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How to Shape Metal With Hand & Power Tools

Kevin is shaping 16 gauge aluminum to make spinning flowers for a tree sculpture he is creating.

He starts with old fashioned technology: a sandbag and a plastic mallet. Kevin says that if you use it right - not just hit it as hard as you can - it does a real nice job.

Once Kevin gets a good basic shape, he taps the metal in selected places to finesse the form.

The metal is nice and smooth on the backside where it's all been ground down smooth and shiny and clean - he preps each piece of metal to a smooth finish with 180 grit sandpaper before he even starts shaping it. That makes it easier to clean up at the end.

Now that he's been shaping it, though, he has hammer marks on the top side. So he goes over to the planishing hammer to clean it up.

Kevin shows his air-powered shaper. Its power head runs up and down and below it has a rubber anvil on the bottom and a plastic head on the top that turns the machine into a planisher. It will help him get out those little hammer marks.

He puts on his sound protection safety equipment and advises listeners to turn down the sound if they are wearing headphones or have the volume high - this machine is noisy. Kevin feeds the piece of metal through and around in the shaper as it planishes it.

Next Kevin uses a surface preparation disk to get any remaining marks from the plastic hammer. Now it's ready to go to the paint shop!

Kevin knows he can shape the metal using the air shaper, but every now and again you just want to wail on a piece of metal . ...

He's ready to get back to work, but you might want to stay for another moment to see him do a video check ....

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