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How to Roll Metal in Small Diameters



Kevin has been working on an aluminum stem for a large sculpture. He's been rolling the 16 gauge aluminum into cones, then welding them together. As he got to the top, though, the diameter of the piece became too small to create on his slip roll. It won't make the tight curve that he needed. But he figured out a way to cheat!

First Kevin adjusts his slip roll by moving the roller that controls the diameter as high as it will go. He rolls the small piece of aluminum, removes it from the machine and shows that he just can't close up the cone using the slip roll.

He thought about closing up in a vise, but that would only push together the two sides, making it egg-shaped, and he needs to make it round and fairly smooth. It's also 2 different diameters (smaller at the top), which creates another challenge.

Kevin could put clamps on it in 2 different directions or in the past he's used ratchet or tie-down straps, but they're too horsy for what he's working on now.

Wait a minute! His studio was once an automotive garage! Kevin gets out some good, old-fashioned hose clamps. They'll work just fine.

He takes his electric drill and tightens up the bottom clamps, then adds another hose clamp to tighten up the more narrow top section.

Kevin uses a hammer to adjust and even up the ends of the metal. Now he'll come in with his TIG welder and tack the metal together and remove the hose clamps. He can then add a few more tacks, and weld the aluminum cone inside for greater strength.

If he needs to, he can further shape the aluminum piece on his anvil or even just adjust it by hand.

Kevin is ready to go back to work, but you might want to hang out for another moment or 2 to hear that cool sound again ....

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