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Searching for a rolling mill

I am a beginning metal worker with an interest in jewelry design. I
want to purchase a rolling mill that is not necessarily high end
because money and need are limited. What I want to use the mill for
is imprinting designs onto copper, sterling, brass and gold filled
sheet metal. I see various rolling mills on ebay but the sellers
have not answered my questions so I am at a loss to know what to
purchase. I think that a mill that can accommodate a max. of 14 gauge
sheet and wire is what I want…and that it have 3" rollers, 80mm
opening, 80 or so degree of harness of the rollers, 5 rollers which
include wire and pattern, and a gear ratio of 4:1.

However, Harbor Freight is selling one which has a ratio of 3:1, no
hardness info, and can accommodate sheet up to 2.0066 and wire.197.
They say that 3:1 is better than 4:1. Is this true? I have hand
problems because of arthritis and need a smooth ride. I do not know
how to translate the numbers that they provided into gauge numbers so
I don’t know if it, though inexpensive, is suitable. Is the Harbor
Freight product a safe bet,and what gauge would you think the
numbers mean. Should I buy from [snip] through ebay and pay a bit
more? Any on rolling mills would be very appreciated. Any
own who knows of a new or newish mill for sale would be helpful.
thank you for including me in the orchid group. Regards,Bjeweled

I think that a mill that can accommodate a max. of 14 gauge sheet
and wire is what I want.. 

Barbara, remember to allow for running some sheets of copper or
brass through the mill with your metal, if you might use materials
like metal screen which would mar the rollers without protection.


Hello Barbara,

A rolling mill ist not just a rolling mill. The used ones are not
always the best choice to make even if you are limited in finances.
Just give it a second thought, if you had a good mill, whould you
sell this one? If your mill doesn’t fit (or not anymore) to your
aspectations, whould you sell it for a less then its value ?

What I’m trying to point out is the fact that buying an used mill
includes a risk which can not be calculated.

Many mills are obused or not bin taken care of. Rusty spots, oneven
rolls by always feeding your stock into the same place. Gear wich is
not bin oiled well. I’ve seen people using sanding paper to clear
there rolls from little rusty pits.

I’ve purchased a rolling mill, years ago now, from Rio Grande being
an european. The same mill whould of bin 3 times more expensive here
in Europe. The one I have is a Durston mill with a 1:4 reduction. To
me this is smooth and easy working, I love it. I can use it for fine
detailed work or for heavy rolling actions. That mill takes it all.
You can ask people from Rio Grande or others to help you out in
order to choose the mill for your specifications. Rio had (or still
has) a small videotape you can buy in order to give you info about
rolling mills. Might be helpfull if this option is still open.

Don’t forget to collect all the you can get. It will pay
of and if you don’t have the finances yet for the mill which fits to
your standards… then wait untill you’re able to purchase the
correct mill according to your specs.

I hope that this info gives you a clearer view of rolling mills. I
know it’s not complete but other members of this forum have also
more info and finally you will end up with lots of do’s and dont’s
concerning rolling mills.

best regards

I too, am looking a buying a rolling mill and would appreciate any
about choosing one. The Harbor Freight mill is really
inexpensive - that can’t be a good thing (can it?).


The last time this subject came up, the consensus of opinion seemed
to be that Kenneth Singh’s “Karat” rolling mill is just about the
best economy mill, made to good specs regarding hardness and having
all the features you’re after if I remember rightly.

He has an ebay store as well as a bricks and mortar store in NY
called Karat 46 Jeweler Supply (someone will correct me if I’m
wrong). Just google Kenneth Singh Karat and you’ll find his ebay
store and you’ll be able to contact him.


Hi Barbara, I recently went through the rolling mill purchase
ordeal. I looked at the harbor freight mill but decided against it
due to the fact it only would accept 2mm thickness of metal. In
other respects it seemed to be reasonably well made rollers looked
good and its inexpensive. If you don’t need to work with more than
2mm thickness of metal it should work for you. I then bought a karat
mill from Kenneth Singh. The mill arrived with a rusted areas on one
roller, a bent handle and a layer of rust covering the underside and
inside the mill body. After returning that mill I looked at the new
Pepe platinum mill, not cheap but about 40% the cost of a Durston.

I read specs and spoke with their techs and I bought one. The Pepe
works like a champ and I am thrilled with the mill. The Pepe in my
opinion is far better than the “economy” type mills I have used in
classes but I can’t compare it to a Durston as I have never used one.

Jim C Doherty

Hi Everyone,

I have a rolling mill for sale, it comes with rollers for doing wire
also. I purchased it from Rio Grande a couple of years ago, thinking
that I would get into rolling my own sheet metal and wire…and I
didn’t. Now I have Neuropathy in my hands and feet and can no longer
make jewelry.

It has never been used except for once when I first got it. I paid a
little over $300.00 for it and would be happy with $150.00 plus
shipping cost…which I would think would not be more than $30.00.
There is not rust and it has not been abused.

If you are interested email me privately.

Thank you
Pat Everett, President