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Purchasing rolling mills

I am interested in purchasing a rolling mill and was wondering if I
could get some advice on brand, cost, and ability to pattern silver
sheet and how you go about doing this. I am not a production jeweler
but a small operation that sells 30 -40 pieces of my work a year. If
anyone can help me out I will greatly appreciate it. Tom Munson Salt
Lake City

I also do a limited volume of work. I bought an Arjan flat rolling
mill for $199+shipping (as advertised in the Lapidary Journal.) It’s
no Cadillac, but it does a fine job of texturing silver sheet. Can’t
beat the price-

Lee Einer

Tom - Contact : Ben Costa - International Rolling Mills 401-722-7811.
Also if you are not a member, you might want to become a member of
MJSA ( Manufacturing Jewelers and Suppliers of America). It is a
great organization with lots of and perks available to
it’s membership.

Carl Seadale
Gardener Specialty Metals
Manufacturers of Gold and Silver sheet and wire, gold-filled and silver
filled sheet.

Dear Tom, I gave up on rolling mills two decades ago…to me it is a
good example of a concept that looks good on paper, but doesn’t
justify itself in practice. I have become accustomed to casting odd
sized wires ( shank sections, etc.) and I always buy sheet
stock…it is far superior to anything you can produce with a hand
operated rolling mill. True, the cost of buying milled stock is
greater, but it would seem to me that your time is the more valuable.
When it comes to casting the odd wire, I always incorporate it into
custom order casting…you can even combine it with the custom piece
you are making. To each his own!..Ron at Mills Gem, Los Osos, CA.
P.S. If I were contemplating buying a rolling mill I would probably
opt for one of the mini-mills…hopefully some of the Orchidians
will have some input on the subject.

Tom, I couldn’t disagree more w/ Ron. I use my mill many, many times
throughout each day. While I do pour up my own sheet-- golds,
sterling, bronze and shibuichi (see my article in Lapidary Journal,
July 2000), I would still use the mill even w/ storebought sheet and
wire. It allows me to carry less material and guages in stock, to
produce sheets in the exact thickness that I desire, to reuse my scrap
to create new bezel material, tube stock, etc. and to produce alloys
that are not readily available commercially. Ingoted and rolled sheet
and wire are far, far superior to most, if not all, cast items: they
are denser and so less porous and brittle, and the time it takes to
pour and rol out a small bit of stock is much less time intensive than
and costly than casting (which I also do). Roller printing and
texturing are yet another advantage.

As far as the type of mill: I used to use a Durtson mini, direct
drive mill, but now own (for 9 years) the large Durston, doule roller
w/ 120mm flat on top and 120 graduated square wire on the bottom. A
4:1 reduction gear makes life easy. Durston makes a wonderful mill
and their’s comes w/ 1/2 round side rollers as well.

I hope this helps. Andy Cooperman

If you are serious about your jewelry career (as I must be - been at
it for 30+ years), a rolling mill is an indispensable tool for your
shop. Rolling mills and draw plates - couldn’t imagine doing without them.

Dear Tom. Like you , I am a small operation. Two years ago, I
purchased a small economy mill that has paid for itself fifty times
over. I find it meets all my needs and more. It is a Karat
(tradename) mill, and it cost $265 delivered to my door. It included
two flat rollers, two sheet patterned rollers (two patterns per
roller), and a half round roller. I later bought a pattern wire
roller from them that had 18 designs for wire on one roller for $199
(ugh) but it also has paid for itself in spades. The company I bought
it from was advertised (and still is) in Lapidary journal (Arjan
enterprises) and they show a picture of the mill in there. There are
also other brands of the economy mills, I believe that one is called
"Contenti". They are pretty much the same, and I think for your
purpoese would work. I suppose that you are also aware that you can
place fabric, sandpaper, etc. over your metal and run thru flat
rollers to obtain designs, and some companies (Metaliferious) carry
brass and copper pattern sheet that you can run thru the mill with
your metal to tranfer the design. They are good for several runs.
Hope this helps, Good luck, Suzanne

Dear Andy,

I think that we have an apples and oranges situation here…I get
the impression that you are a studio type jeweler and that you need
to acheive a wide range of effects. I make no bones about the fact
that I am a full service family retail manufacturing jeweler in a
small town. I make things that average people need and want and I
perform the full range of services that are needed. I would really
like to have the time to experiment with textures and exotic effects,
but I go where my customers have needs. Most of the time I am
grinding out repairs and boring custom orders. On the other hand,
once in awhile I get a challenging customer order and I relish it !.
I rarely have time to build stock and have come to rely upon
consigned goods to serve the cash and carry needs. Since I am on the
verge of retiring, I dream of one day soon having a little place in
the mountains where I can play with alternative designs and
techniques. In the meanwhile, I can do quite nicely without a rolling
mill. And, as I mentioned before, since I am going to be ultimately
changing my lifestyle, I would like to hear from those who might have
had experience with the mini-mills. Ron at Mills Gem, Los Osos,

Hello Andrew,

… by the way… a very good article you wrote and I’m going to
use it.I’m new in those Japanese alloy’s and technic’s but I’ve to
try it out since I’m study how to get into wmokum� gan�. However …
to reply on buying a rolling mill or not,this is my believing.It all
depends on the kind of jewelry you make,your production scale and the
metals you use.In my early years I wasn’t interrested in a rolling
mill at all,but after dealing with jewelry for a copple of years
now,I discovered all those empty area’s which a never tryed out
before and then you come to this perticular point… rolling mill or
not ?Well I bought one from Durston (120 mm 4:1 gare)and had many
troubles with it.The mill itself was not the point,but I didn’t know
exactly how to use it.Nowerday’s,I use my rolling mill more and more
for all kinds of jewerly jobs and I can not imagine working without a
rolling mill.If you really going into odd jewelry making, it is a big
help having one but you could make very nice jewelry without a
rolling mill.

