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Thread: Automating bullet sizer?

  1. #1
    Boolit Buddy Cue's Avatar
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    Automating bullet sizer?

    I have a Bullet sizer that I made from a Lee press and although it works great with a bulletfeeder on it, My arm gets tired from pulling the handle so much Actually it sizes on the upstroke so its not as easy as my star sizer is which does it on the pull stroke. I want to automate it and have been looking at electric motors and gearboxes but am not sure how much force is required to size a bullet other than what I can "feel" by pulling the handle. Im not sure I like the air cylinders as they dont seem as smooth running as a geared motor is. It will more than likely be attached directly to the top of the ram, not on the handle.

    here is a short vid of the sizer I made.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VnugW7zMbFs


    I was looking at this gearbox
    https://www.automationdirect.com/adc...wga-30m-030-h1

    And this motor
    https://www.automationdirect.com/adc...mtr2-p33-1ab18

    But the specs on the gearbox say it has 177lb-in of force, which is only about 15 foot pounds? Doesn't seem like that would be enough force?


    Please post up pictures of your homemade sizers if you have any. And any recommendations?

  2. #2
    Boolit Buddy Cue's Avatar
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    Nobody has automated their sizer??

  3. #3
    Cast Boolits Owner



    No_1's Avatar
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    Talk with Hatch from ---> Hatch Automation <---. I believe his is set up uses pneumatics controlled by a PLC.
    "Things always get better once thought, time, and money are applied in the correct amounts at the correct time"
    - No_1 -

    "The only way to deal with an unfree world is to become so absolutely free that your very existence is an act of rebellion."
    - Albert Camus -

  4. #4
    Boolit Buddy Cue's Avatar
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    Thanks, I have, that is for the master caster though and not a sizing machine although some stuff could be adapted. I am more interested in electric geared motor setups.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master
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    I've seen many Stars that were automated, prolly the only unit worth doing it to, as it is smooth, precise and lubes at the same time.

  6. #6
    Boolit Buddy Cue's Avatar
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    I forgot to mention I am not lubing, I use Hitek or Powdercoated bullets so only need it to size. I have a star sizer and my machine I built which is the one I want to automate as it is stronger than the Star is.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master
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    The one i built from "junk"
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AYMW5v0P5SY

    The home made nose down collator:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FKwJpsWs_bw

    When i cast them right, i don't need much force to size when coated in hi-tek. The only times i have had issues was when i cast a bunch and had a dag in the mould that held it slightly open, it made them a few thou larger and it really wasn't happy with me.

  8. #8
    Boolit Buddy Cue's Avatar
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    I saw your video, that is what I want to do. What is the motor and gearbox you used? I did order a air cylinder to play with though as it seems easier, even though Id rather do a geared motor.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master
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    For sizing, i agree, go geared motor, it will not *spring* like an air cylinder will.

    Motor i'm using:

    gearbox:

    Hopefully those links will work....

    28:1 reduction box and a 1350 rpm 3 phase motor so i can control the speed with a VFD

    It did take a fair bit of messing around, but i got there in the end, if i can cobble it together, anyone can.

  10. #10
    Boolit Buddy Cue's Avatar
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    Unfortunately They cant be bought in the US. Finding a gearbox with a motor that mates to it is the difficult part.

  11. #11
    Boolit Buddy dimaprok's Avatar
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    Take a look at your local scrap yard, I found a nice geared motor and picked it up just because I know these things are so expensive and I offered like 5-10 bucks and they took it as it goes to metal scrap otherwise. Now the question is - how much do you shoot that you need automated sizer? The one you made is very slick and speeds up things a lot by not needing to feed each bullet. Regarding air cylinder you can slow down or speed up with a bleeding valve. There is a guy on this forum who made automated sizer using air cylinder. I think there are pros and cons to both methods. With motor it's expensive and might overheat plus you need to fabricate more parts. With Air the cylinders are cheap on eBay but you probably need large tank compressor which can be useful for other things. You would also might need a timed relay. I am working on similar project for punching gas checks and similarly been looking at both options but air cylinder and valve I got was cheap off eBay.

  12. #12
    Boolit Master
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    That brand may be hard to get in the USA, but the ones you listed from automation direct seemed like they should work too. I'd have assumed that all motors and gear boxes these days conform to an ISO standard, so they *should* be fairly easy to match motor and gear box together.

    That is good advise, scrap yards may be a good option. They will only get scrap value, so you could pick one up for next to nothing.

  13. #13
    Boolit Buddy Cue's Avatar
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    Unfortunately there is no such scrapyard around here that I know of that would sell something like that, only automotive junkyards where you have to tell them the exact part you need. The air cylinder arrived today with a valve to slow it down as well as a spring loaded switch, so ill weld something up Thursday and see how it works. Compressor is not an issue. I do have a Electric motor combo I found im working on so may try that as well.
    Its not about needing it for the amount I shoot, I like fabricating stuff and making things so no reason not to automate it

  14. #14
    Boolit Master
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    I'm like that too, i like to tinker, generally the projects i come up with do work eventually, not always the first try, but i get there.

