How to Make Springs

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Intro: How to Make Springs

Springs are nice to have in the shop for your projects but how many should you carry and what size or type should you have.

Buying springs can add up and sometimes it is difficult to find the exact one you need. Wouldn't it be nice to make your own.


Making springs may seem intimidating but with a few basic tools and simple instruction anyone can make them.

In this article I will show you how to make some, first the easy way then I will move on to some other tools but still keeping things easy.

Step 1: Types of Springs

Here are just some of the springs I will show you how to make.

From left to right,

  • Tension spring
  • Compression spring
  • Tapered spring
  • Torsion spring

Step 2: Start With These Tools

An easy way to start is to use the tools shown below. With these few tools you will be able to safely make many different types of springs.

  1. 1/2" dowel
  2. piano wire
  3. pliers with wire cutters
  4. saw
  5. clamps
  6. cordless drill

Step 3: Cutting a Dowel

First cut a piece of dowel about 5 inches long and cut a small slot in one end, this will be for inserting the wire. 1/2 inch dowel will work best, since this will also fit in the drill chuck. A smaller dowel will not work very well since it may not hold up to the wire.

Step 4: Making a Tension Spring

A cordless drill works better than a drill press because you can control the speed. For Safety always use a pair of pliers. If the wire springs it may cut you.

With the drill mounted onto the workbench with the clamps, one hand is on the trigger and the other hand on the pliers turn as much as you need to make your spring. Keeping the string taut as you feed it, the spring will turn out nicer.

Step 5: Wire Bending

After the spring was made I used some pliers and did some wire bending and made this tension spring. By experimenting you can make many different sizes.

Step 6: Compression Spring

This spring will use a longer dowel and will also have the slot cut in it. When the wire is fed it is spaced just by using your eye. It may take some practice but it is fun to do.

When this spring was complete I tested it out. I put the spring on a dowel and placed a small block on the spring. When I pushed on the small block and quickly let go it shot to the ceiling.

Step 7: Tapered Spring

A tapered dowel can be made using a drill and a belt sander.

Using the same technique the wire was fed in the dowel slot. When the spring was fully turned I clipped the ends and the tapered spring was complete.

This one I had to do twice to get the hang of and the second one turned out nicer.

Step 8: Torsion Spring

Torsion spring was made but this time I had to use a brass rod since a smaller wood dowel would not hold up. To make it just make a few coils and space apart as needed. With a little bit of wire bending at the ends you can make yourself a nice torsion spring.

Step 9: Conclusion

Here is a compression spring I made using a brass rod and also a photo of the many different types I made.

I hope that wasn't very hard and I hope it will help you with your projects. This can also help you save money if you have to make a lot of springs.

There are many other types of springs and many other ways to make them, if you know a different way to make them please let me know.

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54 Discussions

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Okuku

Question 4 months ago on Step 4

So great. Can we use the same technic ro make instant shower elements?
Can nichrome wire be coiled in such a manner?

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medic265

1 year ago

Great video and THANKS for making it! I know it takes time to make videos and I appreciate it. I wanted to ask about the wire cutters you use in the video. They appear to be older and well made! I love using antique tools. Could you maybe give me the brand and/or model. I'll look on ebay for them if I know what to look for! Thanks again....

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wchang3

1 year ago

Great,Simple and practical...but can't get better spring material or any material else?? Tq

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john122

2 years ago

Just what the Instuctables site was made for, very creative, practical and well done. Thanks for sharing.

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Daneel

2 years ago

I've had a thought on this. What if you put a threaded metal dowel into the driver and attached it to a piece that ran in a track. Then, you insert the threaded dowel into a proper receptacle and run it into it as far as it will go. Then you take your spool of wire, run it from a device that will let it feed freely and attach it to the base of the dowel. When you run the driver now it will push itself away from the receptacle and thus from where the wire is feeding from, automatically wrapping it along the length instead of manually arranging it as it went. To change the rate of the wrap change the thread width of the dowel, or even use it to set the density of the wrap. Just a thought, love this 'Ible.

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barben

2 years ago

Great idea. Always thought about this but never enough to actually do it and now I will be ready when I need the next one. Thanks

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Sparky5150

2 years ago

Great instructable Jack. I really enjoy your YouTube channel Too.

If you haven't seen Jack's YouTube channel check it out...lots of kewl stuff!

www.youtube.com/channel/UCFH2LKIvcLPhGgDO-QKZlmA

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JohnK185

2 years ago

Nobody mentions the 5 minutes and 49 seconds of advert one has to endure before getting to the good stuff! Am I missing a trick, or is everyone brainwashed into thinking that this is respectful treatment? You've probably got a good and useful video there, but I am too insulted to watch it. If you really want to "be nice" add an option to skip the ads.

5 replies
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BobCrozierJohnK185

Reply 2 years ago

AdBlock+. I haven't seen an online ad for over two years now.

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The-Skint-WoodturnerJohnK185

Reply 2 years ago

I can understand why adverts are annoying, but you have to remember that videos take time and effort to make and adverts are a great way for video makers to be compensated for sharing their time and skill with others (such as yourself) without subscription fees. The viewer can make the decision to pay for the makers knowledge with some of their own time or not watch the video. pop ups and adware, they suck and are invasive but I can see the logic with having ads on independent blogs and videos. That being said, you are totally entitled to your opinion.

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Knight LamuneJohnK185

Reply 2 years ago

Hey! This guy doesn't use uBlock Origin! Not even Adblock Plus! Let's laugh at him! ;)

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EpicurosJohnK185

Reply 2 years ago

Strange! I did not have to watch any commercials. It got directly to Jack's presentation!

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JJVOgre

2 years ago

Piano wire = music wire

After coiling music wire heat treat spring for 25-30 minutes at 450 degrees or until end of the coil changes color (brown).

From a guy that makes springs for a living remember, springs by definition are a mechanical device meaning they are a par that has to perform a function. If that spring is not made correctly then the whole assembly may not work correctly.

.02,

Jesse

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Ralphxyz

2 years ago

with the tapered spring I assume you start the wire on the small end???

Thanks, very helpful instructable!!

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Prfesser

2 years ago

Very nice! Wish I'd thought of this when I was looking for a spring for my Foucault tester!

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EpicurosJack Houweling

Reply 2 years ago

Hi, Very clever ideas on how to shape springs. However, I missed the kind of wire you are using. If it is regular (soft) wire I don't expect it act as a spring very long. I know that springs are made from steel wires, or the regular wire is hardened after shaping (I know it is hard to shape a steel wire; it doesn't maintain its shape)). How would this be done? One of your readers suggested "baking" the spring for 15'. Is "baking" sufficient or do you need to fast cool the object by dipping it into water or oil? I am a little confused on that.

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big-jamieEpicuros

Reply 2 years ago

heat treating is what the other comment was referring to theres 3 basic steps -

Annealing - heating up, cooling slowly, softens the steel, so you can work with it

Hardening - heating up, cooling fast in water or oil, hardens the steel, to the point where it will snap

Tempering - heating up, cooling reasonably slow in the air, softens the steel enough so it isnt brittle and doesnt snap.

Since these are small pieces of steel, heating them in an oven, taking them out and waving them in the air to cool quite quickly is a sort of hardening/tempering step in one which should produce a hard (but not too hard) spring which is better than just bent wire.

Just experiment or research heat treating - but thats the basics