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Hard metal for spring hinge

Hi everyone! I’m new here.
I’m currently working on a prototype spring hinge, the rest of the piece is nickel. I’d usually use 'hard white 18ct gold for any job needing springy metal but as it’s a prototype I’d rather not go to the expense of using 18ct gold. I’ve tried sprung steel but it’s a little too hard and difficult to manipulate. Does anyone have any suggestions for an alternative metal please ?

What material will work depends on the type of spring, how much tension/compression it needs to resist, and whether the prototype needs to have the full strength of the finished catch or if it just needs to be springy enough to prove the concept.

For many years 18kt white gold/ nickle alloy was my preferred choice for springs and clasps. It still use it when making things out of gold so that I can hallmark it as 18kt. However try Continuum silver. I’ve used it many times on non gold pieces and it works great for clasps and springs. It can be work hardened or kiln hardened. PM me if you need more info.

Thanks. I’m making I think what’s called a ‘leaf spring’ that pushes up a lid. The lid is to be held closed with a button release catch. So the lid will spring open when the catch is released .

Jo’s suggestion of Continuum is good. The specs suggests it hardens more than regular sterling.
But if you’re doing the prototype in nickel silver you can do the spring in the same metal. Just roll it out to work harden it a bit and it should be sufficiently springy for a prototype.
For a finished piece there’s also 14K spring gold, which is specifically alloyed to use as the spring in catches.

Thank you both.
I thought the nickel would be hard enough, I have milled it out too. Maybe needs a bit more ?
Not sure if we have Continuum silver here in the UK ? I’ve seen Argentium silver, but think it has higher percentage of silver .
Thanks again.

Stainless steel spring sheet works well. It is just a matter of using the appropiate gauge. I’ve been using 0.015". Cuts and files with an expected bit of extra work but polishes up aces.
My reading of marking law is article can still be stamped as to its content due to fact the SS is not solder joined. Much like lobster claws with their spring wire. Anyone able to confirm this?

Thanks. Yes I imagine getting through some saw blades piercing that . I ripped the steel spring out of a pair of sprung pliers and used that b4, but too thick really. I see I can get 0.5mm sheet on EBay, UK.