Cavallin rolling mill user guides


I recently purchased a floor model Cavallin Rolling Mill. I was told
there would be internet info – I haven’t found ANYTHING. (Oodles for
Durnston…) The website for Cavallin doesn’t seem to exist
anymore…the site is ‘up for sale’.

My vendor hasn’t gotten back to me yet…

Does anyone have any leads…I fear my beginner’s excitement
clouded my judgement! Gulp.

Audrey Morgan

I have heard Cavallin is out of business though there is still much
new stock around. Which floor model do you have? I’m currently in
progress of moving my business, but I know the manual for my Fili
150 was packed so eventually it will show up such that I can scan it.
You are welcome to ask specific question on Orchid and you will get
good answers. You can search the archive as well. The Cavallin manual
is not very detailed in any case.

Dan Culver

Does anyone have any leads.....I fear my beginner's excitement
clouded my judgement! Gulp. 

Just what did you need instructions for? Rolling mills are pretty
basic tools. Instructions for one generally fit the others too. The
same basic applies to all of them, with the only
differences being in specific capacities. The Cavalins are similar
in that, to the similar sized Durstons, except that Durston is a
thriving current business, while Cavalin is now out of business, as
you’ve found.

Keep the rolls clean, don’t roll stuff through it that is harder
than the steel which could mar it, including steel itself. Try to
roll only the metal, not your fingers or other tools… When rolling
wire, turn the wire 90 degrees at each pass, to keep the little flat
surface at each corner, in order to prevent flanges for forming…
what else do you need to know? Technique in annealing and rolling
metal is generic, suited to all rolling mills, not different for any
specific brand over others

Even the power mills are pretty simple and intuitive to operate.
Make sure oil reservoirs, if there, are kept at the right level.
Other than that… Don’t be timid. “This isn’t rocket science.”
(unless you bought a mill with a 3 phase motor, and find you’ve only
got single phase power available. As I did… That made getting the
mill up and running a bit more complex. But the cheap price I paid
for the mill made it still well worth it)


Dear Dan:

…thanks so much!

I have a Cavallin LFR120 London (not sure what the London
means…but this is what the box said…) When I ‘google’ LFR120,
sure enough, the image of the mill I have pops up…but not a lot of
info…I’m thinking ‘what the heck’, I’ll forge ahead (nyuk, nyuk)
and, following the Durnston info, attempt to balance my rollers.
Generous assistance from you and others is giving me courage.

I appreciate it, but don’t jump through hoops of fire for the
manual…and certainly if it is ‘not very detailed’.

cheers, and thanks,

Hi Peter:

thanks SO much…all splendid advice…and I’m following it to the
letter. I’m getting a ‘speed wobble’…a waviness…and I’m
positive that my rollers are not balanced. (my husband laughs really
hard at this…). I’ve done the ‘paper test’ suggested by Rio
Grande (thanks Phillip!) and detect a grab on the right end of the
rollers…space (no grab) on the left end (as I face the roller with
the crank handle to my right.)

My favorite piece of advice is "don’t be timid’. I’m going to
following the Durnston info and balance these puppies.

Incredible support from you and other Orchid members is giving me


After waiting 19 years, my father bought me a Cavallin rolling mill
as a gift, a 120mm combo, made in Romania, which I picked out from
Otto Frei. Barely a year later, a student, which she had no strength,
severe arthritis in her hands, managed to break my rolling milling by
trying to roll a piece of copper with a crease in it. After 2 years
of trying to get it fixed, and after a personal letter to president
of Otto Frei, I finally got the entire gear/handle replaced. It was
an extraordinary frustrating situation, and a very expensive gift,
and alas, I’m so afraid of having anything happen to it, that I don’t
use it. I should, but I don’t. I even thought about having it
motorized, but the gearshaft is a good $1100 alone, parts included,
so I gave up on that.

