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Thread: Motorizing a Bead Roller

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    Motorizing a Bead Roller

    I wanted to get some feedback from people more creative than I. I recently bought a manual bead roller. I already knew that using one of these by yourself is a bit of a challenge. Without a helper I'm wanting to connect an electric motor and have the ability to creep. Either by voltage reduction or gear reduction. Im guessing someone out there has done this and would love to hear from them. Thank you

  2. #2
    Jon
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    Hi Steelydan62 - welcome to HomemadeTools.net

    Here's a build you might like: Tricked out Harbor Freight bead roller of awesomeness.

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    athomp's Tools
    I motorized mine with a cheap 1500 lb winch and geared it down with a timing chain and cogs off a 350 engine. It has a forward and reverse switch that I can use while still holding the work with 2 hands. The speed is just about right and although it's not variable I can bump it a little at a time if I need to go slower. The only drawback is that I need a 12 volt battery to run it.Motorizing a Bead Roller-image.jpgMotorizing a Bead Roller-image.jpg
    Last edited by athomp; 06-14-2017 at 02:04 PM.

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    Thank you so much for the link Jon!

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    Thanks athomp! We've added your Bead Roller Modification to our Bead Rollers category,
    as well as to your builder page: athomp's Homemade Tools. Your receipt:




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    wizard69's Tools
    I don't have a bead roller yet but you are left with two alternatives build a speed reduction transmission (retrofit) or buy one new. Buying new of course is a challenge $$$$ wise. As for DIY you want a sizable speed reduction to get the required torque, otherwise you need a huge motor. The speed reduction can come from a gear box or a cobbled together belt reduction. At some point a more positive chain drive is probably cheaper and more reliable in the lower speed stages.

    Variable speed and instant reversing are very useful too. This is more about motor control though.

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    wizard69's Tools
    Quote Originally Posted by athomp View Post
    The only drawback is that I need a 12 volt battery to run it.
    You just invented the portable powered bead roller! OK not to be funny here but sometimes battery powered tools are a win.

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    wizard69's Tools
    Quote Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post
    I don't have a bead roller yet but you are left with two alternatives build a speed reduction transmission (retrofit) or buy one new. Buying new of course is a challenge $$$$ wise. As for DIY you want a sizable speed reduction to get the required torque, otherwise you need a huge motor. The speed reduction can come from a gear box or a cobbled together belt reduction. At some point a more positive chain drive is probably cheaper and more reliable in the lower speed stages.

    Variable speed and instant reversing are very useful too. This is more about motor control though.
    One thing I just about forgot here. Many a guy has used an electric pipe threader drive to power these types of machines. They are normally gear reduced into the right RP range and as rugged as hell. After all if they can withstand a plumber using them bead rolling should be a snap. These drive mechanism are pretty popular on bending rolls for example. Ideally you pick up one at auction for 10 cents on the dollar. You just have to make up a shaft adapter that emulates the die that normally snaps into one of these.

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    C-Bag's Tools
    I used a Harbor Frieght pipe threader to power my rock sifter. Its output is 40rpm which I would think ideal for a bead roller. I don't have a bead roller yet.

    I've been contemplating using it to power my HFT ring roller, just haven't gotten back to using the roller so not gotten around to using the threader on it yet. I got my threader out of the HFT return bin for I think $100. It's got plenty of oomph and could power my rock sifter just fine. The cool thing about it is the quick connect style dies make it quickly transferable between machines.

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    athomp's Tools
    A winch motor has PLENTY of torque.

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