Intro: Basic Roller Straightener for Light Gauge Metal
A very basic roller straightener for metal banding, strapping, and wire. Feeding the metal strap or wire from one end and pulling it through all the rollers to the other end will make the material a lot flatter and straighter. This is as basic as can be and is not adjustable, but since it is mostly for metal strapping it does not need adjustment. It also would not be strong enough for heavier gauge material, being that it is made of wood.
Other names are: roller flattener, roller leveler, wire straightener.
Step 1: Materials & Tools
Very quick project less than 30 minutes to build and assemble with the proper tools and materials.
- 1/2" or thicker Plywood base, used a piece of plyoowd flooring
- Hardwood for rollers, used a cut-off scrap of 1" thick solid oak stair tread
- Metal spacers, length same as roller thickness. 1" long
- Screws for rollers, V-type / Countersunk head so it stays centered in spacer
- Hole Saw, size for your rollers, shown is 1.5" diameter
- Drill bit sized for metal spacers
- Screw driver
- Power drill
Step 2: Assembly
- Layout the design on paper or onto the base plate. Its important that the bottom line of rollers are aligned straight, and the top rollers are at a slight angle so they nest closer and closer together.
- Spacing was estimated.
- Cut it to size.
- Draw lines for roller centers.
- Mark roller positions.
- Use a hole saw to cut out as many rollers as required. Make sure the material is clamped down well and you have a good grip on the power drill. Hole saws can bind up and cause the drill or material to kick around.
- Drill out the center holes to the correct size to fit the spacers.
- Hammer in the metal spacers into the roller's holes.
- Position the rollers onto the base plate and screw them in.
- Adjust screws so that they are tight but still allow the rollers to spin freely.
Step 3: Usage
- From the end with the smaller gap between rollers, feed in the material to be straightened.
- Manually feed the material through the last roller.
- Grab hold of that end of material and start pulling the material through all the rollers
- The material should come out a lot straighter than it was.
- For best results, flip the material over, and send it through again.
That is it, a very basic roller straightener. This is has been used with 18 to 24 gauge metal strapping and works well. It is very handy to be able to flatten perforated metal strapping as it has many uses, commonly to build frame and support structures for LEDs and LED strips. It is easily pop riveted or bolted together since it has evenly spaced holes.
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