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Making your own sizing stock

I am paying twice for 14K gold sizing stock what I paid in January
2007. I buy scrap gold every day from people who come in off the
street. I don’t own a rolling mill but am tempted to buy a C130
Durston from Rio for about $1200. I don’t do production work and I
don’t make jewelry. I do repairs full time and use a fair amount of
gold sizing stock and round wire. What I would like to know from
those who use rolling mills is: Is it a simple matter to roll your
own sizing stock from old wedding bands and other scrap gold? I have
always wanted a rolling mill but don’t know if it would be of use to

Thanks in advance.
Dale Pavatte
Diamonds For You


I highly recommend that Durston C130 rolling mill to you. I own one
and it is a fabulous piece of equipment. Once you have it set up,
and learn to use it, you will find it indispensible in your daily
work, even if it is only for sizing and repair work you say you’re
doing. With the side rollers, you’ll be able to make half-round stock
of any width and thickness. The flat and grooved rollers will make
rectangular, square or flat stock, in any thickness or width you

Using scrap gold stock, at least as heavy as you will need for the
repair section you are needing, it is a small matter to anneal and
roll out this stock thinner, or narrower, or longer for what you
need. If you take care to avoid previous solder seams ( which should
show up when you anneal) in your scrap stock, you should have
consistant stock material so long as the color and karat of the gold
matches your piece to be repaired.

You need to be aware that not all scrap gold CAN be rolled out with
a mill. Some golds are alloyed with alloys that are too brittle to
roll out without cracking. Many casting alloys are difficult or
impossible to roll out, and dental alloys (like old crowns) are too
brittle to roll.

Once you have your rolling mill bolted down and start using it, you
are ready to take any “rollable” scrap stock of similar karat and
color and pour your own ingots, so that now any shape of stock is
fully controllable in your studio. You’ll even be able to step-taper
sections of stock with your mill, if you need stock which is thick
and becomes thinner, so you’ll not only save time, but won’t be
filing so much metal stock off into your lap tray. Be sure you keep
your little sizing bits that come out of your sizing jobs separated
according to color and karat of gold. They can all be melted down
into larger stock! Now, much less of your scrap will be going to the
refiner, as you have a way to re-use much of your gold scrap.

Oh, and once you have bought the rolling mill and have the scrap
metal available, your pre-made stock expense disappears! Is this cool
or what?

Jay Whaley

Dale- I’ve always used home made sizing stock as well as wire etc. I
mostly do fabrication so I’m pretty comfortable with a rolling mill
and draw plate. We prefer to alloy our own metals even for casting.
When we send in scrap, we get it returned as 24 kt.

When ever I make wire or bar stock to fabricate with I always make
extra for repairs. I save some wire and bar stock that is heavier so
that I can roll pull it down later to what I’ll need.

I’m sure that there will be folks who will say that It’s not the
best use of my time, but I enjoy getting having access to what ever I
need with out having to purchase it.

Have fun and make lots of jewelry.
Jo Haemer

Dear Dale,

The rolling mill you are considering is an excellent mill and will
be a useful tool once you have learned to use it properly. Also, as
Jay W. hinted at, not all gold alloys can be rolled out easily, some
contain contaminants, and all must be kept separated by karat to cast
ingots from. Do you have an ingot mold?

A few things you may want to consider before making this investment

  1. that the price of gold has doubled since 2007, which would
    explain the higher cost of stock.

  2. that Rolling out your own stock from scrap will take time, your

  3. At what dollar per hour cost are you going to pay yourself to do

If your time is better spent rolling out sizing stock than getting
lots of rings sized quickly, then go ahead and get the mill. Rolling
out sizing stock was what I did as a kid apprentice. As a 15 year old
they didn’t pay me for my time, so, they didn’t care how long it took
for me to get done as long as I did it well.

I do have a Durston Mill, it is a less expensive one than the C130
and I use it for more than just stock. Get one with a reduction gear
box - it makes the work go a little faster.

Nanz Aalund