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Do rolling mills use only people squeezing power?


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Am I missing something here,besides buying a set of the actual plans,?I have been gathering up info to build a small forging press,and most sneer at a press less than 20 tons ,and today I find the Mcdonald rolling mill, and by looking for an hour at this wonderful contraption,it seems to be 2 rollers, the top keeps rolling and the bottom gets squeezed by lever action with the step of a foot .

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1 hour ago, Mike Jesensky said:

2 rollers, the top keeps rolling and the bottom gets squeezed by lever action with the step of a foot

 

Yep. That's about it.   The top roller goes real slow, something like 20 rpm.   You can't really take big bites on the steel, meaning you are not going to turn a 1" x 6"" square stock into 1/4" very fast.  Unless the steel is really hot and you have some sort of giant machine, or a press :)   But it is great for getting a consistent thickness in steel, and will really move some steel when you are in the smaller stock range.

 

Search the forums here, there are some good posts.   Some vids on youtube also.    Not overly complicated to build, can cheat in some places,  but lathe work is required for the rollers.

 

Buy the plans from your local supplier to support them. Lots of good info in them.    And keep in mind that the machine plans are in metric and the original machine was somewhat small and low to the ground.  Some liberty can be taken.  The plans are worth getting.

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theirs some advantage going on but yes its ppl power

 

i bought the plans years ago (15?) with the intend to build ended up making a press and aquiering a power hammer after working my way in to building one for a year or so still haven't made the roller and gave up on a home built hammer but dont let under powered press bring you down i was running mine at 12ton for several years till i could find a motor to bump it up and it still moved steel way faster than my 50lb little giant hammer can even a 5 ton press will save your shoulder over time

Edited by dragoncutlery
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For me the McDonald mill is a nice adjunct to a press and power hammer. My press isn't efficient under 1/4 inch and the hammer doesn't leave a perfect flat surface. I had one local customer that used a fair amount of 1/8 inch damascus. That one guy justified building the mill for me. It will translate the humps into length and I could roll to .015-.020" of what I wanted for finish thickness with no increase in width, and it is a cleaner process than a hammer or press. Saved the stock removal guy a good bit of grinding and give me more sellable inches. Be aware some patterns like to be rolled more than others. Twist pattern will have cracked edges pretty quick with aggressive bites. Ladder will stand aggressive bites but the pattern will get stretched out.  It's a tool I could do without but I really wouldn't want to. Some people leave off the handle that makes it taper a piece. I like that part as well and it isn't that much more trouble to build it In. 

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My rolling mill is forced down by 2 screws of 16 TPI (threads per inch ) with a 2:1 gear ratio ,so on full revolution of the handle lower the mill .062/2 = .031 or 1/32 of an inch.

1280 k1.JPG1280 k2.JPG1280 k10.JPG1280 rolling mill steel 2.JPG

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2 hours ago, billyO said:

I like that, Cal.  Did you make it?

 

Yes I designed and made the press even the hydraulic cylinder, I designed the rolling mill and a friend did all the CNC machining on the rolling mill.

The rolls are 4140 steel with surface hardening and machined.

Edited by Cal G
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  • 1 month later...

Cal,

 I remember seeing that mill years ago. It's a really nice design, and a lot more compact than mine. I had come back here several times trying to find the pictures you posted before and couldn't. Thanks for reposting them, I'm saving them this time for future reference ;)

 

Of course, I practically stole mine, and love the fact that it's giant, and old. :) The motor is a MASSIVE, old, 5HP 3ph that mounts on the stand on the right (it was off in this picture since I was moving it in). It was originally built in 1913 I think, and was electrified in 1947 by the previous owner (a jewelry factory). They resurfaced the rolls, used it for a couple of months, and then it sat until I got it at auction. One of these days I'd like to build something that will do wider than the 5" or so I can handle now, but that's down the road a ways.

 

20170330_125729.jpg

 

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12 ton press is plenty for tool makers. I got half way through building a mill like Cal G's but it has a big chain reduction drive rather than a hydraulic motor. That meant some rather big 50t sprockets and a lot of shafts on pillow block bearings.. long story short I got tired of spending so much time on the lathe and mill and haven't finished it.

The McDonald mill plans are much simpler and are good for a knife maker IMO. When I get into grandiose designs of my own forging machines, they rarely turn out to be right the first time around.

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