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Finding rolling mill cylinders

The art center that I teach in has two rolling mills. Both have
groves for rolling wire. This feature is almost never used. I would
like to change the rollers on the biggest one to plain cylinders so
that people could toll wider sheets. I can not find a brand name on
it. It was donated to us from a department store repair shop when
the store closed. Anyone have any suggestions as to how I can find
rollers or if it is possible to have them made.



Please query Jay Whaley, IMHO, there is much more
to the “rolling wire” rollers, and would encourage that to be further
investigated, before giving up on them. We use them many times per
day for many reasons, and rolling bezel is one of them.

Jay’s live broadcast of his Rolling Mill Workshop, may show that as

Are you able to take a photo of the mills, and send them along?

Kenneth Singh is a great source for Roller
cylinder I imagine Dar Shelton, as well. Dar was just
online at Orchid yesterday.


Hi Marilyn:

When I was in grad school, I inherited the remains of a very large
square wire rolling mill. Having skills, time, and no money, I set
about to machine up a set of flat rolls for it. Yes, it’s possible.
No, you really don’t want to. It was a tremendously inefficient use
of time.

I learned a lot about accurate lathe work in the process, but unless
you have a very good, very large metal cutting lathe, and know how
to use it, you’re going to spend a lot of money having someone
machine them up for you, and then you have to have them hardened and
ground. Unless you do this yourself, you’ll end up spending more on
the parts than you would on a whole new mill. (Heat treating:
$50-100, center grinding: somewhere in the ballpark of $100 or so,
plus $25-50 for the steel, and god alone knows how much for the
engineering and machining. Figure $100/hr, and 4-8 hours.) That’s a
(very) rough guess at worst-case cost, but it’s not unreasonable.

I suspect the best course would be to sell off the square-wire mill
to someone who needs it, and put the money towards the purchase of a
flat mill.

Our program has done ‘garage sales’ of donated gear every so often
to raise money for gear we do need.

(There’s some weird rule about summers in Santa Barbara: A rock saw
will appear. Every summer, someone different donates a rock saw. We
already have 3-4 of them, we don’t need more. So we sell off the
surplus gear, and buy things we actually need.)

If you’re still dead set on making your own, contact me directly, I
can share what I learned. The biggest lesson being that except for a
student with more time than money, it’s not worth the trouble.

Brian Meek.

PS–> to swap in replacement rollers from an existing machine, the
journal diameters would have to match exactly, as well as the width
of the rollers from side-to-side in the frame, and the mounting studs
for the gearing. The odds of this are low. The odds of being able to
find matching rollers by way of specifying all those parameters
are even lower. Sorry.

You might look in to turning down the rollers that you have and then
having them case hardened.