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Metal Spinning

 

This is part two of a two part tip on metal spinning.  Click here to visit part one.

 

 

Once you've located a metal fabrication company or individual that has the ability to do metal spinning, there are several items you need to consider.

 

First, recognize that the metal spinning process starts with the construction of a form that is used as a template for spinning the required shape.  This form can be made of dense wood (like maple), but it's usually made of steel or another hard metal.  Most forms can be re-used, but the cost of making the initial form is one reason why it is usually quite expensive ($100 to $200 and more) to make a large sink mold using the metal spinning process.

 

Because of the expense of making a form, it's sometimes worthwhile to adapt a pre-existing form for use to spin your mold.  Some flexibility in this area can significantly reduce the setup costs, so be sure to ask your metal spinner if it's possible to use or adapt an existing form.

 

Also ask about cost savings from having multiple molds made at the same time.  The savings should be significant, and if you can interest others in your mold, you can share the savings with others.

 

Specify good quality stainless steel in a gauge that's thick enough to stand up to use in the kiln. 18 gauge, 300 series stainless steel is a good choice.   Resist the temptation to save a few dollars by using an inferior grade of stainless or non-stainless steel.

 

Most importantly, don't allow the metal fabricator to suggest that you use a seamed mold made in other ways than metal spinning.  No matter how sturdy they seem, molds made with a seam will warp in the kiln (sometimes on the first firing!).  Only metal spinning can produce a quality mold that's strong enough to stand up to years of use as a mold for slumped sinks and large bowls.

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Copyright 2005 Brad Walker.  All rights reserved.

Click here for a more detailed overview of the metal spinning process.  (This is a pdf file and will open in another window.)

Click here for a general overview of different types of molds for sinks and large bowls.

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Four Corners International, Inc.

4140 Clemmons Road, #320

Clemmons, NC  27012   USA

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

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