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Old 08-30-2006, 04:53 AM   #1
Yuri_Rage
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Default DIY grain mill

Ok, my next project is making a grain mill completely from scratch. I'm going to basically copy this dude's design, but I have a few questions for anyone who cares to read further.

I'm planning on 2 inch rollers, just like the link above - does anyone have a a suggestion/reason for a using a different diameter?

The link shows mild steel rollers - I'm a bit concerned with rust if I machine mild steel that clean, and I don't want to lubricate the rollers with any sort of food grade rust inhibitor (mineral oil), as that will cause clumping. Stainless is too expensive. I have access to both aluminum and steel round bar. Seems to me that aluminum would be easier to operate (lighter...less inertia), and as long as I'm not grinding flour, it won't dull/wear very readily. Opinions?

I have the option of powder coating the rollers. I could use a thin gloss coat or matte finish, or I could use a textured finish. This would prevent the rust problem in mild steel, but might it adversely affect performance?

Lastly, what RPM do you think I should use? I'm thinking between 100 and 300 will suffice (52 to 157 SFM - surface ft/min), but I've seen some that operate a bit faster.

Let me know what you think - anyone's opinion is appreciated!

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Old 08-30-2006, 05:13 AM   #2
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While aluminum has better corrosion properties, I think I'd still try to go with steel for two reasons, the primary one being inertia. A bit of flywheel weight will help you get a nice and smooth running mill. Of course you could add a flywheel to lighter rollers, but that adds a bit of complication, (though not that much.) Of lesser importance would be the hardness of the rollers, grain might not be that hard, but it is abrasive like wood is and aluminum would wear more quickly than would steel.
Two inch rollers would be nice. They would keep shock loading to a minimum by giving the grain a longer sqeeze, they would require more power, but less torque to operate- another reason to increase your fly-wheel mass.

Cha-ching! $0.02

Keep us updated on your progress/decisions. I was going to build one before I stumbled on a great deal and bought mine.

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Old 08-30-2006, 04:03 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chairman Cheyco
A bit of flywheel weight will help you get a nice and smooth running mill... ...Of lesser importance would be the hardness of the rollers, grain might not be that hard, but it is abrasive like wood is and aluminum would wear more quickly than would steel.
The "flywheel effect" was something was wondering about as well - I think you've made up my mind - I'll make steel rollers unless someone else has a VERY convincing argument for aluminum.

Still undecided about the powder coating - anybody?
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Old 08-30-2006, 04:50 PM   #4
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do you have access to a machine shop?

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Old 08-30-2006, 04:59 PM   #5
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do you have access to a machine shop?
Yup! Not quite a full blown shop, but lathe/mill operations of this size are no problem.
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Old 08-30-2006, 05:04 PM   #6
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I used a aluminum magnetic roller (magnet inside) from primncess auto and a fiber glass fuse used for power lines. (I worked for the power company for a while) Both are 2 inch, I use rubber o-rings around the ends of the smooth fibergalss roller that casue it to spin via friction with the milled alum roler. Works great.

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Old 08-30-2006, 06:22 PM   #7
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Uhm... when it comes time for me to go to all grain I think I'll just stick to this little number. It'll go nicely with all my other attachements...

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Old 08-30-2006, 06:28 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by omniscientomar
Uhm... when it comes time for me to go to all grain I think I'll just stick to this little number. It'll go nicely with all my other attachements...
Yeah, I saw that little guy. We have the required mixer and really like it, but $150? I just spent two-thirds of that on enough metal to make about five homebuilt versions...and I'm looking forward to the project.
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Old 08-30-2006, 08:33 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by omniscientomar
Uhm... when it comes time for me to go to all grain I think I'll just stick to this little number. It'll go nicely with all my other attachements...
SWEET!! I didn't know they had this attachment. I never looked at the book that came with it...just unpacked the mixer and used it. Hmm...add a little wood to make a bigger hopper and I'll be set. Anyone used one of these that can comment on it's effectiveness?
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Old 08-30-2006, 08:39 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jester4176
SWEET!! I didn't know they had this attachment. I never looked at the book that came with it...just unpacked the mixer and used it. Hmm...add a little wood to make a bigger hopper and I'll be set. Anyone used one of these that can comment on it's effectiveness?
Guys, you can get a Barley crusher for $130.00 delivered to the West Coast. Just an option to consider.

Yuri, looking forward to how your mill performs. Good work.
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