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Polishing rolling mill rolls

The rolls on my Durston C130 (the old one) have a few spots. I’m not getting image transfers to metal, but I remember Rob Meixner saying he polished rolls regularly. So I got some simichrome … and now what :). I keep the rolls oiled religiously because I have seen too many messed up rolls because someone neglected them … but now I want to polish … how? Do I remove all the oil like I do before rolling, or do I remove ALL the oil with a solvent? I’m not keen on putting a solvent on the rolls. How do you get the abrasive off the rolls?? I must be overthinking this … but I’m anal about the mill. I mostly use the wire part of the rolls to reduce ingots for drawing, but I do sheet sometimes and don’t want a mess. Advice?

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Here’s a quick Rio YouTube video that may be helpful… https://youtu.be/wXKTIddduG4

I don’t use simichrome after every use, but I do wipe down my rollers with a light swipe of oil with a clean cloth at the end of the day and cover the mill with a cotton pillow cover.

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Here are Durston’s Instructions: https://media1.riogrande.com/Content/Durston-Instruction-Maintanence-For-Hand-Operated-Rolling-Mills-IS.pdf

Focus on:

page 4, “Rolling Mill Safey, Care and Tips”, item 3.

page 2, paragraph 4 “Removing Rust Preventative”

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Betty2 pretty much covered it in posting the Durston instructions. Thanks Betty2. Depending on how I have used my mill, I will work a small amount (size of a small dab of toothpaste) into the roller surface. I spread it with a gloved finger and then use a well worn piece of cotton to polish the surface in much the same way as you would polish the cap of your shoes. I know, no one polishes their shoes any more. Once polished, I spread a small film of light oil over the roller surface with a clean glove. I use simichrome, but I am sure that there are other products that will work. Others in the past have suggested pushing a piece of sponge or foam rubber into the space between the frame and rollers and keeping the sponge or foam wet with oil. I haven’t done this yet, but may. I do know that you want to make sure that whatever you are rolling is dry and free of any pickle solution. This is especially true if you are rolling copper. Otherwise, I lubricate the gears once in a while and level the rollers if they need it. I keep my mills covers with a loosely woven pillow case to keep dust off the rollers. but still allow air to circulate around them. My shop can get damp in the summer so I keep a dehumidifier running and it is right next to the mills…Rob

Forgot to mention that I use simichrome on the top of my anvil, hammers and other tools after I have polished them…Rob

Thanks Betty2! I am glad that Durston is providing some instruction on their mills now. Use to be, you were on your own. Also, glad to see they are offering some low end geared mills now to compete with the “India”. mills. I have not see one close up, but I bet they are decent if they are a Durston. I had one of those India mills years ago and upgraded to a Druston because the smaller mill just could not do what I needed to do.

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Thanks Rob! Never thought about simichrome for hammer faces. I’m kinda anal about hammer faces too :).

Note From Ganoksin Staff:
Looking for a rolling mill tool for your jewelry projects? We recommend: