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Selecting Rolling Mills


#1

I am about to purchase a rolling mill. If you have a comment on any
make, I know that I would like to hear it and many others might as
well. I am considering the PEPE mill. However I will buy a more
expensive one if the added value is there.

Thank you.
Franklin


#2

I recently bought a small PEPE mill from Andy at Stuller. He gave
me good advice and a good price. I love it. It’s not too difficult
to turn and has everything I need. I was surprised to get so much
for so little money. Call Andy at Stuller.

LaVerne


#3

My experience with PEPE tools so far has been a poor one. I would
suggest that you buy a durston or cavalini rolling mill either one
will give a lifetime of service.

Jim Binnion

James Binnion Metal Arts
Phone (360) 756-6550
Toll Free (877) 408 7287
Fax (360) 756-2160


@James_Binnion
Member of the Better Business Bureau


#4

Hi Franklin,

Funny you should ask. I just asked my local supplier to find me a
Durston rolling mill (they’re not as widely distributed here as some
others, like Cavalin or Pepe). The reason I want a Durston relates
to a thread on this wonderful forum last year, and if you search the
archives of 2003, you’ll find it. I did, and here it is:

https://orchid.ganoksin.com/t/durston-service-was-cavallin-vs-durston-rolling-mills

Basically, a contributor to Orchid (James Binnion) had a problem
with the gears on his mill that he’d had since 2000. Apparently, Mr.
Durston called from England, followed up with an email and sent Mr.
Binnion his parts all the way from England to the USA within 48
hours! That kind of customer support will attract me as a customer
every time. Compare that with the recent non-support that another
recent contributor got with her jeweler’s bench (I won’t go into the
negativity there, suffice to say I’ll never purchase their product).

Don’t get me wrong, Pepe makes a great mill, as does Cavalin and
many others. And I’ve never had a support issue with them since I’ve
never had a bad product from Pepe (never had any product from
Cavalin). But your posts mentioned you’d buy a more expensive one if
there were added value. I can’t speak about the others, but Durston
most definitely does, if only by their incredible customer support.

Standard disclaimer, not an employee or affiliate, not even a
customer yet, but I expect to be one within the next few days.

James Duncan


#5

If you are looking at Price, Portability, Warrantty, Versatiliy. I would
look
into the Karat Rolling Mill. The Orchid Archives have a lot of material
regarding this little mill.

Kenneth Singh
Karat46@aol.com


#6

I have a Cavalin combination mill that I bought over twenty years
ago that works fine. I didn’t get the gear reduction as the same
amount of energy is required with reduction or without. One can get
the same effect by not rolling the metal so fast. I have been very
obnoxious with the mill and there is some pittng in the rollers, but
it seems this just gives them a little better bite. I have jumped on
the mill to crank it and it has never needed a repair.


#7
Basically, a contributor to Orchid (James Binnion) had a problem
with the gears on his mill that he'd had since 2000. Apparently, Mr.
Durston called from England, followed up with an email and sent Mr.
Binnion his parts all the way from England to the USA within 48
hours! That kind of customer support will attract me as a customer
every time. 
Just wanted to let everyone know that this was not some kind of

special service that Jim received. I also had a problem with the
gears on my Dunston mill, and I also received a personal phone call
of apology from Mr. Durston himself, along with a new set of gears
and rolls. Clearly, Durston is committed to a quality product and
will go the extra mile (or several thousand miles) to keep their
customers happy.

Doug

Douglas Zaruba
35 N. Market St.
Frederick, MD 21701
301 695-1107
@Douglas_Zaruba


#8

Hello,

Mario Di Maio equipment is quite big here in Greece. They are an
Italian manufacturer and their machines, tools and equipment are
very high quality. I’m not an employee or have any affiliation with
them, just a satisfied customer. I’ve got a motorized bench rolling
mill from them (GL 100 model) which was less expensive than the
Cavallin model and had more extra features (wider opening of the
mills, two separate stations one for wire rolling one for sheet
rolling). I’ve also got a flexible motor (not sure of the name in
English) and it’s a monster. I’ve been working with these machines
for three years now and I’ve had no problems whatsoever.

Their site is:
http://mariodimaio.it

Lee Lyssimachou
Lee Feenix Art Workshop
Greece


#9
I also received a personal phone call of apology from Mr. Durston
himself, along with a new set of gears and rolls.  Clearly, Durston
is committed to a quality product and will go the extra mile (or
several thousand miles) to keep their customers happy. 

Doug,

That is precisely what I meant with my post. I didn’t mean to imply
that any “special service” was made. I was attempting to sing the
praises of Durston’s customer support as the “added value” that
Franklin Cox was asking about in his post.

James


#10
That is precisely what I meant with my post. I didn't mean to
imply that any "special service" was made. I was attempting to sing
the praises of Durston's customer support as the "added value" that
Franklin Cox was asking about in his post. 

Jim,

That's just it. "Special Service" seems to be the norm at Durston.

Everybody gets it. I wish all companies were so customer oriented.

Doug
Douglas Zaruba
35 N. Market St.
Frederick, MD 21701
301 695-1107
@Douglas_Zaruba


#11

Dear All

I am a UK based hobby jeweller with pretensions towards the semi
profession al, and am keen on buying a rolling mill without
bankrupting myself in the processes. I only seem to be able to find
Durston mills in the UK, which start at the unfeasible high price of
A3400 - A3500 (England is a pricey pl ace to live). After searching
E-bay and looking longingly at US web sites, I finally found a
potential mill from India through an export company
http://maneklalexports.com/English/Jewelry/RollingMills.htm, who
stock mills starting at the very reasonable price of about $150,
though obviously I have to put shipping and tax on top of that.

