The Pub - Off Topic

Home Made Tools for Metal Working?

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Denny Graham Silver Member Dennis Graham
Sandwich, Illinois, USA   USA
A lot of the other forums that I’ve been on have a separate forum where you can ask about
or discus ideas pertaining to the tools used in the sport/hobby/endeavor.
There used to be a Random Topic forum here but apparently that was moved into the
Custom Karts forum. So since I don’t see anywhere else that one can discuss tools, I
figured the next logical choice would be the Greasy Spoon or Pub or Off Topic forum.
In another thread the subject of motorizing a bead roller came up. So this got me to
thinking about the bench top vice-mounted bead roller that I made many years ago.
It was a copy of the typical flat frame roller that Harbor Freight, Eastwood, Northern Tool
or a dozen others sell. It served its purpose when I was building my biplane but now that
Sweetie Face is getting to old to crank the handle while I feed metal thru it and most all of
my friends are looking up at the sky thru the sod, I figured it’s time to make a one man
operation out of it and motorize it.
The main reason I’ve not done it before was that working from scratch to assemble
a variable speed-reversible gear motor and controller was beyond the scope of a high
school dropout. Another factor was that to buy a drive system complete was nearly as
expensive as buying a complete new motorized roller from Lazzi.
So one of the suggestions that has already been tossed out on the table was, using
a Harbor Freight winch, which would be reversible but not variable speed. Plus most are
12v. But it is a complete system and it shouldn’t be hard to add a reversing switch, which
I believe is all one has to do to reverse a DC motor, that is, swap the input leads.

Another one that is already in process and which I’m eagerly awaiting to hear the details
of is Al’s project.

The mutt got me up about 03:00 this morning, said she needed to go out. I couldn’t
get back to sleep when we came back in, so I sat down at the computer to do some surfing.
Asking myself what had a powerful enough motor to drive a bead roller and already had a
motor and controller that could vary the speed and was reversible and Treadmill kept
popping up. They’re sometimes fund curb side, I’ve known several people who have
given them away just to make room and they often come up on Craig’s list for about $100.
Another option which I’m gonna look into is the wire feeder from a Mig welder. I just so
happen to have a couple from 400A Linde (Union Carbide) welders that I scrapped
out years ago. They use a very powerful gear motor that advances the wire feed from
0 to 1000 in/minute. I think I might be able to reverse the rotation simply by inserting
a reversing switch in the circuit to the 130 VDC motor.
Any ideas or suggestions?
Denny Graham
Sandwich, IL

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Pierro Taruffi Rhys Nolan
Tamworth, Staffs, UK   GBR
1923 CycleKart Vintage "Voisin Laboratoire"
How much "grunt" would this need? Random thought a grunty cordless drill, but you would have more idea than I.

Notso-Chinsee Avatar
Notso-Chinsee Gold Member Albert Lies
Spokane Valley, Washington (WA), USA   USA
Good idea Denny G.
Search You Tube for bead rollers you will be pleased to see all the options and than you'll be overwhelmed with the variations. No plans are presented just ideas. Here is one from You tube search "beadroller worntorn" He has some interisting projects.

Al Lies
The "Not-So Chinsee" guy

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 2017-02-09 04:31 PM by Notso-Chinsee.

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Denny Graham Silver Member Dennis Graham
Sandwich, Illinois, USA   USA
Spent most of the day on the net, looked at about three dozen ideas of how to modify a
Harbor Freight bead roller.
In my case, I still keep returning to my Mig wire feeders.
Denny G

Hi Denny,

That will work well for what you're trying to do. What you need is to add a switch in the wires from the motor to the control box, that changes the wires from, let's say clockwise is red+ and black- Then when you put a double pole double throw switch rated at 20amps inline with these wires you change the switch and you put red- and black+ which will reverse the motor.

Now to control the speed you will need a variable resistance foot pedal from an old sewing machine or eBay for about 30-40 bucks. This will need to replace the turn dial on the front of the control box wire for wire, and maybe you will need to switch them around if the motor runs fast when no pressure to the pedal.

The treadmill idea is good and easy if the price is right, 75 bucks would be the max you should pay, Craigslist has them from free to new prices, just wait and you will score if this is the route you go.
The motor in these can be controlled the same way as I discussed above with a couple of differences. YouTube is your friend for this project when dealing with treadmill motor controls for machine tools.

There are some details left out here, but I think you will get the idea from what I've posted. If you have questions feel free to PM me or better yet for everyone to learn,? let's dialogue here. I usually check a couple of times throughout a day for posts, so I will try and keep up to date with you should you continue this project.

