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Tube Rolling Machine


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#1 digger

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Posted 26 July 2007 - 10:04 PM

Now then, I am fairly accomplished at rolling tubes by hand. BUT it does get a bit tedious, so the question is has anyone come across any designs for a simple home tube rolling machine, or at least a device that takes some of the labour of ensuring the paper is lined up well to stop it running out?
Phew that was close.

#2 Gavin

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Posted 27 July 2007 - 08:32 AM

Now then, I am fairly accomplished at rolling tubes by hand. BUT it does get a bit tedious, so the question is has anyone come across any designs for a simple home tube rolling machine, or at least a device that takes some of the labour of ensuring the paper is lined up well to stop it running out?

I've made one a long time ago. I think it's around somewhere gathering dust. It worked pretty well though fairly slow, turning out around 12 tubes an hour. They were 9" long with formers for various i/d's and you could make any wall thickness. Stingers, fountains, mortars all worked a treat. I could dig it out and take some photos though it may take an age for me to set up an account somewhere to host them.

#3 marble

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Posted 27 July 2007 - 08:47 AM

Just use http://www.imageshack.us

#4 Gavin

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Posted 28 July 2007 - 05:08 PM

Here are some pictures of my tube machine. It’s pretty basic but it works. For the paper I get a big roll of imitation kraft (cheaper than the genuine stuff) and cut off about 9” with a hand saw. In the pictures there is virtually no paper left on the reel. The reel is held central on a wood shaft with jubilee clips. There are also clips on the outside ends of the shaft to stop any lateral movement.

The paper feeds down under the first aluminium rod then over the second and then under the former and round it. It is liberally brushed with glue whilst the former is turned by hand a couple of times to get it started. The aluminium rods give some friction which keeps the paper taught when it is rolling.

The marble roller is then swung into position and the glue delivery system (not shown as I can’t find it) put in place. I assume the roller gives some consolidation but who knows. Each former has a bolt at the end and is then turned using a cordless screwdriver. It was a single speed one, not too fast. A mark was placed on the marble roller so you can count off a number of turns. After making up a few tubes you could work out how many turns were needed for a particular wall thickness. The roller was borrowed from a kitchen rolling pin.

The glue was pva watered down. I can’t remember now but I think it was about somewhere between 50 – 70% pva. It was held in a container on a stand above the tube roller and had a tube that extended across the paper with small holes regularly spaced along it.. When a valve was opened the glue would squirt onto the paper. In one of the pictures I’ve put a red wiggly line which is where the glue goes. It comes out at a fair rate and pours off the edges of the paper just where it is rolled onto the former and the excess is collected in the two jugs. After rolling a few tubes the glue in the jugs is put back into the main container.

Each of the formers are covered in a double spiral of insulation tape. This stops the tube sticking and when the tube dries its i/d is spot on for the former. There is a hole in the end of the former and when you want to remove the tube the spike clamped to the table is used to hold the former while the tube is slid off. I found it easier to wrap a damp floor cloth round the tube as it gave a better grip without damaging the damp tube.

In true Blue Peter fashion there is a picture of some tubes I made earlier.

If anyone is interested how I made it I’ll post details.






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#5 Anders Greenman

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Posted 28 July 2007 - 06:21 PM

Nice one Gavin :) I've made two rollers myself, but a new, third one is upcoming. I have some pictures of my number 2 wich used gravity to tighten the paper.
Just put some weight on the bottom and begin rolling the tube. It works, but the rigging makes it very laborious and you cannot make the tube as thick as you want. Now, I'm planning a very simple device. Pretty much like yours, but with ball bearings in the rods. This will not give any friction to tighten the paper. Instead, I'l have an internal braking system in the paper feeding roller itself.

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Edited by Anders Greenman, 28 July 2007 - 06:23 PM.

Føkk off mate!

#6 hoarp001

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Posted 05 August 2007 - 10:57 PM

When you said tube rolling machine, I immediatly thought of having a mandrel and four, spring loaded rollers. The rollers would be mouted in diagnial slits so they could slide out as the mandrel filled with paper. They would ensure that the paper was wound on tight, and then the mandrel in the centre could be spun very fast and pull the paper off a loose spool....

You can pick old conveyor rollers up off ebay for afew quid each, and to MDF side pannels with some slits cut + afew elastic bands would do the job nicely....

#7 hoarp001

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Posted 05 August 2007 - 10:57 PM

When you said tube rolling machine, I immediatly thought of having a mandrel and four, spring loaded rollers. The rollers would be mouted in diagnial slits so they could slide out as the mandrel filled with paper. They would ensure that the paper was wound on tight, and then the mandrel in the centre could be spun very fast and pull the paper off a loose spool....

You can pick old conveyor rollers up off ebay for afew quid each, and to MDF side pannels with some slits cut + afew elastic bands would do the job nicely....

#8 pyroman89

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Posted 06 August 2007 - 12:46 AM

If anyone is interested how I made it I’ll post details.

I would be very interested if you could post details about how you made it.

