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Thread: Spring steel for spring back?

  1. #1
    Scott --'s Avatar
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    Spring steel for spring back?

    Hi, all -

    I'm building a spring back for my 5x12 reducer project, and I need some info on the springs themselves. I'm guessing spring steel? Anyone know of a source for this stuff (i.e. - can it be picked up at dePot et al)? Is it tricky to cut/bend/finish?

    Thanks for any tips.
    Scott

  2. #2

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    Re: Spring steel for spring back?

    McMaster Carr. You can get width and length close to size needed (and thickness) Get the carbon spring steel. Once cut and shaped, you can "re-spring" by cooking in the kitchen oven at about 450 deg for about 6 hours. Then shut the oven off and let it cool. The higher grade spring-type metals require too high a degree and too long of a "cook" time for you to do at home.

    Or you can "cheese-it-up" like others, and use hacksaw blades.

  3. #3

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    Re: Spring steel for spring back?

    Scott, another source is www.smallparts.com. Download their catalog. I use their stainless steel shim stock cut to size with shears.

    Nate Potter

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    Re: Spring steel for spring back?

    Quote Originally Posted by Nathan Potter View Post
    I use their stainless steel shim stock cut to size with shears.
    Nathan, I had often looked at doing that and have a question for you. We use a lot of stainless where I work, but it is mostly 304 or 316L grade, and it tends to bend after a few times, rather than retain it "springiness". How well does the shim-stock from smallparts hold up? Springy-wise? I ask, because I am needing a set of springs for a 4X5 that are made a little "wierd".

  5. #5

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    Re: Spring steel for spring back?

    Stainless drywall compound knives (home depot) make great spring stock as well, I use them for gg clips, lensboard clips, etc. Although they might not be strong enough for a back unless arranged in some sort of leaf configuration.

  6. #6
    Jim Jones's Avatar
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    Re: Spring steel for spring back?

    When designing and building from scratch, consider using round spring wire from a hardware or hobby shop. It can be bent cold, or the design could be for straight sections of it.

  7. #7

    Re: Spring steel for spring back?

    The tines from a good leaf/lawn rake work pretty good.
    The wife is still looking for that rake. LOL

  8. #8

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    Re: Spring steel for spring back?

    Scott, I have 10 yrs. + on some robust 0.020 thick stainless shim stock from Smallparts without apparent degradation in the modulus (as long as I don't exceed the elastic limit).
    Do a bend test to make a quick determination on the displacement required to permanently deform the shim stock part you make, then keep well below that displacement with the working parts. I've used type 304 or 316 without a particular preference for either. The clip design does need to be such that you don't deform the spring too far during release in actual use.

    Nate Potter

  9. #9

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    Re: Spring steel for spring back?

    If you need to make any sharp bends in spring steel, you ought to anneal it first in the area you will be bending. I haven't tried this, but one way going about it can be found here:

    http://www.f295.org/Pinholeforum/for...?m-1171229547/

    If the stock you get already has a spring temper and you only anneal the areas you bend, you shouldn't have to do anything else to it. Just don't heat the parts that need to be springy.

  10. #10
    Scott --'s Avatar
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    Re: Spring steel for spring back?

    Well, Bob, that would've come in handy a few hours ago. My bends sure didn't turn out that purty...

    FWIW, here's the back, so far. Used a $4 taping knife from Home dePot for the steel. Seems to work. Have the first coat of lacquer on it - will find some glass to grind tomorrow.

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