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Hugh McDonald Steel Rolling Mill

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I have looked at all the posts on this forum concerning the Hugh McDonald rolling mill and most of the pictures have disappeared. I was hoping to start a new thread with the possibility of chatting with people that have built one to ask questions and see pictures. I have Mr. McDonald's book and have been going over it. I will soon be doing a solid model of his design.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I have started gathering materials for this build. Currently I am trying to do this project with what is available in my scrap pile. I have cut and ground the up-right pieces and the base for the roller


After cutting, grinding and milling this is what they now look like.


After looking through my shop I actually found a 40 to 1 reducer.


In the bearing cabinet I came across a set on 1 1/4 inch bearing that will work for the main roller.


I also hit the neighbors supply of junk and he had a set of Harley sprockets and I had the chain to go with them.


I am not sure if I need this extra reduction or not.

In the scrap pile was also the material for the base. On the saw and being cut to size.



going to the motor storage area I found a 5hp 3 phase motor.



 The funny thing is that I just got a call from a friend that had a 7.5 hp rated VFD.

I think that I am on the way now.

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  • 2 months later...

Good thread.  I am planning on building one before too long.  I will also be purchasing the plans, but money is tight rite now.  

Anyway, I was wondering about the upper roller bearing, if I understand correctly the original plans call for boring holes in bronze blocks.  Is there some reason doing the same with mild steel won't work?  I know bronze is a lot slicker than steel, but would putting a grease fitting in and greasing the fire out of it help, or would it still want to gaul?  I will have to look, but I may have some red brass flanges that are large enough to turn bushings out of.


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Got the plans, haven't been able to get the video to work yet, but the PDF file has pretty much everything I need.  I have a couple of sets of pillow block bearings that are the right size I'm going to rob off an old spreader wagon.  I'm planning on using some hydraulic shafting that is about 2 1/4" or so.  What did everybody use for their rollers?  The plans say mild steel will work, but I don't think I have any that size.  I'm planning on grinding the chrome off the hydraulic shafting before truing it up in the lathe.

Plans are nice, just wish they were in inches and not metric, but not a big deal.

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