Metal Craft Spinning Capabilities

Metal Spinning Equipment

Metal spinning lathes can be grouped into three broad categories: manual, power assisted and automatic. Each paragraph below provides a brief outline of the equipment and typical applications.

Manual Spinning

Manual spinning lathes typically accommodate blanks ranging from .25" to 72" in diameter.

Power Assisted Spinning

Power assisted spinning is manual spinning augmented by hydraulic cylinders, which provide additional force on the workpiece rather than only human force. This additional power is useful when forming strong metals such as stainless steel and exotic alloys.

Automatic Metal Spinning

Automatic Metal Spinning is based on Computer Numerical Control (CNC) and Programmable Numerical Control (PNC). For PNC, the lathe is programmed through a "teach" mode where the first piece is manually spun while the computer records the movements. Once this initial workpiece has been spun, the lathe is put into "playback" mode for production. Blanks are positioned in the lathe by the operator and the playback cycle is initiated. The work piece is then formed automatically, exactly duplicating the movements of the manual spinning.

Automatic Metal Spinning is a cost effective option for medium and high volume production since it offers repetition and fast cycle times

Basic Operations Of Metal Spinning

In forming a part by Metal spinning, a combination of processes may be utilized to complete a part. These processes include: preforms, conventional spinning, shear spinning, edge treatment (trimming, beading, curling, hemming) as well as secondary operations.


A preform is a partially formed part that is used to increase the efficiency of the next forming process. Preforms may be in the shape of a cylinder, shells, cones and more. These preforms can be achieved through spinning or other forming operations such as drawing.

Conventional Metal Spinning

The Metal Spinning process usually involves a series of passes to complete the formed part. During each pass the metal is stretched thus thinning out the material. This thin-out characteristic is typical of the conventional metal spinning process. If necessary, thin out can be minimized.

Shear Spinning

Shear spinning is a variation of Conventional Metal Spinning. Shear spinning refers to the formation of a part in just one pass. This process allows for an accurate prediction of finished material thickness. Shear spinning is typically associated with conical and cylindrical shapes.

Edge Treatment

The edges of a part can be finished in many ways. Parts can be trimmed for a straight edge, hemmed for a folded edge or beaded for a rolled or curled edge. These edge treatments can be performed in a spinning lathe or on a separate machine that specializes in edge treatment.


CNC Spinning Lathes Automatic Lathes Manual/Hand Lathes
40" swing (max) 24" swing (max) 72" swing
3/16" CRS 12 gauge thick CRS (max) 12 gauge CRS (max)
12 gauge CRS (max) 14 gauge S.S. (max) 14 gauge S.S. (max)

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