I have a new rolling mill that I am planning on bolting to a stand
and then anchoring the stand into a concrete floor. In the past I
have always attached rolling mills to a very heavy bench, one that’s
too heavy to move at all. This new mill will fit into the space
better on one of those pillar-like metal stands. My question is,
should I worry about the stand coming loose over time? It just seems
like, even with those long metal expanding anchors that are sold to
fasten things into concrete, they might work loose as this big heavy
rolling mill on top of this skinny stand is cranked, pushed and
pulled day after day. Any suggestions?
a stand with a dolly underneath it that has locking wheels is a great
solution as it allows the user to move it where needed and replace
out of the way when not in use.and I for one, after going through a
flood and having to move things quickly wouldn’t bolt down anything
permanently. Stabilising it though can be done with lag bolts to the
stand- I had the platform the stnd came with modified by a machinist
to allow for a wider base and the attachment of a removable vise to
keep tension on wire that is sometiomes necessary, and also for the
attachment of an electric winch that coils the wire directly from the
mill to a spool. adding on what are essentially wings to the edges of
the tool holding base on the stand solves the issue of what is
seemingly “too skinny” a stand and makes the entire unit more
versatile when fabricating more than a couple of inches of mill work.
My sweet hubby used 3/8ths by 5 inch self tapping tapcons to anchor
my rolling mill into my concrete floor. After two years of (ab)use
it is still firmly anchored. Best of luck to you in not hitting a
piece of rebar or spinning the head of the tapcon as you drill!
My suggestion is to bolt the stand to a flat plate which rests on the
floor and then anchoring the plate to the floor. The plate should
take up some of the forces and won’t rock because it’s flat. That
should keep the back and forth stresses from loosening the anchors
holding the plate into the floor (use BIG LONG bolts). I have a fence
post that was anchored into concrete for a gate and it has worked
loose just from the dogs jumping against it. A plate or block at the
base of it would have kept it still longer. But alas I wasn’t asked
my opinion. And I could be wrong. But it makes sense to me.
In a shop where I used to work, the stand had been welded to a large
and heavy steel plate. This was not a perfect solution, but it was
fairly workable. Enough pressure on a stubborn roll would shift it
around a bit, but there was never a risk of it coming loose and
tipping over. An additional advantage was the ability to move it
around if needed, though it took some muscle to do so.
being more a builder then a metalsmith i can solve that problem for
you. bolt the stand into the concrete using dynabolts, 4 at 8mm
thick should be sufficient. to ease any stress on the stand put a
further stand at 45 degrees an bolt that into the concrete as well
joining just under the rolling mill. never having used a rolling mill
im not sure which direction the stress would be worst but i think if
you join the 2nd brace directly in front of the first post in the
direction the mill faces, it would be sufficient to stand a cpl of
ton force. dont drive your car into it to prove me wrong.
I have a rolling mill on a stand. I have never bolted it to the
cement floor for the very reason you mentioned.
In order to anchor the mill stand I took a piece of 3/4 inch plywood
that is 4 x 2 feet ( if you have more space use a slightly larger
size ). On the back of the plywood I attached two 2x4’s attached
with the wide width to the plywood and screwed these to the two long
edges ( these 2x4’s will now act as feet and add a space between the
plywood and the floor for the bolt heads ). I bolted the mill stand
to the center of the plywood and then attached the mill. I have been
using this for about 15 years with no complaints. I stand on the
plywood as I roll the metal.
There are achors called Chem Sets or something similar. You drill
your hole in the concrete put in the glass capsule of chemical &
insert your anchor bolt item which is chucked in a drill.
When you put the bolt section in you smash the capsule & the turning
the drill on cases the chemical to mix. It then sets. It will never
Call any large bolt supplier or building supplier & ask them.
When you put the bolt section in you smash the capsule & the
turning the drill on cases the chemical to mix. It then sets. It
will never come out.
I seem to recall that there is also some sort of uber-strength epoxy
used to anchor bolts into concrete or stone. Perhaps this is a
version of the product you mention? or another option to consider.
I have a fence post that was anchored into concrete for a gate and
it has worked loose just from the dogs jumping against it.
Actually the wood shrank away from the concrete. The dogs just
finished the job. Every mailbox in my neighborhood is mounted on a
4x4 post set in concrete. They all wobble except mine. 12 years ago
I bought a mailbox post made from recycled plastic. It is as solid as
the day after I put it in. That’s what causes most wood fences to
fail. The posts shrink away from the concrete they were set in
leaving a space for water to rot the wood. The best replacements are
galvanized metal posts then attach the wood to them. Better stop
there. Don’t want to turn Orchid into a home improvement DIY.
Silversmith and Lapidary Artisan
Rocky Mountain Wonders
Colorado Springs, Colorado
a stand with a dolly underneath it that has locking wheels is a
great solution as it allows the user to move it where needed and
replace out of the way when not in use.
What a good solution. I got my rolling mill used and it is mounted
to a handmade stand with a large truck rim as a base. When I use the
rolling mill I end up dancing with it across my shop. If I can make a
base with wheels that I can stand on I’ll have the best of both
Silversmith and Lapidary Artisan
Rocky Mountain Wonders
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Unfortunately I didn’t get the original post, but here is how I
solved my mill problem.
