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Noob rolling mill capacity


#1

Long time lurker, first time poster. Hello and thanks to all for the
volumes of good

Anywho, I’ve finally come to the realization of what a rolling mill
is good for. (“Self”-taught makes for late-coming epiphanies.) Oh
hey! I can make my own sheet stock! In various thicknesses! Instead
of buying it from Otto Frei! Oh hay! It’ll save me $5 an ounce on
silver! Oh hay! I can use all that scrap I’ve saved up, finally! Ah
well. Better late than never.

In my mind’s eye, a 100mm combo mill with 70mm of sheet width seems
like it’ll do everything I could ever need it to do. But I’d hate to
be missing something. The seemingly obvious answer to “What would I
need a wider rolling mill for?” is "To make wider sheets of metal."
But these tricky easy answers to easy questions make me think that
I’m missing something.

As for the mill itself, while I’ve read enough here that Durston
seems to be the way to go, but I’m still a bit fuzzy on the
difference between the 100mm mini-mill and the 100mm standard mill.
If the reduction gears simply exist to make it easier, that’s not
really a big deal. I don’t mind the elbow grease. If there’s
something else I’m missing, I haven’t been able to find the info out
there.

Many thanks to all, and to all a good night.

-t


#2
while I've read enough here that Durston seems to be the way to go,
but I'm still a bit fuzzy on the difference between the 100mm
mini-mill and the 100mm standard mill. If the reduction gears
simply exist to make it easier, that's not really a big deal. 

Well, Tom, you’ll get much advice, no doubt… My Cavallin mill is 25
years old and still works like gangbusters. I think there’s a big
Durston fan club here, to some degree - nothing wrong with that,
they’re fine mills, arguably the best. But Cavallins are no slouches,
either. Especially if you intend to roll sheet, you’re going to
regret not getting reduction gears, if you don’t do it. It’s not an
insignificant difference. Finally, get a mill that rolls sheet and
wire or you’ll buy another one for wire later. That’s your all-around
mill, poised for anything the future brings. And you’ll be better off
just buying wide silver sheet when you need it - it’s difficult to
roll a wide sheet of silver to a high quality, as you’ll find out.