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Making a spring


#1

I have a repair job for a lorgnette that should spring open-- but it
needs a new spring. I can make this, right? But, how? It needs to be
2mm OD, 4" long (plus straight “tails”). The last one was there for,
oh, a century…, ?

Thanks for any instructions!
Noel


#2

Hi Noel,

The ultimate strength of the spring has a fair bit to do with the
diameter of the wire too. So, 2mm OD, 4" long, what size wire? (that
sounds like one long spring.)

What you want, ‘officially’ is 1095 steel wire. (AKA music wire, or
piano wire) problem with that is it comes pretty hard already. For
thinner wire, bend it around a smaller mandrel (to allow for
springback), and away you go. Can be found in better hobby and
hardware stores.

BE VERY CAREFUL when you get to the end of the wire. It’s going
to want to uncoil fast, hard, and nasty. I once gashed my hand pretty
badly figuring that out. Best thing to do is unclamp the other end
somehow, and let that end spin around madly.

Another old trick is to get steel bass guitar strings. Pull the
bronze wrapping off the outside of the string, and you’ll discover a
nice piece of spring steel wire as a core. The lower the string, the
bigger the core wire.

For whatever that’s worth.
Brian


#3

either google how to make a spring…

and buy one


#4

Its a longtime since I examined a lorgnette, but from memory the
spring was flat, not round. The only place you can get a piece of
flat spring of a similar size is a watch mender. Or, the spring was
the sort used on spectacles from the 1900’s the bit that went over
your ears. That was a spiral wound brass on a piano wire core,
nickel plated. Ive an old pair here. Can you posta picture of the
faulty part? it then will be easier to think up a solution. I mended
a clock spring many yrs ago by scarf brazing the 2 broken ends
together, its still working. One other option is to go to a model
aeroplane parts supplier, they stock all sorts of diameters of piano
wire. Might just be an option. Most lorgnettes were gold plated.
that could be a bigger problem to solve.


#5

Noel- We just get spring wire in different gauges from our local
jewelry supplier West Coast Findings and make our own. It’s easy
breezy. You’ll have to experiment a little to get the gauge and
configuration just right. It’s actually a very enjoyable and
satisfying thing to do.

Have fun and make lots of jewelry.
Jo Haemer
timothywgreen.com


#6
So, 2mm OD, 4" long, what size wire? (that sounds like one *long*
spring.) 

I guess I mistyped-- the spring is 4mm long, not 4". I have the wire
size at work, and I am currently at hole, but obviously it is very
small, to make a 2mm OD spring.

So, just get some fine steel wire and wind it up-- is that really
all there is to it? I don’t know why I thought there would be
anything more, except that I guess it has to be the right KIND of
steel wire, if it is to be springy enough for enough years of use.

Noel


#7

to All who were asking for Spring wire source, they have a very large
selection of thicknesses at MSC.

it is an industrial hardware store, and it comes in 10-30 foot
lenghts.

Atelier Hratch Babikian
contemporary Jewelery and sculpture


#8

You’ll save yourself a lot of trouble by buying the spring you need.
If there’s a bit of flexibility on the size you will probably find a
commercial product that will suit. Search the net for “miniature
compression springs.” Of course, you may need to buy a few of them,
most industrial suppliers won’t sell just one of a small part like
this.

Elliot


#9
I guess I mistyped-- the spring is 4mm long, not 4". I have the
wire size at work, and I am currently at hole, but obviously it is
very small, to make a 2mm OD spring. So, just get some fine steel
wire and wind it up-- is that really all there is to it? 

Yes, basically that’s all there is to it.

I once had to repair an old silver cigarette case where a little
spring had broken. It was a special spring that certainly could no
longer be purchased, so I had to make it. It too was basically a 2mm
OD coil spring, about 10mm long. I made it from 0.45mm stainless
steel wire, wound on a 0.8mm former (actually the shank of a little
drill), and it worked fine after a few abortive attempts to get the
angled ends correctly orientated.

The biggest problem was in sourcing a short length of hard stainless
wire.

Coil springs can be used in, essentially, three ways: tension,
compression, and rotation. In my case, the spring was designed to be
rotated.

If yours is for tension, just wind the coils next to each other,
form the eyes at each end, and you’re done.

If it’s for compression, wind as for tension, then stretch it until
it retains a “set” (ie. the coils remain separated), then put it back
on the former and compress it as far as it will go. This will ensure
that you can never compress it past its yield point again. Then cut
it to the required length and dress the ends on a grind stone.

IHTH
Regards, Gary Wooding


#10
So, just get some fine steel wire and wind it up-- is that really
all there is to it? I don't know why I thought there would be
anything more, except that I guess it has to be the right KIND of
steel wire, if it is to be springy enough for enough years of use. 

If you want useful advice, more is needed. I take that
4mm is uncompressed length, what about compressed length ? What about
ID specifications, force requirements ? How many compression cycles
over the lifetime? Steel choice for small spring is not trivial.

Leonid Surpin
www.studioarete.com


#11

I’m not sure what kind /size of spring you need. However you might
try the hardware store. Many hardware stores have a wide selection
of springs.

Dave


#12

From a project years ago, designing a machine to wind springs, I
seem to remember that the steel wire is wound when fairly soft, then
heat-treated to become springy. Seems like that might be easier than
fighting with spring wire. A Google search on “heat treatment of
springs” brings up a lot of references, including this chart:

http://www.ganoksin.com/gnkurl/ep7z77

Al Balmer
Pine City, NY