roll your own rollers

Hi all, and a big thanks for the Hohner and other help from some people on this list.

Being unable to come up with legit Hohner cores for our ‘new’ press, I ventured to make 4 experimental rollers. That’s 2 cores and trucks from scratch from easily available hardware, plus 2 existing odd sized rubber rollers that were cut down and sleeved over. The trucks are HDD poly, (same as a butchers cutting board) cut round with an 1”1/4 holesaw. The polyurethane is Reoflex 20. The made up cores are based on 1/4” threaded rod hardware that holds the trucks in tension. The molds were 1”1/4 ABS plumbing pipe. I attempted to use ordinary spray silicone as a release, and this doesn’t work at such a narrow radius. A better release or a different molding system is required if you attempt this.

So what’s it all mean? If you have cores you should stay with them and have the pros reface them. However, if you have a strange press that you cannot find cores or trucks for, this could be an option.

Requirements? A drill press for sure, bits and drills, vice grips, grinder, hacksaw, chop saw, bench vice, knife, round and flat files.

Everything seems to work like it is supposed too; but these rollers need to work for a while before their value can be assessed.

I have posted a couple of the experimental roller pictures on flicker :

best luck,

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I applaude your “If you can’t find it, make it” attitude and wish you luck.

Bravo on the applied ingenuity…

J. K. as previous posts are saying, brilliant thinking without plans or measurements,Top Hole Sir. Seemingly silly follow up, which might possibly advance the system, some time ago, a mate also experimented making obsolete rollers and/or recovering them, basically the same way but with little variations and a little engineering help, I think a certain amount of barter took place? in that case as the roller carriage incorporated standard size imperial bores, he acquired standard size rod material (ex hardware as you imply) then with the aforementioned drill press, or pillar drill, drilled exact size hole to match the shafting, then with his hand held power drill mounted in a simple holder, (like turning the hand held drill, into a simple lathe for wood turning, as many D.I.Y.ers are doing already), inserted a bolt and nut, with part plain shank into his precut slightly oversize truck, and literally spun (turned) it down to his finished size, exactly as in wood turning or clock makers via hand held and treadle lathes. Unfortunately in that case, the barter bit came in by having the benefit of an engineered tube, split lengthways and hinged, which after the moulding purely opened up and dropped the roller(s) out, it invariably left 2 minute whiskers lengthways which were easily removed with a scalpel. If it should be that threaded ends, are a must for your wing nuts, tapping threads onto the ends of the shafting should present no problem, in view of what you have done in your posted picture already, Could it be worth investigating if such (comparitevely) small engineering expenditure, might pay dividends, if you were to corner the market,??? you probably wouldnt upset the regular re-manufacturers with your niche application. >>>>>>>>>>> >>>>>>>>>Good Luck, and keep the “thinking outside the box” going, your brand are not too thick on the ground, unfortunately for retro letterpress.

Thanks all for the encouragement everyone! There is quite a World family here.

Mono Mick, that’s a great working concept for a mold I’ll try to duplicate.

I’m playing with some lathe devises at the moment. Here’s a slow and interesting one made from a hospital bed motor. I used it to trim rubber and steel on the ‘found’ rubber rollers in this project:

best luck,