Was: Milling your own or buying stock
This is mostly just a question based on a couple of comments in the
rolling mill thread about drawbenches.
Several of the shops I've been in, as well as a couple of rigs I've
built myself have made a drawbench simply by attaching a reduction
clamping system to one end of any random strong bench/tabletop in
the shop, with either a set of pins or a vise at the other end.
When not being a drawbench, it's just a normal tabletop. The
reduction system just sits at the end of the table, out of the way
until needed, and the vise is just a vise, until it becomes part of
the drawbench. As I said, I've seen rigs like that in more than
one shop, and I've built two of them myself. (Probably about to
build a third.) I get the sense from the 'unaffordable luxury'
comments in this thread that this isn't a common trick? Has
anybody else seen a rig like that?
As a side note, someone asked about whether having a rolling mill
with wire wheels made it un-necessary to have drawplates. No,
regrettably, you still need the drawplates. Rolling mills don't do
round wire, and those that do, don't do it well. (They still leave
flanges.) You'll note that the square wire has 2 corners beveled,
rather than true square, and flanges on the other two. (Or all four
corners beveled if you roll your wire properly.) However, they're
absolutely great for breaking raw ingots down into something close
to the final drawn dimensions. Use the mill to get close, and then
draw from there. Much faster.
Besides, how else will you get star shaped wire?