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Routine maintenance for rolling mill


#1

I’m new to the industry. I just purchased a used Durston rolling
mill. Can someone please tell me the best maintenance routine for
this machine? I know not to touch the rollers, and that’s about it.
It was supposedly never used and there is an oil residue on the
rollers. What do I clean it with, etc? Thank you for taking the time
to answer my question.


#2

Hi Shannon,

You can touch the rollers, it’s not that big of a deal as long as
you’re keeping the rolls oiled. The oil on the rollers is probably a
good thing, as long as it’s a residue, not a thick brown coating.
(They ship with a thick coating on them for protection in transit.
If that’s what you’ve got, clean it off with WD-40.)

The things I would to do a brand new mill are: (in order)

(A) Make a cover for it. Heavy canvas. Keeps the dust off, but
breathes to let moisture out. (Dust can either get rolled in,
scarring the rollers, or serve as a starting point for rust. Bad in
either case.) If you keep your rolls oiled (not everybody does) you
really need a cover: oil attracts dust, which starts rust.

(B) Lay in some oils. First would be LPS-3. (Orchard hardware
sometimes carries it, or (mscdirect.com) It’s a reasonably thick rust
inhibitor. Keep the rolls covered in that in-between uses if you
expect it’ll be more than a few days until you use it again. Messy
as hell, but your stuff will not rust. Wipe it off with WD-40
before you use the mill. Second, get some WD-40. It sucks as a
preservative, and it’s not much good as an oil either, but it does a
pretty good job as an oil solvent, and it will keep the mill clean
while you’re running. You might also investigate the nature of the
oil/grease recommended for the bearing blocks and gears as long as
you’re buying oil. (check the manual.)

© Make foam oiler pads. Find a dead couch, and scavenge the foam
out of one of the pads. You’re looking for open cell foam. (The tan
fluffy stuff) Cut a strip of it so that it fits the width of the
rolls, and is tall enough to crush down under the lower one. Load it
up with light oil. A light oil like sewing machine oil is what
you’re looking for. Do the same thing for the upper roller if you
can, jamming the foam up above the upper roll. Since that one moves,
the upper pad will need to be thicker.

The idea is that the pads wipe the rolls clean and then oil them as
you roll. You’ll need to clean them off, and/or replace them every
so often, but that’s not a big deal. If you know you’re going to be
sitting for a while, pull the pads out before you spray the rolls
down with LPS-3. You don’t want the foam sitting still in contact
for months at a time.

Hope that helps.

Regards,
Brian


#3
I'm new to the industry. I just purchased a used Durston rolling
mill. Can someone please tell me the best maintenance routine for
this machine? I know not to touch the rollers, and that's about
it. 
It was supposedly never used and there is an oil residue on the
rollers. What do I clean it with, etc? Thank you for taking the
time to answer my question. 

Use a tissue to get the residual oil off.

There was a comment from one of my teachers, about aligning the
Durston rollers, maybe our friendly Durston representative could
instruct us on the procedure of re-aligning the rollers.

Kindest regards Charles A.


#4

Hi Charles,

I had to re-align one of the Durston’s at a school I taught at once
upon a time. I took pictures. My instructions are here:
http://www.ganoksin.com/gnkurl/33

Enjoy,
Brian


#5
I had to re-align one of the Durston's at a school I taught at
once upon a time. I took pictures. My instructions are here:
http://www.ganoksin.com/gnkurl/33 

Hooley-dooley :open_mouth: That’s a bit more fiddely than other mills. How
long do you think it takes to re-align a Durston?

Regards Charles A.


#6
There was a comment from one of my teachers, about aligning the
Durston rollers, maybe our friendly Durston representative could
instruct us on the procedure of re-aligning the rollers. 

