Back to Ganoksin | FAQ | Contact

Purchasing a Rolling Mill


#1

I am looking into purchasing a rolling mill and was hoping for
some feedback from Orchid members on whether they are pleased
with theirs. I am interested in a flatmill 80-100mm. Durston
offers one with no gear reduction for a very reasonable price at
80mm, however I have only used a mill which had a reduction gear
of 4:1 so I am wondering whether the nearly doubling in price to
4:1 reduction and 100mm is really worth the investment.

Cheers, and thank you.


#2

I definitely would not get a mill without a reduction gear, its
hard enough WITH a reduction gear. If you look around you can
find some mills from India that are reasonable and even Rio’s
budget mill, which I bought about 5 years ago was a good buy. I
also looked at the Durston and glad I got a more substantial mill
for less…Dave

Crystalguy Jewelry, the first art jewelry site on the net
http://www.opendoor.com/stephensdesign/crystalguy.html
Art jewelry with a mystic touch / Now accepting credit cards
http://www.kickassdesign.com/paddle/
Paddle Jewelry for River Addicts


#3

I have a Durston rolling mill, the kind with a flat roll on top
and wire rolls on the bottom. It has 4:1 reduction and is quite
satisfactory. I can’t imagine using it without the 4:1. It was
expensive, but not nearly as much as a few years ago when they
were over $2000. Buy the biggest and best
you can, you won’t be sorry. Judy


#4

Purchasing a rolling mill without gear reduction is very much
like dragging a dead horse in the rain through mud up a steep
incline. The first time you try to flatten a 4 or 5 mm sheet of
metal that is fairly wide will be an experience only rivaled
perhaps by childbirth. Spending a little or alot more for
something you could utilize EASIER and FOREVER is an easy
question. GO FOR IT. The question of 80mm or 100mm rolls
Bigger(100mm) is Better. For, the larger rolls will
produce less curling and thus a flatter product. One alternative
to spending large amounts of money could be to find a used
rolling mill and recondition them. Remove the rolls and send
them to a machine shop THAT KNOWS WHAT THEY ARE DOING. For, the
outside(surface) is hardened. When a shop that doesn’t know what
they are doing gets ahold of the rolls they may cut ‘beyond’ this
critical hardened ‘layer’ and cut into the softer metal, thus
making the rolls useless. I learned this the hard way. I paid
$325 for 1972? Gesswein 100mm w/reduction and I paid $400(what a
steal!) for a Durston/Dinkel 120mm w/reduction. Both milled
perfectly and are used continually. Good Luck.


#5

A gear reduction mill is worth its weight in gold or
silver…Have you thought about looking for a used one?
Lapidary Journal would be a good place to advertise and also (I
did this) contact a jewelers exchange in a big city near you,
they may know of an available one.


#6
  I have only used a mill which had a reduction gear of 4:1 so
I am wondering whether the nearly doubling in price to 4:1
reduction and 100mm  is really worth the investment. 

G’day; I use an excellent mill which does not have reduction
gears and with which I have no problem; it works very well for
me, but it does have a handle 12 inches long, which provides
sufficient leverage to make a reasonable pass possible without
busting a gut. Cheers, and sing along with the rest


#7

I have the Durston without gear reduction and would definitely reccomend
the geared version, especially if yoy intend using it much. I’m about
230lbs and it is hard work - and that results in more passes and/or jerky
movement which leaves marks.

Andy Parker, Agate House Lapidary
Ulverston, Cumbria, England
http://www.netcomuk.co.uk/~andyp


#8

Hello Silversmith!

Noticed the vote is swinging toward the reduction gear. Thought I would
add my two cents.

Most shops seem to have the reduction gear. I think their decision is
fine. I have seen several without the reduction gear. Everybody’s choice
it seems like. I chose the cavallini 100mm combination 1 to 1 ratio. I
chose it following the theory that “You can feel when the metal starts to
harden, and needs to be annealed.” That has proved true in ownership of
this quality mill. I worked for Olney’s J-set in Seattle years ago. That
is the mill that got the daily use of four or five jewelers. I have never
had any trouble rolling any type or width of material. As far as ease of
operation, of course the reduction is easier. But it won’t hamper you in
the least. So is driving a car, instead of a bicycle. I still sometimes
walk into the handle though.

Base your decision more on how much you will use it and for what. Either
is quite adequate. Be careful of the lower priced one’s. I have a friend
who worked for a shop that had an odd looking one with a big exposed gear
on the side. The metal that came off the square rolls was pretty scored
and rough. The flat rolls are not as true on the cheap ones’ either.
“Nobody is ever sorry for buying the best.” Will Rogers

Tim


#9

Hello Andy and all! Just adding to my post on the cavallini mills. I am
unfamiliar with the Durston mills, have not seen or used one. Who ever
started this post and is considering a mill better listen to you and get
the reduction gear. My one to one cavallini is not as difficult as yours
sounds. It is work, but not hard.

Tim


#10

well hello everyone, i really had to step in for this one,i owe it to my
mill!!

Most shops seem to have the reduction gear. I think their decision is
fine. I have seen several without the reduction gear. Everybody’s choice
it seems like. I chose the cavallini 100mm combination 1 to 1 ratio. I
chose it following the theory that "You can feel when the metal starts to
harden, and needs to be annealed."
That has proved true in ownership of this quality mill.

Be careful of the lower priced one’s.
Tim

glad you pointed this out. i have had my cavallini rolling mill (double
rolls, 100mm each for wire and sheet) for 13 years now and it served me oh
so well! of course i had the fortune of buying it directly in italy when i
was there…

maybe this will sound too ‘philosophical’, but i do want to state the
importance of ‘feeling’ the working/making process with your body. you do
feel the metal needing hardening (or something else) when you have a way
for it to tell you. technology is good, i am so much a fanatic at times,
but you have to find the balance. going for the easiest way (less effort,
physical, but mental too) is not necessarily always ‘good’ or desireable.
the goldsmith world tradition involves physical labor too and i myself
have learned through it a good deal. drawing your own wire or rolling your
own sheet is a physical experience. as everything else, like melting your
own alloy and just heaingr/seeing/feeling the metal changing state under
your hands, eyes and breath (if you still blow torch solder…)

hope it wasn’t too long and far off.

happy rolling,
emanuela
oakland, california
http://www.sirius.com/~ema


#11

I just purchased a Durston 120 mm combination mill from Rio Grande. They
have discounted their mills from thier catalogue prices. Call them. The
one I bought was listed at $995 and they sold it to me for $798. Give them
a call. Vince. Eugene, OR.


#12

Vince, don’t tell me that! I paid $860 for the 140 mm combo mill. But it
really works well. Not quite big enough to wring out the wash but it will
roll a three inch strip with only moderate grunting and effort. Geo.


#13

Dear Steven Sherrill I could not agree more. I just in this weekend ma=
naged
to buy a used German Dinkel double milling machine; hardly used and
looking like new, but certainly had a 4,5:1 ratio gearing on the plate
side - if not larger, It is a dream compared to the old 1:1 mill, whic=
h I
have borrowed, and which I just want to get rid of now. Go for the bes=
t
you can afford, and then just put in a few dimes extra.

Kind regards
Niels L=F8vschal, Jyllinge, Denmark
@L_F8vschal
phone (+45) 46 78 89 94