How to make a cone out of sheet metal

I have been doing cone out of sheet metal and today I was wondering if there was an easier way to do than my way wichh is to trace it on metal and then roll it to shape and spot weld it in place. Do you guys or lady out there have any better way or easier way to do it.

Cheers


visitor's picture

I'm embarrassed to admit

I'm embarrassed to admit that I am bad at this as well. I'm looking forward to an easy solution. marilyn


visitor's picture

cone shaping

well Marylin welcome to my world.


Bill Roberts's picture

Not sure if I understand

Not sure if I understand your question. Do you just need a method to make the "cone pattern", or is the "assembly" the problem? there is a very simple diagram in "The Complete Metalsmith" by Tim McCreight, to make cones and frustums.

 


visitor's picture

Thanks

Great that is exactly what I was looking for.


Bill Roberts's picture

great, glad it helps. Wasn't

great, glad it helps. Wasn't quite sure. FWIW, Tim's book is a very valuable resource. Tons of info. I highly recommend it.
Bill


visitor's picture

[IMG]http://i15.tinypic.com/4

[IMG]http://i15.tinypic.com/4l6j0d0.jpg[/IMG]

http://i15.tinypic.com/4l6j0d0.jpg

offering another level of sophistication
(plotting both cone angle, edge profile, ect)
;)


visitor's picture

Sheet Metal Cone Formation

Guys, I've heard that there is a very simple tool that can be made to form sheet metal cones. According to one source it costs about $10 to make. Unfortunately, they want you to purchase a $100 book then they give you the details to make the tool for free. Does anyone know what this tool is or how to construct it?


B.J. Severtson's picture

truncated cone

A truncated (cut off) cone can be made directly from a flat sheet of metal cut into a circle. These cones do not require welding and have no seam. Raising or angle raising to begin with is a traditional technique for building goblets bowls and other containers. A couple of steel stakes and a small set of hammers is all that's necessary. Spinning a process of forcing a spinning disc of metal against a wooden or metal form is done with a heavy lathe and steel tools. Die forming is also an industrial method of forming metal. Many things from measureing spoons to car hoods are die formed. You just need two matching forms and a great deal of pressure. Fold formed cones aren't beyond reason. Cones could also be cast. My speciality in college was casting brass bottles 10" tall 16 to 22 gauge. Heavier pcs would be easier. Welp that's five ways and I haven't gotten to explosives or power hammers or plasme cutters or scrollsaws. Point is do a little research (library) if you can find either of Oppi Untrache's books on metalsmithing You'll discover that there are even more ways to make cones. One of the new members could knit one for you. Heck metalsmithing and cone making have been around for a long time. The techniques and the processes both have an interesting history. Best of luck. Brad


visitor's picture

Cone forming

Brad:
Thanks for the info, however what I'm contemplating can't be done by the average Joe without welding. The $10 home made tool this guy speaks about makes a 45 degree tapered sheet metal cone to fit the bottom of a 55 gallon steel drum. That would be well beyond my means to make without rolling it somehow and welding the seam. A press large enough to do the job would be huge not to mention all the dies required to do this would be very costly & I only need a few cones like this made. If anyone else has suggestions or knows of the tool this guy speaks about, please tell me.


B.J. Severtson's picture

cone forming

Ahhh. Now you want to get specific. Ok we know the desired diameter. and the angle. Is it a truncated cone? What's your choice of metals? how thick? Are you making steel drum?
I have three ways I could do this in my small shop depending on the metal choice and the thickness. How deep is the cone? yes even if you want to do them in mild steel. Two of the ways involve my smashing contraption. Most people call it a hydraulic press. but I no longer use that term. The other way involves a two dollar piece of heavy rod ground into a fluting tool and a cross peen hammer. My press only thinks it's beyond reason. Normally it's only twenty ton but can be converted to forty if need be. It's really hard to do this stuff when we have to keep removing our own preconceived obstacles. Try as hard as I can I just can't seem to come up with the ten dollar answer to your problem. Brad I wouldn't buy the book I'd just make the cones.


Bill Roberts's picture

I thought the question

I thought the question was......an "Easier way than tracing it out on the metal rolling to shape and spot welding it". Almost all these other methods ...........don't sound easier. :) "Raising" a cone is not an "easier" approach. Takes a completely different "skill set", much more involved process for making a cone.
Maybe I'm missing somehthing. ;)
Bill


B.J. Severtson's picture

Easier way

Bill's right, welding a cone is a bunch easier than the other ways. I think he wants to avoid buying someones book and find a ten dollar tool. point is that the ten dollar tool? approach is not going to be easier. Thanks for posting Mc Greights page. But then you and I buy books and read them. I think the focus of the post changed a few posts ago. Brad


lao's picture

Thanks

Thanks for the post Bill, my calla lillies will go much easier now and less frustrating :)
Laurie O
Anoka

PS Just ordered the book last night should be here in a week.


visitor's picture

cone making tool

email me and I will explain how the tool is made
matthew.perkins@pcc.edu


visitor's picture

How to make a cone

1) make a circle on a sheet of paper by tracing something round as a template
2) Fold it in half
3) Fold in half again
4) Cut out 1 of the triangle slices
5) roll into a cone.
6) cut off a piece of the end to the desired opening.

