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Anyone have a Seattle Findings rolling mill?

Does anyone have the rolling mill from Seattle Findings? I’m considering it. Obviously if I had the money for a Durston I’d go with that, no question, but it will likely be years before I can swing that. For $330, if this bargain model will last me maybe 5 years, I figure it’ll be worth the investment as a bridge until I can afford a Durston. (And it’ll let me make sure I’ll use a mill enough for investing in a Durston to really make sense for me.) But if it’s junk that’s going to fail me in six months, not so much. I’d love to hear people’s experiences with these.

That’s a basic made-in-India rolling mill. Contenti.com has similar / identical mills with better shielding over the gears and much lower priced versions.

I had one, gave it away when I bought a Durston Agile. Agiles are not all that more expensive and you cannot compare the quality!

The shielding on better India models such as the Contenti is worthwhile. I remember putting my hand down on the mill to get better cranking power with my other hand and almost grinding my palm in the gears.

The mill I had came with several patterned rollers. They were rusty, could not imprint a usable pattern. Otto Frei has what looks like the same mill at a higher price than Contenti, and they sell a number of patterned rollers that look clean. I seriously doubt Otto Frei would sell rusted ones, and if one slipped by I’m sure they would make good on it.

My old India mill had a 3:1 cranking ratio, which is o.k. for some things, not so good for roller texturing especially if one is …um… a senior citizen or approaching that state (or wanting to), and pushing myself too hard with it once produced a really really ugly feeling in my head.

Hope this helps.

Neil A

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Thinking about it, and your mentioning not wanting it to fail in 6 months, I got mine at Harbor Freight, it came with one of the top gears cracked and unusable, and it took forever (6-9 months anyway) to get a replacement.

Neil A

With that rolling mill, don’t use it much. I had one that I was being stubborn and trying to tough it out. Stubborn turned into three shoulder surgeries to fix what my stubborness and that rolling mill created. It also wont be good to roller print using steel pattern plates. its not tough enough to reliably last long doing that task.

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A good rolling mill is the one tool I would max a credit card to buy if I didn’t have a good one. I have a Durston Mill as well as an Economy Blue Mill. The Blue Mill is in pieces that I need to get new gears for. But I will likely just buy a second Durston Mill instead. I think there a somethings you just have to decide to buy, buy the best you can, and tough out things for awhile with other purchases.

Don

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Well, at this point to put anything more than the $330 range toward it I’d have to choose between the mill and meals, so. That’s why I’m even considering this.

Thanks everyone, you’ve given me more to think about.

hi,

the contenti one neil mentions looks nice

i like that the website gives important product details like 76mm roller length, 4:1 gear ratio, covered gears per OSHA, etc…

(my mill is 120mm, with 60mm flat, and 60mm square wire…on one roller…so the widest flat strip can be is around 2-1/4”…wish it was a bit wider, but not a problem)

i see that it is geared 4:1, so can we assume that it will be easy to turn? Durston has some small lower- priced un-geared models…i cannot imagine why…

and i saw that they sell replacement rollers, and additional rollers, including a half round which is nice…perhaps more useful than textured rollers…you do more creative texture than those.

changing rollers could be a slight bummer, but maybe not…i watched thd seattle findings video on changing rollers and it looked pretty straight forward…i wonder if it is hard to align the rollers…

i follow you on instagram and see your work often…you are very prolific! so it might also be a big benefit for you to make the size sheet and wire you need, when you need it

i think you might save alot of money by melting your scrap and making sheet and wire

(i have no personal experience with this brand of rolling mill)

julie

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Hi,
Check out Pepe rolling mills. I don’t have one but have heard lots of satisfied owners on various lists.
Cheers,
Karen

this pepe looks nice

twice as much as economy
half as much as durston

julie

hmmm…stop the bus…

one thing about the contenti economy mill…it says max thickness is 2.5mm

…does that seem a bit thin…?

…i know for my combination molds, the biggest rod (easiest to pour) is 7mm diameter and the ingot is about 4mm thick…for my open mold, the strip can be up to around 7mm thick

the 130mm pepe says max opening is 5mm

the 140mm durston says max sheet 6mm/ max wire 8mm

(now i am in your rabbit hole! haha)

julie

Julie,

Realistically how thick do you need. I really don’t know what my mill will have as a maximum thickness. I make an ingot, hand forge it to fit and go from there. It would be nice to have the thicker wiggle room I am sure but don’t miss out on “Really Good!” because you can’t get a hold of “Perfect” just yet. And just because you can open the rollers to 8mm doesn’t mean you ever will want to. Trying to roll a wide sheet isn’t as easy as you would like.

