Ive been hearing about the new model Karat rolling mill from the grapevine apparently it has changeable top and bottom rollers, allowing for a full length selection of square wire grooves and shallow half rounds, as well as full length flat rollers. Although their web site is still under construction, Arjan Enterprises reports the mill is already in stock, priced at $275, with 5 rolls. Has anyone seen or used this mill? My only concerns relate to how the interchangeable structure holds up under steady use. Just wanted to check around a little before I buy.
Christopher It means a lot of changing sounds like do you really need all that?.. I have one large flat roller and one smaller wire roller and it works perfectI am not changing rollers which is not an easy thng to do maybe im wrong hope to hear more later about this [email protected]
If you have monitored the board for awhile, you will know that I really enjoy the Karat mills which I consider the best bang for the buck. You have to remember that they are made out of case hardened steel. I have dropped rollers and cringed, but it is almost impossible to to hurt them. The mechanisms for changing rollers is very simple and dont see how it could go bad. My mill is an earlier design in which only the top rollers are interchangeable. I have 5 different top rollers that I am constantly changing and have no trouble at all. I have been looking at the new one also as I have two rollers that I use alot and find myself going back and forth between the two and that takes time that I would rather be producing, so my second mill will be for convenience as I will keep each roller on its own mill. If I could afford it and had space, I could use three or four of them. What you get for the money on these mills is unbelievable. Hope this helps you, Suzanne
P.S. If you get one, it is a good idea to write down (or draw) which side goes where when you change the rollers as unless they do now, mine did not come with a diagram which would have really helped the first time.
I had one of these mills (not the Karat brand, but same mill) for a couple years. Mine came with the full sets of rollers, so I could do flat, square, triangle, round, and half round, and I also had one pattern roller. Here are my impressions:
First, it pretty much did everything I asked of it, with some limitations. The main one is that the rolls barely open wide enough to admit a 3 mm ingot, so if you are making your own stock, you will have some forging to do to get ingots from the common molds to fit, initially. Second, unless Arjan already does it, you WILL need to replace all the hold-down bolts with decent quality alloy steel bolts the OEM bolts stretch out in use almost immediately. You cant take quite as heavy a bite as with a bigger mill, but it works OK.
I used it for about 8 months before I had to change the bottom rollers for the first time (I initially installed the combo rollers on top and bottom for flat, round, and square). When I went to change them, I discovered several of the gear teeth on the driven roller had cracked, and one actually fell off when I removed the roller. After some conversations with the supplier again, not Karat, it developed that he had gotten what he considered a bad batch of rollers, not properly heat treated. He sent me an entire new mill to replace the defective rollers. No complaint over that service! After that, no problems. I did eventually replace it with a Durston, mainly for the 6 mm sheet capacity on the Durston. Now the Durston is a much finer mill, but at almost triple the price. I sold the old mill for only a few bucks less than I paid for it, so not bad for two years service.
This is not brain surgery. It takes less than 5 minutes to change a roller. The flexibility and options are so well worth it. You can pay $800 or more for an expensive mill that cant do one third of what these mills do. Your choice.
It took me a while to figure it out too. Heres what you do: First get a pencil and paper and write down or draw every step you take when you do for next time! Next: Remove the four bolts on top of the mill next(kinda under) the top gears. Set aside the top part. Pull out the roller complete with square steel blocks on each end. REMEMBER WHICH SIDE OF BLOCKS IS FACING UP BEFORE YOU REMOVE!!! mark them if you have to. One block will slide off and the other one has a bolt that you remove from the end of the roller. Inside this will be a small metal horseshoe (?) piece that fits inside the block to hold the roller in place. Remove all that and then place the new roller in the position of the removed one remembering to replace the little metal horseshoe and bolting the block on. Replace everything as you found it and you are in business. Here are some other things I have observed: 1)Make sure that the side gear wheels are meshed (not on top of each other) when you replace the top gears. You will know when you havent gotten it right because you wont be able to tighten the top bolts and will gaze around in bewilderment as I did the first time it happened to me! 2) To true up the mill (or any mill), remove the handle on top and turn the top wheels until there is no daylight between the rollers and you sense that the rollers are truly parallel to each other. Then replace the top handle into the gears and your metal will roll true. I know all this sounds complex, but when you do it a couple of times, it is real fast. Also remember to keep ALL mills oiled well. I use Singer sewing machine oil (DO NOT USE SILICON PRODUCTS SUCH AS WD 40 as they will turn gummy!) and at night when I am done, I throw a rag soaked in the machine oil over my mill and then place a plastic grocery bag over that to keep the dust out. Hope all this helps, if you run into trouble with it,give me a holler. Keep rolling along,
While I agree that WD-40 will turn gummy, its because its mostly kerosene. Its NOT a silicone (spelled with an e on the end. Without it, its the metal which when oxidized, becomes quartz). silicones dont become gummy. theyre good lubricants, but not really the best for heavier equipment such as rolling mills. Your singer sewing machine oil, or any light oil is fine. for those with environments more prone to cause rusting on the tools, you might want to use plain automotive motor oil, since these oils also contain some rather useful corrosion inhibitors. When rolling if you want the finest surface, especially if using a heavier oil, youll want to wipe most of it off before rolling your metal, as the oil can leave an imprint on the rolled metal. With most rolls this isnt detectible, as theyve just got a ground finish anyway. But if youve polished your rollers, for example, which can give you brightly polished metal right from the rolls, then cleaning the oil off before rolling becomes important.
