Introduction: How to Make a Label Roller
The Following Steps will show you roughly how to make a label roller for a small label printer. I work as an IT Specialist in a Laboratory and one of the jobs for our customer service ladies is to print off a few thousand labels from a Zebra Label printer. She would print 500 labels at a time and roll them up by time when she could be working on something else. 500 Labels at the size we are printing is 500 inches or 41.6 feet. The Label Roller I have built is capable of holding 1000 labels in one print job.
I did not take a picture of every step because I did not plan on posting it but now that I am done I will take closeups of each part as I describe it to you.
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Step 1: Make the Frame and Get Your Motor Attached.
The first step to rolling you labels would be decide what size of labels or paper you are rolling and get a frame. In this case I used a couple 1"x4" pieces in the shape of an offset T. Next I needed to drill a hole in the wood that would make a seat for the motor to sit on. Then I cut the wood at angles to make it look like I put more work into it, it really wasn't needed I just thought it would be at the time.
Once your 1x4 looks similar to the picture below get some plumbing strap and stick it over the top of your motor and put some screws in it. My motor is a very High speed motor from Radio Shack that I bought for $5.49. The plumbing strap you can get at pretty much any hardware store and its usually less than $1.
(There are infinite things you could use to make the frame but wood was the easiest to work with and this was the first experiment to see if this would even work. )
Step 2: Put Your Second Axle on With Pulleys
I found a small piece of rod at the Hardware store and some nylon spacers to keep the pulley where I wanted it. The tiny pulley on the motor shaft is not attached. I actually bought the package shown for $7 from Uptown Sales on the internet and it came with different size adapters that fit right onto my motor snuggly. The rod that I used is not an acual bolt it is a threaded rod with some nuts on it. I drill the hole and put a nut on each side of the board to keep it in place and it is pretty solid.
Step 3: Make Your Spool
The next step was by far the most difficult to work right. I had to find something that was flexible so that she could pull off the labels but still stiff enough to hold that many labels at one time. I found a cup at the dollar store 3/$1 and cut it to size and then cut each rib so that it was very flexible, I also stuck a CD on the end so that the labels would stay straight. then I put my pulley on the end of it with a few more spacers so that the cup wont rub on the small pulley mounted on the motor.
Step 4: Final Step
You can do this step any time you want but I did it last.
I put a switch on the board and then ran all my wires to the motor and switch. I did not hard wire a battery pack yet because I was not sure how much power was needed to pull the labels, so I just soldered some alligator clips on so I could connect it to any battery I wanted. I found a 6v lantern battery to be the best for the job. The Video I have shown here does not have the pulley assembly on it but it does work just as good. I will get an update video depending on how popular my Idea is. I have recently ordered a battery holder that I can attach to the wooden frame and solder instead of the alligator clips because I found that a couple D Batteries have more current than a lantern battery.