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Metal Spinning Tutorial

P R O C E S S
Spi nni ng sheet met al on t he l at he i s an excel l ent means for quickl y
prot ot ypi ng round hol l ow met al forms (pri mari l y t he real m of expensi ve sheet
met al st ampi ng machi nery). A l evered force i s appl i ed uni forml y t o t he sheet
met al by rot at i ng t he met al and i t s i nt ended form (mandrel ) at very hi gh rpms,
t hus t he sheet met al i s deformed evenl y without any wrinkl i ng or warbl e. The
spi nni ng process allows for t he rapid product i on of mul t i pl e part s as wel l as
qui ck rei t erat i on si nce onl y the one tool (t he mandrel ) need be modi fied.
Dependi ng on t he compl exi t y of the part being spun, spi nni ng can be
hi ghl y demandi ng physi cal l y. The more comfort abl e one get s wi t h t he process,
and usi ng ones muscl es t o j ust gui de t he t ool and ones body to appl y t he force,
t he easier it get s (great for devel opi ng strong hands).
The fi nal product should have a mi rror sheen, or until one is more ski ll ed
wi t h t he fini shi ng t ool , smal l concent ri c annul ar grooves on t he ext eri or surface.
The i nt eri or surface (agai nst t he mandrel) should be as smoot h as t he surface of
your mandrel . Met al s harden as t hey are worked whi ch somet i mes necessit at es
anneal i ng t he piece part way t hrough a spi n, but often this isnt necessary and t he
met al hardens t o a desi rabl e sti ffness as t he part i s spun.



AP P L I C A T I O N S
Spinni ng is a great means for manufact uri ng l ow cost rapi d prot ot ypes i n
met al, because it requires a mini mum of t i me and money t o produce parts. An
average part can be spun i n five t o ten (5-10) mi nut es once one i s fami l i ar wi t h
t he process.
Smoot h parabol i c curves (bell form) are i deal for spi nni ng as t he met al i s
comfort abl e deformi ng al ong a parabol i c curve. The vent uri form of vel oci t y
stacks for raci ng car carburet ors is a common appli cat ion of t he spi nni ng
t echnol ogy. A sol i d cyl i nder such as a Coca-col a can be spun, but a mini mum of
draft angl e i s requi red t o pul l t he part back off t he form (see mandrel sect i on f or
more). El li pti cal and off-center forms can be creat ed, but t hey requi re great care
and pat i ence.
There is al so t he opportuni t y t o creat e concent ri c st rengt heni ng ri bs whi ch
add dramat i cal l y t o t he st i ffness and st rengt h of t he part . These can be formed
di rect l y (over t he mandrel ) or spun i n t he ai r (t ri cky) as t he part i s cl osed down
ont o t he mandrel . An edge may al so be fol ded over it sel f or wi t h wire i nsi de t o
creat e a fini shed, smooth edge t o t he part .

ME T A L S
Al most every met al t hat i s avai l able i n sheet form may be spun (t ubi ng can
be pi nched or swaged but i s usual l y made from harder al l oys). However, a few
met als are i deall y suit ed t o the art of spinning. Alumi num i s fant ast i cal l y el ast i c
and easy to form so l ong as i t has been anneal ed. The soft er (i . e. purer, non-
al l oyed) t he al umi num t he bet t er. Hence, 3003 i s bet t er t han 5052 , and 1100-0 i s
t he best t o use especi al l y si nce 3003 doesnt anodi ze very wel l . However, 5052
i s t he st rongest work hardeni ng al uminum, but harder t o form. Try t o buy t he
al umi num sheet anneal ed (1100-0, 3003-0, etc. ; not 1100-H32, 6061-T6, et c. ). H
denot es st rai n hardenabl e al umi nums and T denot es t hermal l y t reat ed al umi nums.
Sheet met al can be spun i n t hi cknesses of 0. 040" t o 0. 100" wi t h hand t ool s.
St ainless st eel i s even more el astic (st retchi ng before t eari ng) t han
al umi num (50%-68% el ongat i on!) but requires si gni fi cantl y more force t o form.
The Aust eni t i c range (200-300 series) of stai nl ess st eel s form best , 201 and 301
havi ng t he greatest el ongati on. Si mil arl y, t he l ower t he Carbon content i n mi l d
steel the easi er it i s t o form. Copper has excel l ent elongat ion (very formabl e)
and doubl es i t s t ensi l e st rengt h when work hardened, but i f i t hardens before t he
part i s fi nished t hen t he part must be anneal ed t o prevent sheari ng and cracki ng.
Brass i s a copper-zi nc al l oy and has simi l ar propert i es t o copper i n i t s
formabi l i t y but brass work hardens l ess and requi res more force. Ot her exot i c
met al s may be spun: t i t ani um, magnesi um (@ 600F), si l ver, gol d, et c. , but t hey
requi re ext ra care and consi derat i on.