Instead, I bought a cheap but huge double roller mill made in India
from Contenti. Handle is backward, so I get a really good rowing
machine exercise just in using it and have shoulders worthy of a
linebacker. It does have one good thing - the grooved rollers go
from really large - 1/4" all the way down to 21g, which I have never
found any other rolling mill that goes that small. I can’t tell you
how much I appreciate that tiny detail, for I mill and draw 90% of
all of my silver and gold wire.

I find my personal favorite rolling mill is the Durston double roller
mill at Metalwerx School of Jewelrymaking, in MA. I just love that
baby, and use it as much as I can. The gear ratio is perfect, and
rolling is no sweat - just a sweet little mill.

I was using an antique rolling mill from the 1880’s for a long time
at a college I was teaching at. I wonder if that mill is still
there. The handle had to be fixed several times.


my father bought me a Cavallin rolling mill as a gift, a 120mm
combo, made in Romania, 

Really? I’d thought the Cavallins were made in Italy…


my father bought me a Cavallin rolling mill as a gift, a 120mm
combo, made in Romania,

Really? I'd thought the Cavallins were made in Italy... 

The Cavallin mills were made in Italy, I seem to recall at one point
that Frei did offer a Romanian mill that was a lower cost copy of
the Cavallin

James Binnion
James Binnion Metal Arts

The Cavallin mills were made in Italy, I seem to recall at one
point that Frei did offer a Romanian mill that was a lower cost
copy of the Cavallin 

Then that would nicely explain why she had a problem with the mill
breaking (something that’s hard to do, and unusual, with the actual
italian made Cavallins) It reminds me of when the Pepe rolling mills
first came out. Rio jumped right in and carried them right away.
Then a year or two later, they disappeared from Rio’s line. turns out
those first ones were beautiful to look at, very precisely machined,
and all, but not well engineered. As with so many of the early (and
even now, sometimes) Pepe tools, they’re made by expert machinists
(Ex Russian fighter/aircraft manufacturers, I think, though I don’t
know…) who don’t actually know what the tools are supposed to do.
So they get perfect surface finishes, but get hardened wrong, so
things end up too hard, brittle and breakable, or not strong enough
in some key part. As I recall, the frames were made much like the
cheap Indian mills, with a top bar bolted to the sides, rather than
the single castings of the Cavallins or Durstons or Dinkels. If
those top bolts are run of the mill, rather than higher spec and
stronger versions, put too much of a load on the rolls, and the whole
top just snaps off… A number of years later, the Pepe rolling mills
made a reappearance, and as far as I know, those engineering issues
have been mostly addressed, and they’re now acceptable mills, or so
I’m told. But I’ll bet the Romanian copy of a Cavallin had the same
sort of errors in engineering. Not so perfect a copy… Frankly, I’m
a little surprised Otto Frei would get caught by such a problem…
They’re not usually a source for poor quality tools, even if
inadvertantly so.


Peter, I really don’t know that much, but there’s a label saying
made in Romania. I thought it was a Cavillin but it is 10 years old
and bought thru Otto Frei. There is a label saying LAC 120. I could
be wrong, but I thought it was a Cavillin. All I can tell you, it was
a never ending source of grief and I regret I got that rolling mill,
even as a gift.


Not all Cavallin mills have problems, so don’t disparage all of
them, even by implication. I have Cavallin, which is a good number of
years old. I’m not sure how many years, I got the mill from the
estate of my mentor about 6 or 7 years ago. He had used the mill for
a number of years, as he had gotten it from the estate of another old
jeweler in the early 1960’s. That makes the mill at least 50 to 60
years old, and likely 70 or so years old. It still is going good. The
only thing I would do to it, if I ever have the opportunity, is to
have a reputable repair person polish out 50++ years of minor

In the next few years, or hopefully a larger number of years, my
estate will want to give some new jeweler the opportunity of buying
a time-tested piece of equipment. (No offers yet, please!)