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A jewellery rolling mill, is used to thin / reduce smalle gauge wire and sheet metal. It is also used to shape and flatten / taper metal and to pattern / texture imprinting.
The smooth rollers are for flattening and curving sheet metal. The grooved rollers are for reducing the diameter of wire and for producing a taper. One of the replacement rollers shown below, is a textured roller, which imprints a pattern into the surface of sheet metal.
When in use, pressure is adjusted by the wheel at the top of the machine. Metal is fed through the selected rollers, as the side handle is rotated. The metal should be annealed, cleaned and dried, before rolling and if it is passed through the rollers a number of times, it will need annealing again (even several times).
For wire, the grooved rollers are used and for sheet metal the polished rollers. Textured patterns can be purchased or made by hand. If they are fed through the rollers with sheet metal, the pattern / texture is imprinted into the surface (see below).
When reducing the gauge (diameter) of wire on the rolling mill, the wire is sent through the rollers, several times. Each time the wire is fed through a smaller groove in the roller, until the specified diameter is reached.
When rolling a sheet, ensure that it is first annealed and thoroughly cleaned and dried.
The roller width is adjusted by turning the top wheel. Start by altering the gap, so that the sheet metal just slides between the rollers when pushed by hand. Then, turn the top wheel slightly, to reduce the gap, so that it no longer slides through. Only a slight turn of the wheel is needed.
When the handle is turned, the sheet metal is pulled through the rollers and reduced in thickness. The procedure can be repeated until the desired thickness of metal is reached. The thickness is checked with a vernier caliper.
A texture / pattern can be transferred to annealed sheet metal in two ways. Rolling mills are usually supplied with at least one textured roller. This replaces an existing roller and the sheet metal is drawn through the rolling mill, in the usual way and the texture / pattern is imprinted into its surface.
Alternatively, purchase a textured plate. Then, place the annealed metal sheet on top of the plate and feed them through the rolling mill. The pattern / texture will be transferred.