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Metal Spinning

 

Metal spinning, a technique for using a lathe to create metal shapes, is sometimes used to create large stainless steel bowl and sink molds.  This is a complicated and  expensive process, but it has the advantage of yielding a slump mold that is extremely strong and durable.

 

The basic metal spinning process involves shaping a piece of metal that has been mounted on a spinning lathe.  As the metal spins, a tool is used to press against the sides of the spinning metal and make it conform to a form that has also been mounted to the lathe.  Shaping the metal is a gradual process that's been called an "art" -- it requires a strong hand, a deft touch with the tool, and a careful eye.

 

As complicated as this sounds, it's further complicated by the fact that the best slumping molds are made from stainless steel, one of the more difficult materials to spin on the lathe.   Add it all up and it's no wonder that good metal spinners are hard to find.  But they can be found.  And if you're searching for a large mold that you want to use many, many times, then it may be worthwhile to track down someone with the necessary skills and experience.

 

Part two of this tip continues tomorrow with more on metal spinning large slumping molds.

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Copyright 2005 Brad Walker.  All rights reserved.

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Copyright 2005-2006 by M. Bradley Walker.  All rights reserved.

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