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Thread: Need some help cutting spring tempered steel!

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Jul 2013
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    Need some help cutting spring tempered steel!

    Hi folks,

    I'm attempting to make some leaf springs for a camera back. I ran a 1/16" sheet of spring steel through the table saw and it ruined the temper. Does anyone here know of an effective way to cut this stuff while keeping the temper?

    Thanks in advance for any tips,

    Matt

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Jul 2015
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    WA
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    Re: Need some help cutting spring tempered steel!

    Use a cutoff wheel in a mototool or die grinder and cool the metal every 4 to 5 seconds in water. The other way is don't worry about the temper and re-heattreat it afterwards.
    YMMV, Bob

  3. #3

    Join Date
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    Re: Need some help cutting spring tempered steel!

    If you can't get it to work, buy some .031 stainless feeler guage stock in 12" lengths. No cutting required. I've built two backs with these. Some pics on my site.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    Canyon Country, California
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    Re: Need some help cutting spring tempered steel!

    When I worked in a hardware store 40 years ago, we could cut the thinner stuff with sheet metal shears. You might try a cold chisel, with strong safety glasses...

  5. #5
    (Shrek)
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    Re: Need some help cutting spring tempered steel!

    I use a pneumatic nibbler.

  6. #6
    Jac@stafford.net's Avatar
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    Re: Need some help cutting spring tempered steel!

    It is a good idea to put a metal clip on the long side right up close to the cut as a heat-sink even when using a cutting wheel.

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Nov 2007
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    Re: Need some help cutting spring tempered steel!

    Holey Moley ! You cut steel spring stock on a table saw !?!

    Unless you used an abrasive cutting blade that blade is probably ruined
    and you're lucky to have your fingers.

    You may try electro chemical machining instead, less nerve wracking,
    here's a thread I bookmarked -

    http://www.practicalmachinist.com/vb...olysis-245768/

    Another option is if you have access to a guillotine metal shear.

  8. #8

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    Jul 2013
    Location
    Vancouver, Canada
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    Re: Need some help cutting spring tempered steel!

    Thanks all for your advice.

    Vinny, that feeler gauge stock looks like a great solution! Unfortunately, I planned the back with 3/8" springs in mind and the space is slightly too narrow to accommodate 1/2". I really enjoyed checking out the details on your site btw; that's a nice looking camera!

    Jody_S, is it possible to get a nice clean cut with the nibblers?

    Jim C., I used one of those thin kerf Diablo steel demon blades with a Gripper block against the fence. It made short work out of my aluminum with a little lubrication and also worked well on the spring stock with a slow feed rate. Too bad the temper was ruined.

    Looks like I may have to re-temper but any other ideas are welcome.

    Thanks again, Matt

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Feb 2010
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    858

    Re: Need some help cutting spring tempered steel!

    Steel on a table saw is pretty scary sounding to me too, even with an abrasive blade. but it sounds like the diablo used was just a carbide tipped blade? whoa.

    I cut aluminum all the time with a carbide blade in a miter saw. no lubrication necessary. It's still a bit scary but spring steel + table saw = way too insane, IMNSHO.

    If you have some place near by that does water-jet cutting, that would probably work without losing the temper.

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Dec 2005
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    Los Angeles, CA
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    Re: Need some help cutting spring tempered steel!

    Quote Originally Posted by Mat5121 View Post
    ...

    Looks like I may have to re-temper but any other ideas are welcome.

    ...
    Yes you may. Its not too difficult, but takes practice to get it right. Make multiple spring blanks while you're cutting metal (safely) so you can temper, test, and then temper another one... until you get it right.

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