This Piece of Equipment…

is a rolling mill and it serves several purposes.  It is invaluable for reducing the thickness of metal sheet and it can be used to imprint texture on metal.  Some rolling mills have rollers that are able to reduce the size of wire as well, and in retrospect, it would have behooved me to purchase that option…hindsight is 20 – 20!  In this photo I am passing annealed 18 gauge brass sheet through the rollers.  With several passes I will achieve a 20 gauge thickness.  The metal will work harden with each pass, and therefore, must be annealed by heating with a torch which rearranges the molecular structure of the metal and softens it.  To impart a texture to metal sheet, I place a texture to imprint (i.e. a piece of material like burlap, a leaf, patterned cardstock, etc.) on the sheet and roll it through the mill.  I can also use metal sheet that has been previously hammered or stamped as a texture plate by placing the textured side against the plain sheet.  In this case, the textured sheet should be sandwiched between a second annealed plain metal sheet to avoid damaging the steel rollers.  Rollers can be marred by careless use and, heaven forbid, rust!  As with most tools and equipment used by the jewelry artist, it must be lovingly cared for and maintained for optimal efficiency.  In return, it will give a lifetime of service.

~ by BarbaraBriggsDesigns on January 18, 2011.

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