Monday, July 25, 2011

Tool Time: Rolling Mill

I've been wanting to texture metal for awhile now. I want my studio to be as environmentally friendly as possible. So I was reluctant to do chemical etching on metal. So I was looking for another way to texture and transfer images onto metal.

Enter the January issue of Art Jewelry magazine with a whole article on using a rolling mill to transfer an image onto metal.

Since then, I've wanted a rolling mill. I back-ordered a Durston mill from Rio Grande but after 2 months, it still wasn't in so I cancelled and re-thought my purchase. Since I'm not rolling metal at a high volume,  I decided to save some money and go with an economy mill.

They call this a mini mill, but I can tell you from bringing the box into the house and unpacking it, it doesn't feel mini. It's heavy!

Because this is an economy mill, there are a few bells and whistles missing. There are no numbers on the top gears help you determine settings.  I'm going to get a feeler gauge from the auto parts store ('cuz I can get those quicker than ordering online) to help me with the settings. Once I figure out the settings, then I'll mark the top gears so I won't have to do it again.

I've annealed some copper to run through the mill. I'm off to try it out now. While you wait to see what I'm made, do you have a new tool you're trying out in your studio or maybe in you house?


Clamworks said...

So cool! I've been trying to decide between a mill and a shop press for my next "big" purchase...I can't wait to see what you do with this!

Alice said...

Like you, I'm leery of using chemicals to etch metal. I'd love one of these (not sure my checkbook would agree)!

About a year ago I purchased a dremel tool and finally got around to using it this past week. Power tools and I have never gotten along, which is why I was hesitant to try it. I have determined that I need LOTS more practice.

Enjoy your new rolling mill!!!

KayzKreationz said...

That looks interesting and sounds like fun. I too have thought about etching copper, but don't want to use the chemicals. I'll wait to see how yours turns out and what you make. Thanks

John Dearden said...

my last new tool was a foredom drill. it works great. I need to experiment more with it.

Your rolling mill is beautiful. I have been wanting one ever since I tried one at our local community college but price has stopped me (until I convince myself on how it will help me with my jewelry more).

I cannot wait to see what you make with it.

Cheryl K Roe said...

I am so jealous, I would love to have a Rolling Mill. Enjoy!

Cindy Gimbrone said...

Hi Claychick, Alic, Kay, John and Beadroe! It took me soooo long to decide and now that I have it, there's more to it than meets the eye! It comes wrapped and slathered in thick grease so it doesn't rust. Much heavier than it looks! It's set up and wiped off and now I need a free afternoon to roll my sheet metal through!

Rolling on (rollin' eyes lol!)

Miss Val's Creations said...

Oh! This looks fun!!! Avoiding chemicals is always a good thing! ~Val

Charlene said...

Cool. I love getting new tools so I can imagine you are pretty stoked about this. Can't wait to see what you do with it.

jeanetteblix said...

Hey Cindy, my new rolling mill arrived today and I am reading the instructions about set up etc. Can't wait to actually use it! I am sure we both are going to have so much fun with it!

Sandivolpe said...

Hi Cindy,

Just etched some metal today, I have been
looking at the different sizzix type machines,
like the Vintaj one. Do you know how the mill
Is different. Thanks for any advice.


Cindy Gimbrone said...

Hi Sandi,

The difference as far as I can tell between a sizzix and a rolling mill is that the sizzix isn't as heavy duty as the rolling mill. You wouldn't be able to do the printing in heavier gauge metal like I can. The sizzix is more light weight for paper and foils.

Hope that helps! Happy rolling!