My rolling mill is not bolted to the floor in any way. It is however
bolted to the wall. It solved two problems, it provided a very stable
environment for my mill and provided the shop with a tough, stable
and useful shelf for other tools. My mill, by the way is a Durston
158mm combination, certainly no lightweight, with a cabinet stand,
though I’ve similarly mounted mills that were on a pedestal stand.
If you look on the first page of the ganoksin bench exchange gallery
you can get an idea of how it looks, though the shelf has so many
tools on it that it looks really short. It’s actually about 6 feet
long. I also ripped the board in half as a 16" wide shelf was just
too wide for my small shop.
Here’s how I did it. Using a 3/4 inch shelf board (mine is 16 in"
wide laminated particle board) that is as long as you can practically
use, put a shelf up at a height that will allow the board to sit on
the rolling mill stand. Anchor the shelf into as many studs in the
wall as you can. Drill holes in the wood where the stand accepts the
mill and bolt the mill back onto the stand. You may need to get
longer bolts than the ones provided by the manufacturer since you
have to go through the shelf now.
I’m not an engineer, but it seems to me that this method of securing
the mill spreads out the energy you put into it over a larger area,
works with the mills high center of gravity instead of against it and
reduces the stress on the base due to the reduction in leverage. If
you drop a small ingot, rather than it falling on the floor it just
drops onto the shelf and is much easier to find.
Dear Mark, Befor you go and drill into the floor you may want to
check this out. I worked for a fantasic gold forging person years
ago, Doug Legenhausen. He had his rolling mill on a stand, but it
was not drilled into the floor. instead he got a 1 inch piece of
plywood and cut it into a circle about 3-4 ft across. he mounted the
stand in the middle of the wood. when you use the mill you were
standing on the wood and it did not move around. the sides were
beveled and you could move it around the room. He could not drill
into the floor because it was a rented space.
My mills are mounted to the sides of two benches but if I ever get a
stand I think I will try to mount it onto wood first. also just so
you know, this was a one mill stand, not a huge eletric or double
My Durston Rolling Mill is mounted on a 1 inch thick steel block 6
1/2 in x 7 1/2 in. That is mounted on a steel 2x2 in “stem” which is
35 inches above the base plate which is made of a thick steel block.
These joints are all welded and bolted to a steel base which is 19
1/2 x 33 in. This whole assemblage is sitting on one of the four
wheeled/carpeted rolling furniture moving devises. I stand on the
base plate and the mill is just at waist high. The whole thing can
be moved around the studio.
My son is a machinist and he and his buddy built the assemblage -
said it would be around in the year 3000!.
Rose Marie Christison
Interesting, I have been using this same method for about 15 years,
only my mill is a double. I keep moving my shop and just got tired
of drilling holes in concrete floors and would never dream of doing
it to a wooden floor. Guess there is nothing new under the sun. I
like to be able to shove the mill out of the way and then drag it out
when I need it. Takes up less dedicated space in the shop.
yes helen, you are right. 2 different sorts of epoxy but serve the
same purpose. chemsets are easier to use but more expensive while a
company here in aus, called hilti, have a 2 part silicone type
epoxy. i have used both and both work well but then im not just
fixing a mill to a floor but fixing the floor to walls. as i said,
both are very good, but maybe we are talking someone into overkill.
personally id rather overkill then having it fail on me. just fussy i
guess and set in my ways.
Gadzooks, thanks for all of your great ideas! The idea of using the
stand and still have the rolling mill somewhat mobile had not
occurred to me. Bolting it to the floor with anchors and
adhesives…I had not thought of that either. Once again Orchids
giant brain has improved my life.
Before you throw out that old microwave cart…If it’s sturdy and
has locking wheels, you can bolt your rolling mill onto it and move
it wherever it’s most convenient.
I love the idea of using a hair dryer to melt red pitch.(Now why
didn’t I think of that!)
I have a large over-under Durston rolling mill bolted-- on a
"pillar" type stand – to a concrete floor. It has served me well for
many years and I roll a lot of ingots down.
You can use either lead anchor shields and lag bolts or “thunder
bolt” cement anchor screws, or rawl pins to hole everything in place.
Masonry anchors can all be found at home centers and hardware stores.
Each anchor type requires specific bolt and hole sizes.
Whatever you use will undoubtedly necessitate the drilling of holes
in the concrete or cement. You can use either a home shop hammer
drill and masonry bit (or even a standard drill and masonry bit) or
you can rent a large hammer drill from a rental place-even Home
I would recommend using large steel fender washers between the bolt
head and the mounting lug or hole on the stand. This will help with
stability. You can also use these washers to shim under the mounting
lug/hole on the stand, should the floor be uneven.
Good luck. Being able to drill into and mount things in concrete is
I don’t think your suggested solution to the problem is overkill at
all. As someone mentioned, the forces that are transmitted from the
mill being cranked, and down through the stand have to be catered
for. If the stand is to be bolted into a concrete floor, then an
extremely strong fixing is required, to eliminate the problem of the
whole thing working loose in a few years’ time. The alternative
suggestion of a portable fixing made of a large area piece of wood
onto which the stand is screwed is also a good one, even better if
the wood is stood on whilst cranking the mill.