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Cover for rolling mill

I have a rolling mill, my second one. My first one seized up from
rust. I have my studio out in my garage, and my mill is bolted to my
soldering table, because that’s the only place I have for it. My
questions are about covering it: do I need to protect it from the
pickle fumes, or is it the moisture in the air that is the most
dangerous? Do I need to have an airtight cover for it, or will a
towel draped over it do?

I am going to sew a cover for it, but want to know if it can be a
slip on cover, like for a toaster, or if it needs to have a
drawstring at the bottom.

Tara Hutchinson
Peg Leg Productions in Metal

Pickle fumes are indeed corrosive and a possible source of rust
problems if your mill is close to the pickle pot or you don’t have
good enough ventilation. But it could also be the garage itself, if
the space is not temperature controlled then you can have a dew
point problem. If the metal in the shop cools down below the dew
point the moisture in the air will condense onto the surface of the
metal and can lead to rusting.

James Binnion
James Binnion Metal Arts

Hello Tara, By all means use elastic or a drawstring on the rollers
cover. Fumes from the pickle will definately eat steel. Can you
relocate the pickle pot? Also, keep it covered at all times. Have

Tom Arnold

Tara…Not sure of your specific situation but here is mine. I use a
30 year old Chinese made rolling mill!!! It is still in fine shape
after all these years and miles of rolling.

It too resides in my garage here in South Florida where the humidity
is high, hot and dusty. I cover it with an old quilted blender cover
and have never had any problem with it. I spray oil things now and
then and then wipe it all off. The rollers are a bit discolored but
them so am I after 30 years of jewelry work!! I prefer to leave the
bottom open to preclude build up of moisture. The quilted nature of
the cover absorbs moisture and then dries quickly.’

Just my 2c. Cheers, happy rolling and a very Merry Christmas and
Happy New Year to all from Don in SOFL.


I have an oil drenched rag that I drape over the rolling drums them
selves. This is on all the time except when rolling ofcoarse. I also
have an sewn up cover for over night covering. Spray them with
lanotec once a week too.

I use gun paper (a protective paper sold for guns to prevent rust) to
protect my drums on the rolling mill when I am not using it for a
period of time. Just wrap the protective side of the paper around the
drums and tape ends together. I then place a plastic bag over the
machine to keep off the dust. I do not tie the draw string on the
bottom, but leave it loose. I never have to worry about cleaning off
oil or having any oil on my rolled pieces. Works wonderful for me but
I don’t use the mill every day either. I also line my bench draws
with it to help protect my mandrels.

Happy Holidays!

Debbie Parent
Miami, Fl

more than covering (dust) you need to keep it rust free

get a can of grease and apply generously on all painted and
unpainted surface.

this will keep the moisture out and keep it from rusting.

the cover will keep the dust out you could use an old carton or any
use a piece of cloth

kenneth singh

I bought my Cavallin combination mill in 1978-1979. Really don’t
remember and really don’t care. No gear reduction. No cover. I threw
away the second crank as I found it superfluous. I have never needed
another mill. Over the years, surface rust has developed but the
pitting just provides a little more bite. Hardened steels have found
their way through the mill and caused slight damage. In my opinion,
this mill is perfectly serviceable for the next thirty years. If my
figures are correct, this mill has cost me about twenty one dollars
a year to the present. It may have seemed like a large investment a
long time ago, but in the end, with no care or feeding, it has done
way more than I ever asked.

Bruce Holmgrain

Hi Bruce,

I just want to thank you for this posting.You have lifted a weight
of guilt from my shoulders. Each time I read about the way people
look after their rolling mills, I just hide my head in the bucket of
sand I carry with me along with the tub of guilt I dip into often.

I bought my rolling mill twelve years ago when I knew nothing about
how to look after the steel rollers. More money than sense in those
days. Not enough money now though, anyway, I digress.

I did know enough not to pass steel through the rollers, and to
rinse off pickle and water from any metal I was rolling, so the
rollers are not in bad shape. There are a few pits but nothing too
bad and the rollers look a bit brown. I smother them in oil when I
feel the guilt thing coming on but considering the mill lives in an
unheated conservatory, it is not in too bad shape.

Your letter cheered me immensely because it made me realise that the
mill still does what I want it to do and does it well. If I were to
have a new one (not going to happen) I would use the knowledge I have
gained from reading the Ganoksin postings and it would stay in better
shape. As I am 60 in a couple of years, I reckon the mill will see me
through the years left.

The main thing wrong with my mill at the moment is that the rollers
are not parallel. Now I have read how to sort this and I have watched
someone do it but I just can’t get my brain around the problem when
it comes to sorting my own mill. I have a blind spot.

Hope all of you on Ganoksin had a good festive season.

Cheers from Ruth in the UK.

Hi Ruth,

The main thing wrong with my mill at the moment is that the
rollers are not parallel. Now I have read how to sort this and I
have watched someone do it but I just can't get my brain around the
problem when it comes to sorting my own mill. I have a blind spot. 

You may already have our instructions. If not, you can download our
user guide at
See page 4, number 9. Or, call me next week and I can talk you
through it.

Matthew Durston