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How do I remove rust on rolling mill?

I just noticed a little bit of rust starting on one of my rolling
mill rollers. Does anyone have experience cleaning rust off rollers?
How should I protect them in the future? I was spraying the rollers
regularly with spray lube which was fine for the dry environment I
used to live in. But I’m in a very moist climate now and I guess I
need something with more lube action? All suggestions gratefully accepted.

This brings up a very sore topic for me… Some time back someone
suggested soaking a slice of sponge with lubrication oil and shoving
it under the bottom wheel so when you use your rolling mill it
automatically oils itself. I thought this sounded slick so I did
it. Off to shows for 6 weeks and let the mill sit, covered with a
pillow case and with its little soaked sponge against the bottom
wheel. When we got back to production, I was totally shocked, sad
and even shed a tear that my lovely rolling mill had a rust spot
right where the sponge sat against it. Obviously it wasnt as oil
soaked as I thought or maybe there was moisture in the
sponge…either way I thought I better pass on that this tip may
have worked for some but I clearly did it incorrectly.

t lee

Hi there, take a round (about 0.25") very straight steel bar of the
exact width of the mill rolls, fold 600 emery cloth (also of the
width of the roll) once, lay the round bar in the fold. Close the
rolls just enough to squeeze the emery cloth not to hard, as if you
would mill the emery. The steel bar will block the emery and start to
clean your rolls while you keep on turning the mill (you’ll hear a
loud squeaking sound) Just grind until the rolls are smooth again.
Cheers Klaus

the best method i have found is to regularly clean your rollers with
WD40 and a piece of steel wool. this must be done REGULARLY,
meaning almost every day at the end of work. also make sure you
don’t leave little pieces of steel wool in the rollers, as that can
mess up your metal next time. so wipe them afterwards with a soft
rag you keep just for this purpose, as the rag will retain some WD40
in it as well…
joanna gollberg

 Does anyone have experience cleaning rust off rollers?

G’day’ If it is only a small amount, of rust then the best thing is
to get some 600 grit wet-n-dry paper and use a little light oil with
it. You won’t remove all the marks, but you will stop the rust
getting worse, and you can give a final polish with the very finest
paper you can buy, or use metal polish.

How should I protect them in the future? 

If you are in a very damp climate I would suggest a silicone thin
oil covering the rollers, wiped off with kerosene about once a week,
and re oiled. Cover the whole machine with a plastic bag, securing
the open end with string or elastic against the machine. But do
keep up the maintenance whether the rolls have been used or not, but
certainly clean and reoil after every use. – Cheers for now, John
Burgess; @John_Burgess2 of Mapua, Nelson NZ

I and another jeweler here have had a terrible experience with
natural gas fumes. He is a true metal smith and had all his stakes et
al rust in a garage apt. I have experienced some of that from floor
furnaces though vented and my stove when next to the workshop. Jay

Once you get the rust off the rollers, keep your rolling mill covered
when it’s not in use. I slip a 2-gallon Ziploc bag over mine and it
really keeps the rust off. Some people prefer fabric or
flannel-backed plastic but in a damp climate the mill should be covered.

The WD-40 is a good clean up, but like the last poster says you have
to keep it wiped continually, WD - 40 will make it rust. Clint

Yes, WD40 will keep your mill rolls from rusting. However, it is
VERY important to remember that WD40 is not technically a lubricant.
The “WD” in the product name is short for “water displacement”. Yes,
it will keep water and thus rust from mill parts. However, it does
not function well as a lubricant. For lubricating, and long-term
rust proofing, it may be better to use either petroleum or silicone
based “oils”. Continuous use of WD40 can have the deleterious effect
of “washing” out the lubricant on your mill.

Jim Small
Small Wonders