I have recently purchased the inexpensive, imported from India, Karat Rolling Mill. So far it is working well. Until I tried to roll a sheet about 3.5mm thick. It seems that the gears are spread too far apart at that width and start jamming up. This seems like a very silly question but I will ask anyway: is there perhaps a trick that will get it to roll a thicker piece without jamming up? Also, is 3.5mm a common largest width for rolling mills or is it just my inexpensive machine?
Jill: that seems like an awful thick piece of metal, it would take a long time to roll it down to useable size, my ingot mold makes about 3mm thick ingots. My advice would be to anneal and hammer it down thinner. Anneal again and then roll and make sure you anneal often. If you pickle after annealing make sure you dip into water with baking soda to neutralize the pickle or youll etch and stain your rollers. Theres no trick I know of for the rolling mill, at that height the teeth arent meshing. Hope this helpsDave
Dear Jill and Richard, I believe the thickness of the material you can roll in a mill is related to the diameter of the rollers themselves. I just ordered a dursten mill with 60mm thick rollers and it will take up to 7mm. Vince, Eugene, OR.
Its really important when considering the purchase of a mill to look at the maximum thickness for sheet (and for wire if it does wire too). And for just the reason you mention. The gear can chip and break if they are too far apart when you roll something through the mill.
Other rolling mills do accommodate billets thicker than 3.5mm so your machine does have a rather limited capacity. I have a 120mm wide 4:1 Cavallin and Ive done 6mm thick pieces with it. And yes, the 4:1 gear reduction is invaluable, especially for this kind of thick stock. Donna
One other way to decrease the size of the billet thats not as wasteful of material as grinding, is forging. The billet is relatively soft in its normal state after cooling. Place the billet on an anvil or solid steel surface thats well supported. Use a heavy (2-3 lb.) hammer with the wide, flat face to forge the billet thin enough to go through the mill. Work the billet evenly to leave the surface as un-dimpled as possible. If theres a thick (3/4 in. or greater) piece of flat steel available, it could be placed on top of the billet & the hammer applied to that. Depending on the reduction necessary, the billet may have to be annealed after forging & before rolling.
Determine the depth (D) of your mold at the deepest spot. Subtract the mill roll opening distance (O) from this number. The result is the distance from the top (T) of the mold a mark should be placed. The formula is D - O = T.
When making the roll opening measurement, be sure the teeth stay meshed for the entire circumference of both gears. How much the gears need to be meshed depends on the contour of the gear tips. If the gears do not mesh sufficiently, theyll wear more at the tips & have a tendency to try to climb over one another. If they climb over one another theres every probability of serious damage to some part of the mill.
Use a scribe or cut off blade to incise a mark along the inside of the mold for the full length at a distance T down from the top of the mold. The line only needs to be deep enough to be easily seen while pour billets for rolling. When pouring billets that will be rolled, stop pouring when the line has been reached. The line wont interfere with casting billets that are thicker than rolling billets.
No studio is ever complete without a solid rolling mill. Whether you want to roll wire, reduce the thickness of sheet metal, or simply get creative with pattern imprinting, youll need one of the best rolling mills for jewelry to get the job done.
However, you definitely want to get your moneys worth when buying a new jewelry rolling mill. The number of options available on the market today can be overwhelming, so to help you out, we reviewed our top 3 picks. All of our top recommendations offer excellent quality and performance the main differences between them are their price, roller width, and additional features so that you can find the option which suits your needs best.
