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Draw benches

was: Gave a quote for a ring

Over the 35 years I have been drawing and rolling my own stock I
have saved thousands of dollars. Sure I usually try to do it in my
down or spare time but I can always make the exact size I need and
having crunched the numbers like Pat I learned long ago that
milling charges really add up. Not to mention shipping. I don't
have a power draw bench but I did adapt an old trailer winch off a
boat trailer for drawing heavy wire and white gold. Saves my back
and I got it for free. Takes about 10' open space on the bench
about 10" wide. All I can say is, do the math, I can can drawn down
Pat's wire in about 30-45 min from start to finish, and at over
$750 savings, that means some serious profit!. 

Some 30 yrs ago my machinery dealer friend called me to say there
was a holloware remaker closed down in the near by town, and there was
a lot of stuff he didnt want. He had to clear the place. They had a
back room which the polisher exhaust was piped into. it must have
been 2 ft deep in lemels! anyway in that room was a pile of stuff as
follows. a complete set of stakes, a T stake a draw bench and a large
barrelling unit. I dragged it all out and its all here. Its the draw
bench thats interesting for this post. 12 ft long by 16 in wide by
4in thick elm, most probably mid victorian, with a cast iron drive
reduction set up with 2 handles, rather like a big construction
winch. At the draw plate end, the tallow was some 3/4in thick all
black and full of metallic particles. I recovered all that, melted it,
washed the metal out with gasoline, pickled it in old battery acid,
washed and dried it. some 8 oz of metal. Sorted it by colour and
recovered some 4 oz of sterling!! The remainder is still in a screw
top jar, Thought at the time it was nickel brass, copper and yellow
brass. Could be gold! The wood base had dozens of nails hammered into
it. Had to done by bored apprentices!. Its history? Either London, or
Birmingham jewellery quarter. Never did find out. Great tool.