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Spinning Aluminum Cowlings?

Old 12-14-2008, 10:39 PM
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Avaiojet
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Default Spinning Aluminum Cowlings?

Does anyone know someone who makes or offers aluminum cowlings?

The airplane I'm modeling has polished aluminum cowlings, and I'd rather not use peel n stick foils or chrome vinyl.

Thanks in advance,

Charles
Old 12-14-2008, 11:00 PM
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trickydevil
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Default RE: Spinning Aluminum Cowlings?


ORIGINAL: Avaiojet

I'd rather not use peel n stick foils.
Why not? I'm sure it would be a lot easier. Cowls are not usually circular, therefore, cannot be spun. It would have to be machined or cast, which would cost a small fortune. Or you could use litho plate to cover your cowl area, which would be more difficult to do than alufoil.

just my 2 cents,

Richard
Old 12-14-2008, 11:27 PM
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u2fast
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Default RE: Spinning Aluminum Cowlings?

call glen torrence. he had a 22 inch cowl spun for me for an eindecker. reasonable and first class. barry
Old 12-14-2008, 11:48 PM
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Avaiojet
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Default RE: Spinning Aluminum Cowlings?

u2fast,

Great! Thanks for the lead, but how do I call him? I have absolutely no idea who he is?

Website? Number?

Charles
Old 12-14-2008, 11:59 PM
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BobH
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Default RE: Spinning Aluminum Cowlings?

flygtm.com thats his website..
Old 12-15-2008, 12:25 AM
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mogman
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Default RE: Spinning Aluminum Cowlings?

I enquired once about getting a cowl spun for a 1/2 scale Pup. I was quoted around $900.00!
The expense comes in making the form over which to spin the cowl. Needless to say I am exploring other avenues.

Cheers, Dave.
Old 12-15-2008, 02:31 AM
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Default RE: Spinning Aluminum Cowlings?

What actually is the procedure for "spinning a cowl?" It is really a matter of pressing an enormous sheet of aluminum over a spinning mold? Or does the aluminum spin? Either way it sounds like a complex process and I can well imagine that a "one-off" might cost $900.

Best bet is just to look around for a suitable cooking pot.
Old 12-15-2008, 07:49 AM
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Default RE: Spinning Aluminum Cowlings?

glenn had 2 made for me for a 1/2 scale eindecker. tooling and all was around 500 smackers and worth every penny. barry ps i will try to get pics.
Old 12-15-2008, 08:10 AM
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Default RE: Spinning Aluminum Cowlings?

Spinning metal is similar to pottery spinning, but obviously you have to use tools instead of fingers to shape and the wheel has to hold the sheet metal down.
Old 12-15-2008, 08:32 AM
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Default RE: Spinning Aluminum Cowlings?

Here are a couple of informative videos:


http://jp.youtube.com/watch?v=DGszBVy3cgU

http://jp.youtube.com/watch?v=c8xtuS...eature=related

http://jp.youtube.com/watch?v=o4KhTg...eature=related
Old 12-15-2008, 08:52 AM
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Default RE: Spinning Aluminum Cowlings?

And a couple more:

http://jp.youtube.com/watch?v=Gwrk0SwDJhI

http://jp.youtube.com/watch?v=kqQdQY...eature=related

I suddenly have a lot more respect for those WWI craftsmen!
Old 12-15-2008, 11:08 AM
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Laird SS
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Default RE: Spinning Aluminum Cowlings?

Those are great video clips. Thanks for posting them. I found the one on spinning to be super.

Old 12-15-2008, 11:09 AM
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Avaiojet
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Default RE: Spinning Aluminum Cowlings?

I knew a guy who spun aluminum mostly for light fictures. As you can see, it takes minutes.

The plug is the issue.

Thanks for this information and I welcome more.

Charles
Old 12-15-2008, 11:27 AM
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Default RE: Spinning Aluminum Cowlings?

Im pretty sure the originals were not spun but hammered to shape. The British also has the english wheel. Most of the car restoration field still use the techniques.
Old 12-15-2008, 11:36 AM
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Default RE: Spinning Aluminum Cowlings?

Try looking for your favorite pot and using that as your cowl. I have used one of my wifes cooking pots and cut it up and it worked well especially if you need weight in the front.
Old 12-15-2008, 12:13 PM
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Default RE: Spinning Aluminum Cowlings?

go find your local china town and look for their cookware section of a Chinese grocery they always have these lightweight aluminum pots you can cut up etc for way cheap.
Old 12-15-2008, 01:55 PM
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Default RE: Spinning Aluminum Cowlings?

Very interesting, I wonder if a plug made with hardwood would work for at least a few cowls? I bet it would, I have a heavy duty wood lathe, just gets me thinking!
Old 12-15-2008, 02:40 PM
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Default RE: Spinning Aluminum Cowlings?

ORIGINAL: TFF
Im pretty sure the originals were not spun but hammered to shape. The British also has the english wheel. Most of the car restoration field still use the techniques.
This is what I used to think, but now that I've seen these videos (particularly the one of the Australian doing 18th century dinner plates) I'm convinced that the front cowls for rotary engines were probably spun. Other metal cowlings, for example, the metal nose pieces on the Albatros CI and the DH2 were obviously hammered (which is a technique I think I could manage).

But the English Wheel use is also quite interesting. Cowls would have to have been done as two parts.

http://jp.youtube.com/watch?v=spVRJN...eature=related

http://jp.youtube.com/watch?v=oKLqhJ...eature=related
Old 12-15-2008, 03:02 PM
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Default RE: Spinning Aluminum Cowlings?

Does anyone sell a small modelers version of the English wheel?
Old 12-15-2008, 04:14 PM
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Default RE: Spinning Aluminum Cowlings?

Harbor Freight has a small bench top english wheel but I believe it is still to big. They had one in the local store but the online does not; only has the bigger ones. Cars like the Cobra and other traditional coachwork cars were made with the english wheel; if you look at one of the pictures of it unpainted you can see it is made of about 40 pieces welded together and then soothed over to remove the seams. Looking at a Ferrari of the same time frame, they used hammers to shape everything but it was still made of many pieces.
Old 12-15-2008, 04:30 PM
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Avaiojet
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Default RE: Spinning Aluminum Cowlings?

The english wheel is not the route to take. I have access to one and I can also weld aluminum. I don't want to. I've been restoring sports cars my whole life. Metal is one of the things I do. Another hobby.

Spinning is what I need.

Here's the car I'm currently working on.

www.356metalwork.com

Charles

Old 12-15-2008, 05:50 PM
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Default RE: Spinning Aluminum Cowlings?

Mostly Alfas here.
Old 12-19-2008, 11:32 PM
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Default RE: Spinning Aluminum Cowlings?

I visited the Proctor "factory" a month or two ago and was shown how the spinning is done. They do it through a third party but he had the blanks on hand and some were hardwood. I have a shopsmith and would like to try to spin a cowl for my quarterscale sopwith pup. The tools all seem pretty basic and it looks like it would be fun to try. Now I just need to glue up a block of wood to serve as the blank. I think lighter aluminum would work - I understand I'll need to find aluminum that's softer than the alloy sheets I have. I'll probably try a small version first to see if it works.
Old 12-20-2008, 11:08 AM
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Default RE: Spinning Aluminum Cowlings?

I have spun cowls and spinners on hard wood (even pine for one offs) bucks. It is not for the faint of heart. I find it terrifying as I always expect to slip and cut my hands off on the blanks :-) If you can aford it (obviously I can't) Pay the man!!! Glenn is first class and a pleasure to do buisness with!

DJ

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