CHART OF ALLOY COMPOSITION AND RELATIVE ELONGATION:
General l y, t he great er t he % el ongat i on i s t he more formabl e t he mat eri al .
Not e: Recommended mat er i al s i n bol d f ace t ype.

Mat er i al Al l oy composi t i on % el ongat i on for 2"
Al umi num 1100-0 99%Al 60% el ongat i on
Al umi num 2014- T6 90%Al - 4. 4%Cu - 1%Mg, Mn, Si 13% el ongat i on
Al umi num 3003-0 98%Al - 0. 12%Cu - 1. 2%Mn 30% el ongat i on
Al umi num 5052-0 97%Al - 2. 5%Mg - 0. 25%Cr 25% el ongat i on
Al umi num 6061- T6 1%Mg - 0. 6%Si - 0. 28%Cu, Cr 17% el ongat i on
Al umi num 7075- T6 90%Al - 1. 6%Cu - 2. 5%Mg 11% el ongat i on
Commer ci al Br ass 90%Cu - 10%Zn 45% el ongat i on
Red Brass 80%Cu - 20%Zn 50% el ongat i on
Yel l ow Brass 65%Cu - 35%Zn 64% el ongat i on
Free Cut t i ng Br ass 61%Cu - 35%Zn - 3%Pb 60% el ongat i on
Phosphor Bronze 91%Cu - 8%Sn 65% el ongat i on
Manganese Bronze 89%Cu - 11%Mn 40% el ongat i on
Copper 99%Cu 60% el ongat i on
Ni ckel Si l ver ( coi ns) 70%Cu - 5%Zn - 25%Ni 45% el ongat i on
St eel ( l ow carbon) 98%Fe - 0. 3%C - 1%Mn, Si , Cu 20% el ongat i on
St ai nl ess St eel
Mar t ensi t i c: 400 - 500 92%Fe - 1%C - 10%Cr 10% el ongat i on
Fer r i t i c: 405, 430, 446 20%Cr - 0. 2%C - 1. 5%Mn 20% el ongat i on
Austeni ti c: 201, 301 18%Cr - 0. 1%C - 8%Ni 68% el ongat i on
302, 304, 310, 321 26%Cr - 0. 03%C - 22%Ni 50% el ongat i on
Ti t ani um 99%Ti 25% el ongat i on

Al =al umi num, C=carbon, Cr=chromi um, Cu=copper, Fe=Iron, Mn=manganese,
Mg=magnesi um, Ni =ni ckel , Pb=l ead, Si =si l i con, Sn=t i n, Ti =t i t ani um, Zn=zi nc
TOOLS
There are an i nfi nit e vari et y of t ool profil es t hat can be forged i n mi l d
st eel for spi nni ng t he mat eri al i nt o different shapes. A l ong handle provi des
ampl e leverage t o work t he mat eri al down t he mandrel i n smoot h effi ci ent
st rokes. The wooden but t of t he t ool i s pl aced i n one' s armpi t such t hat one' s
body wei ght provi des t he force and one' s arms are free t o gui de t he t ool i n a
smoot h and preci se manner. The t ool i s usual l y about t hree (3) feet l ong wi t h a
one (1) i nch di amet er st eel rod forged i nt o t he preferred t ool poi nt .
Sheep's Nose Duck's Bill



The pri mary t ool s are t he Sheep' s nose used for most of t he formi ng, and
t he Duck' s bi l l used for fi ni shi ng (see a & b above) t he ful l y formed piece. The
hooked nose of t he Sheep' s nose i s i deal for formi ng tight radii as wel l as havi ng
a decreasi ng radi us t hat makes i t easy t o form t he met al over a variet y of curves.
The Duck' s bil l has a flat side for fi nishi ng strai ght surfaces and a rounded si de
t o fi nish curved surfaces. The t ool post is essenti all y a rounded pin protrudi ng
from a bori ng bar mount ed on t he crossfeed such t hat t he pin act s as a fulcrum
around whi ch t he hand t ool can be l everaged. The t ool post i s moved as t he part
forms down t he mandrel so t hat a consi st ent l ever arm i s mai nt ai ned.
A. Toolpost
B. Mandrel
C. Sheet Metal Blank
D. Follower
E. Tailstock


Cust om groovi ng or formi ng t ool s can be easil y fabri cat ed and even
mount ed di rect l y t o t he crossfeed i f i t i s a si mpl e form. Spi nni ng wit h t he t ool
attached to the crossfeed l i mi t s one' s abi l i t y t o feel t he materi al and form i t
smoot hl y. A compromi se, for exampl e, i s swagi ng where a rol l i ng t ool forms t he
met al wi t hout a bui l dup of fri ct i on (i . e. bad surface fi ni sh).
Professi onal spi nni ng shops t ypi cal l y use t ool s wi t h rol l ers mount ed on a
fi ve (5) foot l ong st eel t ube handle for formi ng everythi ng (from l amp shades t o
pot s) and a peg board mount ed on t he cross feed so t hat t hey can form t he part s
as qui ckl y and effi ci ent l y as possi bl e. There are also a few manufact urers t hat
have CNC spi nni ng l at hes, but it is general l y a l ost art i n t he age of met al
st ampi ng.

Lubri cant
A lubricating wax or grease i s essential t o a qual i t y fi nish and j ust bei ng
abl e t o remove your part from t he mandrel . Sti ck wax works great although it
get s l umpy somet i mes. Grease doesn' t l ubri cat e as l ong and tends t o spray al l
over t he pl ace. There are some speci al brown spi nni ng waxes t hat l ast l onger
t han t he ot hers, but it i s messier than t he grease. Therefore, st ick wax (availabl e
at ShopTools or Danmar) i s a great general -purpose l ubri cant . However, anot her
l ubri cant mi ght be bet t er for use under t he part on t he mandrel t o faci l i t at e t he
removal of t he part from t he mandrel .
Gl oves are an i mport ant safet y and performance-enhanci ng tool . A l eat her
wel di ng gl ove worn on t he l eft or cl ampi ng hand all evi at es pressure and
vi brat i on causi ng fat i gue and numbness. It al so protects t he hand from t he
spi nni ng part . Cott on (not nyl on) gl oves can be worn for comfort as wel l , but t he
l eat her i s, obvi ousl y, preferabl e.
Fil es and sandpaper can be used for fi nal fi ni shing, but as one get s more
profi ci ent at spi nni ng sandi ng shoul dn' t be necessary.
Anot her necessi t y i s a grungy workshi rt as any l ubri cant wil l spray one' s
at t i re wi t h a ni ce Dal mat i an pat t ern.