If you feel the need for a rolling mill then go for it and figure out
what you whould like to do with it in the future.I’ve heart a lot of
people who bought tools wrongly because they never think about this
purchase long enough.Think about it twice and try to plan further in
time what you could realize with this very helpful tool. If you don’t
need it at this very moment,then wait,but remember that those tools
to not get cheaper in time.

I leave the answer and the question all up to the ones who are
thinking about getting one or not.Again think about it very seriously
and live in peace with yourself.Isn’t this what really counts ???

Regards Pedro

hi , i just want to ask you about you bought the rolling mill ? do you
know how much about " Contenti " ? where is this mill made ? and can
you tell me more your experience in you use your mill ?

Hi, Ron. Yes, I am. And yes, I do. But I’m puzzled as to why
you’re pointing this out? I don’t think I’ve added anything to the
rolling mill thread (though I do love the mill, and do use it for
texturing). What comment of mine are you responding to?? --Andy

Lisa, I have a Karat (brand name) mill. It is made in India and while
it is not as “high end” as the more expensive mills, it gets the job
done great and I have no problems with it. Best thing is : pattern
rollers available for it, 2 wire, and 20 bracelet rollers. Most of
the econo mills are made in India, don’t know about Contenti, sounds
Italian, but you never know. For the price these mills are a true
bargain, selling from $199 to $299. Good luck, Suzanne

I have 2 used rolling mills for sale, an Indian Mini Mill and a
Durston S140. The Durston isnt really used, I bought it without
actually seeing it, and it wasnt what I needed. They can be seen at:

There is also a link and phone number of Gold Machinery, where I
bought my big rolling mill, also a Durston, D2-140. They are very
nice people, fast delivery, and had a pretty good selection of mills
at good prices. He will deal with you a bit too.

I make all my gold plate and wire, from Maple Leaf Coins which are
’four nines’ gold (99.99% Pure), and allow down as necessary. It sure
beats the fabrication charges of buying it ready made. I am very,
very happy with the big Durston, especially since it has a 7:1 gear
ratio for sheet, and a 3:1 gear ratio for wire.

Feel free to contact me off the digest if I can help you.

Love and God Bless
Check out the Web Site
Home 214-321-6253
Work 469-775-6650
Cell 214-213-0777

For those who have recently expressed an interest in compact economy
rolling mills I suggest that you check out Contenti at Click product search. In the “search in” field
scroll to “drawing” and in the field for “find” enter rolling mills.
You will find info, prices, and pictures.

Ditto,I use my mill every day for sizing stock sheet.I have two mills
Both are Cavallins Lfr-120 and a F-100.They are a little pricey but
for me worth everydime as they will last forever and are
dependable.One I would not do with out is the reduction gear and a
combination roller.I pour ingots into a cast iron mold that I have
sitting in a cast iron pan to catch any spills.I use a hand crucible
and a mini torch with a #5 or #6 tip I have cut the end off of this
allows me to melt fairly large amounts with propane and oxy.Enough to
make the ingots I need for stock.If I need a mono ingot I use my
bigger hand piece.I have all my torches set up on quick release
fittings so I can switch back and forth with ease.These are sold at
welding supply houses and are anodized green and red.Best J Morley
Coyote Ridge Studio Where the apples are fallin and the flys are

Randy, I Checked out your web site and saw your new mill.Nice.You said
you roll out twenty feet of wire.What size ingot do you start with?My
ingot mold will only make like a three or four inch ingot and I was
thinking of rolling out some heavy bracelets.Any suggestions?
Thanks J Morley Coyote Ridge Studio

Bottom line question; does the Karat rolling mills come with flat and
wire rollers? Marco

Dear Suzanne . I beg will you be so kind to inform me if you still
have the address of Arjan , the company that sells the Karat rolling
mills, and how many patterns or rollers they use to come with.
thanks, Marco

well I can say for myelf I am jealous of Randys new mill. It
certainly looks like a good one. If we lived closer I would choose
you for my best friend. Karen Bryan

Dear Marco, Arjan Enterprises, 43 Bethune Blvd., Spring Valley, New
York 10977 Phone: 1-800-221-4812 (ask for Kenneth. Also see picture
of mills in this month’s Lap Journal page 86. Marco, I like the Karat
mills better than the Contenti, as they have pattern wire rollers
available for them and come with more rollers initially. Mine came
with 2 flat rollers, 1 half round roller, and two pattern sheet
rollers (two patterns per roller). The pattern wire rollers are
extra, but they will fit this mill. I called to order another one
last week and Kenneth said he would have an even better mill in
about 8 weeks. Suzanne