stack. That is compared to using the press alone for welding and drawing. So less heats, less welds.

 

I have not gotten the welding while drawing part down but as I said just learning. Also refined my dance moves on left foot-right foot pull handle with left hand- adjust star nut with right so as not to brush against the rebar forging handle. Wasn't a bad burn other than extra venelation in the shirt and about 2 inch stripe. Yes we all need to remember safety, it only takes a millisecond of stupid to change your life.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Awesome! I sure love my rolling mill.

 

My experience is pretty much the same as you describe. I weld on the press and reduce the billet to about 3/4" thickness before moving to the rolling mill.

 

The other application I use it for is creating bars for multi-bar blades. By setting the gap at 1/2" or whatever you want your square rods to be, you can run them through the mill and ensure you have an even, square dimension.

 

Enjoy the new toy.

 

--Dave

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the input Dave,

 

I did try squaring up some billets to half inch for just that purpose. It did give a smooth square with a slight cupping of the edge. One of the pieces was a problem child and it kept skuing off to one side and forming more of a diamond rather than a square. I finaly put it back on my press squaring die straightened it out and reran in the mill. I suspect that whole issue was caused by some initial uneveness in my original twisted billet.

 

Uneven thickness caused the billets to curve as they came out but I was suprized how well a little preferential pulling in one direction or the other would straighten them out.

 

Thanks,

 

Matt

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have the exact same issues. Yeah, it is amazing how you think you've got a billet at a relatively universal thickness, and then the first run through the mill turns it into a bananna!

 

Sounds like you already figured out the solutions though. If it's going diamond shape on you, use squaring dies on the press to correct. Counter the curve by pulling the opposite way.

 

I don't know about you, but I don't use the long handle on the left side of the mill for anything. In fact, I keep it locked back with a C-clamp. I control everything with the flywheel screw and by differential pressure from the foot petal.

 

--Dave

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've had the CD for a while... and thought that the mill would be a nice complement to the press, especially for the Migration work.

 

That looks nice, Matt!

 

I use a hand-crank rolling mill for jewelry work all the time... I recycle all my silver and gold this way and make all of my own sheet and wire. The wire gets rolled out in the stepped grooves you can see on the pic below.

 

I mention it because in considering building my own hot iron mill, I thought it would be a nice potential addition to have combination rollers like these...

 

It would eliminate the diamond issue, and at least on the jewelry mill, pressure exerted on the way out drastically controls banana curve.

 

drmc150-334wx278h.jpg

Edited by J.Arthur Loose

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dave if i remember correct from the plans the handle your talking about works on the eccentric cam like lathing at the bottom your saying you find it to be a unneeded part i dont have my cd handy right now but would you still need to lathe out that bit at the peddle/handle pivot if your not going to build the handle on to the machine?

 

im curious as its my next machine build if i ever get the time and any thing thats not needed will save me time and energy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dave if i remember correct from the plans the handle your talking about works on the eccentric cam like lathing at the bottom your saying you find it to be a unneeded part i dont have my cd handy right now but would you still need to lathe out that bit at the peddle/handle pivot if your not going to build the handle on to the machine?

 

im curious as its my next machine build if i ever get the time and any thing thats not needed will save me time and energy

 

Brandon,

 

I didn't build my mill. I purchased it from John Marcus, a forum member who owns a large machine shop.

 

John's a great guy. I'm sure he'd be happy to answer your questions if you shoot him a PM.

 

--Dave

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Brandon,

 

Having just spent 4 months working on this thing off and on I might can help. The only issue I had in my build was I welded the offset cam up from a piece of 1.5 and 1.0 inch shaft material. The welds broke in minutes. I still wanted to run the mill so I inserted a piece of 1.5 inch straight shaft and ran the mill two weekends with no problem. Only thing is that disabled the arm and ment you would run a constant thickness untill you turned the star nut. After turning a solid replacement offset shaft I see the advantage of the cam. You can run the metal thru, release reinsert, pull the handle and rerun with out reaching over the hot metal to turn the star nut. It is also a bit faster. The only big draw back to removing the cam would be the machine could not do distal tapers. I did find on long billits I sometimes grabbed the handle on the couple of passes to increase the amount of draw on the billet. My forge is only 20 inches deep with the back door closed and on the last draw I was pulling the billits out to 25-28 inches long.

 

Given the simplisity of the cam I would keep it to preserve the option of distal tapers and for the extra "umph" while pulling the billet out. That being said it is not required for the machine to operate in a uniform thickness mode.

 

Hope this helps

Matt

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nice build. I like the wheels on the mill as well. Does it move much when being used? What speed are you runnign teh top rollers at? I have been slowly getting pieces together for one of these and have had different recommendations on speeds. McDonald recomends 20 rpm while I have been advised to look around 30 rpm. Any thoughts? Faster speed mould reduce time hot metal is in contact with rollers. But what is too fast?

Andrew

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Andrew,

 

I need almost everything in my small shop to be movable. In the case of the mill I built those saddle brackets so the mill is 1/2 inch off the floor. That kept the pedal throw correct. The mill would move in use but the wheels have 5 holes in them. I stick a bolt thru the back two wheels and they rotate up against the caster and lock. Since you are always pulling the metal the unit is solid with no movement.

 

I think the RPM depends on the roller diameter. It is really a surface feet per minute question. Both of my rollers are 2.5 inch diameter. I used parts from all over and wound up buying two sprockets to get my ratios right. I was shooting for 20 -25 rpm and wound up with 21.5. That is about 14 feet per minute. It feeds plenty fast and once locked in place exerts a lot force on the metal. The rollers get warm but not as hot as my press dies. If you built a unit with 2 inch rollers you woud need more rpm's for the same feed rate.

21.5rpm on two inch rollers would be about 11 feet per minute. To get the 14 ft per minute you need the 26-27 rpm range.

 

I am approximating these numbers in my head so you should check with a calculator, but the smaller roller needs to faster to get the same feed rate.

 

I am guessing the faster the surface feet per minute the more prone to slipping or spinning of the roller on the metal when under heavy load.

 

Hope this is clear

 

Matt

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Looks good! I've had mine in place for quite a few years, and really like it. I did build it with the lever on the side. I use it for fast adjustments while rolling. Here's how I use it, I'll set the height with the nut. I'll make the first roll through by putting my foot to the floor, pull the lever towards me a bit and put my foot to the floor, run a second time, pull the lever a bit more and put my foot to the floor, and run it through again. Anytime I run I have the pedal all the way down.

 

The lever is also useful for (as was noted) drawing tapers. I use it to taper the tang while forging and to taper the blade.

 

My rollers are right at 2" diameter, and I'm running the rpms at 25.

 

Jamie

Edited by polarbearforge

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Jamie,

 

I contacted Matt Walker last fall before deciding to build the mill. He suggested I contact you but I started building. I run the mill identical to your description.

 

Do you use the mill to weld or just draw? I am getting better results welding on the press then going to the mill. Mr. McDonald used the mill to draw and weld in one step. Maybe I will get better results with more practise.

 

Matt

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...