Hi, The grease is a protectorant, basically seals the rollers from
water and rust in it’s long storage from manufacture to your bench.
Clean this off with a rag then some mild degreaser. CAREFUL with the
degreser you want the gears to be greased/oiled so don’t strip it all
off there, but get the rollers like shiny.
Rust or even minor corrosion is the enemy of rolling mills.
Depending on where you reside and the exact environment you place the
mill you will have to plan accordingly. I live inland San Diego Co.
USA with an average 40% relative humidity, with my mills I use a thin
layer of Tri-Flow which has a bit of Teflon in it, it tends to stick
pretty well yet wipe right off when I need to use it. Any grease/ oil
combo would work fine your strving for a compromise between good
prtection and getting it off quickly. If you will only use the mill
every few weeks use something heavier, if daily a thin layer will
suit you fine. Remeber oil/grease collects dust and grit which can
damage the rollers. Always wipe the rollers clean before you use
Also be careful that you only roll nice clean SOFT metal. If you do
some roller printing with a harder material make sure it’s
sandwhiched between 2 softer metals. Brass, copper, gold , silver all
fine. I’ve used stainless steel to create patterns and would never
let that touch the rollers. Make sure your metal is also clean too. I
just retruned a mill that had scratches and what looked like steel
wool imbedded in the rollers as if it was cleaned with steel wool and
several fibers left that imprinted on the rollers.
With care even an inexpensive rolling mill can last for many years.
The biggest compromise on less expensive brands is the hardening of
the rollers so you need to make sure you are diligent in care.