S A F E T Y
Si nce one i s spi nni ng at very high speeds and appl yi ng a l arge amount of
force by hand, safet y awareness i s essenti al . Direct l y mount i ng t he mandrel t o a
headst ock pl at e (t here are a coupl e on t he l at he bench) i s preferabl e as t here are
no protrudi ng j aws to run into wi th t he t ool or one' s hand. Thi s has t he added
benefi t of aut omat i cally centering your tool every time you mount i t on t he l at he
(hi ghl y recommended). The 3-Jaw chuck i s t he bi ggest danger one will confront
when spi nni ng. If t he mandrel i s chucked up i n t he 3-Jaw t hen one shoul d l eave
pl ent y of room bet ween t he 3-j aw and t he fi ni shed part and exerci se extreme
caut i on when t he t ool i s anywhere cl ose t o t he 3-Jaw. The use of t he 3-Jaw also
prohi bi t s t urni ng t he lathe at high rpm' s for fi ni shi ng (max. 1000rpm wi t h 3-
Jaw).
It i s i mport ant t o be aware of what state the materi al bei ng spun i s i n, i . e.
i s t here l ocal i zed hardeni ng, are t here t hi n spot s, l i kel y sheari ng or wri nkl i ng,
et c. ? Make sure t he t ai l st ock i s cl amped t i ght l y as wel l as al l t he headst ock
bol t s and t ool post . Al ways move t he t ool post away from t he part when sandi ng
or fil i ng so t hat i t doesn' t cat ch on anyt hi ng. If t he part fail s (shear or ext reme
warpage), brake t he l at he ful l y and stop t he part wit h a t ool before it sands a
groove i nt o t he mandrel .
Weari ng a gl ove on t he l eft cl amping hand wi l l prot ect one from t he sharp
edge of the spi nni ng part and absorb vibrat i ons t hat cause numbness. Use one' s
body wei ght t o appl y t he force t o t he part so t hat t he arms are free t o gui de t he
t ool, ot herwi se one wi ll fat igue very qui ckl y and not be as smooth and precise
(see formi ng sect i on). Curl one' s fi ngers over t he tool post and away from t he
part . Fil e sharp edges off of part t o el i mi nat e burr cut s, but be sure t o cl ean all
chi ps and debri s off the mandrel or it wi l l scrat ch t he mandrel and damage t he
part .


MA N D R E L
The mandrel or buck is t he form over whi ch t he sheet met al bl ank i s
formed. There are l imi t s t o t he shapes one can spi n, but , general l y, t he
more compli cat ed t he form t he greater t he need for care i n machi ni ng t he
mandrel . As ment i oned i n t he Safet y secti on, i t i s hi ghl y recommended t o
mount your mandrel di rectl y t o a headst ock pl at e with at least three (3)
3/ 8"-16 bolt s. Once bolted and cent ered on t he l at he al l subsequent
machi ni ng wi l l creat e a perfect l y cent ered mandrel (every t i me you
remount , t oo). If t he 3-Jaw must be used wi th the mandrel then a
cent eri ng hol e i n t he end of t he mandrel i s i mperat i ve for re-cent eri ng.
The mandrel can be machi ned from a vari et y of mat eri al s, each of
whi ch has i t s own cost and st rengt h at t ri but es. Renshape and wood are t he
cheapest buck-maki ng mat eri al s, wit h Renshape l ess l ikel y t o hol d an
edge wit hout cracki ng where wood wil l deform aft er repeat ed spi nni ng
effort s. Wood mandrel s are excel l ent for si mpl e bowl and bel l forms (no
hard corners). Al umi num mandrel s are fai rl y st urdy but t end t o gal l ,
especial ly i f spi nning al umi num over t hem; not recommended unl ess
spi nni ng copper or ot her soft met als.

