Metal Tooling


Metal Tooling for spinning can be fabricated from various materials. Many factors determine which material is the most appropriate: production volume, finish, tolerancing metal, etc. There are two basic alternatives.


Wood tools are made from a variety of materials: maple, fine grain particleboard etc. Wood tools are typically used for parts where tolerancing and/or finish are not critical.


Steel tools are used mainly to form shapes fabricated from stainless steel or other strong metals. Due to the relatively hard, smooth surface of steel tools, parts spun on steel tooling can achieve a superior surface finish in addition to maintaining close tolerances. Steel tools can be fabricated from both mild steel and tool steel. The life of the tool can be increased by hardening the tool by passing it through a process of heat-treating.

Tooling Design

Spin tooling can be grouped into three broad categories: male, female and collapsible. Each paragraph below outlines a category.

Male Tool

A male tool is the most common type of spinning tool. It duplicates the interior dimensions of the part.

Female Tool

A female tool conforms to the exterior dimensions of the part. This type of tool is often used to form flanges and returns.

Collapsible Tool (Segmented)

A collapsible tool is required when the diameter of the part becomes smaller as the part is formed. If a male tool is used this smaller diameter or neck prevents the part from being removed from the tool; therefore, a collapsible tool is required. A collapsible tool has a removable centre core that keeps the perimeter pieces in place during spinning. After the part is spun, the core is removed which permits access to the perimeter pieces. Note that the use of a collapsible tool involves assembling and disassembling the tool for each piece spun.

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