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Durston Rolling Mill Handle, Repair

I have acquired an older Durston mill in need of handle, handle shaft, and handle gear. Have emailed Durston and there solution, while a good one, would require shipping mill to them as I am in Alaska the cost is higher then I would like and am looking for a more local solution, any suggestions?

Other than getting Durston involved, the only other option that I can see is that you need to find a good creative machine shop that can make the pieces that you are missing. It would seem that, if you provided Durston with the SN of the mill, they could find the drawings for it and put together replacement parts. Be prepared, this could be expensive, possibly more than the cost of a new mill. Have you assessed the condition of the rolls and gears? This could impact what you are willing to spend on the rest of the mill. Good luck…Rob

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The reason that there are three gears in the train is so the rolls will turn in the same direction as the handle. When you turn the handle clockwise the main roller also turns clockwise. The small gear that is still there is called a reverse idler gear. It’s function is to have the drive gear, attached to the handle, and the large output gear turn in the same direction.
However, the reverse idler is not essential for the absolute function of the mill. If you think you could get used to turning the handle in the reverse direction of the rollers you could have a machine shop turn a new, longer shaft for the idler and attach a handle to that, thus turning the idler into a drive gear. Then you would just have to get used to pulling the handle towards you when you wanted the rolls to roll the metal away from you.
Just a thought.

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Thanks rmeixner and Elliot, for incite on the mill workings, I have been unable to find a serial number on this mill any Ideas where it would have been placed.

SusSea50…Did you tip it over and look at the bottom? Elliot…Good idea, she could even make it a 1:1 and simply drill and tap a couple holes in the face of the big gear and add a simple handle…Rob

Hi There,
Ted Here in UK.
I have this mill, bought in the late 1960’s and can get you pictures of the missing parts. Also dimensions so you can get the parts made locally to you.
The key part is the gear that runs on the missing shaft.
Will need to dismantle mine to photo .
Mail me off list at
vladimirdotfrateratgmaildotcom as I dont write via this forum.
Ive converted mine to power with parts supplied by The father of the current Durston family.
Ted

I believe the drive gear on the crank/handle shaft is the same size as the reverse gear. The company below claims to build accurate gears from a photo and a few measurements. This is just a thought. I have no idea if this should work or not.

https://www.rushgears.com/services/replacement-parts

Don Meixner

Welcome, Subsea50!
I don’t see why, if you explain your predicament with shipping, that Durston can’t ship you parts to be assembled locally. If they need measurements before hand, I’m sure you can provide them. Seems like this would just be good customer service, right? -royjohn

My experience that gives way to these comments is now three or four years old, but I found Durston very hard to deal with directly. I have purchased a Durston C130 with outboard rolls from Rio. The Durston website showed that they could make an outboard roll with a V profile much like the D profile in my C130. I contacted Rio and they said that they didn’t have a PN and that I should contact Durston. I contacted Durston and after several tries, finally got to someone who wanted me to send them a drawing. Keep in mind that this was for a part that they showed on their website. We went round and round also addressing the shipping challenge but never really got anywhere. The conversation finally died. I hope that their practices have changed because they make great equipment and their customer service should be the same. Good luck…Rob

I am thinking there might be another solution. Since you have pictures of the missing parts, it might be possible to have someone who is good with 3 D printing and CAD to scan in the parts, making sure they are exactly the right size, and print that out in a very tough hard plastic. I am not sure that a hard plastic would be hard enough. If you want me to, I have a close friend who is a plastic design engineer and handles situations exactly like this every few days. I could talk to him when he gets off work today and see if this is a solution that would work for your situation, and where to find someone who could make the parts you need.

Have you done anything regarding rolling mill?

Not yet I am looking to next week before moving forward on my mill repairs

I spoke with my friend who assured me it would be fairly easy to make a new gear and handle, etc. He will be out of town for a few days so just holler when you get ready to move forward and maybe he can take care of it for you…christian