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Forming Alcoa Aluminum, an older book published by ALCOA Aluminum, covers all aspects of forming aluminum. I’m frequently led back to this book because of the breadth of techniques it tackles.

The first chapter discusses what alloy and temper to choose for your project. The second, “Blanking and Piercing,” explores the typical industrial methods of punches and shears as well as other techniques such as router or circular saw.

Several chapters discuss forming with brakes punch presses. Then we get to chapter 5, “Rubber Die Forming,” a great chapter on the low-cost hydraulic die forming techniques of the Guerin and other techniques. It translates well for those who use hydraulic die forming for jewelry work.

Chapter 6, “Spinning,” is an excellent guide to metal spinning of aluminum forms on the lathe — it includes some of the best tool pr0n we’ve seen, like the picture of two men spinning an aluminum form 12 feet in diameter!

After spinning we get other chapters on forming, forging, embossing, bulging, and sundry other techniques to bend aluminum to your will. Chapter 12, “Tube and Shape Bending,” contains great information for those with tube bending machines (Hossfeld, Diacro, etc).

As I said, it’s just a wonderful reference for anyone who works in aluminum. The best part: you can find a used copy for between $6 and $10 through Amazon and other online book dealers.  I searched Alcoa’s site but didn’t turn up anything except this cool aluminum notebook.

Forming Alcoa Aluminum [Google Books]
Via Amazon [What’s This?]
Street Pricing [Google Products]


6 Responses to A Good Read: Forming Alcoa Aluminum

  1. Toolhearty says:

    Okay, you got me with the word “router” (I’d like to do some simple milling in 1/8″ Al sheet).

    I ordered a used copy (1962 edition) from Amazon for $9 delivered.

  2. Nick Carter says:

    Think Router Table or Pin Router though, handheld routing is difficult. And you have to get lube to the cut…and be extra careful.

  3. Toolhearty says:

    Nick Carter Says:
    Think Router Table or Pin Router though, handheld routing is difficult. And you have to get lube to the cut…and be extra careful.

    Thanks for the tip, Nick. I’ll be thinking this through verrrrry carefully before ever getting out the router.

  4. Noah Ramon says:

    Most of those “company” books are out of print – while the only one that I can remember off the top of my head is the Bethlehem Steel one, we get calls for a bunch of those company-produced references, and always have to tell customers “sorry, they’re kind of out-of-print…”

  5. kyle says:

    what is alcoa aluminum?

  6. Toolhearty says:

    Well, lessee’… Cover of book in pic says “Alcoa” and “Aluminum Company of America”. I’ll go out on a limb here and say that “alcoa aluminum” might be aluminum produced by the ALuminum COmpany of America.

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