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Karat rolling mill?


I’m wondering if any of you could help me with yet another question
on the Karat rolling mill. It looks like a great deal, except for
the fact that I will be needing to produce round and square wire
using a drawplate. I’m concerned that since the Karat only has an
upper roll for wire forming (triangular and half-round), that I’ll be
unable to fashion shapes that will satisfactorily draw through square
and round draw plates. Can anyone tell me whether I’ll be able to
use 3.5mm round cast wire bar and the Karat mill and end up with
something that will pull through square/round plates? I suppose I
could go with a rolling mill with “standard” squarish opposable
grooves, but I’d sure hate to sacrifice the interchangability a mill
like the Karat or Contenti provides.

Thanks in advance,
–Christopher Rains


Chris, You could use the triangular wire and draw it through the
round draw plate. I draw both triangle and square wire through a
round plate IN AN EMERGENCY. Its not really a very effecient way of
going about it though, as it is hard on your draw plate, and unless
the metal is kept well annealed, tends to cause microscopic cracks in
the wire. Takes a lot of work to do it as well. I’ve never drawn
half round to round but see no reason why it wouldn’t work…with the
same proviso.

I would not recommend trying to draw either the triangular or half
round throught the square plate. While it might work after
considerable effort, there is just too much reforming to make it
worthwhile. Me thinks you are going to have to get some new rollers!

Cheers from Don at The Charles Belle Studio where simple elegance IS fine


Chris, Karat has a combo mill for $199 that has 1/2 round, flat, and
square rollers on one mill. Check the photo in Lapidary Journal.
There is a new one out in a month or so for $299 that will have top
and bottom interchangeable rollers so you can have a wider range of
sizes on 1/2 round and square. Don’t know any mill that will mill
round wire, it must be drawn, but why would you want to draw square
wire??? Milling it is sure easier and you can get a nice edge roll
that way. Drawing square wire is too much hard work. Suzanne