St eel Mandrel
A mi l d steel mandrel requi res ext ra up front machi ni ng (a carbi de
t ool works wonders), but i t yields a superi or fi ni sh surprisi ngl y easil y (a
fi le, then 120-600 sandi ng), hol ds sharp corners and subt l e radi i t hrough
mul t i pl e part s (up t o t he 100' s), and st ays cent ered. A smoot h fi ni sh i s
essent i al t o removi ng t he part wi t hout damagi ng it . When fi nishi ng the
face of t he mandrel ext ra care shoul d be exert ed wit h st eel so t hat t he
mandrel i sn' t knocked off cent er necessi t at i ng shi mmi ng and ret orqui ng
(been t here). A hal f cent er i s a useful t ool for fi ni shi ng t he face wi t h t he
al i gnment hel p of t he t ai l st ock.
Therefore, i f one i s spi nni ng a si mpl e form and onl y needs a few
part s, a wood or Renshape mandrel can be used. If one i s at t empt i ng t o
spi n a more di fficult form and needs a great er number of part s and/ or
attempts, then st eel i s hi ghl y recommended (besi des i t ' s sat i sfyi ng t o
machi ne).
It i s i mport ant t o desi gn t he mandrel wit h at l east a 1 draft angl e
so t hat t he part can be removed from t he mandrel . Smoot h curves are t he
most forgi vi ng forms for spi nni ng, but sharp corners can be accompl i shed
as l ong as t he mat eri al i sn' t st ret ched t o qui ckl y. The general rul e for t he
overal l proport i ons i s for t he mandrel t o be shorter than it i s wi de, but as
one get s more ski l l ed at spi nning these rules can be pushed.

Undercut s
The part can' t be removed from t he mandrel i f there are undercut s,
but i f necessary part s can be spun wit h undercut s i f t he mandrel i s di vi ded
i nt o pi eces t hat can be not ched and bol t ed t oget her, and most i mport antl y
unbol t ed wi t hout damagi ng t he fi ni shed part .
It i s advi sabl e t o l eave at l east 2-4" of mandrel beyond t he desi red
fi ni shed part length (t oward the headst ock) so that t he part can be fini shed
cl eanl y and wi t hout t he danger of back ext rusi on (the part wi l l literally
ext rude t oward t he t ai l st ock i f i t has nowhere t o go forward). It i s
preferable t o have a smal l di mple or ot herwi se non-fl at face on t he
mandrel so t hat t he sheet metal blank will stay cent ered during t he
spi nni ng process when sandwiched bet ween t he mandrel and a foll ower i n
t he t ai l stock (see l at he sect i on).
It i s possi bl e t o spi n an ell i pt i cal or asymmet ri cal form, but i t
requi res ext reme ski l l and moral t urpi t ude.

LATHE
The headst ock i s t he dri vi ng face of t he l at he and i s t he si de t o
whi ch t he mandrel i s mount ed, preferabl y on a headst ock mount i ng pl at e
rat her t han a 3-Jaw chuck as emphasi zed i n t he Safet y sect i on.
The t ai l st ock i s cl amped down securel y wi t h a li ve center pressi ng
agai nst a fol l ower (usual l y al umi num or st eel ) made t o refl ect t he shape
of t he mandrel face such t hat t he sheet met al blank i s sandwiched ti ght ly
against t he mandrel and can' t sli de out .
Spi nni ng shoul d be accompl i shed at 900-1200rpm for formi ng, and
1800rpm for fi ni shi ng (but max. 1000rpm i f usi ng 3-Jaw chuck). The t ool
post shoul d be moved t o fol l ow t he form every 2-3 i nches.
Preci si on cent eri ng of t he mandrel i s cri t i cal t o fi nal fi ni sh and t he
overal l ease of spi nni ng (very sore armpit s from eccentric chat ter).

