Author Topic: And now...the other end of the motorized grain mill cart spectrum  (Read 2261 times)

Offline lbrewski

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Like a lot of you (mxrob as well I'm sure) I got tired of hugging the bucket while holding onto a wimpy 3/8" drill that overheated before I could mill enough for a strong (or large) batch. Unlike mxrob, my solution is much more on the low end, employing mediocre carpentry skills and less than elegant (ghetto?) engineering.
For the motor I found a low-speed heavy-duty 1/2" drill at HF that just needed a way to apply latching speed control and a method of mounting to the cart. Not so pretty, but it works just fine:



I had a hard time finding a real motor (with gear box) to fit my budget, so I looked elsewhere. The drill does not have a trigger lock, which is kind of lame - even for $50 (I believe that Blk&Dkr make one in the same price range but I think it only locks at high speed). So as you can see the latching speed control is provided by a bar clamp. Actually quite functional and adjustable.

I figured once we're on the low road, let's keep the theme alive for the whole project. The drill is mounted into a cutout and positioned in a "saddle" provided by some pieces of vinyl baseboard screwed down to the cart top. I mounted my trusty Barley Crusher on it's original baseboard to shim it up; the drill and the mill mate up very well indeed.

I had thought of wiring up a nice switch box to take it up a notch, but for $7 the power strip does the job, and again - stays with the theme.

A couple of coats of poly, some medium duty casters and two blocks placed provide foolproof positioning of the bucket and there you have it.


Offline klickitat jim

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Re: And now...the other end of the motorized grain mill cart spectrum
« Reply #1 on: February 19, 2014, 05:00:52 PM »
Clamp is a good idea. They used to make drills in the old days that had a set screw on the trigger but haven't seen one in years. I like the clamp.

Online troybinso

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Re: And now...the other end of the motorized grain mill cart spectrum
« Reply #2 on: February 19, 2014, 05:09:54 PM »
Great work. Nothing wrong with looking for ways to make something work well on the cheap. Can you describe a little more how you attached the drill to the table top?

Offline klickitat jim

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Re: And now...the other end of the motorized grain mill cart spectrum
« Reply #3 on: February 19, 2014, 05:32:02 PM »
I wonder if a real handy guy could gut an old drill and run it off a dial rheostat, maybe build it in s plastic project box so it was nice n tidy.

Offline lbrewski

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Re: And now...the other end of the motorized grain mill cart spectrum
« Reply #4 on: February 19, 2014, 05:42:09 PM »
Here is a photo of the cutouts. The drill cutout is to allow a portion of the body of the drill to recess into the cart top, not the handle of course.


I had assembled everything and then removed it to apply the finish, hence the holes you see.

Here is the drill "saddle". It was a matter of cutting the baseboard pieces, screwing one side down and positioning the drill into and conforming it into the depression with the mill attached, then screwing the other side of the saddle pieces in while it was set where I thought it was level. The vinyl baseboard piece under the handle is sitting on top, not recessed.



A closer look at the drill as mounted, note that there are two large tie-wraps holding the it down. It is tight enough but in a way it kind of "floats" in the saddle so that alignment to the mill shaft is not strained.



Here is a "before" photo and you can see that the drill body has to go down, and the mill needs to come up.



I was going to make a shim for the mill but then thought having the mill's original base (fiberboard) as part of the assembly distributes the torque better on the cart top as well.



(Edit: noticed I had a duplicate photo, so replacing it with one of the bucket stops)

« Last Edit: February 20, 2014, 10:48:42 AM by lbrewski »

Offline lbrewski

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Re: And now...the other end of the motorized grain mill cart spectrum
« Reply #5 on: February 19, 2014, 05:50:14 PM »
I wonder if a real handy guy could gut an old drill and run it off a dial rheostat, maybe build it in s plastic project box so it was nice n tidy.

If the bar clamp had not worked I was ready to pull the drill apart and (at the least) remote the speed control with a rheostat. As far as making it tidy, it could certainly be better.

It was a fun project, but now it's time to get back to brewing... Oh wait, I keep thinking I need a better solution for fermentation than just better bottles...