R.T.
Ocala, Fl.


Rich Waugh's picture

Depending on the size and

Depending on the size and pitch of the cone, there are a couple of easier ways to do it, providing you have the resources.

Spinning comes to mind, if you have several to make. Of course, you need a spinning lathe for that.

Secondly, a set of angle rolls will pull a cone quickly and easily.

Third, explosion forming. High front-end cost, but really quick after that. (grin)

I'd need more specifics to give a more specific answer. The $10 tool is most likely a complete illusion, based on finding exactly the right salvaged gearmotor, chain drive, rolling mandrels and so in ouot back in the alley. Not likely. I'd pass on that book, for sure. You might, however, look into Lindsay Books for one on sheet metal work. His books are more on the order of buy a $10 book to learn ow to make the tool for $100, a more likely proposition. YMMV, naturally.


Bill Roberts's picture

hmmmmmmmmmm

hmmmmmmmmmm easier?.......with all due respect Rich. Your right......PROVIDED he has the resources. BIG IF. :) These might be easier IF he already had a lathe, with all the spinning tooling.......and IF he had the "pattern form" for the cone/cones in question. AND IF he had the experience spinning metal. Lot of IF's in that one.....

And as for the angle rolls........ ya still gotta cut out the pattern so you can roll it.........AND again.......IF he has an angle roll. And IF he has experience using that kind of roller. IF he had either of these options available to him I doubt we'd be discussing this. ;)

And as for the explosion forming..........well WE ALL like a good explosion.....LOL :) but......there are even more IF's in that approach.

When I go back and read the original question...
"I was wondering if there was an easier way to do than my way which is to trace it on metal and then roll it to shape and spot weld it in place"?

With basic tools and skill set and not needing a large quantity of these....I really can't think of an "easier" way. His approach is as "basic" as it gets. The hard part for some is "how" to make the pattern.......once ya got that....it's all down hill. Most of the truncated cones that I've made using this technique were for torchere(sp?) lamps
shades. And didn't even use a roller, actually just bent them around the first Round Form I ran into.....LOL. Think I've used the horn of my anvil.....an Oxygen cylinder...and whatever was handy.

The more I think about that original question.......the only "simpler" way is if someone else made them......using the same method. LOL

Bill


Rich Waugh's picture

Depending on the size and

Depending on the size and pitch of the cone, there are a couple of easier ways to do it, providing you have the resources.

Spinning comes to mind, if you have several to make. Of course, you need a spinning lathe for that.

Secondly, a set of angle rolls will pull a cone quickly and easily.

Third, explosion forming. High front-end cost, but really quick after that. (grin)

I'd need more specifics to give a more specific answer. The $10 tool is most likely a complete illusion, based on finding exactly the right salvaged gearmotor, chain drive, rolling mandrels and so in ouot back in the alley. Not likely. I'd pass on that book, for sure. You might, however, look into Lindsay Books for one on sheet metal work. His books are more on the order of buy a $10 book to learn ow to make the tool for $100, a more likely proposition. YMMV, naturally.


B.J. Severtson's picture

Darn. I was looking forward

Darn I was looking forward to explosion forming. It's almost the 4 th of july you know. Brad


B.J. Severtson's picture

Cone forming

Wouldn't it be funny if these cones were to be made out of pewter? Is it to be assumed that all sheet metal work and questions about such are to be answered in the context that sheet metal work only happens with mild steel? Is steel or iron the only metal that can be welded? "Easier" of this batch of posts should could might have something to do with the mass of the metal. Thickness, gauge. 16 gauge copper moves works reacts differently than the same material when it's a half inch thick. Sometimes I feel like I'm reading the "psychic metal smith" Oh well. Brad


Bill Roberts's picture

your right..assuming is

your right..assuming is bad....no one asked what kind of sheet metal or how thick......and I wouldn't have thought pewter. LOL

I was thinking copper, brass, aluminum, steel, stainless, sterling or gold. Those sheet metals.And I was assuming thinner because he said sheet and not plate.
Keep us on our toes Brad. :)
Bill


visitor's picture

Sheet Metal Cone

I have been reading your latest chats about making a cone from sheet metal. I am not a metal artist, but wanted to make a cone out of copper sheet metal. At least on paper I know you can cut a circle, slice the radius, and fold (?) to form a cone. Can this happen with a thin gauge copper sheet ? I am wanting to make a copper roof finial for a studio I built. The Complete Metalsmith book and attached schematic looks promising but can't tell from the attached image if it is easy to do with no sheet metal tools, except a welding torch. Thx .. larry


Gene Olson's picture

Size

Larry,
How big is your finial?