    My automated master caster evolved, it started off one way, then you find the flaws and repair them to make it more reliable, you need to start somewhere and go from there if it doesn't work as well as you had hoped.

  15. #15
    Boolit Buddy dimaprok's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cue View Post
    Unfortunately there is no such scrapyard around here that I know of that would sell something like that, only automotive junkyards where you have to tell them the exact part you need. The air cylinder arrived today with a valve to slow it down as well as a spring loaded switch, so ill weld something up Thursday and see how it works. Compressor is not an issue. I do have a Electric motor combo I found im working on so may try that as well.
    Its not about needing it for the amount I shoot, I like fabricating stuff and making things so no reason not to automate it
    Ahhh that's a very good reason. I am with you 100% on that. You make something and you learn and it's valuable. Next time some project comes around and you're already familiar what needs to be done. My scrap yard is where people and business bring their metal scraps to recycle, I discovered when I was looking for some aluminum plates. Online it would cost many times more and being that we have Boeing nearby I see nice scraps there, like there was a bunch of aluminum blocks and plates. One time I came and found big container full of Cobalt drill bits, the ones made in USA, good stuff, the owner wanted 5 bucks for coffee can full of them. I picked up a bunch that were sharp and looked like haven't been used. now I have a large supply of drill bits, unfortunately they don't wary much in size but it's ok, I do a lot of drilling on the lathe and they help out tremendously. One time I picked up 35lb of HSS cutting tools for $35 from 1" to 3/16" , 90% were ground in to shape already with some intricate shapes. Whoever ground them must have had very nice machine to do it. A lot of them had carbide brazed bits. Another time I found a box of fully carbide milling ends, good USA brand, offered a guy $20 for 11 of them that I picked out without any damage. They are so useful, like 3/8" and 1/2".
    Last edited by dimaprok; 07-17-2019 at 07:27 PM.

  16. #16
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by dimaprok View Post
    Ahhh that's a very good reason. I am with you 100% on that. You make something and you learn and it's valuable. Next time some project comes around and you're already familiar what needs to be done. My scrap yard is where people and business bring their metal scraps to recycle, I discovered when I was looking for some aluminum plates. Online it would cost many times more and being that we have Boeing nearby I see nice scraps there, like there was a bunch of aluminum blocks and plates. One time I came and found big container full of Cobalt drill bits, the ones made in USA, good stuff, the owner wanted 5 bucks for coffee can full of them. I picked up a bunch that were sharp and looked like haven't been used. now I have a large supply of drill bits, unfortunately they don't wary much in size but it's ok, I do a lot of drilling on the lathe and they help out tremendously. One time I picked up 35lb of HSS cutting tools from 1" to 3/16" , 90% were ground in to shape already with some intricate shapes. Whoever ground them must have had very nice machine to do it. A lot of them had carbide brazed bits. Another time I found a box of fully carbide milling ends, good USA brand, offered a guy $20 for 11 of them that I picked out without any damage. They are so useful, like 3/8" and 1/2".
    Wish i got deals like that, you can never have too many drill bits or cutting tools. I scored a bucket full of them for $100 years ago, i felt it was a good deal, just not as good as yours.

  17. #17
    Boolit Buddy Cue's Avatar
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    So I cobbled it together today with the air cylinder and made a short video. All the parts for the air cylinder upgrade are removable in case I want to try the Electric motor below. Seems to work OK, my relay wouldnt go any faster though so I ordered a new one from Amazon so I can speed it up a tiny bit. Need to hook up my bulletfeeder to it as well.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OQLq...ature=youtu.be


    This is the motor I got on Ebay and may give that a try if I get tired of the air.

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/SITI-gear-m...72.m2749.l2649

  18. #18
    Boolit Master
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    Nice job, looks like it works pretty well as is, slow and steady isn't a bad thing. Mine flat out will do about 2,700 per hour, but when something catches, it stops hard and has broken 2 ball joints so far

    Love the green colour of the projectiles, i assume powder coat?

    Looking forward to seeing how you do if you do put a motor on to test it.

  19. #19
    Boolit Buddy Cue's Avatar
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    Yea they are powdercoated 230g .45. Thats one thing with the air Cylinder, if it jams it doesnt seem to break anything as I jammed it up a few times on purpose.

  20. #20
    Boolit Master
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    Sweet, they do look awesome.

    As mine is run with a VFD, it does halt when it detects a current spike from being stalled, but with how i have my feeder, it seems to on occasion, catch either dropping a projectile in the sizing die, or catches when dropping from my feeding tube. Thankfully it is pretty reliable, but it still does happen.

    With your setup, air won't just keep trying to pull it apart.

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check