FORMING
Formi ng i s accompl i shed by worki ng wit h t he mat eri al, feel i ng i t s
st ruct ure, i t s grai n, i t s hardness, i t s wi l l i ngness t o move i n t he di rect i ons
t hat you want it t o. It i s crit ical t hat one be sensi t i ve t o t he mat erial ' s
wi lli ngness t o move so t hat you can force t he mat eri al down t he mandrel
smoot hl y, qui ckl y, and most i mport ant l y, evenl y. Smoot h, even rowi ng
st rokes are t he key t o spi nni ng good part s.
One shoul d spi n i t t hi n and smoot h, li ke t hrowi ng a t hi n wal l cl ay
pot ; i n fact , t he process of spi nni ng sheet met al i s remarkabl y si mi lar.
One must push enough mat eri al down ont o t he mandrel wi t hout st ret chi ng
or warpi ng t he remai ni ng materi al so t hat a smoot h, steady draw of t he
mat erial over t he mandrel i s accompl i shed.
The sheet met al bl ank shoul d be a di sc approxi mat el y equal i n
radi us t o t he desi red part ' s l engt h pl us radi us t i mes 80%[D =. 8(l+r)].
A. Toolpost
B. Mandrel
C. Sheet Metal Blank
D. Follower
E. Tailstock
One' s body wei ght and t he ful crum of t he t ool post are used to
creat e a powerful l ever arm t hat al most effortl essl y moves t he mat eri al
down t he mandrel . The effort comes i n tryi ng to direct and smoot h t he
mat eri al . So, i t i s i mportant to save one' s arm and hand energy for guidi ng
t he t ool and not for appl yi ng force to t he part. As ment ioned in the Tools
sect i on, t he wooden but t of t he 3-foot l ong spi nni ng tool i s pl aced i n the
armpi t and hel d i n pl ace wit h t he ri ght hand near t he mi ddl e and t he l eft
hand curl ed around t he t ool post securi ng t he t ool t o the pi vot or ful crum.
Once t he l at he i s t urni ng, one hol ds t he t ool as descri bed and leans sl owl y
down and t o t he ri ght whi l e sweepi ng t he t ool smoot hl y across t he part
from i nsi de t o out si de (ri ght t o l eft).
The hooked t i p of t he Sheep' s nose t ool should be placed below the
foll ower (at 6 O' cl ock) for maxi mum force wit h t he l east amount of
chat t er. Ini t i al l y, smal l orbi tal strokes near the center of t he part (or as
near to center as the fol l ower al l ows) shoul d sl owl y push t he sheet met al
bl ank i nt o a fl ared bel l shape, agai n movi ng i nsi de t o out si de. Exert care
because t he part i s not yet seated and coul d easil y be knocked off-cent er.

Seati ng t he Part
Once t he bl ank has been fl ared about 1" t hen the part should be
persuasi vel y pushed agai nst t he mandrel so t hat at l east t he t op 1/ 2" of t he
part i s seat ed securel y on t he mandrel . A sol i d drone i s discerni ble when
t here i s no gap bet ween t he part and t he mandrel . If seat i ng on a mandrel
wi t h a sharp edge ext ra care shoul d be t aken not t o overwork t he edge
(cracki ng) whi l e st i l l assuring a secure seat i ng of t he part .
Once t he part has been seat ed t hen it is merely a mat t er of pat i ence
as the rest of t he formi ng fol l ows qui t e predi ct ably. The bell curve or
hyperbol i c fl are i s t he shape t he mat eri al want s t o t ake, so one all ows i t t o
go where i t want s so l ong as t here i s a val l ey t o push down ont o t he
mandrel and a hi l l or bump t o keep t he out er edge from warpi ng or mi s-
ali gni ng when the blank is stret ched down ont o t he mandrel . For si mpl e
bowl and bel l shapes a bump i sn' t necessary, but for more compl icat ed
(especi al l y more cyl i ndrical ) forms mai nt ai ni ng a bubbl e near t he out er
ci rcumference of t he blank i s cri t i cal t o prevent warping and warbl i ng.
Formi ng Mot i on
The l ayi ng down of t he mat eri al ont o t he mandrel i s accompl i shed
wi th short i nsi de t o outsi de moves, but t he bump i s smoot hed from t he
out si de back i n such t hat t he t op of t he bump i s smoot hed t o the inside
wi th several gent le strokes, t hen when t he mat eri al (t he val l ey) i s l ai d
down ont o t he mandrel t he bump wi l l fl are out agai n.
The mat eri al wi l l get easi er t o move as t he part i s cl oser t o
compl eti on (unl ess it has work hardened t oo much in whi ch case it shoul d
be anneal ed), but pat i ence must be exercised so t hat t he full y formed part
requi res a mi ni mum of fi ni shi ng. Just keep repeat i ng t he same smoot h
fl ui d st rokes from i nsi de to outside until the part i s seat ed and then start
t o move t he mat eri al from t he out si de i n, but al ways t ry t o l eave a bump
or ri b to prot ect against warpi ng and over-stretchi ng.