Mr fixit
Chris. smiling smiley

Denny Graham Silver Member Dennis Graham
Sandwich, Illinois, USA   USA
Thanks Chris. I'm planing on just putting the reversing switch up front on the main frame
in a convenient spot. I've yet to open the box up and actually put a meter to the circuit
but the schematic I've got, which is for a later version of this model, shows the speed
control on the front panel as a 100k pot, with both ends wired into the circuit, not used
as a rheostat. The sewing machine foot switches typically are just a variable resistor.
it also shows a high/low switch, which is used to switch either a 100k or 47k resistor
in series with the 100k pot. I think I'll use the pot on a foot switch of my own design
that will give me the full rotation of the control.

I posted the other options just in case anyone else is interested in motorizing their flat frame
bead rollers. Such as the treadmill which would be variable speed, or, if reversing isn't a
priority, an old garage door opener could also be adapted also.
And, there are several online projects where the drive motor is simply a Harbor Freight
1/2" variable speed/reversible drill and one where they used a Portable Electric Pipe Threader.

I suppose if you geared it down slow enough you could get enough torque out of a
cordless drill as Rhys suggested. That would be my last resort though if I couldn't
find any of the previously mentioned motors and probably the most difficult and
cumbersome to regulate the speed with.

Torro123 Avatar
Torro123 René Wesselius
Amsterdam, NH, Netherlands   NLD
This works for me.........

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Notso-Chinsee Avatar
Notso-Chinsee Gold Member Albert Lies
Spokane Valley, Washington (WA), USA   USA
Now that is a get it done kind of job nice simple and it works.

Al Lies
The "Not-So Chinsee" guy

platypus-oz Avatar
platypus-oz stewart s
nowra, nsw, Australia   AUS
A bit off topic but I have cut all my power tools cords off and made them 6 inches long saves catching on things in transport and tangling and easier to plug a extension cord into which I use anyway. Easier to store as well. Hope this helps .

BaronVonKurtz Avatar
BaronVonKurtz Gold Member BaronVonKurtz Belshe
Huntsville, Alabama, USA   USA
Cutting power cords off at 6" makes too much sense. I now feel real dumb for buying the x-tra long replacement cord for my old but trusty Old Milwaukee hand drill. As soon as I put it on I had to figure out a new place to store it. The problem is every time I go for it I have to remember where I moved it. And now all I'm going to think about is how dumb I was not to simply find a good short section of the existing cord and make due.

Getting older is a bitch.


Pierro Taruffi Rhys Nolan
Tamworth, Staffs, UK   GBR
1923 CycleKart Vintage "Voisin Laboratoire"
Growing old is inevitable, growing up is optional.

Woodysrods Brian Woods
Westbank B.C., Canada   CAN
About 30 years ago I saw the short cord idea and thought it was brilliant.
As I always hated cords and wrapping them around the power tool to put it away.
So, cut them off of my tools. And told everyone else to too.
In the long run I found it to be less practical than I thought, as you "Always" need that extension cord????
My biggest thing (even more so than storing tools with cord wrapped around them) was having the cord dragging across my workbench top.
So, I eliminated wall plugs above my bench height, and installed plugs along the front of the bench.
Cord is always out of my way now!
Good Roads

Pierro Taruffi Rhys Nolan
Tamworth, Staffs, UK   GBR
1923 CycleKart Vintage "Voisin Laboratoire"
I always put extension plugs at about 6ft 6 above the floor, and hanging, and usually a couple on wires along the length of the shop so that they can be taken anywhere. (Around 7 ft off the floor) Works for me, there is usually one or more in reach above me.

classical-gas Scot Laughlin
Bellingham, washington, USA   USA
I did something similar to Rene, but used an air wrench (Boeing surplus) cog belt and pulleys, and a foot pedal air valve(also Boeing surplus) Compact, lots of torque, but you need the compressor on and the system filled, so it's not spur of the moment.

Notso-Chinsee Avatar
Notso-Chinsee Gold Member Albert Lies
Spokane Valley, Washington (WA), USA   USA
Denny G.
This is what I used to power my bead roller. The treadmill was free with a 2 hp 120v dc motor. I could have used more of the treadmill parts than I did but chose to purchase the following.
4000W High Power SCR Electronic Volt Regulator Speed Controller Motor AC 220V 110V $15.00.
Single Phase Bridge Rectifier 1000V 50A $5.00
You could spend some time sorting through the electronics and separate the power supply and rectifier and save those costs.
two 12 tooth & two 60 tooth sprockets $50.00
I had only 1 set of bicycle sprockets in the junk pile. I made the bearing block and axles form the treadmill shafts and fabricated the chain tensioner from scraps from around the shop. The other parts DPDT switch (to reverse the motor) On-Off switch, power cord were parts I had on hand.
The total reduction turned the roller at 2 rpm or about 12 inches per minute which is slow and the fast setting was insane. The motor has enough power you cannot stall it at the slow speed. I have used it on my 27 Track Roadster build and love it.

Al Lies
The "Not-So Chinsee" guy

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2017-03-02 01:08 AM by Notso-Chinsee.

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