Want to make a Bicycle Grain Mill

Discussion in 'Back to Basics' started by Motomom34, Jul 30, 2017.

  1. Motomom34

    Motomom34 Monkey+++

    My youngest used my bike for parts but I still have 75% of a bike left. I was talking about buying some corn meal but then thought why not grind my own. I would like to make a grain mill that can be powered with my bicycle. I have seen plans before but those plans had lots of fancy costly parts to them. I would like to make a home-made, from junk grain mill. I am making a list of everyday random easy to find stuff that I could scrounge up to use. Has anyone made a bicycle powered grain mill? Any suggestions on stuff to use? I do not want to spend a lot of money, I mainly want recycled stuff or parts that can be found in a thrift store etc. I know I will need a small wheel and make a stand of sorts.

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  2. hot diggity

    hot diggity Monkey+++ Site Supporter+++

    No idea if this is relevant, as I have no plan in my head at the moment for a grain mill, but the immediate thought that did strike me when considering bicycle power was the addition of a flywheel to smooth the operation. I have an old exercise bike in the barn that has a large enough flywheel to run a drive belt off.

    There is an available source of flywheel material available at most auto and truck garages. Brake rotors, brake drums, and occasionally flywheels get worn beyond repair. This is nice heavy steel, lots of it with matching lug hole patterns that can be bolted together. If nothing else it could be a source of weight to apply pressure to your grind stones. Whenever I've needed something for a project, including 300 pounds of truck brake drums for my pot bellied stove, they were free for the taking.

    As a life long scrounger, I will be curious to see how this works out.
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  3. DKR

    DKR Raconteur of the first stripe

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  4. HK_User

    HK_User A Productive Monkey is a Happy Monkey

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  5. Motomom34

    Motomom34 Monkey+++

    I read a book years ago where the character turned their bicycle into a bike powered grain mill. Yes, the book was fiction but why not is my thought. It seems a stationary bike would be easier to complete this idea but I want to use what I have. The kid and I discussed what to use for a frame. We have an old bed frame and Jr. thinks that may be of use. We do not have a welder so I am doubtful we can use those.
    Ura-Ki likes this.
  6. hot diggity

    hot diggity Monkey+++ Site Supporter+++

    Looks like a car serpentine belt. :) Something else that's available for the asking from most garages. The ones that they're replacing are still serviceable for the lower demands of grain mill use.
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  7. Motomom34

    Motomom34 Monkey+++

    This guy totally took apart his bike and if I went this route I would eliminate the need for a frame. Sitting on a bike pedaling would call for a sturdy frame. This one uses a chair-
    Pedal Powered Grain Mill - Sourdough
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  8. Merkun

    Merkun furious dreamer

    Welding is elegant, but bolting works well if you have a drill motor and bits.
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  9. HK_User

    HK_User A Productive Monkey is a Happy Monkey

    If you can find the most desirable (for your need) and the lest desirable for an exercise bike you will have all the weight and frame you need. This would be one of the older Leg only types. Seat and all with plenty of attachment points you need.

    Do not look at Airdynes, too costly used and not a fly wheel type.

    Do look for a peddle unit where the "tire is flat" this so you can use it as a drive surface.
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  10. oil pan 4

    oil pan 4 Monkey+++

    Looks like replacing the hand crank on the grinder with a bike chain drive gear may require welding.
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  11. Two observations. (1) If I built this, the mill would be mounted higher, saves backaches. (2) Look into a different type of seat. Sitting on a bike seat can cause prostate problems for guys.
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  12. Bishop

    Bishop Monkey+++

    She lost here bike

    download (5).
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  13. Seawolf1090

    Seawolf1090 Retired Curmudgeonly IT Monkey Founding Member

    A couple years ago, while clearing junk from my late Father's property, we put his old exercise bike on the roadside. Someone took it. Maybe I shoulda kept it, for this type project?
    Anyhoo, check the neighborhood roadsides. Someone else may be clearing junk out.
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  14. Ura-Ki

    Ura-Ki Grampa Monkey

    There are a ton of ideas for making different means of processing grains.

    I will check the local grange halls and suppliers to see if I can find you some rotary stones used that may be perfect for your needs, used stones can usually be had for almost nothing. I can surface them for you and go from there!.
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  15. HK_User

    HK_User A Productive Monkey is a Happy Monkey

    Buy a spare shaft for the mill, convert the spare shaft to use a Love-Joy coupling. Mount 1/2 Love-Joy on the mill shaft, mount the other half on the bike output. Make a angle iron bracket to mount the Mill on the bike frame.

    Easy on Easy Off.

    I made a set up for my lathe out put in this manner.

    Be aware, check your grain in the same way you check your beans for rocks.

    First time I had a rock with the Lath it cracked a Grinding Disk.
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  16. oil pan 4

    oil pan 4 Monkey+++

    You can easily spend $50 to $70 on love joy couplers, they are normally used on keyed shafts.
    Then to add and support a separate shaft and coupling it will require pillow blocks, 2 pillow bocks that size will cost at least $20 to $30 for cheap ones.
    Having a shafts machined will cost at least $20.
    Probably should just have it welded on there.
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  17. HK_User

    HK_User A Productive Monkey is a Happy Monkey

    "You can easily spend $50 to $70 on love joy couplers"
    New maybe, a quick Ebay search says $5 or less,
    LOVE JOY L075 5/8 NSMD | eBay

    Pillow blocks?
    If you really want to use a chain drive then make your pillow blocks from oak, just set up loose and use plenty of grease. Free for the making with an Oak Pallet.

    No need to use pillow blocks if you use, love-joys, they are self aligning (within reason) and the slow speed of the mill precludes any need as long as the mount for the Mill is solid and aligned with the out put of the shaft. Key way milling is dirt simple and can be done by hand.
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2017
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  18. Motomom34

    Motomom34 Monkey+++

    I am going to have to go research this LoveJoy coupling. I see they are available at Grainger but we want this as simple as possible. Basically pretending SHTF and we need to grind corn. The kid is already having issue with this project.
    Ura-Ki likes this.
  19. HK_User

    HK_User A Productive Monkey is a Happy Monkey

    Love joy couplings can be found used in a lot of place, junkyards, machine shops etc.

    "The kid is already having issue with this project."
    No doubt he is finding there are more ways to do this project, the first question might be, What type mill do you have?

    After all that is the starting point and what you have to consider first. Chains and sprockets come in when you modify a bike.
    Other options come into play when you start with a good foundation of an exercise bike.

    This is the style mill I use, as you can see the bottom mount with a simple screw clamp allows a lot of options. I would always purchase an extra shaft to modify and keep the original configuration so I have the original set up should I need to leave the heavy stuff behind.

    Remember, if you have a way to rotate a shaft ( with the use of the exercise bike),then you have the start of a lath. Add a file and you can turn metal. Turn a shaft and then use the same file's edge to cut a Key way in a simple back and forth motion. This is the way (simple hand tools) machinist were taught before they were turned loose on expensive equipment. And the way I learned, acetylene torch welding works and is simple and does not need the power grid, etc.
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2017
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  20. Motomom34

    Motomom34 Monkey+++

    I have one just like the picture above. You were correct in how do we build this. He keeps walking into the garage then looks at different designs. We talked about connecting to the frame or making one that you can sit in a chair. That caused another trip into the garage.
    Ura-Ki likes this.
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