Well I finally managed to get to a metal spinning taster session and it certainly lived up to expectations.


I went to see Terry Tynan down at the Metal Spinning Workshop for a day to get a taste of the techniques involved in Spinning Metal on the lathe and to see how I could potentially use this in conjunction with more traditional woodturning techniques.

Following on from a basic run through on health and safety we got straight down to spinning a basic form,  the idea is that you start with a disc of metal (in my case Aluminium - if you are American please note the second "i") - these discs are 200mm diameter and 0.9mm thick.

spinning circles large 500w

Then using a wooden former, a modified toolrest and a single combination tool I made a simple bowl shape like this:

 phoca thumb m spun pot 4

phoca thumb m spun pot 5

The techniques are different in many ways to those involved in turning, for example the stance is different and the body movement involved is also more significant than would normally be involved in Woodturning. The smaller pieces I was working on did not require a lot of strength which was a bit of a surprise.

We moved on to a slightly more advanced shape and added a "bead" at the rim to give the piece strength and a more professional finish..

phoca thumb m spun pot 2

phoca thumb m spun pot 3

I will most definitely be wanting to follow up on this and do some practice at home on the lathe and then go back to see Terry to work on more advanced techniques.

At the end of a good day in the workshop we ended up with a selection of bowls and pots, some good and some not so good but things did seem to be going better when I finished so I am at least headed in the right direction!

phoca thumb m lotsa pots 800w

If you are looking for a way to expand your horizons as a turner then this is a good way to go, you can use your existing lathe (in most cases) and simply by adding a few new bits and pieces you can open up a whole range of possibilities.