Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 18

Thread: Rolling Mill: Cheap vs Durston or Pepe?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Posts
    7

    Default Rolling Mill: Cheap vs Durston or Pepe?

    At the moment, Iím annealing copper plate and rolling it through a pasta mill with a texture plate... with doubtful results (and doing terrible things to perfectly respectable, if tiny, copper sheets!) So, itís time to buy a rolling mill.

    I mostly want to roll silver and copper to make shawl pins, and using texturing sheets suits the market I currently sell in (I dye assorted fibres, fabric and yarn). I will need to spend some money and would like to roll a sensible width of plate. I was thinking about a flat mill mill with extension rollers to add the capability to roll D-shape wire. Durston make one that is 100mm wide with 4 D-shape extensions, (DRM F100 RE) which Cooksons donít stock, but can order. However, Suttonís stock the 130 combination Pepe mill (which my friend in the States raves about) which would work out at £130 cheaper, which would allow me to replace my pock-marked doming kit. That would give me square wire reduction too, but a smaller plate capability. Thereís no other options other than smaller with the Pepe.

    Or should I just start with a cheap Indian mill and work up?

    Many thanks for your thoughts, otherwise I am clueless in Mid-Wales!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Posts
    2,068

    Default

    I can only say that I have had the cheap one from Cooksons for around 2 years now and am perfectly happy with it.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Posts
    232

    Default

    Hi wrigglefingers,

    I did a lot of research before buying a rolling mill and the bottom line is this: If you are going to use it a lot - don't go cheap.

    Almost without exception, everyone who owns a Durston talks about 20+ years of service without any problems. Pepe rolling mills, as I understand it, are fairly new to the market. I have not read or heard anyone who has owned one for as long as those who have owned Durston mills.

    I am not a professional jeweller, I am still a newbie by comparison, however I knew well in advance what I wanted to make and the tools I needed to make them, so I bought (invested!) in a Durston mill.

    Grab yourself a cup of coffee or tea, sit back and watch some youtube videos on the subject...and equally as useful, read the comments underneath each video! The two people who I found made very helpful videos are Dave Wilson & Andrew Berry.

    Start with these videos:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UYFBb4wL1Nw

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FWdjsLpbCcw

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Posts
    2,068

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by handmadeblanks View Post
    I did a lot of research before buying a rolling mill and the bottom line is this: If you are going to use it a lot - don't go cheap.
    Yes, I think that applies to most tools really, the problem for a lot of newbies is they often don't know what they are going to use a lot .

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Posts
    232

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by enigma View Post
    Yes, I think that applies to most tools really, the problem for a lot of newbies is they often don't know what they are going to use a lot .
    Agreed, it is the newbie dilemma, start cheap and regret it because it's used a lot, or start expensive and regret it because it is not used as much as thought.

    I think the decision becomes more difficult when 'cheap' is still a lot of money as is the case with a rolling mill. I felt spending almost £200 on a 'cheap' mill was too big an outlay just to test the waters. So I waited and saved until I was absolutely certain that the path I wanted to go down in jewellery making required a rolling mill. I was right and I don't regret buying a Durston.

    What really tipped the scales for me was I had read that within a few years the cheap Indian made mills suffered critical failures in the frame which rendered them useless. Somewhere in the comments Dave Wilson mentions that he experienced the same failure with the cheap mill.

    If a cheap mill was £50 then yes, start cheap and see...But £200...not as easy a decision.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Location
    South Australia
    Posts
    1,694

    Default

    As said above cheap low quality mills are a false economy, I can say that i have a a Pepe mill and it st excellent, (at almost half the cost of a Durston) I know a professional jeweler who uses hers (Pepe) every day and has done for about four years
    and it has not missed a beat

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Scotland
    Posts
    3,216

    Default

    I have a Durston but in the different situation of always having been a Jeweller and I did wait more than 30 years to buy one and it'll now see me out and more.
    I see a lot of people new to jewellery starting with very advanced projects to begin with and not working up to skills and therefore more expensive equipment, the need for specialised equipment seems high on the list instead of way down the want list if you get what I mean.
    I would go with the best you can afford and from what's been said the Pepe sounds good. I have a friend who has a Durston that hasn't been right since purchase

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Posts
    2,068

    Default

    I got mine when they were at quite a big discount which helped as I was undecided too.
    Its so difficult isn't it as even full time jewellers use different tools, mine isn't used much yet others use them all the time.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Scotland
    Posts
    3,216

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by enigma View Post
    I got mine when they were at quite a big discount which helped as I was undecided too.
    Its so difficult isn't it as even full time jewellers use different tools, mine isn't used much yet others use them all the time.
    I got mine with good discounts too and free delivery but I don't feel I use it to its full potential. I suppose it you are making a lot of the same thing then it'll be worth its weight in gold but I rarely repeat anything so it's use is a bit sporadic but it does give you more opportunities to be creative or so I tell myself!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Posts
    2,068

    Default

    I only bought mine at all because I really needed it to roll down white and rose gold sheet for bezels as it only came in 0.5mm.
    Other than that Ive used it a handful of times for rolling a pattern on but its been invaluable for those two aspects.
    My most unused purchase, like, actually never, is a barrel tumbler, yet, again, others use them all the time.
    So for a newbie really almost any equipment is probably something of a gamble as to how much it will be used.
    I generally only buy something if I have a specific requirement for it at the time that I can't easily meet another way now.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •