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Economy compact rolling mill


#1

Hello all,

Can anyone tell me if they have used this rolling mill? It seems to
be affordable at $350, but does anyone know if it works well enough
for someone just starting out? Would love to have any feedback.

Thanks,
Patricia E


#2
Can anyone tell me if they have used this rolling mill? It seems
to be affordable at $350, but does anyone know if it works well
enough for someone just starting out? Would love to have any
feedback." 

I bought one of these about 18 months ago and have been happy with
it. Mine was made in India and I paid a little over $200. It came
with 5 rollers (2 flat, 2 combo, and 1 textured. It is very similar
to the one being sold at Contenti [Item 190-891]. I find it very
useful for roller printing, thinning sheet metal, rolling out wire
and fold forming small pieces. This is not a Durston quality mill and
does have limitations but I think that it is very functional and well
worth the money.

Richard S.
San Antonio, TX


#3

I think you are speaking of a mill that sounds like it’s on par with
the harbor freight rolling mill for $199.00US. Pros: it works, it
knurls, it thins, it flattens Cons: it has a 3:1 gear ratio (or it
seems less than a 4:1 to me!) But the real beauty of its drawbacks
compared to the pros is that Rosenthal’s supply (in Miami FL) sells
rollers in a lot of pre-patterned textures/designs that fit it…so
for about 26-40 dollars each you can order many patterns,etc…so it
is versatile and will build hand and forearm strength!

I don’t know what mill you are speaking of as there was no photo or
attachment rendered in my email…a Karat brand (K.Singh’s product )
mill is great if you want to pay for it, PEPE is the most precise/
top of the affordable manual models and a Durston manual model is
simply too pricey for the exact same results you get with the harbor
freight cheapie. the PEPE 's drawbacks include :a bit more money,
and a bit less easily changeable rollers as the entire unit has to be
trued again each time you change a roller, and there are not rollers
that fit it exactly without modification, but once applied will stay
true longer without adjustment.

FDJ tools on time had them on sale recently…don’t know if it it
(the sale)i s still underway. So all considered, if you are just
beginning and want to save money go for the cheapie and work up to a
more solid electrically assisted one as a goal for the future- and
get to know metal working by using the cheaper models - the PEPE
combo is the best of their 3 models as there is only about 30mm
difference in the amount of flat area on the roller in the 90mm over
the 110mm model…not worth the extra hundreds!! The Karat is
versatile- it will accept some additional rollers but not worth the
price given the alternatives that accomplish the same
things…whereas the The harbor freight is the cheapest and will take
pre-patterened rollers but needs major refining, and oiling
regfularly in addition to spring loaded roller mechanisms…so if you
wnat to start out with the top of the bottom go for the Karat, if you
want to save money and have less versatility but higher precision-
the PEPE,…so there you have it… If you want a mill that will resell
at about what you paid for it, there’s the pricey Durston …but the
results are no better than the harbor freight once installed, oiled
and metal annealed.


#4
If you want a mill that will resell at about what you paid for it,
there's the pricey Durston...but the results are no better than the
harbor freight once installed, oiled and metal annealed. 

No other mill is made like the Durston mill. All parts are high
precision using only the correct materials. Simply oiling a mill and
annealing metal will not make a good rolling mill. All year round we
are supplying mills to customers who have first purchased the lower
cost mills and then spend again and buy a Durston. Buy a Durston and
it will still be working in 30 years time. This will not be the case
with the lower cost mills.

Durston Rolling Mills have been pricier partly due to the exchange
rate over the last few years. However, that has recently changed.
Our mills have now decreased in price by as much as 25%. If you are
thinking of purchasing a mill, wait until the January catalogues
come out.

Happy holiday
Matthew Durston
Durston Rolling Mills
http://www.durston.com


#5

I’m looking at the Otto Frei for $350…any opinion?

Thank you so much.


#6

I purchased a very inexpensive rolling mill from Harbor Freight last
year. It is adequate for rolling shortlengths of metal, however if
the length is much more than a couple of inches, the metal will start
moving to one side of the rollers and sometimes seperates the silver
from the copper sandwich and even dislodges the article I am using to
make the impression. Sometimes with a longer piece it will move so
far to the side that I cannot complete the forward roll and I have to
back the piece out. I am not mechanically minded, but I can only
think the the rollers are not closing equally. Meaning one side
tightens more than the other side. I was wondering if the rollers can
be adjusted without sending it out for repair, or even if it is at
all possible to make that kind of adjustment. Actually I think it
would cost more than I care to pay to ship something that heavy.It’s
OK if I am just doing some thing for earrings or a brooch, but if I
want to do a bracelet, the pattern is really messed up by the end of
the rolling. Is this a common problem with cheap rolling mills?

Linda


#7

Dr.R.E.Rourke

I personally cannot even afford to restore the Durston i had
(well what was left after the acid water it sat in for 3 weeks
until the government let us back into the  city at which time it
was entirely ruined) 

Hurricane Katrina must have been a terrible experience. It is
difficult for me to even imagine. It sounds like your Durston Mill
may be beyond repair and maybe you do not have it any more. If you
do, let me know. We still may be able to repair it for you. We have
many parts for older mills gathering dust. I fly to Phoenix on
Friday. I will give you my cell number so we can discuss next week if
this is ok for you.

Chiming in when a post appears on Orchid is very
interesting..otherwise I have not seen anything Durston has done
for Orchid-no tips on rolling mill use appear, etc. 

Sara and I have posted several times over the years to answer / help
with different questions / problems. Infact, I have met many orchid
members over the years and am proud to say that we are good friends.

curious that you guys monitor the site.. 

We really enjoy reading orchid every day. I do not get time to read
many posts but I always read any posts relating to Rolling Mills.
Durstons have learnt a lot over the year’s just reading peoples
comments. In fact, that is the main reason we have introduced our new
low cost mills from next month. We had so many comments “I would love
to own a Durston But the price is out of reach”

Matthew Durston

Looking forward to being in Phoenix this week. Getting away form the
cold weather.

Durston Rolling Mills
Progress House, Hospital Hill
Waterside, Chesham, Bucks.
http://www.durston.com


#8
No other mill is made like the Durston mill. All parts are high
precision using only the correct materials. 

I saved for several years to buy my Durston mill and I have never
been unhappy with it. The Durston was the one I wanted and the
quality is unmatched.


#9

Hello Linda, To adjust your rollers, lift the handle you use to
close the rollers. The two gears it controls can now be turned
independently by hand.

Move the one on the side that your metal moves to a few teeth
counterclockwise and then reinstall the handle. Thats it and now
your are, in fact, mechanically inclined.

Have fun. Tom Arnold


#10
I was wondering if the rollers can be adjusted without sending it
out for repair, or even if it is at all possible to make that kind
of adjustment. 

Yes, you need to align the rollers to make sure they are running
true. I think pretty much all rolling mills have this adjustment on
the top. My rolling mill has a wheel with a handle on the top which
controls the distance between the rollers. If they are out of
alignment, the wheel is removed and the two wheels (cogs) it attaches
to are adjusted until they are in alignment once more. Thanks to the
advice of another Orchid member, I run small pieces of paper through
to achieve “trueness” of the rollers.

Helen
UK


#11
Chiming in when a post appears on Orchid is very
interesting..otherwise I have not seen anything Durston has done
for Orchid-no tips on rolling mill use appear, etc. 

I think that donating a rolling mill to the Orchid Raffle was more
than just “chiming in”!

Cheers,
Karen in cold, snowy Toronto


#12

RER

I have not seen anything Durston has done for Orchid

Each year, Ganoksin runs a raffle for the Orchid community with
prizes donated from sponsors to help raise funds to support the
Ganoksin project and Orchid social network.

To this year upcoming raffle, Durston had committed to donate a
D2-130 double rolling mill, valued at $1,750.00

http://www.durston.co.uk/lan-en/prod-m-d2-130-en.htm

I would like to thank Durston for their continuous and generous
support of Orchid.

Thank you Durston!
Hanuman


#13
Chiming in when a post appears on Orchid is very
interesting..otherwise I have not seen anything Durston has done
for Orchid-no tips on rolling mill use appear, etc. 

Durston makes first class mills that are far superior in all ways to
the Asian made economy rolling mills that are showing up at places
like Harbor Freight and many of the jewelry supply houses. I have
not used a Pepe mill but if they are anything like the other Pepe
equipment I have used then they are not quality made either.

The Durston company has always been here when folks have problems or
issues with their Durston mill. This is the epitome of customer
relations to monitor Orchid and offer service when someone has a
problem with a Durston mill. I once had a problem with one of my
Durston mills that I mentioned in a discussion on Orchid. Matthew
contacted me that day and I had a new part via overnight delivery,
that is customer service of the first order. Name another supplier
of rolling mills that does that.