The Pepetools Ultra Series 90mm combination rolling mill is an amazing tool for such a reasonable price. This model offers you great quality, decent roller dimensions, and a powerful reduction gearbox for optimized efficiency. Its our favorite budget rolling mill.
The best aspects of this tool are its strength and durability, especially considering its price. The body of the Pepetools Ultra Series 90mm combination rolling mill is produced in the USA out of one-piece solid construction cast made from precision steel. Plus, the handle is forged and has an ergonomically designed wood cover.
Its really hard to find the same build quality in products within the same price range. Cheaper models are typically made from lighter metals which offer less strength and durability. Theyre also made to a much lower standard of precision and quality control. This is an excellent entry point to one of the best manufacturers on the market right now.
Its really easy to work with. Thats a big contrast with other affordable models. To maximize torque and provide more force with less effort, the Pepetools Ultra Series 90mm combination rolling mill comes with a 4:1 reduction gearbox machined from aircraft quality aluminum.
Its plenty versatile for a lot of folks. The Pepetools Ultra Series 90MM combination rolling mill offers a decent surface area for both metal sheet or wire rolling tasks. The product has an overall roller width of 90mm. The flat area is 50mm, while the square grooves come from 0 to 4mm.
Unlike the Durston Mini 80mm combination rolling mill, the Pepetools Ultra Series 90mm combination rolling mill has no added extension rolls to give you an additional flat or wire surface area depending on your needs.
Because combination mills sacrifice surface area for more versatility, the extension rolls can compensate for this, allowing you to roll wider sheets of metal. If you need more surface area, think about investing in a rolling mill with extension rolls.
Durstons mills are recognized globally for their reliability and versatility. Its no wonder why this one is hailed by jewelers worldwide. The Mini C80 rolling mill is compact but extremely solid and powerful a perfect example of why Durston is such an established brand in this marketplace.
The Durston Mini C80 rolling mill provides great precision, stability, and strength. Its made in the U.K from high-quality, one-piece cast iron. Plus, it has a heavy, sturdy build and precision-hardened nd ground rolls to 64RC.
To allow more flexibility and adapt to different jewelers needs, the Durston Mini 80mm comes with flat extension rollers of 5mm that have four half rounds. With this feature, youll be able to roll wider sheet metal pieces.
Although the extension flat rollers are a great addition, still, the Durston Mini C80 rolling mill has 80mm rolls with a diameter of 45mm. As a comparison, both Pepetools combination rolling mills reviewed here come with 90mm and 160mm rolls, respectively. So, this model offers the smallest surface area for sheet rolling, which can be a problem for anyone that works with wider metal sheets.
Although a relatively new product on the market, the Pepetools Ultra 160mm combination rolling mill has established itself as a tool that provides incredible versatility for jewelers who work on many different projects and pieces. Its the largest mill in the Pepetools Ultra series, specifically designed for more strength and flexibility while working.
The Pepetools Ultra 160mm combination rolling mill produces maximum rolling efficiency with little physical force. The model is powered with a proprietary high torque with a ratio of about 4:1 and an additional high-speed gearbox.
Its extremely strong and durable, not to mention that its made in the USA. The Pepetools Ultra 160mm combination rolling mill is made from Ductile housing, providing a frame thats dense, lightweight (agile), and stronger than the traditional grey iron cast found on the market today.
On top of all that, the product is specifically designed to adapt to many different projects, because it comes with massive 160mm-long rollers. The rollers have a 77mm flat area, square grooves from 1 to 6mm, and a roll width opening of 7mm great dimensions for almost any task. Plus, the rollers have a superior 65mm diameter, allowing you to roll wire in many dimensions.
Built largely to provide more surface area, the Pepetools Ultra 160mm combination rolling mill is simply overkill for small studios and beginners. If you dont work with bigger pieces of jewelry you probably dont need that much capacity. Most folks will be perfectly happy with the Durston or the smaller Pepe above.
The ultimate choice for professionals who need a lot of versatility in their work is the Pepetools Ultra 160mm combination rolling mill. Its an impressive tool the 160mm long rollers make it suitable for wider projects. The 77mm flat area is more than adequate for larger metal sheets, while the 1 to 6mm square grooves offer incredible size range for wire rolling. Its a great tool for larger and thicker sheet metals. Buying this tool might be a big investment, but youll get lifelong value for a variety of jewelry projects.
However, not everyone can afford the Pepetools Ultra 160mm combination rolling mill. Plus, its a bulky machine not suitable for small studios, which is why the top pick for most jewelers is the Durston Mini C80 rolling mill.
