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Old 01-06-2012, 12:25 PM   #1
Brulosopher
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Default Another "Motorize My Mill" Thread... please help

After using my BarleyCrusher once with a hand drill, I've decided I want to motorize it. I've done some research and found many folks raise their mills up a bit using bits of wood, then connect it and the motor to another mobile piece of wood. I actually have a rather large wooden workbench in my garage and my plan is to install the mill and motor directly on top of it, mounting the switches to the side of the work bench. I'll then place my grain bucket on a little shelf beneath my workbench to catch the grain. Besides "will this work?", I've got a few more questions:

1. It seems like the most common size motor for this is 1/3 hp and I know the RPM has to be decently low. I'm thinking about using THIS ONE (INSERT LINK). Anyone else have any experience with this motor? Does it look like it'll do the trick?

2. If I'm okay with the size of the base that came with my BC, is there any reason for me to remove it and lift the mill with smaller blocks of wood?

3. I noticed a lot of people use a single-pole switch to turn their mills on/off. Would it be possible to use a dimmer switch instead? I would think this would give me more control over the RPM of the motor. Perhaps I would need the aforementioned motor going full speed to actually mill my grain?

4. Some of the mills I've looked at seem to come with a capacitor built-in, while others *look* like they don't. What's more usual? I really have no idea about this s*it, so...

Since I've got the mill, this project seems like it'll be pretty inexpensive- around $60 or so. I was planning on building another kegerator, which will cost close to $500 (4 taps... all perlick 525SS)... but it can wait since I still have my 2 tap for now (it is for sale though). Any help is much appreciated.

Cheers!

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Old 01-06-2012, 05:01 PM   #2
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1. That motor is only 1/6 hp so probably not strong enough.

2. Modify the base or don't it's up to you and your situation.

3. Use a single pole switch dimmer switches are not designed for motors.

4. No idea what you're talking about.

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Old 01-06-2012, 06:09 PM   #3
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4. I believe that he is refering to the motor. The reason you need a capacitor for the motor is to create a phase differential to allow the motor to spin in a ccw or cw direction.

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Old 01-06-2012, 10:15 PM   #4
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Thanks to both of you! I'm not sure I know what I'm talking about (re: 4) either. I just noticed some motors come with a capacitor and others don't. 1/6 hp isn't enough? Any tips on where to find a good motor?

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Old 01-07-2012, 02:10 AM   #5
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I use that exact motor (purchased from the same place) on my JSP mill and have not had any problems with it. My understanding of the capacitor is that it's for the initial startup but I could be wrong.

I do 10 gallons batches so I'm usually milling about 30 lbs of grain. I've never had a problem with the speed or torque; I did wire it for both CW and CCW in case it jammed but it's never happened.

I'd say go for it; get some Lovejoy couplings and you're all set. I've never understood why people go through the hassle of belt drive motors; this is probably one of the most simple and foolproof things I've done.

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Old 01-07-2012, 03:21 PM   #6
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Whether a motor needs a capacitor or not depends entirely on the design of the motor. Most single phase motors use one for start up to help it start to turn where as 3 phase motors don't require one due to the way the phases are timed. You will also see some single phase motors especially those that are designed for continuous high load situations that use a capacitor for both start up and running conditions to give it a little extra oomph when it needs. Capacitors don't do anything for running in reverse. I have not used this motor but it may be that the gear reduction is enough to give it the torque required to start up and maintain speed during the crush. I would definitely wire it for both CW and CCW rotation like jpalarchio did just in case it gets stuck.

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Old 01-07-2012, 04:18 PM   #7
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The Surplus Center model 5-1074 gear motor cited earlier looks just like their 5-1098 a lot of us use. I'm betting HBT and other brewing forum members accounted for nearly all of the sales on that model that eventually drove it out of stock.

The only obvious difference between the two is the former has a spec'd torque maximum of 30 inch-pounds verses the latter's 40 inch-pounds.

But to achieve that maximum torque value, the 1098 has to be run CCW. I bet that's going to be true of the 1074 as well. That requires reconfiguring the BC for CCW input to the drive shaft, a change over that takes around five minutes to perform.

At least a couple of 1098 users had stalling issues with their mills. As I run mine CCW and have never had the mill stall, my inclination is those folks were probably running in CW mode, with the 33% torque reduction to 30 inch pounds...

Cheers!

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Old 01-07-2012, 09:04 PM   #8
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A smaller belt pulley connected to a larger pulley will lower the speed and increase the torque.
A lovejoy is the easy connection to drive the mill at the motor rpm.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jpalarchio View Post
I use that exact motor (purchased from the same place) on my JSP mill and have not had any problems with it. My understanding of the capacitor is that it's for the initial startup but I could be wrong.

I do 10 gallons batches so I'm usually milling about 30 lbs of grain. I've never had a problem with the speed or torque; I did wire it for both CW and CCW in case it jammed but it's never happened.

I'd say go for it; get some Lovejoy couplings and you're all set. I've never understood why people go through the hassle of belt drive motors; this is probably one of the most simple and foolproof things I've done.
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Old 01-08-2012, 04:39 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jpalarchio View Post
I use that exact motor (purchased from the same place) on my JSP mill and have not had any problems with it. My understanding of the capacitor is that it's for the initial startup but I could be wrong.

I do 10 gallons batches so I'm usually milling about 30 lbs of grain. I've never had a problem with the speed or torque; I did wire it for both CW and CCW in case it jammed but it's never happened.

I'd say go for it; get some Lovejoy couplings and you're all set. I've never understood why people go through the hassle of belt drive motors; this is probably one of the most simple and foolproof things I've done.
Sounds promising! Any chance you could provide a link of how exactly one goes about doing this... or a little type-up? I'd truly appreciate it!
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Old 01-09-2012, 08:41 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrightSpotBrewing View Post
Sounds promising! Any chance you could provide a link of how exactly one goes about doing this... or a little type-up? I'd truly appreciate it!
What I did probably isn't all that different from what most have done.

Basically I just mounted the mill and motor to a scrap board that I sit on top of some buckets during milling. One bucket catches the milled grain, the other (in addition to holding the mill) is a spare as I usually can't fit it all in one bucket. At the end of the day, I just pull the hopper off and hang the whole thing on the garage wall.

I'm sure there are plenty of better looking mills in the forums. Mine's purely functional; it doesn't look great but at the end of the day it crushes grain relatively problem-free and doesn't take up any floor space.

Here's how it looks on brew day (Yes, my hopper is a cut up Better Bottle. I killed it by putting in too hot of water in it several years ago):



This is the mill without the hopper:



This is with the finger / neck-tie guard removed (you can see the Lovejoy couplers here):



This is the bottom where I have an additional piece of wood that fits snug inside the bucket so it doesn't shift (it also cuts down on the dust):



When I'm done, it hangs on the garage wall between the rake and push broom:

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