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TECH: Driving Miss Beadroller. . .

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by FiddyFour, Apr 27, 2007.

  1. FiddyFour
    Joined: Dec 31, 2004
    Posts: 9,008


    So, i got myself one of "those" Harbor Freight bead rollers about a year ago to help with making floor pieces in the willys... turns out i didnt need beads rolled in the pieces i ended up making, and the roller was as flimsy as everyone predicted... roller and dies end up sitting on the shelf till the other day when the temp rises up above 70* here in the north woods, the mill in the willys starts edging over 190* and as it does, the numbers climb higher on my sphincter pucker meter as well... i needs me a radiator fan shroud most rikitick, and it'd be pretty trick (not to mention more sturdy) with a few beads rolled into it... Hmmm i gots me a good start to a bead roller over there in the corner someplace! :D

    i reinforced the frame much like many others that have been made useable, but also made mine so its more user friendly as well... i LIKE friendly tools :cool:

    Nope, dint take "before" pics... everyone knows what they are, so lets get into the nitty gritty.

    i decided not to get too fancy with the frame reinforcement, and went with two 3/8"x3" plates, one top and one bottom to beef up the frame and stop the flex.


    you can see the two plates welded to the "outfeed" side of the frame... keeps the dies and throat opening in my vision... i do plenty to mash my fingers, thought i'd give myself a lil breathing room on this one.


    next, i added a 3"x3/16"(? too lazy to go out and lay a caliper on the shit :eek: ) angle steel across the frame plate verticaly at the back of the throat, from top reinforcing plate to the bottom... adds a lil more meat to keep the ends of the throat from spreading when making passes on heavier gauge sheet, and also for extra support for the next step in modifying my roller.

    besides, i LIKE overkill :p


    now that the thing would be able to roll a bead in something more substantial than a beer can, it was time to make the roller easier to use in a one man shop... i think we all can relate to doing something at 2am and no one around to get it done when two people (or more) are needed, so i wanted to make this thing work with no one around.



    with the help of a blown up 10 bolt outta a wrecked chevy minivan, the stock and BADLY messed up steering wheel from the willys, and even a flame wrenched off bit of a door hinge... i'd have a one man roller with the feed crank on top!

    started by scrounging the spider gears off the pinion pin from the rearend. they fit pretty well with about .040" of slop, so i wrapped some electrical tape around the top roller shaft to act as a temporary "shim" to keep it centered on the shaft while i could weld 'er tight. worked well, and i kept the heat spread around the diameter as i went to keep the gear as straight as possible...just gotta keep in mind it aint rocket science, and its never gonna be spinning more than 15rpm in this setup :D worked well with VERY little runout to boot!


    did the same for the other gear, only welded that one onto the pinion pin itself... notice that the outter end of the gear... nice place to attatch a sprocket if ever i get REAL lazy and want to rig up a power feeder! :cool:


    then it was time for something a bit adjustable to attatch the vertical shaft to the rest of the assembly... found a chunk of 1/4" scrap of a door hinge layin in my pile of rusty shit... even had a cool "patent" stamped into it, so i thought it'd add to the fun of doing this...


    drilled and tapped the holes in the top flange of the modified frame for the bushing support to bolt on.


    then, forgot to take a few pics... what can i say? i was on beer number 9 when i got this far. :eek:

    found a rolled steel spacer that came pretty damn close to the OD of the pinion pin, carved a spot for it in the support arm with the holesaw and welded it square inside the hole.

    then, cut the center off the original crank handle, and added another rolled spacers inside of it, with a relief ground out to allow the setscrew to seat on the pinion pin flat at the "top" of the shaft. then i ground the head round on a 1/2" bolt, and welded THAT to the end of the pinion pin for an attatch point for the wheel center.
    1/2" nuts were a pretty decent fit inside the top of the wheel taper, and seeing as how i dont have access to a lathe to make the shit, it was "close enough". the thing does wobble a little bit inside the wheel center, but not under load and its hell of a lot easier to use and control the line on the work piece.

    it still needs a little alignment and tweaking to roll smoothly, but its a hell of a start, and maybe inspiring to someone else to give this a try on thier own cheap ass roller






  2. gahi
    Joined: Jun 29, 2005
    Posts: 731

    from Moab, UT

    nice fix for the one man operation.
  3. I really like the 90 degree turn and the steering wheel, that way you are "closer" to your work.
    Also that way, it does not always have to be a two man job.
  4. Lucky Strike
    Joined: Aug 14, 2004
    Posts: 1,666

    Lucky Strike

    I like the dual purpose vice / coaster ya got there:


    PS bitchin' tech, and I think that's one of the best HF fixit' bead roller how-tos I've seen on the HAMB.
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  5. Flat Ernie
    Joined: Jun 5, 2002
    Posts: 8,410

    Flat Ernie
    Tech Editor

    I like the steering wheel! I like the fact it's up top too & outstanding use of on-hand materials - I don't think I would've thought of that.
  6. tdoty
    Joined: Jun 21, 2006
    Posts: 821


    I like it! Almost makes me feel lazy using a 90vDC electric motor to drive my beadroller :D

    Tim D.
  7. Brad54
    Joined: Apr 15, 2004
    Posts: 6,008

    from Atl Ga

    Man...add a brody knob to the steering wheel, and it'd be ever sweeter.
    That's a great plan. I like the use of the spider gears.

  8. indyjps
    Joined: Feb 21, 2007
    Posts: 3,679


    AAHHH, the champagne of beers.
  9. FiddyFour
    Joined: Dec 31, 2004
    Posts: 9,008


    Vagabonds "official" brew and brain lubricant :cool:
  10. Nocturnal
    Joined: Sep 18, 2005
    Posts: 254

    from CO

    Very cool, thanks for the coverage. I look like I'm doing yoga sometimes when I have to crank my roller by myself.
  11. tunram2quad
    Joined: Mar 16, 2007
    Posts: 168


    Great Tech, Kick ass Job. Guess I`ll be doin the same to my brandy new cheap ass roller.Thanks for the great tech!!
  12. jusjunk
    Joined: Dec 3, 2004
    Posts: 3,138

    from Michigan

    Very nice but i cant help but think id would have been really nice if you drank Bud..:)
  13. FiddyFour
    Joined: Dec 31, 2004
    Posts: 9,008



    NOOOOO i do not pertake of the buttweiser... it makes me hurl.

    never purge before being full.

  14. chaddilac
    Joined: Mar 21, 2006
    Posts: 13,854


    That's awesome... just ad a cheater knob and your done...
  15. dragrcr50
    Joined: Jul 25, 2005
    Posts: 3,865


    very nice post man, I actually read it all and enjoyed it. you did a nice job of engineering and construction. I have been using my old hf roller for about 6 years but if it gives me any shit ill consider that very fix... thanx......................:cool:

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