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Case Trimmer

2042 Views 4 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  El Chorizo
Currently I have the RCBS Trim Pro, with the motor attachment. It's a great trimmer especially with the 3-way cutter head.

However, it cuts to slowly! So I removed the factory motor and I am just using a power drill to up the RPM's slightly. It cuts much faster now!

I think RCBS should think about upping the speed a bit from 175 RPM's to around 500 - 1000, maybe even have a variable speed on it.

Anyway... back to the subject at hand.

I'm looking at in stalling my own after market motor, and just run the cutter off of the motor via direct drive. I'm just not sure where to begin to look for what type of electric motor I should use. It would need enough power to trim the case obviously, but I would also probably have to turn down the RPM's a bit via a speed control.

Has anybody done this sorta thing before? I've seen some other trimmers like the Gracey and the Gerard (spelling issues there), but they all have such huge motors, I would think there would be something smaller, more the size of a drill motor. Perhaps I could just strip down and old drill or something.
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You have hit the nail on the head so to speak, with the problem that 99% of motorized trimmers are plagued with. They simply don't turn the cutting head fast enough. The reason is they try to use too small of a motor to begin with, that simply doesn't produce enough torque. So they reduce RPM to increase torque. The end result is a trimmer that will have you receiving Social Security payments before you get any volume of brass trimmed. Not to mention the huge burr they will leave on both the inside and outside of the case mouth, requiring yet another operation to remove. I delt with this for years with my old Lyman "Crank-O-Matic", before I finally got fed up and purchased a Giraud Powered Case Trimmer.

They aren't cheap, but nothing comes close to matching it in speed or precision. If you compare the cost of the Lyman or RCBS powered models, the Giraud isn't bad at all. Especially when you take into account it chamfers both the outside, as well as the inside of the case mouth at the same time it trims to length with a + - .002 length tolerance. I trimmed 2,350 .223 cases in under 3 hours, start to finish. Even the Dillon model cannot match it. Case trimming is the biggest PITA in reloading. Yet it is a very necessary step. With the Giraud it makes it effortless. It is one of those tools you hate like hell to spend the money on, but once you do you'll be glad you did. Bill T.
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Thanks for the reply! I have seen those trimmers and the do look really fast!

I do use the 3-way cutter so that helps save time. I may look at that Giraud unit at some point in the future!
You should be able to replace the motor on your RCBS.
I built up a motorized trimmer from the ground up using a Forester. I'm thinking about trying to patent it. It really wasn't that difficult to do. I did it all using just the usual hand tools and a drill press.
I ordered an AC motor from a company called Surplus Center (a good source for things like that ). I got a 250 rpm motor and I'm glad that I didn't go any slower. It's only a 1/40th hp motor but it doesn't seem to bog down. You should be able to find motors online with a little bit of searching also. I wouldn't get to carried away with the speed though. I would say about six hundred rpm max. You may have to do a little work to get it mounted to the RCBS mount, but it shouldn't be that much of a problem. I used a chunk of plastic hose with a couple of small hose clamps to join the two shafts. It worked well but I think I'm going to switch to rubber hose to give me a little more cushion and flexibility to allow for what little misalignment there is right now. Remember to get a motor that has the right rotation (CCW or CW) for the cutter you have. Or just get one that can be reversed like I did. I think the AC motor rather than a DC motor would give the least amount of hassle for wiring and controls. I used a foot pedal for an on off switch. You just plug the foot switch in to the outlet and then plug the trimmer into the foot switch and your up and running assuming you wired the motor correctly.
Just make sure to keep the cutter shaft lubed with a light weight grease. Hope this helps!
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Thanks for the tip! I've just been using a cordless drill on the shaft right now and that works well. I do like the idea of some kind of foot switch. Then, if I could get the drill/shaft on some kind of hidrolick to "push it into" the case to trim it, I could really trim cases quite case with it!
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