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Pairing the drawplate with the rolling mill


Though luck and perseverance I have my allowance saved, and based on
advice from Peter Rowe I have my mind set on obtaining the economy
rolling mill at Contenti with the extra pair of wire forming rolls.

My question, however, extends which drawing plate to pair with my
mill so that I can begin drawing wire once it is formed on the rolls.
I’d rather get them from the same vendor as the rolling mill to save
shipping. I’d also rather get away with buying just one drawplate, as
I do not need to be rich in drawplates, I have other things to need
to buy.

  1. The wire rolls offered with the rolling mill have grooves from .75
    to 4.3 mm wide.

  2. Contenti only offers tool steel drawing plates, not carbide.

  3. Round wire drawplate ranges:
    0.3 to 2 mm
    0.5 to 3 mm
    0.5 to 6 mm

I’m playing with fine silver, as usual. I want very fine round wire
for inlay, but I want the equivalent of 22 gauge for necklace chain.

Would my reasoning be correct in selecting the 0.5 to 3mm drawplate,
or would it be a better idea for me to get the 0.5 to 6mm drawplate
so that I can overlap the high end of the rolling mill’s wire forming

Thanks again for your advice,
Andrew Jonathan Fine

Bearing in mind that pulling 3mm round through a drawplate by hand
requires a LOT of strength, then unless you intend to make or buy a
draw-bench, you will never be able to use the larger holes. Also,
the chances are that you will need to draw smaller than 0.5mm at
various times - I do.

Regards, Gary Wooding

Would my reasoning be correct in selecting the 0.5 to 3mm

Yes, Andrew. You’re not likely to use .3mm wire ever. And you won’t be
able to pull 5-6mm wire without a drawbench. You can pull tubing that
size, but you’re better off to get an extra-large plate just for
tubing, if you feel the need to use tubing at all…


They can only put so many holes in a drawplate. Larger small to big
range means bigger steps between the holes. Fine silver shouldn’t be
too much of a problem (other than that it is fine :slight_smile: A boat trailer
winch an a couple of pieces of 2 x 4 will make your life easier and
open the possibly for pulling almost any metal. Plutonium and carbide
miss the almost list big time, there are others.

Steel plates are fine. Slightly rougher finish and if you haul
nickel white gold through one for years they do wear. I would think
twice about titanium or other slightly nasty metals.

Think… nice finish required or just buying a few steel plates
which will each last years. About the same price.

Demand Designs
Analog/Digital Modelling & Goldsmithing

Personally, I would buy the 0.5mm to 3mm drawplate, unless you have
a drawbench. It’s close to impossible to pull anything above 3mm by
hand, and anything about 2mm is hard. Having said that, if you are
working with fine silver, it is easier to pull - you can actually
draw by holding the plate and tongs in each hand, and pullng them
apart, if you are below 1mm, and the fine silver is well annealled.

However, the 0.3mm to 2mm plate sounds like it might have more holes

  • you want lots of tiny steps down, rather than a few big jumps. As
    you can imagine, it’s easier to pull the wire down a little at a
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