Thank you
too signature your as this put, twice this in backwards word the saw you because backwards this read to enough smart were you if.

#9 Gavin

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Posted 06 August 2007 - 10:36 AM

I would be very interested if you could post details about how you made it.

Thank you


It's about 12" high, 19" long and 16" wide though I don't think that any of the dimensions are particularly crucial. It's made form 3/4" thick mdf. The brown areas were painted with an odd bit of exterior paint I had lying around. What I think was crucial was getting everything square and all the holes/slots exactly lined up. The base and sides were cut at the local diy store (B&Q) so nice and square. The side pieces were laid one on top of the other and screwed together. Using a drill press the holes for the paper roll support, aluminium tension rods (6-8mm) and any other holes that I thought might be needed were drilled. The slots for the formers were also cut.

There are four slots on this one for different tube formers. For the smaller ones I drilled a hole the same size as the former and then just cut down to it to make the slot. For the larger ones having drawn the slot on it the bottom two corners were drilled through so you could get a jig saw in to cut across the bottom. The slots don't have to be round at the bottom, a square profile will do so long as the former has got 3 contact points to rest against (side, bottom, side). Using this method any size former can be used, not just those you have a same sized drill bit.

The formers are held in place in the slot by jubilee clips and some plastic washers. This stops any lateral movement whilst allowing it to turn freely. The washers were cut out of some odd scraps of plastic. The ends of the formers were drilled a little to accept the head of a bolt. Most of the bolt was cut off. On the smallest former I just jammed it into a screwdriver socket.

The roller on the top is held on by a couple of aluminium pins which allows it to swing into place. There are a couple of other pins which allow it to rest in the vertical position. A series of holes are drilled since the roller needs to be moved along as each different sized former is in a different position.

Hope this helps,

Gavin

#10 pyroman89

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Posted 06 August 2007 - 03:52 PM

Thank you for the help Gavin.
too signature your as this put, twice this in backwards word the saw you because backwards this read to enough smart were you if.

#11 dr thrust

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Posted 06 January 2008 - 10:28 PM

built one today, only got a puny 18mm roller at the moment ^_^ but if all goes well i hope to be rolling 6lb tubes! quite easy to build i just cut the two sides and screwed them together and then cut the slots and drilled the holes though the two, so they are parallel. i plan to use Lancaster's method of rolling a thick sheet and a thin sheet together by feeding in a thin sheet whisted rolling

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Edited by chris m, 09 January 2008 - 09:52 PM.


#12 JamesH

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Posted 08 January 2008 - 11:04 PM

Its good to see others using their ingenuity to try and make tube rolling less tedious! Keep up the good work lads! :)
This is a tube roller I constructed a few years ago:-

http://s11.photobuck...=Caseroller.jpg

I designed it to be able to accommodate a wide range of paper widths, but now I only use it to roll small tubes, 3/8" and less from gummed paper tape.

An important feature of this machine is the very simple tensioning system, which allows a tube to be very tightly wound, increasing its tensile strength. Tensioning is simply done by tightening a clamp across the wooden uprights either side of the paper roll (not shown in photo).

I used to dampen the tape as I rolled it, but encountered all sorts of problems, such as gaps appearing between the paper layers upon drying, tubes becoming stuck onto the mandrels, even when lubricated with Vaseline.
But have since found that a stronger and much more uniform tube can be made by rolling up the tape dry, adhesive side out, then gluing down the free end with PVA glue to prevent unraveling in later stages.

The method I use is as follows.
I remove the dry tube from the mandrel by giving the mandrel a few turns in the opposite direction to the winding, this allows the tube to slide off with no effort at all. It also helps to very lightly lubricate the mandrel with vaseline.
Each tube is then put onto a lubricated 'keeper' mandrel which is the same diameter as the winding mandrel only long enough so that about 1/2" protrudes either end of the tube. A beveled edge one the 'keeper' mandrel makes it easier to insert into the tube without damaging the inner windings. These 'keeper' mandrels maintain the tubes i.d. by preventing the paper from unraveling inward in later stages.

The next step is to activate the water based adhesive on the paper, this is simply done by cooking the tubes on their 'keeper' mandrels in a pressure cooker for about 20 - 30mins. A perforated disk or a mesh stand is used to keep the tubes out of the water at the bottom of the pressure cooker.
The tubes are dried on the mandrels and tend to dry very quickly, especially in a drying box. Once dry the mandrels are removed from the tubes fairly easy with the aid of a vice, giving you perfect tightly wound tubes which are ideal for use in small rockets and spoolettes.

If anyone has any questions on the machine or the method used feel free to ask.
HE WHO HATH ONCE SMELT THE SMOKE IS NE'ER AGAIN FREE

#13 Zinginex

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Posted 10 January 2008 - 06:34 PM

I'm definetly going too make one of these machines this weekend!
But does anybody have any good ways of getting the rolled tube of the rod easily after its dryed? I thought of maybe wrapping a paper layer on the rod first then rolling over that paper. Then slide it off and then push the paper layer out?

#14