The Ultimate How To Guide To Metal Spinning
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What is Metal Spinning?
Metal Spinning is a craft dating back to the years of Ancient Egypt and has considerably developed over the years since the introduction of automated machinery such as the Computer Numerically Controlled (CNC) Spinning lathes. The introduction of such machinery has revolutionised the industry and it is already paving the way for the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) and the Internet of Things (IoT).
However, only a few people actually know how to metal spin in the UK, let alone know what metal spinning actually is and the applications it is used within. Over the next four weeks, we aim to address these questions and bust the myths around this ancient craft. Today, we will provide you with a tutorial on how to manually metal spin!
Health and Safety Checks and Equipment Checks
First and foremost, you must ensure you wear the correct Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) in accordance with government legislation of Health and Safety at Work act (HASAWA) 1974. These include wearing correct clothing such as overalls, gloves, steel toe-capped boots, ear protection and eye protection. This is because metal spinning sheet metal discs can generate a lot of heat and swarf material.
Second, and most obvious to some, you will need a manual spinning lathe, which is not to be confused with a turning lathe! If you already have one, great! If not, these can be quite expensive but If you have the money to afford such a lathe you can often find many for sale from independent sellers / businesses online.
Thirdly, you should ensure you have enough room and that you are safely away any person/people, that the floor around you has no trip hazards and that you have spinning tools! These are fundamental for metal spinners as this allows them to form the sheet metal disc around the tool to create the desired shape with its desired dimensions.
The Spinning Tools & How to Use Them
With these checked, you can proceed to metal spin! So, you are fully prepared, you are wearing the correct PPE, you have purchased your spinning tools and manual spinning lathe, you are complying with HASAWA 1974. You must now load on your desired tool that you wish to form the sheet metal disc around. The next step is to turn the Manual spinning lathe on and set your desired speed preference. In the video below, we demonstrate this on a Wilson Spinning lathe. The speed preferences vary with each metal spinner based on their confidence and skill levels.
Step two requires the blank to be “true”. In short, this involves a slight release of the Tailstock to Free the Blank enough to allow the back stick to move the blank. A metal spinner would be able to perform this through use of touch and sight. As you gain more experience over time, you will be able identify when the sheet metal blank/disc is true and dead centre. Be sure to watch the video demonstration to observe how our metal spinners perform this. Once the blank is ‘true’, the Tailstock needs to be cranked up in order to clamp the blank against the metal former / tool of the desired shape and size.
Manual Spinning tools are crafted in accordance with a metal spinner’s preference. There are many spinning tools on the market, some better than others, but all have similarities to the desired performance to form blanks over the loaded tool. As you can see in the video, our Metal Spinner moves the spinning tool in the shape of an arc. The arc shape is large at the start of the spinning process of forming the blank. It gradually shrinks as the spinning tool presses against the loaded tool/mould. The operator is in full control throughout the process and their skills determine how successful they are in performing this stage.
Cutting Tools are used on the metal disc towards the end of the spinning process. Often these are used to cut the inner circle and/or trim the metal piece to align with your desired dimensions. Our Metal Spinner demonstrates this in the video.
Cleaning Once you have finished the metal spinning process, the cleaning applications begin. The cleaning application is a standard uniform finish which is usually applied through the use of Scotch Brite Pads, Emery Cloths or a soft rag/mop.