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Rolling Mill Alternative

Does anyone know of an inexpensive alternative to a rolling mill
? In Canada, a good 100 mm combination mill goes for over $1000
Cdn. I am a hobbiest, and it is hard to justify that kind of cash
outlay. I need the mill to roll patterns into sheet silver, roll
out silver (ie change thickness), roll out my sheet solder, etc

Milt Fischbein

Before there were rolling mills there were hammers. I?ve used a
2 lb. sledge hammer to texture annealed sheet metal for years. If
the sharp edges are beveled, it can impress screen wire etc.
into sheet. The trick is to use overlapping and even blows. In
some ways it?s better. Different patterns can be impressed into
different parts of the sheet or added to cut outs without as much
distortion as rolling mill.

Marilyn Smith

One thing not to try is a pasta roller, which I did until I
collapsed one roller. Now all I get is lumpy pasta. In all
honesty, I waited until I was in business for about 3 years and
purchased the smallest rolling mill which RIO had to offer.
Please note I said smallest, not least expensive. Don’t waste
your money on a rolling mill with ANY plastic parts, (this
includes covering). It is an expensive investment, but one I
have thanked myself again and again. (I spent about $400)

Milt: I have been researching mill as I am due to buy one.
Toronto Jewellers Supply sells the Tatum T-120, wire and flat
combination for $850. It is made in Spain, the only problem for
me is that it doesn’t have any half round slots. It still is a
lot of money but Gesswein sells it’s poor cousin (70mm)
combination for around the same price, they are both made by
Tatum. Not sure if that helps but there you go anyways.

Cary James,
Cary James Designs
P.O. Box 336
Manuels, Nfld
A1W 1M9

Can’t you order from american catalogs? I have an inexpensive,
(well, 350 bucks…) rolling mill that I use to imprint designs,
and to flatten things. It doesn’t have that 4:1 ratio or
whatever that makes it easier to turn. I wouldn’t use it for
breaking down ingots or anything, but it’s ok for roller
embossing and lighter jobs. Sometimes you can emboss patterns by
taping things to the front of the annealled sheet, putting it
with the taped area face down on your flat steel plate, and
hammering the heck out of the back. not as neatly done as a
rolling mill, but it can work… anne

Generally the proper tool for the job is the best way to go. If
you are REAL GOOD with a hammer, you “can” do some amount of
drawing, forming and texturing but you cannot duplicate a mill.
For wire, you might look into drawing plated (round, oval,
square, triangle, etc.) and draw stuff to your specifications.
The problem with this is getting the metal into a form that is
drawable, no easy feat by hand work. Also good drawing plates
are not cheap. If you are really needing to do this sort of
work, look for used mills from schools, out of business jewelers
and mfgrs., put an ad in your local papers, look in jewelry
magazines, or even go in with one or more other metal workers and
split the cost. The proper tool for the particular job is very
hard to beat! Good luck.

John and Cynthia/MidLife Crisis Enterprises
Maiden Metals/C. T. Designs/ Bloomin’ Wax Works. etc.

PO Bx 44, Philo
CA 95466
Ph 707-895-2635 FAX 707-895-9332

The playfulness of the Universe
is reflected in the dance of the stars!

Thanks to all those who replied to my question about rolling
mill alternatives. It appears that the only alternative is a
sledge hammer. I think that I will likely have to search for a
reasonably priced commercially available mill. In this case,
there seems to be no substitute for the right tool.

For those Americans who mentioned mail order to me, yes I can
order out of US catalogs, but with the low exchange rate today,
plus taxes, plus shipping, a mill sold for $500US will cost about
$900 Canadian once it gets to Calgary. There are a couple of
local suppliers who are competitive with that. Last time I
ordered from Rio, a small $200 order cost me approx $350 Cdn FOB
Calgary, and the excahnge rate has gotten much worse since then.

Regards Milt Fischbein

there are sledge hammers and there are sledge hammers. The one
that I use is only two pounds and has a short handle. Ican do
things with it that I can?t do with a rolling mill which I don?t
have but do have access to. I can place different textures on
selected areas.

Marilyn Smith

Please indulge me here for a moment. I’ve noticed several
Canadians commenting about prices in U.S. catalogs and stating that
the prices quoted on jewelry tools, supplies, etc. in U.S. currency
(U.S. Dollars) are always at such a disadvantageous exchange rate
with regards to Canadian currency (Canadian Dollars). But I’ve not
noticed this same complaint whenever someone writing in from
Germany (Deutchmarks), or France (Francs), or Sweden (Krona), or
Thailand (Bhat), or wherever, is ordering the same from U.S.
companies. Am I missing something here? Do we not all realize that
the currency markets are in a constant state of turmoil, with rates
fluctuating wildly day-to-day, week-to-week, month-to-month? And
that if you are in one country, and place an order for product in
another country, there can be no possible resemblance of "equality"
in what a Pound Sterling, or Lira, or Dollar (Australian, Hong
Kong, Canadian) is “worth” on any given day? This is a fact of life
in a highly unstable global economic environment. Why should Canada
be immune from this? Please correct me if I am wrong on this.