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Anyone done some metal spinning?

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by Bruce Topol, Dec 9, 2020.

  1. Bruce Topol

    Bruce Topol

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2020
    Messages:
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    Location (City & State):
    Wells, MA
    Hello Forum,
    I am new and looking for some help with a metal spinning project. I know some wood turners also are experienced metal spinners. I was told to ask this forum for help...

    I have some technical questions and very much hope some of you can help me with your expertise.

    Thanks in advance for your help.

    Bruce
     
  2. John Torchick

    John Torchick

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    One supplier had spinning tools and instructions but have since dropped them. Youtube should have some things on metal spinning.
     
  3. Bruce Topol

    Bruce Topol

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2020
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    Location (City & State):
    Wells, MA
    Thanks John,
    I have seen the YouTube videos and bought the dvds. I’m at the point now where I have some experience which has generated some more advanced questions but can’t find someone to talk with about these technical questions.

    Do you know someone who is a wood turner and metal spinner?
    Bruce
     
  4. Mike Johnson

    Mike Johnson

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    Location (City & State):
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    Bruce,

    I have crafted a couple of copper and aluminum items with the metal spinning technique on one of my wood lathes several years ago. I was able to find a set of metal spinning tools and cleaned them up for the project I was working on. Depending on the size of item you want to metal spin will determine the horsepower you need for the lathe you use. You will also need to turn some wood forms to match up to the shapes you want to spin. The metal discs used for spinning needs to be suitable for spin forming, you also need to lubricate the metal while forming the items. There are a number of books written on the craft and a number of YouTube videos that show the basic tools and techniques used. Like any other craft it takes a fair amount of time and practice to learn the use of each tool and proper techniques used for forming the metal to different profiles of the wood forms. After completing the project I was working on I sold my metal spinning tools to one of the members on this site. If you do a search on metal spinning you should find the post.
     
  5. Bruce Topol

    Bruce Topol

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2020
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    Location (City & State):
    Wells, MA
    Thanks Mike,
    I have been spinning for about 3 months now. I have some specific questions about fusing two hemispheres to make a sphere (both copper and aluminum). I’m also having trouble spinning over an 8 inch diameter wood hemisphere form using a 12 inch circular blank.
    I’ll try to find the those previous posts. Appreciate your help.
    Bruce
     
  6. Clifton C

    Clifton C

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    Aug 26, 2006
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    Location (City & State):
    Hampton Roads Virginia
    Turned a few bowls from aluminum, copper and pewter. bought a few spinning dvds and books so I know enough to be dangerous. Funny, I just ordered two more books on metal spinning yesterday, they should be here in about a month or so...
    Not sure about fusing, one of the books I read suggests using a soldering ring inside the two hemispheres to make a sphere. The book I'm referencing is A step-by-step guide to hand spinning by Paul G. Wiley. Has some good info on disk to diameter size and blank thickness for a given size.
    Here is a bowl I turned to shield the mounting of a weather vane staff. About eight inches in diameter.
    weather vane bowl.jpeg
     
  7. John Torchick

    John Torchick

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    Just got my magazine today. John Lucas has an article on using the router. His mini-bio lists metalworking but not spinning specifically.
     
  8. Bruce Topol

    Bruce Topol

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2020
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    Location (City & State):
    Wells, MA
     
  9. Bruce Topol

    Bruce Topol

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    Messages:
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    Location (City & State):
    Wells, MA
    Clifton,
    Thanks for responding. Wiley’s book is listed as being $114!! I can’t find a used copy at a more reasonable price. I’d be happy to buy yours if you are done with it...

    As I told John, I appreciate members of the forum trying to help me with this non-wood turning problem.

    Let me know.
    Bruce
     
  10. john lucas

    john lucas AAW Forum Expert

    Joined:
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    Location (City & State):
    Cookeville TN USA
    I have done some spinning a few years ago. I haven't done any in about 4 years now. I made my own tools. One of the most important things about spinning is don't go in just one direction. The metal moves and if you go in the same direction all the time it gets thinner and thinner at the start of the push. By going back down the bowl with the same force you are pushing the metal back down to hopefully achieve the same thickness. Annealing metals is also important because the work harden. I've done copper , Aluminum and pewter. Pewter was by far the easiest but it's so soft it makes a lousy bowl. It can be scratched with your fingernail. The aluminum and Copper had to be annealed often on anything over 4", at least for my skill level.
    To put parts together such as forming a sphere there are two methods I'm familiar with. Silver solder and Epoxy. Obviously Epoxy is easier. The first guy I saw demo Metal spinning used epoxy to put spheres together to make oil lamps. He was a commercial spinner. I put the epoxy in, put the spheres together and then turned on the lathe so the spinning forces pushed the epoxy out into the joint. I have uses silver solder to put handles or knobs on. I don't have a good torch and always have a tendency to overheat the metal and leave discoloration that is difficult to get out.
     
    hockenbery likes this.
  11. Bruce Topol

    Bruce Topol

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2020
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    Location (City & State):
    Wells, MA
    Thanks John,
    I only have experience using my “middie” wood lathe to spin metal so I don’t quite know how to attach both hemispheres on a lathe to then spin them to force the epoxy out the “equator.
    Can you explain ? Are there photos or a video somewhere that I can see?
    Thanks again
    Bruce
     
  12. Don O. Jr.

    Don O. Jr.

    Joined:
    May 4, 2004
    Messages:
    228
    Location (City & State):
    Schenectady, NY
    If you want to talk to a person with actual experience look up Ted Sokolowski. Really nice guy as are most turners. Should be able to find him in the member section. We had him at our symposium in 2019 I think and he did a great job spinning metal. Mostly pewter because it's easy for a demo but he has done other metals as well. I have one of his demo pieces.
     

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