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Rolling on a...Roller
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Word count/read time: 366 words; 1-1/2 minutes

I bought three tools that were supposed to corrugate metal. One was the biggest POS imaginable for $200, hyped in every review as though it was god's gift to man. The second was even worse and returned promptly, what a joke it was! The third was designed for squeezing the contents from tubes (like toothpaste), not shaping metal, but it worked the best and was the cheapest. Go figure.

Still, I wasn't satisfied. Neither was I happy about the prospect of spending $2k on a rolling mill from Durston. Though probably functional, it is extremely limited given the resources and knowledge of the company - they could've done much better. Thumbs down without even needing to try it.

This presented an opportunity for the cheap Chinese or Indian machines to shine. For a little under $200, a basic economy rolling mill caught my eye. The nice thing is that the rollers can be changed. Aftermarket rollers are readily available, too, in all sorts of patterns and textures. Corrugating rollers were difficult to find and were only one style (horizontal).

 
That would still made a fat bracelet no matter who's judging!
 
The corrugated roller set(s) I was envisioning could be manufactured on non-CNC equipment. However, CNC is the best long-term solution in the event they are sold commercially; making several different versions would be easier as well. Some quick math would determine how many degrees between each successive valley or peak, the depth, or just let the software figure it out. Not a problem either way.

Or, maybe the stock flat rollers could be modified? That would be much less hassle and the preferred option. I would want two sets total: one each for lengthwise and widthwise. Though each would be limited to 3" in cross-section, they would still made a fat bracelet no matter who's judging!

Since these rollers would only have to shape but not flatten metal, they wouldn't require some uber alloy should they be non-modifiable. It's doubtful the stock rollers are anything special other than their supposed hardness so I wouldn't need to be an alchemist to find a substitution.

In any case, after three attempts, the mill is on the way. More to follow once it's here and I can dissect it fully.


Posted by M: July 2, 2023


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