However, before committing myself to a lengthy wait and a financial
outlay to a group that I have no knowledge of, I was wondering
whether any of you fine people had experience of these kinds of
products? If so, words of advice would be much appreciated, as I have
been (no doubt we all have been) guilty of buying low cost tools and
regretting it bitterly when they have failed to live up to
expectations.

Kind regards
Chris Penner
www.collarsandcuffs.co.uk


#12

Update: I mentioned in this thread that I was planning on ordering a
Durston mill very soon, and I have. My order went in to Rio on
Monday for a 130mm combo that I await with great anticipation!
Finally, a mill to call my own!!

James


#13

I bought a lot of tools from India. Some of it is very good, others,
so&so (the snippers and disc-cutter) The mill is OK for wire, that I
use as a filigree worker, but no good for sheet. There are 4 extra
rolls. I am sure I`ll buy a MUCH more expensive mill later! When
you start buying tools from scratch, a lot of money blows away!

If you order something from India, dont forget to order a LOT of
sawblades and burs at the same time, they are good, and very well
priced. The freights, customs, and costs to take it to our country
was about 1/3 of the invoice amount from India. I waited three
months. Check up if they will sell you the tools if you don`t buy
for at leas 500$, some of the Indian webshops don’t. Many of the eBay
sellers sell these tools. I recognize the labels.

Lise
http://www.justliss.com
http://www.voringfossen.com


#14

Chris

I too am UK based but have pretentions of being a professional since
I have made my living, such as it is, at this for 6 years now. I have
a Durston mini mill and love it, Ok even with 18 stone behind the
handle reduction gearing would be nice but I manage - just take
smaller bites.

I am sure I payed less than 400 for mine, found it just now at 309
plus VAT and carriage and I’m sure one could do better than that. I
can’t speak to the indian made mills but just look at some of the
comments on here regarding service and Durston and you know it makes
sense!

A mill still pays for itself in less metal stockholding very quickly
apart from all the fun things one can do with it.

Cheers

Andy Parker, Agate House Lapidary
Ulverston, Cumbria, England
@Andy_Parker
www.agatehouse.co.uk
Tel: 01229 584023


#15

Chris,

Although I understand that the Durston Mill might be out of your
price range, with rolling mills, you get what you pay for. The ones
from India are just that, cheap. Fine for a the novice who might
use it for the occasional squish of wire, sheet or roller print, it
is not a tool you would want to grow old with.

I have two Durston rolling mills in my school. I bought my first
120 mm combination in 1993, and it is still working perfectly. I
have a 150mm flat, and I love it. At my first Tucson Gem Show at
Rio’s Catalog in Motion, I met the sales person who represented
Durston. I bet if you contacted them and told them that you read
Orchid, and would like to work out a deal, they would help you out.

Good luck!
-karen

Karen Christians
M E T A L W E R X
50 Guinan St.
Waltham, MA 02451
Ph. 781/891-3854 Fax 3857
http://www.metalwerx.com/
Jewelry/Metalarts School & Cooperative Studio


#16
That's just it. "Special Service" seems to be the norm at Durston.
Everybody gets it. I wish all companies were so customer oriented. 

I second (third?) that. The service and attention that I’ve
personally received from them since I bought my C150 last year has
been … well, breathtaking. It has easily been the single most
cordial and rewarding company-client relationship I’ve ever had, in
or out of the jewellery making business.

Cheers,
Trevor F.


#17

Hi Chris I have been looking for reasonable priced rolling mills in
the UK as well. I have just found Goulds Jewellers in Hove have
some. Their address is http://www.gouldsjewellers.co.uk. I don’t know
much about these but they have been very helpful in answering
my questions while I decide what to buy.

Hope this helps Joy


#18

Wellll Karen, let me say this about that. Many many years
ago…about 30…I learned my smithing in Taiwan in a friends jewelry
factory. After some months with his gold and silver smiths, he took
me down town to the Taipei ‘tool district’ and we shopped for a basic
load of tools. In addition to all sorts of hand forged pliers,
gasoline pump torch and strange dividers, etc (all of which I still
have and use), I also got a Chinese made rolling mill. It is a 120mm
and has square wire slots to boot. Now this thing really looks bad.
The cast body is rough, it is big and it is heavy. the gears are huge
and rough. Know what? I’ve used this thing for 30 years and will
probably be using it for many more. Some years back, I made all my
own wire and plate from scrap silver…thousands of ounces of it.
It served me well through all that…Know what I paid for it?
$50US. Thats only fifty dollars. The rollers are still true through
they probably could use some cleaning. Otherwise it is a great
machine. Not sure what this means to those needing a machine but
just thought some might want to know what the rest of the world works
with.

Cheers from Don at The Charles Belle Studio in SOFL where simple
elegance IS fine jewelry! @coralnut2


#19

Hello Chris

I bought my mill about 4 months ago. I chose a Durston mill. Not
because I have so much money. I too have to watch out, I’ve just
started in the jewelry semi-proffesional direction. I also have
consicered cheaper stuff. But in the end I took quality over price.
I mill is something you will have the rest off your life. I mean
that you don’t buy a new one every 10 or 20 years. A Durston will
indeed last this long.

Greatings

Kristel Verhaert
Peter Benoitstraat 21/5
3500 Hasselt
Belgium