This is my first instructable and I will be showing you how to make a ball mill for grinding chemicals from some recycled washers/dryers and a few parts from your local hardware store.
Please read all the way through the instructions before building to be sure you are capable of finishing it.
This instructable was based on pictures from United Nuclear check it out http://www.unitednuclear.com/ballmill.htm
The finished product should look similar to this
Step 1: Materials Needed
Materials you will need --
1. A motor -- I got one from a old dryer that is rated for around 1600 rpm which is good for this
2. 2"x4" -- Amount will vary with the size of the mill.
3. Pulleys(4) and Belts(2) -- Size will also vary. I was able to salvage mine from a old washer.
4. Ball Bearings(4) -- You may be able to get some from old junk or buy the cheaply.
5. Switch(1) -- Get a standard light switch.
6. Wire nuts and electrical tape -- Hardware store.
7. A rotatable wheel (optional but recommended) -- Like on the bottom of filing cabinets.
8. A container -- Size will vary.
9. Two poles -- For shafts make sure to get them to fit inside of your ball bearings.
It may seem like a daunting list of items but they are fairly inexpensive and you can salvage most of them or you may even have them laying around your house.
Step 2: Obtain the Motor
Find a old dryer, I happened to have one in the barn so I i ripped it apart. Sorry for no step by step images of the first parts but I was not planning on making this instructable at the time i removed it. The dryer you will want to get is a small one capable of plugging into a standard 3 prong 120v house outlet. If you cannot find one then you will just need to plug it into a 220v plug.
You should be able to find how to get it out by yourself but i will do my best to talk you through it.
1.) Turn the machine over and locate the screws on the bottom. (may be on side or back for different
2.) Take the screws out and unbolt the motor from the bottom panel and remove the panel.
3.) When the motor is loose follow all the wires to the motor and pull any plugs on the motor to be
able to remove the motor
4.) With the motor removed find the power cord going to the machine and cut it off (you will need this
Step 3: Prepare the Base
Now its time to size up your machine. consider the following in the decision of the size
1.) Use (will you be using it for small batches of chemicals or large batches.)
2.) Area available (where will you be storing and using it)
3.) Cost (Cost will vary with the size..generally the bigger the machine, the more it costs.)
For this application I will be making the dimensions 2 ft wide by 1.5 ft long.
1.) cut two pieces 2 ft long and two pieces 1' 2" long.
2.) cut a piece 5 in long and another 7 inches long
3.) screw them together using the guide shown
Step 4: Mount the Motor
If possible mount it using preexisting mounting plate (how it was mounted in the machine) if it is not possible for example, the plate is on the bottom you can find another method.. I will cover a few in this step.
For my motor I need another way of mounting because my mounting plate is not accessible. I will use metal straps to tension the motor down. Mount it in the shaded area shown in the picture.
Depending on your motor, the pulley system will vary so use what is already there if possible.
Step 5: Add the Shafts and Bearings
Next, you need to mount your bearings for this application I am using metal straps and a couple screws to hold them in place. There are many ways these can be mounted so be creative. mount them in the shaded area in the first picture. The space between the sets of bearings and the motor will depend on the length of belts you have so be sure to compare it before you mount it.
After the bearings are mounted, insert your shafts through the bearings so they extend out as shown in the second picture. be sure that when you pully is mounted on the shaft closest to the motor that it will line up or the belt other wise may slip.
Step 6: Add the Pullies to the Shafts
Take the pullies and mount them on the ends of the shafts as shown in the picture (are you seeing a pattern?) then put the belts on between the pullies and make sure they are straight and make adjustments before moving on.
Step 7: Add the Wiring
ok now on the motor there is a clip with three wires on mine one was black one was green and the third was blue (black=neg blue=hot green=ground) now cut the plug off and strip the three wires. Next strip the plug wire i told you to keep, revealing three wires mine were black white and green, strip them too and attach the black to the neg the green to the ground and the white to one of the switch terminals, then connect a wire from the other terminal to the hot wire on the motor being sure to wire nut and electrical tape all connections possible. you can mount the switch wherever you want.
Step 8: Get a Grip!
For the shaft to properly spin the container it needs to be able to grip it metal on metal or plastic on metal just wont do. You can add grip by gluing any rubbery material around both shafts and container.
Step 9: Add the Angler
For the mill to work properly the chemicals and grinding media must collect in one area so the entire setup needs to be on a 30 degree angle so here we will add two legs to the base.
this doesnt need much explanation just hold the front up (front being the way the motor is pointing) and measure 30 degrees and screw a leg on both sides.
the angle is shown in the picture courtesy of united nuclear
Step 10: Optional Step
This is optional but is highly recommended as it alows the container to rotate much smoother. cut another piece of wood that is 3/4 the diameter of your container and mount it as shown in the picture (the green box is where to mount it) pointing up forming a 90 degree angle with the base on each side. get a rotatable wheel like from a file cabinet and add it to the top of the new board to the container will hit against it.
Step 11: Done!
Just set your container on the shafts add the chemical and right amount of grinding media and fire it up. If you find it is going to fast then gear it down by replacing the pulley on the end of the shaft that connects to the motor with a bigger one and if it goes to slow then use a smaller one to gear it up.
Note: do not use more weight than the motor can handle and be safe using this following all guide lines and percautions found here http://www.skylighter.com/fireworks/how-to/use-a-ball-mill.asp
Thank you for reading this tutorial and leave comments plz