Thursday, 1 June 2017

Commercial Photography | Metal Spinners

Client: Martech UK Ltd
Subject: Metal Spinners at Alphin Pans Ltd

A couple of years ago I was asked to nip over the Pennines to Oldham for an afternoon at Alphin Pans, who are part of a dying breed of highly skilled metal workers manufacturing everything from light shades to pizza pans.
One of the processes they use is metal spinning which is fascinating to watch, difficult to get your head round and potentially quite dangerous. Basically, you start with a metal disk (in this case either aluminium or steel), spin it round at 1200rpm and used brute force to form it round a metal tool.
You need nerves of steel to do this job and they need to exert a phenomenal amount of force to get the metal to stretch and bend into shape round the tool. As you can see below, the guy making the aluminium light shade uses his bare hand to burnish the metal and feel for imperfections as it hurtles round. 
As I said, this is yet another highly skilled job that's a rapidly dying art in this country. It would be a real shame if it died out altogether.

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