Rolling mill tricks?

Hi there.

I just opened up the box on my brand new rolling mill - never used
on before. I read that cut-out paper makes a suitable pattern for
imprinting and gave it a try on some copper sheet (approx 21 gauge).
Not very impressive results. I used cut paper taped directly to the
copper. Nothing else. Can anyone offer some tips on getting the
maximum depth/strength out of my imprint?

I cranked it pretty hard/tight. Almost couldn’t turn the handle.

I heated the copper for about 30 seconds first, almost to about
soldering temp. I guess that annealed it. Not exactly sure. I wasn’t
very precise in that way.

Would a semi-soft backing behind the copper help give the "image"
something to squish into? What might that be? Same kind of paper as
the image? Something thicker? Dense rubber sheet? What about on top?

Does anyone have any experience with a certain kind of paper that
works best? I used card stock.

You can see I’m just sort of feeling my way about this - self taught
as always and can’t find much info. Any thing I “must do” that I am

You can see I'm just sort of feeling my way about this - self
taught as always and can't find much info. Any thing I "must do"
that I am skipping? 

Try this article at Ganoksin:

metal should be annealed, watch for the flame LEAVING the surface to
turn a distinct orange. Of course if your metal is glowing you are a
bit hot. Then quench immediately.

try pieces of sheet in the 24g range to begin with, and keep them
less than 2" wide until you figure things out as wider has too much
friction and is hard to do.


David, When I use my rolling mill for texturing whether the texture
material is paper or any other soft material such as cloth, I always
sandwich the piece providing the texture between two pieces of

Think of the two pieces of metal as two pieces of bread, with cheese
(the paper), between them. The advantage of the sandwich method is
that both the top and bottom pieces of metal pick up the texture at
the same time.

If you anneal, you should not have to crank it as hard as you said
you did.



When I do roll printing, I sandwich the metal between the paper die
and folded paper towel Paper die should be made out of hard
cardboard like the kind used to make file folders The metal should be
annealed The paper towel should be folded into five or six layers
sometimes more. I usually run the metal through the mill without the
die and towel to gauge the roller gap. Metal should run through with
no pressure. I then turn the handle about a half turn and then run
the sandwich through (paper die/metal/paper towel). You may not have
to turn the handle much after the dead pass, it will depend on how
thick the die paper and paper towel are.

Good Luck

Instead of paper, try a heavily textured fabric, like an old