BTW, instead of completely building my new brew system, which I considered, I was lazy and ordered one. Here is a short video from this past Sunday
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n6oObAX6FWk

Offline james

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Re: And now...the other end of the motorized grain mill cart spectrum
« Reply #6 on: February 19, 2014, 06:13:59 PM »
I just replaced my old drill with a similar one from harbor freight.  It was $40 including tax with a 25% off coupon.

It does have a trigger lock. 

I mounted mine underneath so the only thing on top of the cart (I used an old microwave cart) is the hopper.  I mounted a switch that turns on the outlet the drill is plugged into and my scale is plugged into the other outlet that is always on.

Sure is nice not sitting crouched down holding the drill and dumping grain in a little at a time

Offline lbrewski

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Re: And now...the other end of the motorized grain mill cart spectrum
« Reply #7 on: February 19, 2014, 06:57:25 PM »
I just replaced my old drill with a similar one from harbor freight.  It was $40 including tax with a 25% off coupon.

It does have a trigger lock. 

I mounted mine underneath so the only thing on top of the cart (I used an old microwave cart) is the hopper.  I mounted a switch that turns on the outlet the drill is plugged into and my scale is plugged into the other outlet that is always on.

Sure is nice not sitting crouched down holding the drill and dumping grain in a little at a time

Amen to that!

When I looked at the drill on their website it appeared that it had the trigger lock but when I got there it was a different story. So it goes with that place.

Offline morticaixavier

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Re: And now...the other end of the motorized grain mill cart spectrum
« Reply #8 on: February 20, 2014, 05:17:49 AM »
Clamp is a good idea. They used to make drills in the old days that had a set screw on the trigger but haven't seen one in years. I like the clamp.

they still make them, or did last year anyway. I got my drill for 19 bucks at ace and it has the adjustable trigger lock.

Nice build! Way nicer than my setup
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Offline klickitat jim

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Re: And now...the other end of the motorized grain mill cart spectrum
« Reply #9 on: February 20, 2014, 05:23:16 AM »
Awesome! I just haven't seen one in a while. I'll hit my local Ace and have them look it up.

Offline Slowbrew

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Re: And now...the other end of the motorized grain mill cart spectrum
« Reply #10 on: February 20, 2014, 05:33:29 AM »
I like the tech games feel of the build.  It will be easy to replace the drill with a motor if happen to find one too.  It's always nice to not have to completely redesign to upgrade.

Nice build.

Paul
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Offline ccfoo242

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And now...the other end of the motorized grain mill cart spectrum
« Reply #11 on: February 20, 2014, 05:50:43 AM »
Looks nice!

Harbor freight and amazon sell cheap router speed controllers. These work with brew pumps(I use one on a cold transfer pump) and should work with the drill as well. Just clamp the trigger down all the way on the drill and plug it into the controller. Then you'll have a nice way to adjust the mill speed.


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« Last Edit: February 20, 2014, 05:52:23 AM by ccfoo242 »

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Offline mxrob

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Re: And now...the other end of the motorized grain mill cart spectrum
« Reply #12 on: February 20, 2014, 06:39:41 AM »
Nice work lbrewski!  8) Realistically more members will be able to benefit from your pimping endeavor than mine.
In all homer projects ingenuity is the real value....

Cheers! 

Offline euge

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Re: And now...the other end of the motorized grain mill cart spectrum
« Reply #13 on: February 20, 2014, 07:32:43 AM »
I like it! Had thoughts about this exact approach in the past. Great to see it visualized and realized by another homebrewer.

Instead of the valuable wood-clamp how about an appropriately sized hose-clamp? Then you could fine tune the speed by simply turning a screw.
The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. -Richard P. Feynman

Online Jimmy K

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Re: And now...the other end of the motorized grain mill cart spectrum
« Reply #14 on: February 20, 2014, 07:38:54 AM »
Instead of the valuable wood-clamp how about an appropriately sized hose-clamp? Then you could fine tune the speed by simply turning a screw.
Good idea. I was trying to think of something like that so it would be out of the way.
 
Althought that looks like a harbor freight clamp. Costs about $1 and worth about a nickel. Good to use in an application where you'll never adjust it.
 
Nice build, by the way. Very pragmatic.
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