Build Your Own Metal Roller

Metal fabrication is a useful skill to have. There’s plenty you can achieve in your workshop at home, given the right tools. There’s lathes for turning, mills for milling, and bandsaws and dropsaws for chopping it all to pieces. But what do you do if you need to make hoops and bends and round sections? You build a metal roller, of course – and that’s precisely what [James Bruton] did.

The main body of the tool is built out of box section, chosen largely as it’s what [James] had lying around. Bearings are of the familiar pillow block variety, with 20 mm bright steel serving as the rollers due to its better tolerance than mild steel stock. Set screws hold the shafts in place to avoid everything sliding around the place. A 10-ton bottle jack then provides the force to gently bend the workpiece as it passes through the rollers.

Initial tests were positive, with the roller producing smooth curves in 4 mm thick steel bar. There were some issues with runout, which were easily fixed with some attention to the parallelism of the shafts. It’s a tidy build, and can serve as a basis for further upgrades in future if necessary.

We’ve seen DIY roll benders before, too. Video after the break.

26 thoughts on “Build Your Own Metal Roller

  1. I hate people who can afford a professional TIG welder and do pointless things with it. I develop embedded systems for a living and from my wage I could only afford a $60 chinese welding transformer. It sucks and it sticks. Living in Poland makes me want to kill myself, prices of everything but food are like in Germany or France but wages are like in Ukraine or Belarus.

    1. Choices:

      A:Hack your national economic model, show your work in relevant circles.
      B: Hack your hardware, show your work here.
      C: Wait for someone else to hack your hardware, read about it here and repeat.
      D: Give up and join the immigrants.
      E: Join criminal sector, steal hardware.

    2. ireland was like that back in the eighties, 70% tax rate, so many welded using power pole transformers, likely stolen. There was no regulator, so I guess you would use larger or smaller rods to vary the power. They used copper coils immersed in oil so never overheated and had excellent power. It is a mistake to think you need quality equipment to weld well. I have seen indians on youtube using homemade buzzboxes from stacked iron layers and coils of wire, they throw a hook over the nearest power cable and work away.

    3. I’m actually about to by my first tig welder. Any recommendations to distinguish quality from crap? On the bright side jagejo, Your women are better than France and Germany.

      1. These two have been mentioned quite often on various YouTube channels and in welding forums:

        AHP AlphaTIG 201XD

        (Not associated with either companies.)

      1. It’s fixed now but originally it had the HaD placeholder image that the projects on that don’t have images.

        Wasn’t an attack for once Brian, just thought it was funny

  2. “Metal fabrication is a useful skill to have. There’s plenty you can achieve in your workshop at home, given the right tools. There’s lathes for turning, mills for milling, and bandsaws and dropsaws for chopping it all to pieces.”

    Kind of reminds me of when kitchens explode. Don’t forget the pasta maker, or the salad shooter.

    1. Showing faces/reactions in thumbnails works. It increases the number of views, and most importantly the quality of the audience in the eyes of advertisers. This is a fact, and I think Linus Tech Tips did an AMA somewhere and talked about it.

      So rage, rage against the very existence of faces and reactions in YouTube thumbnails. There are three people behind you that like it ready to take your place. Hate to sound like a broken record, but you could also take responsibility of your media consumption and… you know… start slapping people who don’t mind this one little psychological trick that increases the number of views on a video. Or you could learn to live in a society with other people. Or I guess move into a cabin in the woods. Either one of these options will work for me.

      By the way, April Fools Day is tomorrow.

      1. I get where you’re coming from, but it’s also really, really stupid. It’s always worth remembering that the Daily Mail is insanely popular. Should hackaday conform to their, ah… standards of journalism, because it’s really successful?

        Being more successful doesn’t mean you are producing anything worthwhile. Chasing views and dollars doesn’t mean you’re moving in the right direction.

      2. “This is a fact, and I think Linus Tech Tips did an AMA somewhere and talked about it.”

        Linus Tech Tips? Are you serious? You need to be officially stripped of your hackers licenses for simply mentioning that name in public because it suggests that you might possibly have watched one of his videos at some point in time. Remember, friends don’t let friends watch linus tech tips because a mind is a terrible thing to waste.

    2. This has definitely been my experience as well. These content creators can talk all they want about how the goofy thumbnails increase traffic, and I don’t even doubt it, but who is is really catering to? If you’ve got good content that engaged people want to see, nobody cares about your thumbnails. Look at BigClive or AvE, you don’t even see these guys faces.

      Stuff like this just inflates your views by fooling kids to click on your video. If you can’t create compelling content I suppose that’s one way to play the game.

      1. Add This Old Tony to that list of unseen [or rarely seen] faces.

        As for the metal roller – nice idea, but I fail to see how you twist into a spiral. Maybe a helix is a special case, needing a whole new bending jig.

        1. Making the two bottom rollers non-parallel gives you a spiral (like a giant coil spring), but to make make a helix like an auger usually requires it to be made up of curved metal plates welded to the spine in the centre,

  3. This person got everything wrong about this roller. From using a piece of steel of inadequate thickness for rollers, to using a bottle jack to adjust the tension, to getting the handle ridiculously wrong and not ergonomic. And the poor results are testament of that. I’m actually amazed that this person has that many subs.

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