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Old 12-05-2007, 02:09 PM   #11
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I don't really have to hold it steady too much if there are grains in the hopper. If not, I just put something under the drill and rotate it to sit on that. Not worth messing with the mount.

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Old 12-05-2007, 02:11 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobby_M
How much do you have to hold the drill steady? I'd replace that mounting board so that you can clamp the drill onto it. That's whe I've done with my c&s mill so that I can even clamp the drill button "on" and let the milling happen on its own.
I have the same setup, and it's really not a problem (maybe if you were doing a 15 gallon batch). You can run the drill pretty fast, so you don't have to hold it very long. I only have the 7# hopper, so I have to stop and re-fill halfway through, and it's not that big a deal - not so much torque on the drill that you can't hold it in one hand while holding down the base on the bucket with the other.

Now, I have an old, BM-style drill that I use with my BC (not my everyday drill); if I was hooking up my normal, everyday drill to the mill, seems like it would be more of a PITA to clamp it down, then have to unclamp it again.
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Old 12-05-2007, 02:18 PM   #13
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Go to an auto parts place and buy a cheap set of feeler gauges, if you don't have any yet. Cost me $1.99 and I think they're very useful.

I checked the factory gap on my BC, people say it's 0.039, but on mine it was a bit tighter than that at one end, and way wider than that at the other. The rollers were visibly non-parallel. I don't know if that is how they were supposed to be, or if they didn't carefully set it before shipping it, or what, but I set it to 0.039 at both ends using the feeler gauges. The little markings on each of the knobs don't seem to tell me anything, I have to have them in different positions at each end to have a parallel gap. Again, not sure if this is intentional or if there's something weird about mine.


In its defense, my efficiency was fine (around 70%+) on the one batch I did with the rollers at their non-parallel factory setting. I've been tweaking the gap a little bit since then, but I haven't done enough batches to find the 'sweet spot' yet. I tried it at 0.035, let's just say you probably shouldn't try that unless you really trust your manifold to avoid a stuck sparge

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Old 12-05-2007, 02:18 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Soulive21
Thanks guys, 80% is a dream to me at this point. I'm going to use the hand crank until I get my new drill (Christmas). I'll just wear some batting gloves to avoid the blisters
I just use the handcrank on my BC. It really doesn't take that long and its not hard work. My kids have fun pushing the handle around and "helping daddy brew".

I'd definately use a drill if I were doing 10-gal batches, though.
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Old 12-05-2007, 02:20 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Funkenjaeger
Go to an auto parts place and buy a cheap set of feeler gauges, if you don't have any yet. Cost me $1.99 and I think they're very useful.

I checked the factory gap on my BC, people say it's 0.039, but on mine it was a bit tighter than that at one end, and way wider than that at the other. The rollers were visibly non-parallel. I don't know if that is how they were supposed to be, or if they didn't carefully set it before shipping it, or what, but I set it to 0.039 at both ends using the feeler gauges. The little markings on each of the knobs don't seem to tell me anything, I have to have them in different positions at each end to have a parallel gap. Again, not sure if this is intentional or if there's something weird about mine.


In its defense, my efficiency was fine (around 70%+) on the one batch I did with the rollers at their non-parallel factory setting.
I plan on buying the feeler gauges. What are they usually intended for?
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Old 12-05-2007, 02:48 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Soulive21
I plan on buying the feeler gauges. What are they usually intended for?
They are used to check the gap on spark plugs and other items.
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Old 12-05-2007, 02:49 PM   #17
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Quote:
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They are used to check the gap on spark plugs and other items.
Ok thanks, I'm on it...
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Old 12-05-2007, 02:51 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Soulive21
I plan on buying the feeler gauges. What are they usually intended for?
Measuring small distances between pieces of metal, e.g., ignition points. I've used mine also to measure spark plug gap, but the tool for that is really a wire type gauge.

Since modern cars don't have ignition points, feelers might get hard to find eventually.
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Old 12-05-2007, 02:56 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TWilson
They are used to check the gap on spark plugs and other items.
Yep.
They look like this:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:FeelerGauges.jpg
The auto parts store I got them at had two versions, the $2 one with only about 9 "blades" ranging from .002 to .025, and one with about 20+ blades which had some more fractional sizes, but cost about 3 times as much. The cheaper version can handle from 0.002 to close to 0.100, in every increment of 0.001 (using the right combinations of blades), so it's more than sufficient for setting the mill gap.

The one I got has a thumbscrew so you can take out the blades and put back in just the ones you need for your target gap.
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Old 12-05-2007, 03:04 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobby_M
How much do you have to hold the drill steady? I'd replace that mounting board so that you can clamp the drill onto it. That's whe I've done with my c&s mill so that I can even clamp the drill button "on" and let the milling happen on its own.
THat old drill is just on or off. It's pretty h igh speed and it has a trigger lock.

I just lock it on...hold it steady and it takes about 2 minutes to crush the full (11-12#) bin. Once the drill is on, the speed is high enough that there really is no torque on the drill. The crusher has rubber feet on the bottom that are spaced perfectly to fit snugly inside the five-gallon pale so there really is no need to clamp it down. In fact, I don’t need to have a hand on it at all once the drill gets started.
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