Making HandPan Shells - Building a Hydroforming Machine, with Colin Foulke

Arguably the biggest news item this week in Handpan-land, has been the generous offering made by Handpan-musician, turned Handpan-maker, Colin Foulke.  In the form of detailed information regarding, and detailed plans for constructing, your own “Hydroforming” machine (should that be something that you might be interested in building). For the purpose of conveniently producing self-made Handpan shells (the blank canvas from which Handpan are usually made).

The “How to make a Handpan” page - a loose grouping of videos and information we’ve collected together over the years remains one of this sites most popular reads. And while the process of hydroforming shells may have quietly been in use by other Handpan manufacturers for a while now - information of this detail, shared by Colin in the spirit of the early days of Hang, will be (and has been), gratefully-received.

Hydroforming is the process of using high-pressure-fluids to form metals such as steel, into a desired shape.  And not only is hydroforming widely considered to be a “cost-effective” mechanism for shaping metals - for the Handpan-maker using hammers, or even air-hammers to produce their shells, this is surely a production method that promises to be considerably less jarring.

Without further ado, and to put an end to us babbling on as if we know anything more about hydroforming than what we ripped off from Wikipedia above, and what you’ll glean for yourselves from the following video, here’s Colin Foulke himself, to tell you all about it…

To get to the meat-and-bones of the machine, including building instructions, and diagrams, plus a part-by-part Amazon-linked shopping list - detailing all you'll need to build your own Colin Foulke-style hydroforming machine.  You'll need to head over to Colin's website, where you'll find all of that, and more.  But before we direct you onwards, here's a final video shared from Colin Foulke's YouTube channel, that compares two different Handpan made by Colin himself, one hand-sunk, and the other hydroformed...


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