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How many people here spin metal, would like to learn to spin metal or would like to discuss the process?


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#1 Fe-Wood

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Posted 20 January 2012 - 03:59 PM

I am asking if there are people interested in learning the art of metal spinning. I am in no way a master rather a committed beginner. I have been spinning for about 3-4 years and am self taught. I have found getting good information really hard. It seems the Art of Metal Spinning is in this country is dying. It would thrill me to see a revitalization of the amazing metal working process in the way blacksmithing has seen a revitalization. To me the 2 go hand in hand.

I have posted this question with the hope of getting a discussion going with any and everyone interested.

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#2 KST1-Derek Fultz

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Posted 20 January 2012 - 04:38 PM

Hi Fe-Wood,

I am interested in learning to spin, someday. I simply don't have the room for the equipment in my current shop but hope to in the near (1-2 year) future. Spinning really interests me and I agree that it is a nice complementary skill to blacksmithing. I can say that I have read every post about your progress and any others regarding spinning that I have seen. Filing away information for when I make the step into spinning.

So, while I can't really contribute to the discussion, or experiment as you teach, I am interested in learning more! I'd like to see a thread/discussion that starts from the beginning, ie; what is the best lathe set up to look for? what are the limitations in metal spinning (max guage of metal, max diameter, etc. {I know Frosty and his Dad did some big stuff}), do you have to use a certain kind of wood for a backer? etc.

Please share (if other

#3 iron woodrow

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Posted 20 January 2012 - 04:58 PM

could an old flat belt drive lathe be used to spin? or is it better to have a geared drive?
 
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#4 mike-hr

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Posted 20 January 2012 - 05:55 PM

I taught myself spinning a couple years ago, to make an element for a project I was doing. I'm a firm believer in the attitude of 'it's the journey, not the destination'. Taking this craft on almost made me question my faith.. I made a scissor tool setup with rollers on a platen that bolted to the carriage of my 1924 South Bend flatbelt lathe. I laminated hard maple and turned it to the bell shape I wanted, had the waterjet guy cut me a bunch of blank discs from 20ga sheet, and went after it. I'm still using my scrapped pieces for shooting gongs 2 yrs later. I messed up dozens of pieces. The addiction came from getting just a little farther along every few times before it folded up. When I finally got the piece I wanted, months later, I found I could sucessfully complete a piece 4 out of 5 times. It seemed like analyzing the issues wasn't working out like it does in normal problem solving. Sucess evolved into having a weird hippy-like semi-cognative state of consience, and the less I thought about it, the better it worked. I haven't set it up in over a year, but I'm sure I will again.

Spinning is hard on my old lathe, the rear headstock bearing isn't as wide as I'd like it to be. I had to keep oiling the headstock every few minutes to keep it from heating up and choking out the lathe.
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#5 pkrankow

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Posted 20 January 2012 - 06:56 PM

Somewhat interested, is an Atlas 10F big enough? It has a 1/3 Hp non-starter, non-directional motor, so I have to grab a pulley and give it a flip to get it going in the direction I choose, and yes, this is the proper function of this motor.

I don't have time for the hobbies I have so...

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#6 iron woodrow

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Posted 20 January 2012 - 07:18 PM

i am interested in spinning because a lot of roman armour was produced by spinning, and also it woul speed up the process of raising helmets, so to me, armour, blacksmithing and spinning are inextricably tied. i have been told that i can have an old flat belt lathe, hence my question, and would like to know if it is worth me getting what may just become another machine i cant use.....
 
As an example to others, and not that I care for moderation myself, it has always been my rule never to smoke when asleep, and never to refrain from smoking when awake.

mark twain


#7 Fe-Wood

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Posted 20 January 2012 - 07:27 PM

Wow- I'm glad to see these posts.

As far as lathes go- pretty much any lathe will work. Belt drive is what both of mine are, "V" belt. One is a dedicated Spinning Lathe while the other is a Rockwell Variable speed wood turning lathe. I have seen people spin on the compact or mini Jet wood turning lathe up to huge walk-in size lathes. Frosty' dads was like that, I think. Metal Lathes work too but the 3 or 4 jaw chuck is a bit scary to me. I have my hands all over the work while I'm spinning and those jaws are made for grabbing.

I have tried a bunch of different woods for the mandrel and Eastern Hard Maple or Rock MAple has continued to be the best. Any dense hardwood will work on small diameter work. I have used Mahogany, Brown Oak, Eucalyptus, Bass Wood, Cherry etc. One thing to be careful of is pushing the spun material to the mandrel so hard it can't be removed. Deep and shallow tapers are the worst for this.

