motor source

I need a gear reduction motor. Where should I look for one that won't cost me an arm and a leg?
Steve

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In the back of any cheap wall clock, but that may not be suited to your project....
What size do you have in mind? Peter

cost
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I want to make a roller for a 55 gallon plastic barrel to mix up potting soil. It doesn't have to be huge, and it won't be turning a lot of weight.
Steve
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My mental picture of a 55 gallon mixing potting soil involves a lot of weight...
You can probably buy a 1+ HP gear reduced motor on ebay for about $50-$80.
I have a 1/2 HP 60 RPM motor myself, but I am not selling it.
i
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weight.
How about a windscreen wiper motor from any old junk car?
I have one turning a spit that was made by welding a pushbike chain rear cog onto the windscreen wiper motor geared output and then using two chains to drive the spit via an intermediate 5 gear hub and then to the sprocket on the old junk frame. The crank handle was removed from one side and the 1" diameter 6' long stainless (offcut from used well pump) drive shaft was drilled out at the end to a 5/8" hole to fit onto the pushbikes crankshaft and a 1/4" hole drilled through both so a bit of fencing wire could be used to provide an easily removed connecting pin. The incomplete upside down pushbike frame is held in place by driving a steel fence post through the gooseneck (handlebars and front wheel removed) into the ground. The other end is supported on a pair of steel fence posts driven into the ground like an X. This is about as cheap as you can get!!!! The spit's shaft has a couple of other holes drilled to allow for either cross braces (think skewers) or fencing wire to hold the meat in place while it cooks.
The windscreen wiper motor has plenty of grunt to turn a whole pig, so should allow you to turn a decent amount of potting mix. A car battery will provide at least 4 hours use and still let you start your car after.
Instead of a chain drive, you could probably use a V-belt and turn the drum directly. Come to think of it, you could adapt an old clothes dryer if you can seal up the holes in the drum. A number of models use a motor and belt driven by a groove cut into the motor shaft.
Other option that comes to mind is to borrow (you wanted cheap!) your neighbour's cement mixer!
Hope this helps, Peter
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Let me recommend another method. I'm sort of an expert in another field - pyrotechnics - on the principles and practice of ball milling. Ball mills and drum mixers have a lot in common.
The "slump angle" of potting soil - especially bearing peat - is very high, causing you to have to move a lot of weight on the up side of the mixer. This would require a pretty stout motor, or a large gear reduction. Even surplus, such motors aren't cheap. However, mixing soil doesn't take much time, or many rotations of the drum. Because of that, consider this:
1) fix some "lifter bars" inside the barrel at as acute an angle to the rotation as you can muster... something like the beater bars in a concrete mixer. About 30 degrees off parallel to the long axis of the barrel.
2) rotate the barrel with a simple crank. Make the handle as long as necessary to give you the leverage to easily move the barrel with a full load.
You mix quickly by rotating the drum first one way for a while, then in reverse for a while.
With the lifter bars, you can thoroughly blend a 50lb batch of soil in about thirty seconds. Unless you have a physical disability, it won't be hard work, and it'll be a LOT simpler than rigging a motor drive to a mechanism that might get ten minutes work in a month.
It'll also be a lot easier to load and unload if you fabricate a door in the side of the barrel, rather than having to remove it from its mounts, and loading through its lid.
LLoyd
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Never thought of a door. Great idea! With a door, it could be totally horizontal. I could pop the door off, and rotate it until all the material fell off into a hopper. I could position the vanes so that it brought the material to the center.
I have had three shoulder operations, and open heart surgery. I don't want to crank anything I don't have to!
Hence, the lazy man's motorized version.
Steve
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"SteveB" wrote: I want to make a roller for a 55 gallon plastic barrel to mix up potting soil. It doesn't have to be huge, and it won't be turning a lot of weight. ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ The weight will not be centered unless the drum is completely full or completely empty, so may take quite a bit of torque to get it moving.
I have another suggestion: Hang the drum from two V-belts. Drive the V-belts with two small pulleys on a horizontal shaft. That will give you quite a bit of speed reduction. If you drive the shaft with a V-belt from a motor shaft, you can get whatever further reduction you find you need. Total cost should be moderate.
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I weld. I was envisioning making a roller stand, putting the barrel on a 45 degree angle, low to the ground. Having four rollers to support the barrel. Which BTW is a plastic barrel. Soil, fertilizer, and amendments can be placed in the barrel, and the whole thing just rolled until everything mixes. I wouldn't fill up the barrel, because at a 45, it would only be possible to half fill it. I may even make it tip, so that it will empty easily, like a concrete mixer. I would imagine a half filled plastic barrel would weigh 250# tops.
I just wanted to have a mixer so I can put the stuff in there and come back later. Also to toss in used potting mix and remix it. A lot of that is very light, and even has vermiculite in it, which is very light.
I am going to go to all the usual places locally and see if I can get one cheap.
Thanks for all the ideas. Keep them coming.
Steve
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SteveB wrote:

Steve.... Try 1/4 hp motor driving an old rototiller gearbox. Lots of torque and the speed would be about right. Tiller gearboxes are pretty easy to find. HTH. Ken.
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Big powerful ones in old large xerox machines. Like a big law office would have had.
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On Wed, 29 Jun 2005 16:35:18 GMT, "Leo Lichtman"

Someone not long ago posted something similar..a photo IRRC of a rock tumbler set up this way. Seemed like a very handy, simple and effective way to do this.
Gunner
"Pax Americana is a philosophy. Hardly an empire. Making sure other people play nice and dont kill each other (and us) off in job lots is hardly empire building, particularly when you give them self determination under "play nice" rules.
Think of it as having your older brother knock the shit out of you for torturing the cat." Gunner
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hospital bed motor
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You might try www.surpluscenter.com Jim

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Steve
I have a good loking 1 HP 115 VAC single phase motor with an attached gear box that rotates at about 100 RPM. It weighs 55 pounds. I'm near Los Angeles. Is there any interest in this gearmotor?
Jerry
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On Wed, 29 Jun 2005 20:04:39 GMT, "Jerry Martes"

That sounds exactly like what Steve needs.
Gunner
"Pax Americana is a philosophy. Hardly an empire. Making sure other people play nice and dont kill each other (and us) off in job lots is hardly empire building, particularly when you give them self determination under "play nice" rules.
Think of it as having your older brother knock the shit out of you for torturing the cat." Gunner
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Try Herbach and Rademan near Philadelphia. If I recall correctly their web site is http://www.herbach.com If I don't recall correctly use Google to find it.
Dan
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How about the dc motor from a home treadmill? I bet that big belt could somehow support and roll the barrel or at least deliver the finished product. If one of them will move my fat butt it should roll 1/4 ton of soil.
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