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Conveyor Roller

gadgetmanken's Avatargold

I am in need of a manufacturer that makes custom size conveyor rollers, also known as gravity rollers. I made a prototype of my device with the roller out of wood, pvc pipe and spray on plastic coat to make it grip better. The bearings are from roller skates. It works better than expected. The problem is I need it made out of steel.  I’ve sent e-mails to several companies and they will not respond, probably because I don’t have a business.  I want to make a dozen or so samples before I try to submit to companies that will actually use the final product.  The dimentions are 2 1/4” diameter with rubber/non slip coating, by 3 1/4” long. This is for a portable device, where the final goal is to have the device permanently installed on their product, which could be hundreds of thousands yearly! I haven’t been able to find a company that makes them that size.  Can anyone give me some leads, or advice? I don’t know why I didn’t think of asking for help here!

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gadgetmanken's Avatargold

My third prototype, with the wood roller works the best. and it weighs only one pound. I do want to keep it in that range if possible.

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keeztan's Avatargold

Not knowing the end use...what about using wheels sandwiched together...

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keeztan's Avatargold

You may also try "Machine Skate Rollers" 

http://www.omni.com/products/rollers/literature...
https://www.hevihaul.com/machinery-skates/skate...
http://buyhilmanrollers.com/hilman-dollies-skates/

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williamj's Avatargold

Ken, you might also try McMaster Carr. Get one roller with extra bearings and cut it to size.

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speedbump's Avatar

You might check out Ultimation's web site and look at their conveyor or skate wheel section.. The website is ultimationinc dot com. 

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gadgetmanken's Avatargold

Mark, the yellow roller is  near what I am needing, but not wide enough. I did try multiple wheels, but gave undesirable results leading to, the item going various directions at will. Not steerable very well.  The poly urethane wheel is much more expensive than a regular metal roller. I just need a rubberized type coating to prevent side ways slip or sliding.

WilliamJ,, I looked at MacMaster Carr online and their prices are outrageous. But Your suggestion of cutting one down and buying extra bearings isn’t a bad idea. However I did not see where any bearings for them were offered.  I will keep looking. 

I looked at all the links and could not find the diameter, and or short lengths I need. It doesn’t need to be heavy duty, as it will only be around 100 pounds or less of weight needing moved. At possible hundreds of thousand units per year I wound want to make it and sell each unit under $20 and therefore be inexpensive parts wise.

Thanks for the suggestion guys as I will keep on looking.

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williamj's Avatargold

Ken, I've replaced a lot of roller bearings. They have never been marked bearing replacement for such and such roller. You need to get the number from the bearing in the roller and then just order that specific bearing.

Good luck with your project.

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kevin_johnson's Avatar

Look for an industrial steel/metal supplier in your area.  Visit them and ask to look at the (hopefully) seamless tubing that they carry in stock. Seamless tubing will make it easier to install roller bearings.  I normally purchase steel tubing in 20 foot lengths because it is far less expensive to do so versus buying pre-cut lengths at hardware suppliy stores.  Normally a steel supplier will have equipment on-site to cut the tubing into rough lengths.

Purchase a vernier caliper (they are very inexpensive now at sources like Harbor Freight or Northern Tool) and directly measure the inner diameter.  Record that ID and begin your search for a suitable roller bearing.  Besides the ones mentioned, MSC Industrial Supply is a convenient source as is WR Grainger.

You will want a slight interference fit for your bearings.

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