This topic has really gotten my creative juices flowing. It would be easy to get two round cylinders (either a couple of large wooden rolling pins or some steel pipe) and get them axle'd so that they'd rotate on a fixed point. Put a handle on one so that it could be manually turned, and leave the other one free-spinning. Doing that on a fixed gap would be easy. I'm thinking some kind of angle-iron frame would be an easy design. And, with a larger angle-iron, it could be cut with a hack-saw or jig saw and bolted together without needing any welding. Drilling would be good enough for the axles - since we're not talking about a very heavily used machine, one would not even need bearings.
But, enhancements would make it more complex.
If you want to have the bottom (or top) roller (the non-handled one) adjustable so that you could adjust the gap (dough thickness), then one would have to put a screw/bolt mounting between the top & bottom rollers. Not terribly difficult, but definitely more complex. Maybe making the frame in two separate parts (upper & lower) and then attaching them via a screw mechanism on both sides so that the gap would be adjustable. Part of the complexity of this would be to mount the nut on one of the frame pieces so that the screw piece would properly attach. This would probably need to be welded to withstand the pressure of rolling thick dough. And, there would need to be one on each side, so that the adjustment could be kept even on both sides. Plus, a spring should be installed (on each side) so that the adjustable roller would not be completely free-floating, tho it might not matter because the dough would spread the rollers out.
But, the hardest thing would be to get the second roller to turn in an opposite direction and at the same rate as the top roller.
- One way would be to put a handle on the other end of the other roller so that they could be manually cranked at the same time.
- Another way would be to attach a pair of motors going in opposite directions and at the same speed, but this would require a more complex mounting frame, multiple electrical cords, and a pair of motors that would have to spin at the same rate (more than just being "rated" at the same speed) - thus increasing the price beyond what I'd want to pay for something that we'd only use twice a month.
- Using interlocking gears to gear one to work off the other would be fine - IF the gap were not adjustable.
- Maybe having the "free-spinning" roller on a bearing would be all that's necessary.
I'll have to sleep on this, think about some 2" angle iron, a couple of wooden rolling pins, a handle, and try to visualize how to adjust the gap. My FIL says he can weld bubblegum to a watermelon, so this may not be too complex of a project. Wish I had seen this yesterday because we were out there today & it'd have been nothing for me to appropriate a couple of pieces of angle iron to use in visualizing this setup. Well, at least it's on my mind now, and I can continue trying to visualize the assembly.