The end of the beginning means the culmination of all previous
phases leading up to and including rolling 2nd generation plates,
transferring texture from a hammered -then-hardened master plate to a
2nd,raw, tool steel plate. Many details are previously posted, and
are omitted here.
To minimize thickness of a 3-layer stack, I went with a hammered,
flattened, hardened master plate of 1/16" thick flat stock, a flat,
hardened, plain master of 1/16" and a subject plate of 3/64". That
made a stack about 4mm thick, while I had previously done double
stacks thicker than that, and triple stacks even thicker, that
killed the Pepe the 2nd time.
The objective was to make a pair of FLAT production plates for
simultaneous double-sided roll textutring of copper strips. One
route was to roll 2 plates together creating one curled production
plate, do that twice and then flatten them both out. The other route
was to hammer the master plate, flatten it out (also required for
route 1) and then roll the subject plate between the flat textured
master and the flat plain master. Since it is much easier to flatten
a 6" by 2" piece of tool steel that’s been hammered, than it is to
flatten 2 that have been roll-textured in a mill, I went with route
2. The tool steel plates really are virtually impossible to flatten
out without specialized equipment which may not work all that well
anyway, but that’s moot because I don’t have it.
So, moment of truth, 3-layer stack, mill adjusted with test strips,
running, feeding, going for an inch and bogging down. The good thing
I found out about my current mill/motor combo is that the mill can
do more than the motor can provide power for, so no sheared shear
pins or messed up gears (or shattered roll shafts from using
hardened shear pins, like a bozo). Except by this time I was tired
of cutting and sanding steel test plates, and I did not want to
loosen the mill and remove the stuck plate, which would render it
unusable. So I got the plate to go through tiny bit by tiny bit by
hitting the switch on and off about once a second. I was right back
in deep water with that little trick, with the steel pipe table
flexing and the motor groaning at it’s capacity, and starting to
smell funny, but finally the mill spit the stack out with a final
“No worries” I told myself, since the motor had smoked and smelled
much worse when I first got it and wired it up wrong, heh heh.
Next moment of truth, I loosened up the mill a hair for the 2nd
plate of the pair and it went through without sticking, thank
goodness. Doing it over again I would probably go with route one,
rolling one steel plate against a master and flattening the 2nd gen.
plates out. But there I was with 2 freshly rolled, FLAT 2nd gen
plates, ready for hardening and some fancy double sided rolling.
Anyone familiar with the previous experiments can grasp some of the
significance of this achievement, using a mill and motor that both
together cost me less than $1,000. Although it’s very tempting to
get a bigger motor I will restrain myself for now, because the
desired objective has been reached without equipment failure, and
much knowledge has been gained. Rolling 2" wide, 2-layer stacks is
now more-or-less routinely possible, and for single-sided rolling, a
curled plate is not a problem.
Plans for ‘marketing’ textured plates are still vague, but that does
not mean I wouldn’t make some for anyone interested, because I would.
It’s just that I’m too busy moving and renovating now to put more
into that part the ‘project’ AND keep the die-making/part-punching
business functioning during the moving ordeal. The trauma… the
horrifically overwhelming , sanity-endangering, time -and-money-
consuming-but-ultimately-transformational, life enhancing, location
alteration. I’m a teensy bit frazzled just now, but still compelled
to share the huge (to me) news about the latest, greatest rolling
mill adventure. pics to follow when time allows !.