Frequently Asked Questions - Metal Spinning

Q. Is metal spinning practical or feasible for me?
A. We always need some kind of drawing (a hand sketch will do). A discussion over the phone usually is enough to see if the job is feasible. A print is needed for a firm price along with a delivery date.

Q. What is metal spinning?
A. Metal spinning is a “cold worked” metal forming process in which sheet metal is formed over a rotating mandrel or form. It is an “age old art” that has been practiced manually for centuries (see History of Metal Spinning).

Q. What shapes can metal spinning produce?
A. The most common shapes are hollow dished, conical, hemispherical, and elliptical shapes. Edge configuration that includes beads and hems are also accomplished with metal spinning. Due to the nature of the process, most spinnings are round. In some instances spinning can be combined with other forming processes to produce slightly irregular shapes.

Q. What are typical tolerances that can be achieved with metal spinning?
A. Typical tolerances for manual metal spinning are +/- 1/15” although with proper gauges tighter tolerances can be achieved on some dimensions.

Q. What materials can be spun?
A. Spun parts can be made from many metals. The most common metals are steel, aluminum, stainless steel, brass, and copper. Silver and other exotic alloys can also be used.

Q. What is the smallest and largest part you can make?
A. The chart below outlines our capabilities with regard to common materials and our minimum-maximum capacity. Keep in mind that material thickness is an important factor as well.

minimum and maximum capacity chart

Q. What if a design change requires a change in diameter?
A. If the changes causes the inside diameter to decrease in size, the change will be relatively inexpensive. If the inside diameter increases, new tooling will have to be produced. If you need a prototype, this is the cheapest way to go; changes are the least expensive by the spinning process.