Mike- It is that trance state that works. The forming happens fast and if it is over thought... OOPS, its a target. I recently went thought and sorted all the scrap generated from my efforts- Copper, Brass, Aluminum, Galv. and mild Steel. When I sell it as scrap, I bet I get a couple hundred bucks for it all. I agree, its one of the hardest things I have tried to learn!

Woody-
Flat belt lathes will work- Can you get pictures? Are you handy making tooling and modifications? It sounds old and heavy. Nice trait in a spinning lathe! Sight unseen, I say go for it.

I will put up a post with some of the basics for beginning spinning in the next couple days....

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#8 iron woodrow

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Posted 20 January 2012 - 09:22 PM

ill get a shot when i go to my outlaws place again, it's my father in law that has it, rusting away....in the salt and humidity, but at least its under cover...
 
As an example to others, and not that I care for moderation myself, it has always been my rule never to smoke when asleep, and never to refrain from smoking when awake.

mark twain


#9 Jacques

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Posted 21 January 2012 - 11:35 AM

I've got a wood lathe, and I've already made my rest and the steel for the tools is lying on the table now for months waiting for me to get time.

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#10 Fe-Wood

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Posted 21 January 2012 - 10:09 PM

Didn't work....

The difference between Knowledge and Skill is Practice- E. Martin
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#11 Fe-Wood

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Posted 21 January 2012 - 10:14 PM

HELP!!

The post above is a copy from an email. How do I import the picture?

Jacques-
If I can help with any ?? about the tools, let me know-

The difference between Knowledge and Skill is Practice- E. Martin
Isolate, Distribute, Finish- Toby Hickman
Endeavor to Persevere!

http://www.oregonhandforged.com/

 


#12 HWooldridge

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Posted 21 January 2012 - 11:05 PM

Have done lots of machining on a lathe - but NO spinning (although I would like to learn). I was watching "How It's Made" the other night and they were building brass horns by spinning part of the cone. IIRC, that process looked like it was done on a metal lathe but the machine had a smooth nose over the spindle and some sort of special live center in the tailstock. The operator used a metal bar with a polished round ball on one end then pushed it against the tool rest. I also think they might have used some lubricant but I can't recall for certain.

 


#13 Fe-Wood

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Posted 22 January 2012 - 01:21 AM

Yes- If you have a screw on chuck it can be replaced with a threaded adaptor for use in spinning. I have one for my old Logan. I use it to make steel mandrels. Most wood lathes use 8X1" threads.

Most people I talk to or read from use 4140 for hand tools to spin Copper based alloys. I have a couple Brass tipped tools for hand spinning Steel. A good off the shelf lubrication is sealing wax for toilets or dish soap. I use a product made by fourmax for lubricating metal cutting band saw blades.

Thats a great video! I've watched it a few times....

The difference between Knowledge and Skill is Practice- E. Martin
Isolate, Distribute, Finish- Toby Hickman
Endeavor to Persevere!

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#14 BIGGUNDOCTOR

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Posted 26 January 2012 - 12:09 AM

I have a small bench top spinning lathe that came from a closed high school shop, and I did a project on my Monarch years ago. I made a custom oval air cleaner for a friend's corvette. The base was aluminum, and I used a shovel handle to push it into a piece of Doug fir 2x6 that I had turned the shape in. Worked for the job.
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#15 moldmonkey

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Posted 30 January 2012 - 06:53 PM

Newbie signing to say I am very interested in spinning. I just bought and read The Art of Metal Spinning by Paul Wiley. I then did a Web search and ended up here.
Next I need to try my hand at it and am sure I will have many questions after that. :)
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#16 cvmikeray

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Posted 30 January 2012 - 07:04 PM

Hey moldmonkey here is a link if you have not found it yet. http://metalspinningworkshop.com/ - I have these videos and I like them.
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#17 moldmonkey

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Posted 30 January 2012 - 07:36 PM

Thanks for the recommendation. I had seen them but didn't know how good they were.
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#18 Fe-Wood

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Posted 30 January 2012 - 10:07 PM

I would watch utube videos instead of buying those DVDs. I have them and found them to have large holes in the knowledge base. Paul's book is outstanding however.

The difference between Knowledge and Skill is Practice- E. Martin
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Endeavor to Persevere!

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#19 FordPrefect

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Posted 02 February 2012 - 09:35 AM

I did some metal spinning in high school, used aluminium to make a water cup...it seem fairly simple to thanks to Mr. Steve Vandervest who made metal spinning easy and fun.

#20 Mark Emig

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Posted 18 February 2012 - 07:48 AM

Hey there,
As usual, I went and bought something I have no idea how to use-a spinning lathe-old. Now I need to learn how to use it :) I taught at Brookfield Craft center a bit back and Terry Tynan was teaching at the same time. Became friendly with him-now to call and swap some work for knowledge. I'll post pics of the lathe once it's off the truck and reassembled.




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