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Repairing a Broken Rolling Mill


#1

Hello, I am a beginning jeweler (new to this list) who just purchased
a used rolling mill on Ebay. Unfortunately, it looks like it is in
need of repair. It is difficult to set the distance between the
rollers and they appear to be uneven and loose.

Ebay link removed - Sorry, No Ebay auctions on Orchid

It is a nice heavy duty mill and the roller surfaces are black and
greasy, but not pitted. My questions are as follows…

  1. What type of local business would be the best to contact to make
    repairs?

  2. Should I just take a loss on the shipping and return the mill
    for a refund?

I am hoping to have a good strong mill that I can use for a while.
At the same time, I need to stay within a fairly low budget.

Any recommendations?

Thanks!

Leora Druckman
Leora’s Creations
Ann Arbor, MI
@LeoraD


#2
It is difficult to set the distance between the rollers and they
appear to be uneven and loose.  

I bought a used Durston and it was knocked around in shipping. I had
the same problem you describe. In the bottom of my shipping carton I
found two small brass plates. I had a friend photograph the lower
area of her Durston (same model as I had) and e-mail me the closeup
shots. The plates were essential to making the rollers fit and I put
them back where they had been shaken loose from. If you can find the
brand of your mill, maybe one of us has the same model and can help
you out.

Donna in VA


#3

Hi Leora,

   What type of local business would be the best to contact to
make repairs? 

Stop by a machine shop or call the University Extension office & ask
to talk to someone in the Universities machine shop.

From your description of the problems, it sounds as though a good
cleaning is in order & possibly resetting the gears used to adjust
the distance between the rolls.

Neither problem is cause for concern. If a roll/s is/are pitted or
rusted, the folks at the machine shop may be able to re grind the
rolls to new condition.

Dave


#4

Leora,

Since the roller feels loose, check to see if the spring or springs
are broken or missing. The spring on my mill looks like a forged “S”

  • I had a friend who is a blacksmith duplicate the spring and harden
    it. We put the pieces back together and it is as good as new!

Dianne deBeixedon


#5

Hello Leora,

I believe you’d want to take the beast to a “machine shop.” Of
course, there are various businesses that go under that heading. You
do not want, for example, to go to an automotive machine shop. They’d
be good at turning brake drums and not much else. Since you are in a
University town, take advantage of that fact. Go to the Mechanical
Engineering department machine shop at the U. if they have one. If
not, several other dep’ts are likely to have an intelligent machinist
on the payroll; physics, astronomy, biology, even psychology, believe
it or not. Any department that needs to fabricate its own
experimental devices is likely to have a smart machinist on tap… ( I
used to be in charge of the machine shop for Rutgers Univ. Psych
Dept.) Anyway - the machinist does not need to be a jeweller or know
anything about jewelry, but does need to know what attributes make a
good rolling mill - mainly parallel rollers with good, accurate
adjustment mechanism and smooth, hard surfaces. It is not an exotic
or difficult set of criteria to meet. Let them figure out how to get
all that to happen. If they can’t take on the job themselves, they
will know where such a thing can be done. Even a good tech High
School shop could handle this. Let me know how things turn out.

Marty in Victoria


#6

You might try a machine shop and the rollers polished and centered

Andy " The Tool Guy" Kroungold
Tool Sales / Technical
Stuller Inc
Phone 800-877-7777 ext. 94194
Fax 337-262-7791


#7

Locally you can show it to john or Greg at CR Hill Berkley MI They
may have parts you need.

Kenneth Singh


#8
    Hello, I am a beginning jeweler (new to this list) who just
purchased a used  rolling mill on Ebay. Unfortunately, it looks
like it is in need of repair. 

Hi Leora;

I used to live in Michigan and like to hang out in Ann Arbor when I
was young. Don’t jump to conclusions on that mill just yet. It may be
that you don’t understand yet how the thing works and the rollers are
simply dialed out to the point where the threads have disengaged. The
top adjustment can be lifted off, thereby removing the center gear on
top. This will allow you to turn down the pressure gears on either
side. Play around with them, and if you have a “feeler gauge” or a
good eye you can measure the distance between the rollers and set
them pretty level. Then you can insert the center tensioner again. I
have a tendency to, sooner or later, usually in the name of
maintenance, take apart any piece of machinery just to understand how
it works.

David L. Huffman