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Rolling wire

OK, err this might be a dumb question. I have a cheapo rolling
mill that only has 3 or 4 grooves for wire. I have very little
gold and want to make some wire. I cut off a piece of my small
ingot and rolled it through the only slot that would take the
piece and I got a square wire but with “fins” (real sharp too,
cut my finger with 'em). What the heck do I do next. I tried
cutting off the fins, not very sucessfully and drew the wire and
ended up with a not very satifactory product. Is there a quick
way to remove the fins perfectly so the wire will draw perfectly
and smooth? Dave
Crystalguy Art Jewelry, Magical Art Jewelry for the Enlightened Mind

Hey Dave, the little fins are because you tightened the mill too
tight each time you rolled it through. When you roll the wire
through, turn about an eighth of a turn the screw at the top,
gradually tightening each time. Then each time you run the wire
through, turn the wire 90 degrees. This will stop the fins.
You can remove them by filing, then roll the wire through with
the fin corners up and down. Be sure to anneal the wire
periodically. Hope this helps. Duane

Personally, I’d remelt the metal and try rolling it out again.
The trick is to open the rollers up and tighten them as you roll
out the metal. It may require 6 or 8 passes thru the mill before
the rollers actually meet. Remember to turn the wire so the fin
never really develops.

Bruce D. Holmgrain
e-mail: @Bruce_Holmgrain
snail mail: pob 7972, McLean, VA 22106-7972
phone:: 703-593-4652

Your problem is that you compressed your wire too too fast…
Start very slowly to turn down the pressure… You always get
"fins" when you turn the handle down too fast… Also did you
anneal the wire???You must go slowly as your have only 3 or 4
channels… Therefore too much pressure too fast etc… will also
make your wire more brittle and that you don’t need… calgang

Dave, when rolling wire, you need to go in small steps. You make
one pass and then rotate the wire 90 degrees and make another
pass before reducing the rolls on your mill. Make small passes
and make sure you roll in the same direction each time. After
your square wire has been reduced by 50 to 75%, anneal, and
repeat the process. It sounds as if you are taking too big of a
bite - resulting in fins - which will ruin your wire. Hope this


The reason you got fins is because you tried to roll the wire
down in size too fast. try reducing the size of the wire about
half a turn after each course through the mill. each course
consisting on two passes through the mill turning the wire
90degrees after each pass. Then anneal the wire and pull it
through your draw plate. your wire should come out much smoother.
wax your wire when pulling through the plate and it will be much
easier. Frank

piece and I got a square wire but with “fins” (real sharp too,

To get rid of the “fins” turn the wire 90 degrees and roll it
through the mill again at the same thickness. Actually, as you
roll the wire through the mill each time, rotate it 90 degrees
(so that the fins that begin to form are on the top and bottom,
instead of the sides). This should keep big sharp nasty fins from
ever forming. The first pull through you drawplate will get rid
of any remaining fins.


Hi Dave,

Your problem is that you are rolling a piece of metal that is
larger than the groove in your rolling mill. The metal is mashing
out the sides of the groove. You have to get your metal a bit
smaller. Try to hammer it down a bit before rolling it through.

Another way is to mash down the fins, rotate the gold 90 degrees
and roll it through again. That will get you down to a size small
enough to get through the rolling mill. Take a few more passes
through the mill until you are about 25% to 50% narrower.

The metal is NOT suitable for wire yet. The fins are still
there, just folded over. Get out your torch and with a small, hot
flame, melt the surface of the wire. Then you will have a nice
solid , but bumpy, peice of metal. But it will be of a size that
will fit through the rolling mill without getting the fins. Roll
it down to size and pull it through the drawplate. I have been
successful with making wire from metal that was originally much
too large for the rolling mill.

Best Regards,
Bill Raby