Spun aluminum gets its name from the process used to create shaped aluminum. Flat aluminum discs are placed onto a mandrel on a lathe or other spinning object. Some mandrels are made of wood, others of metal, and some are actually made of ice. The mandrels help shape the aluminum into the desired finished shape that the metalworker wants to produce. Many aluminum objects used around the house and in the kitchen use the spinning process to create their sturdy and rounded shapes.
Spinning aluminum is harder than it looks. The operator must be precise and even in all movements or the shape created will be uneven and lopsided. To make a spun aluminum container, such as a pot, the operator takes a flat aluminum disc and places it on the mandrel. The operator starts the lathe and begins to shape the object.
The operator uses several shaping tools to bend the metal into shape as it spins. The high pressure of the metal spinning combined with the use of tools bends the aluminum into simple or complex shapes. Forming an aluminum pot is one of the easier spinning processes. All it requires is that the operator shape the sides of the disc into a cylindrical shape. Once the sides of the pot are created, the operator then uses a notched tool to bend the lip of the pot over to round the lip of the pot and prevent the user from cutting his or her hands on the sharp metal. The operator may also spin a lid for the pot using a similar production method.
After spinning, the pots receive handles riveted and soldered into place to strengthen the bond between the handle and the pot. With a little polishing, the pot is finished and sent off to packaging and shipping.