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Thread: Pneumatic Sizer

  1. #1

    Pneumatic Sizer

    Long time reader first time poster i have been inspired by Hatch's pneumatic controls to build a Pneumatic sizer powered by a plc controller. I 1st had a semi automatic machine i built off of a lee press with a bullet shuttle that was still manually operated from the stroke of the handle that dropped the bullet into the die for me on the upstroke. via my mr bullet feeder i converted to drop nose 1st but im getting lazy and really didnt like pulling the handle 1000+ times every time i ran a batch. So i built this pneumatic powered plc controlled bullet sizer. here is the 1st version before i decided to upgrade the cylinder due to not having enough force to size the bullet on the 1st pass. Currently im using a drum function in the plc to run the machine until i figure out how to program and add some smarts to the machine like position and i plan on adding an optical counter to it to not only count but to also know wether a bullet actually dropped or not and rerun the ram without feeding a new bullet. ill post a video tonight of the machine in action and some updated photos aswell. Im also currently working on automating a ballisticast mark X aswell off of the plc using pneumatics.
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  2. #2
    Boolit Buddy fralic76's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by perminator View Post
    Long time reader first time poster i have been inspired by Hatch's pneumatic controls to build a Pneumatic sizer powered by a plc controller. I 1st had a semi automatic machine i built off of a lee press with a bullet shuttle that was still manually operated from the stroke of the handle that dropped the bullet into the die for me on the upstroke. via my mr bullet feeder i converted to drop nose 1st but im getting lazy and really didnt like pulling the handle 1000+ times every time i ran a batch. So i built this pneumatic powered plc controlled bullet sizer. here is the 1st version before i decided to upgrade the cylinder due to not having enough force to size the bullet on the 1st pass. Currently im using a drum function in the plc to run the machine until i figure out how to program and add some smarts to the machine like position and i plan on adding an optical counter to it to not only count but to also know wether a bullet actually dropped or not and rerun the ram without feeding a new bullet. ill post a video tonight of the machine in action and some updated photos aswell. Im also currently working on automating a ballisticast mark X aswell off of the plc using pneumatics.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    What is the size of the pneumatic ram and what psi are you using. I have been think about doing something similar to what you have done.

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  3. #3
    The cylinder for the ram is a 2" bore using 3/8 hose running at 120 psi. I initially had a 1 1/2 bore cylinder on it and it wasnt quite enough after moving to the 2" ifound the 1/4" lines or the valves didnt have enough flow to operate the ram quick enough. For some reason i cant get photobucket to show my video but here are are some updated pics of the sizer.
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  4. #4
    Cast Boolits Owner

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    If I may suggest, post your video to YouTube then link it here.
    "Things always get better once thought, time, and money are applied in the correct amounts at the correct time"
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  5. #5
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    HATCH's Avatar
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    I think having all the features you mentioned is nice but on the sizer it might be over kill.

    The Star Sizers that have been automated using pneumatic cylinders can be controlled using a simple repeating timer set to a 1 second cycle and a 5 way air valve (think thats the right term for it)

    would love to see your video though...

  6. #6
    Boolit Master Traffer's Avatar
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    Welcome, To Castboolits. I hope you are able to contribute a lot as well as glean for some of the very capable folks here. Love to see more innovation and effective operations. Food for inspiration at the very least.
    AKA hans.pcguy

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by No_1 View Post
    If I may suggest, post your video to YouTube then link it here.
    Great idea all the ads and popups on photobucket were about to drive me insane! The bullet shuttle is flopping because my adapter for my mr bullet feeder is not attached it doubles as a guide. Hatch your right it probably is overkill but all in the fun of tinkering and building stuff!

  8. #8
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    Handloader109's Avatar
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    I kick myself every time someone posts using industrial controls and pneumatic cylinders for some like this. Past company scrapped a bunch of machines that could easily have been altered for this type operation.... There is a company that made (I expect still do) controllers that were air only. Timers and everything. No electronics needed. Just air. Oh well.... Looks good, I'd love to do one myself just to do it.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master Traffer's Avatar
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    All of the old instrumentation and control systems in factories were pneumatic. I wonder how much of that stuff is still around. The old ships all had it too. A guy who knew what he was doing could set up practically any operation with that stuff.
    AKA hans.pcguy

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Traffer View Post
    All of the old instrumentation and control systems in factories were pneumatic. I wonder how much of that stuff is still around. The old ships all had it too. A guy who knew what he was doing could set up practically any operation with that stuff.
    As a guy who always tried to use servos or motors I have come to the realization that you can do almost anything with pneumatics

  11. #11
    Boolit Master
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    Nice setup, i agree that a PLC is an over kill, but it does allow you to program some smarts into it if you desire, it also makes you learn how to do more stuff

  12. #12
    Boolit Master
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    It could be done with switches and relays, no timers needed.

    I just finished up my automated sizing machine. There are two videos, since the bullets started to hang up as the shuttle was not pausing long enough. I added some delay to the shuttle and did the second video.


    https://youtu.be/ToStaWtSZQ0
    https://youtu.be/1k9M_oyKS8Q


    Pulling the handle on an upside down lee press really sucks, with fat boolits. The skinny boolits, or thin powder, were quick and easy.

  13. #13
    Boolit Master Traffer's Avatar
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    I love to see the machines that people make. Excellent work here. I wish I had the ability to make that kind of stuff. I would like to plant a seed with you here. With what you have already made, it would not be much of a stretch for you to make a lead bullet (no jacket) swaging machine. I was forced to learn to swage bullets for 22lr because the hollow, rebated bases make it much too hard to cast the little devils. As I developed dies for swaging them I have found that one squeeze on a press with the dies dialed in makes very fine swaged bullets. It does take more pressure than a sizing machine but it is within reason and doable. Then you could make hollow based bullets or hollow point, or both within very fine tolerances ... all in a one squeeze operation. (just a thought). Here is a pic of 22lr swaged bullets. You can see why I can't cast them like this. (the round on the bottom is a factory round)
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    AKA hans.pcguy

  14. #14
    Boolit Master
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    Great setup there. I too love seeing all the different ways people think of to do the same job using parts they may have on hand.

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BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
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