How to Make a Label Roller

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.

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    4 Discussions


    10 years ago

    Hello, and welcome to the Instructables community! It's great that you've decided to tell the world about something you've made by publishing an Instructable. We just wanted to let you know that your project still needs a little more work if you want it to be well received on Instructables. Projects that don't include certain basic elements tend not to get the attention that they deserve, and so we'd love for you to check out the list below of what makes a successful Instructable. Successful projects on Instructables include: - clearly written details of a finished project with instruction - as many steps as are necessary to explain your project - clear images that you took of your project for most, if not all of your steps - an intro image - proper spelling and grammar - appropriate cautions or safety considerations I'll give you another opportunity to make any final changes to your project before we publish it. Once you're all set to go, please republish your project and send me a quick comment letting me know that you've made some changes. I'll give it a quick final check to make sure you're on the right path, and then remove this note. Thanks for your submission and we hope to see your project published soon!


    10 years ago on Introduction

    I liked it! A couple of items. Could you add a still photo of this in action. Without actually watching the movie it is a bit difficult to conceptualize. Did you ever think about adding a transistor inline with the USB cord? When the computer sends a signal to print the winder automatically starts reeling. Could you power this through the USB cord as well? I believe that this has 5vdc doing through it.


    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    The actual printer that I'm using is a Zebra LP2824 and prints a lot slower than the winder spins. The catch to my winder is that you must feed one or two labels out and stick the paper to the wheel and then turn the winder on. The motor would burn if you do this for too long but as soon as you hit print the labels start feeding to the winder and the motor is relieved. I am working on a more universal Wheel. I have cut two round wheels out of thin plywood with a 3 in hole saw. then attached two dowels to each wheel and attached them together so the dowels are staggered.


    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    Thats a Great Idea except the printer that Im using is not a USB Printer it is a network printer. USB does have at least 5v but I dont think that the current would be strong enough. Dont know cause I have never tried it. I like to have it Cordless. I have actually upgraded the wheel a bit too. You can make the wheel according to your needs since every application is different.
    Check out the other winders I found.