You can do it with few tools. Larger sections need to be stabilized. Phos copper rod works pretty well but the joints are hard. If you need to rework the area of the seam use silver solder (or tig with deox copper rod)

Gene Olson
Sculptor
Elk River, MN


visitor's picture

Finial

The Finial is cone shaped. From another source I see it is called a frustum. I was able to get a legible version of the pattern from Tim McCreight's Book. The lower diameter will be about 30 inches. Not sure about the upper diameter, but it will be somewhat like the shape of a lampsade, upon which I hope to attach a copper ball. My grandiose plan that is. Thanks for the suggestions. Larry


Gene Olson's picture

Hi Larry,

I've done copper finials. Is this the shape you were looking for? taller? bigger ball? wider flange? You are making flashing. It should to be water tight. to make things easy on yourself, flange the joint and use good old tin lead solder (don't lick your hands (or smoke) while handling lead) tabs and solder would work on the ball joint but I would just tip an edge up, easily done in copper. and solder that on. if your cone is 30" across and the angle was as shown above the pattern would fit onto a standard 3' wide sheet of roofing copper. Brad suggests featuring the edge. That is easily done by tipping a flange down. I am unclear about his instructions about the nail. I would solder up the cone, put a square bar or heavy tube into the vice, stick the nose of the cone onto the bar, mark the width of the flange you want to make, take a broad faced hammer and tap the edge over in several passes or courses as brad called them. (If the flange is less than 3/16 you may get by with one.) If you are going to do a flange, remember to add material to your pattern before you cut, both for the edges and the overlap on the cone. Gene Olson Sculptor Elk River, MN


Bill Roberts's picture

Gene, Now I'm glad the first

Gene,
Now I'm glad the first one "disappeared". LOL
this version is better. Nice job.

You've got some great "points" but if you wear that hat.......they won't show.
Bill


Gene Olson's picture

Yeah, the previous post was

Yeah, the lost post was rather sketchy.

In my post above, I suggested making a flange at the top of the cone and soldering it onto the ball.

Here is an example of a flange made to solder to a ring.

How do you plan on making the ball?

 

Gene Olson, Sculptor Elk River, MN


B.J. Severtson's picture

Copper cone finial

Larry,
Use The method provided in the above posts. Works well. Now as far as tools required. Take a trip to Home Depot look at duct work. You should find it in 2' lengths in a variety of diameters. Observe the seam they use to join their cylinder shape together. you can come close to making that join without any welding or soldering. Just need a pair of pliers, a soft mallet, and a post to beat your seam together on. This seam could also be soldered if you desire. A tin snips would be handy to cut your metal. At the seam give your self about 1/2" additional metal on each edge. Bend one side of your seam up, the other down. close each side until the two edges shake hands very nicely. Tap this seam until the shadow, imprint of the interior piece shows on the exterior of the seam. Tight seam. Easier with a sheet metal brake, but hey it can be done. Good luck Brad


visitor's picture

Sheet Metal Cone

Great suggestion Brad. I can handle that. Thx so much. I was able to make a test pattern on paper using the Pattern from The Complete Metalsmith and it worked quite well. What gauge copper sheeting would you suggest using for this cone/frustrum/finial, with a base diameter of about 18 inches. Larry


B.J. Severtson's picture

cone frustrum finial

Larry,
What gauge? Well it's up to you. Here's the range I work in 16 through 24. The smaller the number the thicker the metal. Roofing copper is either 22 or 24 and fairly available. Be careful not to crease it or dent it. You could cover it with cheap contact paper to keep it scratch less. The seam has just become an important design element in this piece. Lets look at two other areas where a little extra effort might really pay off. The edge or bottom of this form will be visible? If we turn your form over we have a bowl, as a bowl we have a visually weak lip. Let's make only the lip thicker and give the form a firm conclusion. While your metal is still flat, file the edge to make it smooth. A couple of 1x4"and a couple of C-clamps would be helpful. Clamping your metal makes it easier to file with the curve and not across it. Any flat fairly fine file will do quite nicely. If you could file your fingernails with it it's ok. Emery paper and a sanding block will work, too. Ok smooth edge. Have you ever straightened a nail on a piece of wood? I don't care about your straightened nail it's the dent it made that is interesting. That dent represents compressed wood. We want to compress some metal. The mechanical advantage the nail had is the advantage we are going to use. The correct tool for doing this is a crosspein hammer, not having one. We just need any light weight hammer and a common spike. Adjust your boards this time so that about 1/4" of metal is exposed, you could cut your boards to match the curve. Lightly tap the nail into the lip of your form so that the nail is the top of a T and the sheetmetal is the upright. Do the entire edge, we call that a course. There are four courses to this endurance test. more later Brad