Success, of a sort. We figured out why my rolling mill was so balky at around 4mm thickness: opened wider than that, one set of gears didn't engage at all; open more narrowly, they engaged just fine... but at right around 4 mm, they only kinda sorta engaged. Hence the binding, and other unpleasant effects.
So my mokume is again on hold, at least until I've prepped and rolled out a few more lengths of filigree wire. Then, we are contemplating removing one of the binding gears altogether, until the mokume is down around 3-3.5mm thick. This means the top roller won't have power, but that's worked OK when the mill is open past about 4.2mm, so it should be OK for a while. And it saves me either needing to buy new rolling mill (which I would adore but have no real idea where to put, plus the $$$ of course), or giving up on the mokume.
I'd really like to see this mokume game experiment through to the patterning. I figure that will give me a better idea whether it's something I want to pursue, or whether I'll leave that for others to do. If the former, I'll then know I need to find a place and the money for a new, fancy rolling mill...
I also played with filigree. The snowflake is going more slowly than I'd hoped- not helped by the other stuff I was working on!- but it is progressing, and I've learned a lot about techniques of effective assembly and soldering of filigree. Since I didn't have enough filigree wire to finish it, I finished making more, and also made a length using 26 ga. wire, which ended up being about 0.4mm thick and 0.8mm wide, similar to 20 ga. in width. This seems like it could be useful. I'm intrigued with the idea of combining the 2 weights, for one thing.
I spent some time designing- I'm finally getting some ideas! Woohoo! Also on preparing yet another order. I definitely need more wire for filigree, I'm running a bit low on hard and medium solders, and I could use a pack of mizzy wheels for grinding. Fascinating, no? :)
I am hoping J will have a chance this weekend to get at least a quick picture or 2 of my filigree... but he's got a ton of stuff he's trying to get done, so he might not. But it's so pretty! And I'm looking forward to posting a pic or 2! which I will do as soon as I can.