If you are a student or someone of limited resources then you must
often buy a piece of equipment that is not of the highest quality to
stay within your budget. However if are making your living with your
tools it is penny wise and pound foolish to buy less than first
quality in tools because you will have to buy them again and again.

Durston is first quality.

Jim

James Binnion
James Binnion Metal Arts


#14

Linda

besides oiling the mill (that little aluminum well on the front that
has a cover that lifts) you might have to replace the springs. the
rollers apparently need to be aligned particularly if the pieces are
pulling to one side. Another issue is the depth of the plates you are
using to make the print from- that HF mill can’t tolerate much
thickness- i don’t remember offhand,but it is about 6mm capacity, so
if the brass plates and the metal exceed that there could be the
problem- use thinner brass plates if that is the case…but do have
the rollers leveled, and if necessary resurfaced at a metal mill shop
to a 6 micron (at least) finish. If you need more recommendations I’d
be glad to help out- HF mills are good for basic sheet and wire
production that’s where the buck stops…i have a couple I use for my
students, rather I let my students use…and a couple of PEPE’s for my
own use- my Durstons were the cream of the crop -if I could afford to
replace them I would, if you want to put out the money invest in the
durston- it is without fault and the company that sells them stand
fully behind their product - i have ha nothing but good experiences
with Durston when I had working mills from them- now I have one gone
missing ( somewhere in the Gulf of Mexico or the Mississippi River I
suspect!) and another rusted beyond repair - neither were electric,
and the gear ratio I believe was 6:1 which out preformed any of the
other brands I have owned over the years save for a very antique
Dixon mill that if I could find rollers to fit would be a good tool
to date I imagine- so if money is not an object Durston, If it is a
consideration PEPE, if it is an issue a harbour freight will do, but
needs constant adjustment to keep in
working order…rer


#15

You didn’t just donate a rolling mill–you talked me anxious step by
step to get TWO mills, on for my school and one for me! Durston’s
products and cstomer service are great. i love mt mill and it’s nrew
burgundy cover.

Stacy, in chilly Chrlsea, mi, typing one handedly, post trigger tumb
surgri.


#16

Thanks again for all of the help regarding re-aligning my rollers. I
am headed out of town for a few days but I will work on the problem
when I return. With all of the detailed instruction I have received,
I am sure I can do it! If I ever win a lottery, I will buy a Durston.

Linda Lankford


#17

With tools you generally get what you pay for… I have an old Durston
mill (with a T bar not a wheel on top) which I bought new - it has
never needed repair or the rollers reset. I could not afford it at
the time but purchased it anyway and no regrets. I have a cover for
it which is open at the bottom, I oil it regularly and wipe the
rollers with an oily rag after work each day. I check it runs true
with feeler guages… About 45 years ago my master used to make me put
all of my tools out on a table on a Friday afternoon before going
home and clean/sharpen/service all of them, oil the pliers joints etc
and wipe with an oily rag before he inspected them. On a Friday
lunchtime we went to a “proper” tool store who made a lot of their
own tools as well as stocking quality ones. The sort of place that
joiners took their saws blades to be sharpened and re set.

He would choose what I was going to buy next and I had to pay some of
my meagre pay over to the owner who recorded the payment in a little
red book. Once there was enough cash paid in I then got the tool.
These incl= uded Lindstrom pliers and cutters (which literally cost
half a weeks wages then), quality hammers etc. That was 45 years ago.
I am still using daily most of those same tools, and once a week I
still check, clean, sharpen and oil them etc as I was taught by a
great man, who also taught me how to tighten pliers/cutters joints
and maintain tools when they had a bit of ware on them. This must
have saved me GBP thousands over the years - buy the best that you
can its cheap in the long run. At the time I was not happy at being
forced to hand my cash over straight out of my pay packet but it set
me on the right track. Today I do the same (diplomatically) to my
students and my son who is a master mechanic does the same as his Dad
to his apprentices. In one minute you can tell what kind of a
craftsman a person is or can be by looking at his tool kit whatever
their trade. Take pride in your tools and equipment as it rubs off on
your work, yourself and your life. Seasons greetings to all in
Orchidland - soon will be hogmanay (same as thanksgiving but much
more fluid :-} )

Robin
Robin Key
Clavis Jewellery
Aberdeen, Scotland
www.clavisjewellery.co.uk