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Recommendation for a rolling mill

Yes and thank you .for your interest , you can see some of my new vids on my FB page “Wingsfarm” , where I teached a 7 y.o. girl to make her own silver ring in just 5 hours . It was her first time in a goldsmith atelier .
The german site is "goettgen,de "

For the original poster.

Buy the best tools you can, including the best mill you can. But when you’re starting out be a minimalist and only buy what you must (and make your own coffee).

Its better to have an economy mill than no mill at all. Better to buy inexpensive basic bench tools and a less expensive mill than to have a nice mill and no tools. It all depends on where you’re at financially, what work you’re trying to do and which tools you need to do it.

Everything has a START , and I did the same when I was younger . But you know what they say , " we are too poor to buy crap tools " . You’ll spend more money for repairing them and your work quality will lack and you;ll not up your level . So , learn as amuch as you can about quality materials you must use in your trade and you’ll know what you need better . Then spent your money in an intelligent way , .knowledgeably .

I have a Durston DRM C 100 R. The biggest groove is in the center, and the pointer is metal.
And on the Durston HP they are all like that.
Giacomo, I remember well that you got yours a short time after I got mine. You mentioned it in the Goettgen Forum, and I felt nearly ashamed that I as a hobbyist had one before.
So - did they make a special edition for you?

PS: I admire the work you do and regret that you do not produce this wonderful videos any more!

Hi Giacomo,

Where are you and your amazing craftsmen friends located…:-)…?

Janet in Jerusalem

I think a lot of us old timers have Cavallin mills. How come they are not considered (nowadays) in Orchid discussions of rolling mill recommendations?

Janet in Jerusalem

Europe - Romania , Bucharest .

In my country are many private craftsmen working in small companies with profiles as turning , machining and heat treatment of steel .

They can make almost everything you need and special treatments for hardening steel .

The only thing they need is a good drawing with clear specification .

I think they can take orders from anywere outside the country .

But - as always - you must take your risk , because there’s no forest without brushwood .

I personally have some bad experiences with people not so good in their trade and waste a lot of time and money .

There are some very important specification for a perfect rolling mill , like the quality of the steel , cemented gears - not crude iron , like most of the rolling mills have - and the size . You don’t need a monster in your workplace just because it’s reccomended by a company who needs your money . You must think and appreciate yourself what kind of work you’ll do with the rolling mill , then find the right model at the right price .

I’m thinking for a long time ago to start a business in making good quality rolling mills for small shops , but that’s a project who will need money and seriosity . Like any comercial activity , the customer trust is the main value for good relation and sales .

Now I have to leave the net , a lot of work to do at the bench . I hate to write … speaking is more easy .

Hi Jaqui,

I bought a made in India economy mill about 15 years ago. They are sold by many names. I think mine was a VC Karat. They all cost around $ 280.00. I used it until I decided to buy a Durston. I have never regretted either purchase.

I have seen a lot of Pepe type mills in shop photos. And there are other brands out there

Which ever you buy, resist the temptation to over do the capacity of the machine.

Buy the largest and best you can afford the money and the shop space to own.

Good luck

Don Meixner.

Which ever you buy, resist the temptation to over do the capacity of the machine.

In this regard, Is there a limit to how much you can increase the pressure when roller printing?

I have owned a Durston Mill since college. It is an older style that has weathered abuse from hundreds of students, friends and myself of course. I met Michael Durston long ago at Rios Catalog in Motion in Tucson. It’s a great machine.

There are great mills made in Eastern Europe, but the issue for me was, when a problem arises, who will you call? Use the tool as it is meant to be used. Buy the best if you can afford it. Good tools last for years and they increase in value. It’s an ouch in the wallet, but your Durston Mill will last longer than the debt it incurs.

Karen Christians
Western Avenue Studio, #506
122 Western Ave.
Lowell, MA 01851
Karenchristians.com
781-367-4992

I personally have never owned a rolling mill, and I therefore have no idea what makes a quality tool.

However, I have owned many tools of various kinds and I am completely convinced that what Karen says is true. It’s cheaper to buy the best and cry once…

A Durston customer service story.

