If it doesn't work out for making thick earring posts from a
sliver off of a fine silver ingot, at least I still have an asset
for making rings and/or chains.
Earposts are normally round wire. You’ll have trouble making that
with this thing. If your sliver of starting stock is the right width,
you can reduce it and make it more uniform as a triangle wire shape,
or a D profile, both similar to some ring shanks. But unlike wire
rolling mills, the center roll is fixed, and flat. So the usual wire
rolling method of turning a wire 90 degrees between passes in order
to reduce all dimensions, doesn’t work. This only makes it thinner,
not narrower, at least not unless you make a new center roller for
it. What you COULD do, if you want to make fine silver wire, if you
can manage to get a reasonably uniform (in both thickness and width)
D shape or triangle shape wire with the roller, then you could anneal
and proceed with a drawplate to turn that into round wire.
And possibly I can either modify an existing roller or make a new
roller for special functions.
If you have a lathe, and a drill, new rolls would not be hard to do.
The advertisement says that the stretching works as a function of
burnishing. Will this mean that I will not need to anneal the
metal periodically as I work the machine over it?
burnishing? Nope. It’s rolling, same as a rolling mill. Sounds like
the ad copy simply translated something incorrectly from another
language. Perhaps the seller is only a seller (big surprise) and not
a tool user. The metal is being thinned. Whether that were from
burnishing (not easy to move that much metal with a burnisher) or
from rolling, it still work hardens, and periodically will need
annealing. But you did say fine silver, right? That might need
annealing at the start of the whole process, if even that.
Any other tricks or tips you would recommend for this little
While intended for stretching the shanks of rings to make them
larger, be careful if you actually use it for this. Unlike other
methods of enlarging rings, these rollers can seriously distort the
round shape of a ring, and can also quickly make a ring a lot larger
than you intended. Also,be aware that if you roll a ring shank that
has a tapered shoulder, and you go up onto that shoulder, you’ll
create an unfortunate step in the shoulder. In short, these can be
useful tools, but need practice. And remember that many times,
rolling a shank thinner to make the ring larger is not doing the
customer any favors. Thicker shanks will need a more obvious
reduction in thickness, and for those, it’s often best to size a ring
by cutting and adding a piece, so the original thickness can be
maintained. When you can’t do that, then these rolls are useful. And
since elongation is a function not of how many millimeters or
fractions thereof you reduce the thickness, but rather, a percentage
reduction, if you roll the shank of an already thin shanked ring, you
can size it larger with sometimes only barely perceptable change in
thickness. And then with those, because you didn’t solder in a piece,
the shank is not then annealed (which can make very thin shanks just
too floppy and soft), so sometimes this tool is better for the ring
than cutting and sizing. Like I said, practice and caution.
Hope that helps.