Fl ari ng
Somet i mes, t he part wi l l flare t oo much t oward t he t ai l st ock when
l ayi ng t he part down t oo hard (mai ntai ni ng a ri b prevents t hi s). Several
cl eani ng swi pes from i nside to outside wi th extra force appli ed at the end
of t he st roke shoul d form t he part back to a subt le fl are. Al ternatel y, t he
part wi l l somet i mes fol d t oward t he headst ock i n whi ch case st rong
cl eani ng swi pes from i nsi de t o out si de wi t h extra force appli ed i n t he
mi ddl e shoul d pop t he part back t oward t he t ai l stock. If not t hen t he part
may be worked from t he backsi de, but t hi s i s not very cl ean.
If warbl i ng occurs t ry t o wi pe i t out wi t h smoot h hard st rokes, but
i f t he warbl es are al ong t he edge t hen a wood st i ck (wi t h t he spi nni ng
t ools) with a sl ot i n it can be forced over t he edge of t he part and t wi st ed
whi l e st eadyi ng on t he t ool rest whi ch shoul d smoot h t he warbl es.
Important: keep t he mandrel and part cl ean of any chips or debri s to
prevent scrat chi ng of t he mandrel and damage t o t he part ; and cl ean t he
part and re-l ubri cate when t here are any si gns of mat eri al bui l d-up,
especi al l y wi t h gal l -happy al umi num.

Tri mmi ng
Remember t o pl an for tri mmi ng part at end; cutti ng tool can be
mount ed on t ool rest , but may l eave a groove i n mandrel (prohi bi t i ng
fi ni shi ng past t hat poi nt on fut ure part s); so bandsaw and belt sander are a
safe t ri mmi ng opt i on, especially if unsure of desi red fi nal l engt h.

F I N I S H I N G
Fi ni shi ng i s accompli shed wi t h smoot h ri ght t o l eft sweeps wi t h t he
Duckbi l l spi nni ng t ool usi ng the fl at si de for st rai ght surfaces, and
rounded si de for curves and radi i . The Sheep' s Nose tool can be used for
t i ght corners, but t he duckbi l l i s favored for most fi ni shi ng. Finishi ng
should be done at very hi gh rpm' s (1200+rpm) so that a mi nimum of force
need be appl i ed and very smoot h fl ui d strokes can be used.
It i s i mport ant t o feel t he mat eri al on a more subt l e l evel when
fi ni shing, t he hill s and val l eys fel t duri ng formi ng are now very mi nut e
and requi re ext ra sensi t i vi t y t o smooth t he hi l l s i nt o t he val l eys. A push
and rel ease rhyt hm of hi lls i nto valleys lit erall y moves a few t housandt hs
of mat eri al down t he part so t hat an even, smoot h fi ni sh wit h fi ne annul ar
groovi ng is achieved. Careful of worki ng one area t oo t hi n or
overheat i ng, whi ch causes stress fract ures.

CR A F T
Spi nni ng i s t rul y a l ost art form i n t he age of deep draw met al st ampi ng,
but i t i s much more economi cal (for runs under 100, 000) and yi el ds a more
perfect l y fi ni shed fi nal part (no st ret ch marks). It i s a fant asti c process t o
est abl i sh an i nt ui t i ve sense of mat eri al s and how can best t ake advantage of a
mat erial ' s i nt ri nsic properties. There is a sense of qual ity i nherent t o t he process
of met al spi nni ng t hat makes i t a t rue craft . Devel opi ng a feel for t he mat eri al
wi t h al l of one' s senses all ows one t o push t he mat erial and t he spi nni ng process
t o yi el d a perfect part effort lessl y. Li steni ng t o t he t ool on t he part ; feel i ng t he
resi st ance of the materi al ; l earni ng t he rhyt hms of spi n formi ng; i nt eract i ng wit h
t he struct ural transformati ons that are occurri ng as t he part i s formed down t he
mandrel are key t o the art of spi nni ng.

V1.0 Metal Spi nni ng P e t e r R u b i n F l e t t e r perf 11. 10. 95