I would like to read re-aligning process for Durston also. I
purchased mine from Rio Grande years ago, and it arrived with no
cleaning or use instructions. I guess they figured if you were ready
to spend that much money on something, you would have already used
one. I am self-taught, and had never actually seen anyone operate a
rolling mill. You are probably thinking “what’s to show”, you put
something in the rollers and crank. I asked Rio, and they sold me an
instructional tape which showed exactly that, but they did have a
cleaning process using oil and steel wool. I haven’t looked at it for
years, but I use 0000 steel wool, and a light mineral oil to keep
they rollers clean as I was shown in the tape. It is however a hair
off on the left (where the extension rollers are), and if you don’t
compensate during the rolling process, the piece will curve to the
left. It really is just a hair, so I have learned to live with it,
and compensate for it. The clips and gears on the top look straight
forward enough, but I am afraid I will make it worse, and the
shipping charges for these guys is… Thomas III


#7
I had to re-align one of the Durston's at a school I taught at
once upon a time. I took pictures. My instructions are here:
http://www.ganoksin.com/gnkurl/33 

Thank you so very much! This is exactly what I was looking for! It
would seem to me that a video or at least a sheet or booklet sent
along with each mill would be an appropriate thing for Durston to do,
given the cost of their product. A 50.00 space heater has something
to explain it in three languages. Thomas III


#8
maybe our friendly Durston representative could instruct us on the
procedure of re-aligning the rollers. 

Either wait for your friendly after sales support person, or just
search the forum. This question is coming up every year or so.


#9

Hi Charles,

If I hadn’t been taking pictures, I probably could have had that one
back in trim in 30ish minutes. Maybe less.

It’s not that big of a deal. A little fiddly in terms of the last
few passes, but not as fussy as many other things.

Regards,
Brian


#10

Making rollers parallel

There was a comment from one of my teachers, about aligning the
Durston rollers, maybe our friendly Durston representative could
instruct us on the procedure of re-aligning the rollers. 

1 The rollers are clean.

2 Close rollers gently until they stop.

3 Go down on your knees and very slowly raise the rollers.

4 See the thin line of light that opens up between them (there is a
light or white paper behind the roller.)

5 If the hair line is equal from the left to the right, the roller
is parallel.

6 If not, remove the center gear and adjust each each individual
gear until the hairline crack of light is parallel.

7 Replace center gear and the job is done.

meevis.com


#11
There was a comment from one of my teachers, about aligning the
Durston rollers, maybe our friendly Durston representative could
instruct us on the procedure of re-aligning the rollers. 

That’s for a non-Durston rolling mill isn’t it Hans?

Regards Charles A.


#12
If I hadn't been taking pictures, I probably could have had that
one back in trim in 30ish minutes. Maybe less. It's not that big of
a deal. A little fiddly in terms of the last few passes, but not as
fussy as many other things. 

That sort of goes hand-in-hand with what my teacher said, he did say
it takes about 20 minutes. CIA


#13

Hi Charles,

That's for a non-Durston rolling mill isn't it Hans? 

Nope, works for them as well. They the same as a Cavalin, which I
own.

meevis.com


#14

Thank you Brian for those directions! You saved me from years of
frustration. Years ago I disassembled that same model of Durston mill
to have the flat rollers re-ground. After reassembly, the alignment
was off. I asked a friend, Molly Strader, with MFA in metals for
help. The first thing she did was search on the internet and found
your tutorial. It took a few times, but we had fun getting it
perfect. My rolling mill was purchased used (abused really), and only
came with the short precession handle. Is there anyway to purchase
the compound gear handle separately?

Jean Marie DeSpiegler
Florida Society of Goldsmiths


#15

Hi Jean Marie,

I honestly don’t know, but I do know that Matthew Durston keeps an
eye on Orchid, so I expect he’ll weigh in here at some point.

Failing that, do a search back through your saved messages, you’ll
probably find one from him at some point. Use that for his email,
and contact him directly.

Hope that helped.

Regards,
Brian


#16

That’s for a non-Durston rolling mill isn’t it Hans?

Nope, works for them as well. They the same as a Cavalin, which I
own. 

So you’ve got a Durston that you don’t have to use a screw driver to
adjust. cool :slight_smile: CIA