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Metal Spinning FAQs

Answers to commonly asked questions

by Donnie Buckley

Q. What does .064 Copper mean?

A. .064 Copper refers to the thickness of the copper plate that is used to create a piece of apparatus. The numeric unit is in inches, eg. .064 is sixty-four thousandths of an inch, .050 is five hundredths or fifty thousandths of an inch. We primarily create apparatus from 3 different thicknesses of metals:


Gauge Thickness (Inches)
18 .040
16 .050
14 .064


Q. Can any apparatus be spun from thicker plates?

A. No, not all our apparatus can be constructed from the thicker (sometimes called "heavier") gauges for two reasons.

  1. The tooling is designed for a specific gauge of metal plate.
  2. The finished product may not function properly.

An example of apparatus that cannot be spun from thicker plates is the Paul Fox Mini Cups. Paul Fox Mini Cups are spun from .040" plates. The inner diameter of the mouth of these cups has a very specific tolerance relating to the outside diameter of the cup. If we were to attempt to spin Paul Fox Mini Cups from .050" plates, the addition of .010" to the outside diameter of the cup causes the cups to nest improperly and stick together when stacked.

Rings-N-Things Cups are designed to be spun from a particular gauge metal so they do not stick when stacked.


Q. What does Hand-Spun mean?

A. Hand-Spun is a term we use to identify products that are manufactured by the Metal Spinning process, as opposed to a CNC process. The Metal Spinning process is a method developed over 75 years ago to use machines to form metal plates into conical shapes. It is based upon the ancient art of pottery spinning, whereby clay is put on a wheel and spun into a vessel. More specifically, our process of Hand-Spinning includes a lathe to hold the mandrels and hand-held tools to perform the shaping rather than by a CNC lathe.
For more information on Metal Spinning, see Wikipedia
For videos demonstrating craftsmen performing Metal Spinning, see YouTube


Q. What does CNC mean?

A. A CNC process is a Computer Numeric Controlled process which refers to the automation of machine tools that are operated by computer programs, as opposed to a Hand-Spun process.
For more information on CNC, see Wikipedia


Q. What is a Ferrous Metal?

A. A Ferrous metal is a metal that contains iron and will be attracted to a magnetic field. One must be aware that a magnet will want to attract to a ferrous metal. The ferrous metals we use in the production of hand-spun magic apparatus are:

  • Steel

Q. What is a Nonferrous Metal?

A. Nonferrous Metals are metals that do not contain iron. These metals are important to us because they are not attracted to magnetic fields and magnets can be around these metals without the magnet attracting to them. The nonferrous metals we use in the production of hand-spun magic apparatus are:

  • Aluminum
  • Brass
  • Copper
  • Sterling Silver