Metal Spinning on the Lathe

The lathe is one of the most versatile machine tools.  When the lathe is operating the work piece is rotating.  Metal spinning was originated by the Egyptians.  In 1840 metal spinning was finally introduce in the United States. The shaping of a material takes place when the metal disc is forced over a piece of wood called a chuck.

This sheet contains the methods to properly spin metal in order to create the part that is desired.  For more instructions, please contact the supervisor or refer to one of many texts available. 

Related/Parts: The few related parts that are utilized on this equipment, consist of the following:

Note: There are other parts on various accessories used with the lathe for spinning, but for this discussion, these parts are all that are necessary to complete this procedure.

Setup Procedures (Metal Spinning): Metal Spinning is the operation when forming a sheet of metal into certain types of forms on the lathe.  The instructions are as follows: 

  1. Prepare a work drawing design of the metal piece that is going to be spinning on the lathe.
  2. Prepare a hardwood chuck of the appropriate shape.
  3. Cut a metal disc of the proper size.
  4. Center the metal disc between the chuck and the follow block.
Procedures to Begin Metal Spinning: Now that you are ready, follow these simple steps to begin the process involved with metal spinning:
  1. Start the lathe.
  2. Select the proper cutting tool for the job.
  3. Insert the spinning pin in the T-bar rest.  Then adjust the T-bar rest so that the tool is at a slight angle against the pin.
  4. Apply wax lubrication, to the outer surface of the metal that is spinning.
  5. Hold the tool with your right hand, placing the handle under your arm.
  6. Apply pressure to the metal that is spinning by moving the tool from the center to the outer edge of the metal. 
Note: There are several other operations that can be done using the lathe to spin metal, however, for the purposes of these procedures, only the previous mentioned operations are needed.  For more information about other procedures, contact your instructor and/or refer to one of the many references available. 
Always put some wax lubrication on the piece of metal that is spinning to avoid hazards.  Hold the tool with your right hand, with the handle under your arm, to prevent hazards.

Potential Hazards:

Safety practices: Due to the potential hazards involved with the operating of this equipment, the following safety rules must be adhered to: References:

Johnson, Harold V., (1973). Technical Metals. Chas. A. Bennettt Co., Inc., Peoria, IL.

Walker, John R., (1972). Exploring Metal Working. The Goodheart-Willcox Co., Inc., South Holland, IL.

ITT 252 - Materials Processing
Department of Technology
University of Southern Maine
Prepared by Joey Soucy, 11/14/2001