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Old 12-14-2010, 03:27 AM   #1
Dukester
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Default Building a motorized grain mill. Questions.

So we just had a new gas furnace installed in our house to replace our dead oil furnace. The install was today and when I came home from work, the installer had all of the parts of the disassembled oil furnace stacked on the lawn by his truck. The first thing that caught my eye was the blower assembly. The drive motor for this bad boy was an old GE 1725rpm 1/4hp motor with a 3in drive pulley and a 8 inch driven pulley. From my math, the pulleys are both throw aways since they will yield too high of a final rpm to drive a grain mill. 646 rpm if my math is correct so I'll need a smaller drive pulley and larger driven pulley to get it lower.

Anybody have a good source for pulleys so I can match the shaft diameters and pulley diameters I will need to get to a lower rpm?

Cheers,

Duke

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Old 12-14-2010, 04:47 AM   #2
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These guys are sure to have what you need:

http://www.mcmaster.com/#pulleys-for-belts/=a4ztwl

All said and done, IMO you would be better off driving your mill with a 1/2" off the shelf Harbor Freight drill motor like this one:

http://www.harborfreight.com/power-t...ill-47991.html

IIRC, I've seen that drill on sale for even less awhile back. Add up the cost of the new pulleys and belt plus shipping and you will realize that the drill motor is a more cost efficient way to go. It would probably be a cheaper, easier and safer way to go. Sometimes free is not as low cost as it seems.

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Old 12-14-2010, 04:58 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Catt22 View Post
IIRC, I've seen that drill on sale for even less awhile back. Add up the cost of the new pulleys and belt plus shipping and you will realize that the drill motor is a more cost efficient way to go. It would probably be a cheaper, easier and safer way to go. Sometimes free is not as low cost as it seems.
Do you pull the drill assembly out of the case or just leave it as is?
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Old 12-14-2010, 05:10 AM   #4
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Do you pull the drill assembly out of the case or just leave it as is?
No, just leave it as is and tighten the drill chuck down on the mill drive shaft. It would be a good idea to support the drill motor so that it's entire weight is not supported by the mill bushings alone. That could accelerate bushing wear and possibly cause some other problems. You could use some large U-bolts to attacj tje drill motor to the mill base. You may have to enlarge the original mill base to accommodate the drill, but that should not be difficult. The shape of the drill motor might require some custom shimming. clamps etc to get the alignment right, but again, that should be fairly easy to do and the options could easily range from ghetto to space age and beyond.
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Old 12-14-2010, 10:59 AM   #5
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Mine is with a 10:1 gear reducer box and a lovejoy coupler instead of pulleys. It's freaky awesome and fits inside my brew table on a pull out shelf. Happy not to have any pulleys.

http://groschopp.com/Products/Gearbo...9/Default.aspx

It was $100 (ebay- iowabarns is the seller but it's them), but way worth it. My motor (1/3 Hp 1725) was $40 on ebay. The gearbox is aluminum and like 5 lbs.

This gearbox is awesome since it is (out of the box) vertically mountable- others need a special bracket. I have the gearmotor vertical right behind the hopper. There is just enough room. Very small footprint and no child finger disclaimer warnings.

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Old 12-14-2010, 01:17 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by SankePankey View Post
Mine is with a 10:1 gear reducer box and a lovejoy coupler instead of pulleys. It's freaky awesome and fits inside my brew table on a pull out shelf. Happy not to have any pulleys.

http://groschopp.com/Products/Gearbo...9/Default.aspx

It was $100 (ebay- iowabarns is the seller but it's them), but way worth it. My motor (1/3 Hp 1725) was $40 on ebay. The gearbox is aluminum and like 5 lbs.

This gearbox is awesome since it is (out of the box) vertically mountable- others need a special bracket. I have the gearmotor vertical right behind the hopper. There is just enough room. Very small footprint and no child finger disclaimer warnings.
We need more info and pictures!!
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Old 12-14-2010, 02:53 PM   #7
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We need more info and pictures!!
Seconded! SankePankey I'd love to see a pic of your setup.
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Old 12-14-2010, 03:10 PM   #8
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I prefer a gearmotor/direct drive arrangement too, but I already had the mill. I got lucky and bought the Bodine for $5. The LoveJoys weren't very expensive and I built the stand myself:







IMO, it would still be easier and cheaper to go with a drill motor.

The cost for a mill, motor, gearbox, spider coupling, wiring etc and add up fast. I'm under $150 total, but as I said, I got the gearmotor for almost nothing, so most of the cost was for the mill and the couplings.

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Old 12-15-2010, 10:11 AM   #9
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First pic is before installing on the track.

Track $40
Gearbox $100
Motor $40
Lovejoy ~$20
Birch board and other bits: ?

I am going to do a build thread of my own once I clean up the aesthetics a little more. I have it 'juuust' the right height so that I pull out the shelf and then it rests on the bucket making it a little bit more stable when extended. The shelf is rated for 100 lb and does extend just fine by itself, but it bends the whole steel shelf that it's mounted on (it must be near to 100lb installed).

Sorry you have to turn your head for the second one.

Party on Wayne.

P.S. As I mentioned, gotta love that gearbox. Most other gearboxes I researched (in a short time) you needed another non-supplied bracket to mount it this way. From Boston Gear (major gear manu) the bracket itself was like $60... making finding a used gearbox (they do exist) something I couldn't go for. Besides, like I said the shelf is about ~75 lb or so and a steel gearbox instead of an aluminum one might have made it unstable on the track. I'm very happy with how this turned out.

sdim1713.jpg   img_0706.jpg  
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Old 12-15-2010, 10:13 AM   #10
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Oh, and I ran that thing with a 3/8" variable speed drill before installing it like that. All I can say is that it was very difficult. I don't like the drill routine... at least not with my 3/8" corded Craftsman drill. No beast for sure.... once I could get it crushing (which took dancing to the mill gods) it would then smoke towards the end of the grain bill.

Based on my experience alone, I cannot recommend the drill method. Not for me.

This thing, however, would crush you down to your shoulders if you stuck your hand in. With my 1/3 HP motor, I'm getting 100 in-lb torque which is about double what's the recommended minimum (by MonsterMill).

As far as finding a gear motor that suits you off of ebay or CL, that takes some time. It was a few months that I searched for something around 200 RPM and over 50 in-lb torque. Finally I just gave up and found a 1725 RPM (easy) and the brand new gear reducer. Sometimes you can waste so much time waiting for something to arrive on CL, other times it's worth it.

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