Durston is a recognizable brand that stands for quality and longevity. This specific model is also relatively versatile for its size, because it comes with an extension of 5mm rollers, compensating for the short 80mm roller width. This Durston offers maintenance-free bearings and large, easy-to-read calibrated discs, making it a great choice for newcomers as well as longtime professionals.
If youre on a budget, the Pepetools Ultra Series makes for a superior 90mm combination rolling mill thats very reasonably priced. This model doesnt lack strength nor durability, unlike many other models with a similar price tag. Its ergonomically designed with a forged wooden handle for more comfort.
Buying a rolling mill is a big investment that many jewelers will make only once in their career. You should think long and hard before deciding on a budget for this vital tool. If your circumstances allow, you should even consider saving some money so you can afford a higher-end model that fits all of your current and future needs.
The future of your career is another major factor you should consider when deciding how much youre willing to spend on a rolling mill. You might not need the most high-end product now, but a roller mill is a long term purchase. Where will you be in a couple of years, and how will your needs change? Think about this before committing to a product.
However, we are not always able to adjust our budget to our wishes and needs perfectly. This is the reason why we recommended the Pepetools Ultra Series 90MM combination rolling mill as a good value product for those not ready to splurge.
There are two types of rolling mills electrical and manual. Although almost all smaller jewelry studios are equipped with a manual rolling mill, an electric one makes a lot of sense for a larger venture, as it allows for faster, large-scale production. Of course, it does cost a lot more than a manual rolling mill.
Having said that, we think that an old school manual rolling mill is more than enough for both amateurs and experienced professionals, which is why we only included manual rolling mills in this article.
Another important factor when choosing a jewelry rolling mill is the maximum roller width. The wider the roller, the more flexibility and working surface you have. This will tell you how wide of a metal piece you can work with or how many grooves for wire rolling youll get.
Before choosing a rolling mill, you should keep in mind the thickness of the stock you work with. The maximum opening width of the rolling mill determines how thick a sheet or wire you can roll through.
A reduction gearbox reduces the physical force necessary to roll metal. Because rolling metal is extremely hard and takes a lot of force, you shouldnt buy a rolling mill without reduction gears. The most common ratios of reduction gears on rolling mills are 6:1, 5:1, and 4:1.
A: You need to clean and maintain your rolling mill properly to prevent rusting, just like any other steel tool. You can use 600 and 1000 grit sandpaper, a wooden dowel, and/or WD-40. Keep in mind that you oil the rolling mill only when its not in use, and you clean and remove the oil completely before using it.
A: Yes, cold rolling does increase metal hardness. Its a process that moves metal through rollers at temperatures below its recrystallization temperatures. This process will increase the yield strength and hardness of the metal. (1)
We hope that you found our reviews and buying guide for the best rolling mill for jewelry useful, and now youre one step closer to making the right purchase. You can follow the title links to learn about each individual products price, in-depth specifications, and customer reviews.
Ganoksin is the worlds largest educational internet site for the jewelry, gemology and metals field. We also offer an online community which has emerged from this project. Learn more
As a wholesale supplier to jewelers and other industry professionals, Rio Grande wants to avoid presenting wholesale pricing to retail consumers. In addition, the U.S. Patriot Act requires all suppliers of precious metals to maintain full contact information for all of its customers.
This mokume gane 9 millimeter wedding band contains 14-karat palladium white and sterling silver. It is a comfort fit wedding band with 18-karat yellow gold millgrain rails and a liner. It was designed and produced by James Binnion of James Binnion Metal Arts, LLC in Bellingham, WA.Mokume gane translated from Japanese means wood eye metal. This rare metal lamination process was developed and used by Japanese craftsmen in the 17th century for the adornment of samurai swords. and rails, settings, servicing and quality issues.
The materials used for this mokume gane manufacturing overview are alternating sheets of 14-karat palladium white gold and sterling silver. The central portion of the featured mokume gane example in the first image is made of the same materials. Each sheet of metal is approximately 1.5 millimeters thick. Ganoksin is sponsored by
Ganoksin is the worlds largest educational internet site for the jewelry, gemology and metals field. We also offer an online community which has emerged from this project. Learn more
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The steel ball or steel grinding ball are a material grinding media of ball mill and coal mill. It functions as an important component of the ball mill under grinding and cutting effect brought by the friction between grinding balls or grinding ball and materials.
The steel ball or steel grinding ball is a material grinding media of ball mill and coal mill. It functions as an important component of the ball mill under grinding and cutting effect brought by the friction between grinding balls or grinding ball and materials.
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