Don

I started with that mill and still use the decorative rolls that came with it. I also took the solid top roll to a machine shop and had a series of V grooves cut into it so that I could roll triangular wire. Yes the maximum size is small, so you just forge your ingots out a bit more. Take your time with it, take little bites and anneal often and you are off and rolling. I bought my Durston maybe five years ago because on of the keyways in the economy mill cracked. It still worked, but I used that to justify the Durston. A mill is one of a few tools that I would buy on credit if it had to be replaced. Good luck…Rob

Hi Don,

i think the economy mills, if geared, look good, and are a good value.

i was just mentioning that the contenti spec says max thickness of 2.5mm…in case that might affect a purchase decision…it probably can accomodate more…?…it just caught me off guard and so i dived a little deeper…

i have never used one, so i was curious…

i thought it might be important to know…

when i roll out ingots and rods, made in closed or open molds, they usually start out around 4-7mm thick, and even after forging, they are still thicker than 2.5mm…

i was “assuming”that all rollers open much wider than that, and that the “max” is the max recommended starting thickness…

i was curious and looked up pepe and durston max thickness specs just as a reference for what the major brand specs were for this.

i do not know how the mill performance would be affected over time, if used starting with much thicker ingots…

although, if forging down around 50%, that would get you to around that 2.5mm anyway, so no issue i guess

just thinking out loud

i have a cavallin
i got it used for $500 from a retiring jeweler friend
15 years ago or so

i would be hard pressed to buy a new one today

julie

I am really liking the roller options on that. I honestly have no desire to draw my own wire, but I could have some fun with texture rollers and roller printing with paper, fabric, etc.

I’m laughing at “prolific”. The word more often used here is “obsessive”. I’m actually being monitored by the friend I live with and being required to show her that I’m doing non-work stuff a day or two per week so I don’t burn out. I’m very lucky to have her because she’s absolutely right.

hi,

a good option to have…

…wire making can come in handy…you can roll thick(er) square wire…and/ or roll it down to rectangle wire…and then there is the half round option roller …

…for ring shanks…

…heavy bezels…

(heavy gauges can get pricey…)

or if you run out of 19g round wire at midnight, roll down some square wire, and pull it thru a few holes in the drawplate and presto bingo!

i can picture you roller texturing and enameling…dry leaves…cat fur…

ps, love the enameled links, and 3D !

julie

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Greetings Julie,

I would buy another Economy Mill if one came up for sale and I was, at that moment, so inclined. The one I have in pieces was working fine for 20 years and I believe I broke the gears by trying to to roll ingots greater than the max. I have said before that I think they are rather elegant in their simplicity and for the most part very well made. There was a time a few years ago when Harbor Freight hade them for under $100.00 and I have kicked myself a few times for not buying one.

Don Meixner

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Okay ring shanks, yeah, that I might use. And being able to pick up a roller for it for $40 puts it easily in range.

I think I might be getting talked into the Contenti one. Now I just have to save up.

So a non-smithing friend asked me a question I was unable to answer, and it’s a good one. Is it really that simple, to melt down and roll out my own sheet? Is the sheet I make myself going to be comparable in quality to the sheet I buy? I think it should be, assuming I make sure my scrap is properly sorted and cleaned, but maybe I don’t know what I don’t know?

That is not something I care to do, but I needed 10 ga. Argentium and Rio didn’t have that, so I melted & rolled my own.

It came out. Amoeba-shaped, but I needed only a section of that. It worked for that project. The rest is scrap.

Again, not what I care to do, so I wouldn’t even dream of making my own 20-24 ga. sheet. Not saying that it can’t be done - I have no idea. Or if it is worth the trouble. 14 or possibly 16 gauge would be my limit if I needed it same day.

If cost is a factor - fabrication cost in addition to metal cost, plus shipping - or if you like the idea of doing it all your own, that may be different.

Others here do this kind of thing regularly so see if what they say fits with what you want to tackle, and hopefully they will say the thinnest gauge they roll.

Neil A
.

hi,

back in the day, i was stamping out my own discs…

the precut ones were always too/ half hard…

(from the resource that i determined to have the best metal (for my needs) l with the least amount of subsurface pits, oxides, and porosity (my non-technical names) but i digress…)

or, too hard even if i special ordered as dead soft…and i did not wanna have to anneal, and risk fire scale/ stain

and, much more expensive even when i costed my discs out including the scrap…

(although half hard is much easier to get a mirror polish!, but alas i needed dead soft…)

(plus every now and again, i liked whacking out discs with a 2lb sledge…and melting scrap metal and making ingots and rods, and whacking them with a forging hammer on my anvil…solid blows on the anvil feel so good!…sometimes my mind likes to meditate on repetitive physical activities! that involve whacking things😂)

…i studied the scrap reimbursement, versus the price paid for the fabricated sheet, versus the precut disc price, and considering i already costed the full sheet price into my discs, for some reason i tell myself “look at all these pretty rods! free metal”!”:hugs:

…i realize time is money…but if i have the time, i love to melt and whack metal🤣 makes me feel productive when i am not feeling creative😁…

just my musings…

julie

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