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