I have a Durston too. Years ago a posted a complaint about it on this very forum. The handle was too short, shorter than my hand width making it uncomfortable to use.

Mr. Durston read the post, contacted me and send me a new longer handle, no charge. It’s perfect. I’m grateful each time I use it.

The OP might also consider searching Craigslist nationally and Ebay for a used mill. I see a used Cavallin and a Durston for sale in various cities as I write. Around the OP’s price range, maybe a little higher. Also a cheapie Chinese or Indian (IDK which) for $200. Check Greyhound for shipping, they seldom lift things very high and are cheap, if slow.

I kept an eye out for several years and finally found an old no-name mill from someone who collects machines for $150, mounted on its own roll around cabinet. There is no gearing on this mill, but there are several sets of rollers. I was able to use emery paper (loop it around a dowel and put the two ends through the mill and pull up to the dowel and continue turning to sand) in various grits and with a LOT of turning the rollers are now smooth, if not polished. This is fine for me, as I will be working in silver and working the metal after rolling, so I am going to either leave a sating finish or polish after construction.

Rollers for mills are usually casehardened and have about 0.050" of hard surface. If your rollers get rusted or pitted, find a local machine shop that does precision grinding on centers and have them ground and polished. I think my local guy (found through cold calling from a list of local machine shops) way out in the country quoted me about $150 to grind the rollers. Hope this helps.

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Here’s my Durston Customer service story. In 2003, while running Metalwerx, a student cranked the rollers so tight that a tiny rectangular pin cracked in the handle. This was before video chat, FaceTime, Skype, etc., I called up Durston, and his name is Matthew not Michael, and he worked the problem with me over the phone. I would send a still photo over email, and after a few photos, we sleuthed the problem. To this day, this is one of my better customer service experiences.

Karen Christians
Western Avenue Studio, #506
122 Western Ave.
Lowell, MA 01851
Karenchristians.com
781-367-4992

Indeed… Matthew Durston (@durston) is a Platinum Member of Orchid.

Hi Jacqueline,
Good to see your post,
You don’t have to save so many pennies now for a DURSTON C130 Rolling Mill.
Please visit our YouTube channel
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCyrnZylhgAfbWvx2T9mxMeQ
Please view our NEW Durston Rolling Mill. The AGILE 130.
If you have any questions please let me know.
Matthew Durston
Durston Rolling Mills
www.durston.com

Giacomo,
Years ago on the older models the largest groove was on the end. Then, maybe 10 years ago, when we introduced new models we changed…
The reason we place the largest groove in the centre is because the largest groove takes the most stress and there is no break point.
At the end of the roll could be a weak point.
Now to roll breaking. I can tell you that in all the years that we have machined the grooves this way we have never ever had a roll break on the grooves.
Matthew Durston
Durston Rolling Mills
www.durston.com

Mr Durston ,

In a few days I will post a small video showing how difficult is to acces the smallest grooves at the end of the roll .

As for the other reasons which make me have negative opinions about the mill DURSTON not want to go into polemics. I have my experience and my criteria, which do not match - unfortunately - with the device made by you. .
Others are making the grooves also in the middle of the cylinder , but they are more subtile ( or more experienced ) , placing the smaller ones at the opposite end from the crank , where they can be seen in plain light and being accessed easily . Maybe they talk with their jewelers customers and keep count on their demands . Who knows ? For example , here is a photo of a rolling mill made by other brand :

Have a nice day ,

Giacomo

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I’m in the same boat
Ive only got 3000 pennies but I’m getting another $500
Contenti has a special right now however I think the specials are for Pepe
check it out
I’m thinking Durston I want it to last
good luck

Hi Zurn,
In 2-3 weeks @RioGrande will have our new Agile 130 rolling mill, The price is really good. - and remember that Durston Rolling Mills hold there value almost like no other piece of jewellery equipment.
You don’t have to save so many pennies now for a DURSTON C130 Rolling Mill.
Please visit our YouTube channel
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCyrnZylhgAfbWvx2T9mxMeQ11
Please view our NEW Durston Rolling Mill. The AGILE 130.

If you have any questions please let me know.
Matthew Durston
Durston Rolling Mills
www.durston.com

1 Like