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"Caron's love for sensual shapes helps him mold his beautiful metal sculptures."
--Kellie Huang, The Arizona Republic

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How to Stretch Metal

Kevin has cut a long, wide gap in a piece of 16 gauge aluminum. He will show you how to close the gap so itís can be easily welded back together.

He starts with an air powered shaper. With this tool, you can shape metal. You can also stretch it - which is what he wants to try to do with the gap in the piece of aluminum. You can also shrink it.

You might want to shrink metal when you have, for instance, a ridge in it, or you're trying to bend something around a corner. You can push all that metal over to one side.

First Kevin changes the bottom die [CORRECTION: anvil] to get the shape he wants. He shows the difference between the anvil that was in the shaper and the one he is going to use. The first one has a flat surface, but Kevin wants a more rounded profile.

Now let's make some noise!

As he is hammering the metal with the shaper, Kevin is moving toward the gap then stopping, moving down the metal and moving toward the gap, etc.

Kevin shows the aluminum after shaping it. The gap is almost closed all the way, with a bit of a split at the top.

Now it's much easier to weld that much smaller gap and grind down just a little. Or you can use the shaper to hammer the weld and blend it in.

What if you donít have an air shaper? You don't need on. It's nice to have, but there's a way to cheat: mimic the same action as the air shaper with a hammer and an anvil.

What if you donít have an anvil? You probably have a vice. Most vises have a small anvil spot you can hammer on. Or you can close up the jaws up and hammer on the top of them. Remember, this is finesse, not power hammering!

Kevin uses the rounded ballpeen end of the hammer - like the pointer anvil - when moving metal. It pinches the metal and helps move it along, making the metal thinner. It has to go somewhere, so it goes out.

Kevin hopes this gives you another little technique to use if you have a gap to fill. You donít have to just weld, weld, weld to fill it.

Kevin is going to go back to work, so you have time to hit YouTube's bell notification button so you see more free how to videos. Well, you might want to stick around for another moment to see someone who believes in free speech Ö.

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