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Winding Small compression springs

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Gray29/03/2013 15:24:07
1006 forum posts
8 photos

I need to make some small compression springs for a Studer cylindrical grinder I am refurbishing.

The original springs or made from 0.6mm wire and are approximately 20mm long by 3mm OD.

I was thinking of making these from some guitar strings I have 0.024" and winding them on the lathe.

I've looked at the Hemingway spring winder which looks ideal to get a consistent wind but is quite expensive considering I only need to make 1o of these springs.

Does anyone have any drawings of a spring winding tool or any suggestions on making these springs.

I know I could probably buy them ready made but I prefer the challenge of making them.


Andrew Johnston29/03/2013 16:00:49
4855 forum posts
544 photos

When I've wound springs using the lathe I've just made a toolpost clamp from a couple of bits of plastic to add some 'drag' to the wire, and used the leadscrew with an appropriate TPI selected to wind the spring. Of course the 'thread' is run backwards, so the saddle moves away from the chuck.


Russell Eberhardt29/03/2013 17:37:57
2484 forum posts
85 photos

The only tool you need, other than Andrew's toolpost guide is a rod with a hole to take the end of the wire. You will have to experiment a bit to get the diameter right.

It's a good idea to wind the chuck by hand rather than under power until you get the hang of things and wear safety glasses just in case!


Stub Mandrel29/03/2013 18:02:56
4306 forum posts
291 photos

There's an interesting method using a hand drill in Vic Smeed's 'Hint's and Tips for Model Engineers' in the workshop practice series.

Basically you thread the wire through som holes ina sheet of paxolin, and run a mandrel fitted to the drill in a hole. For compression springs the wire has to feed onto the mandrel through a slot in the side of its hole, apparently the way the roces work you end up with a compression spring that 'unwinds' itself to size.


Gordon W30/03/2013 09:55:09
2011 forum posts

I have a toolpost clamp with two heavy brass washers to give tension on the wire, and clamp the wire end under one of the chuck jaws. experiment with the mandrel dia. first. Wind extra length and cut to length. Do not cut the loose end until tension is taken off the wire.

Windy30/03/2013 12:27:06
737 forum posts
221 photos

I have made various springs mainly hairpin tuypes for my flash steamer and found this site very good.

Piano wire was used from a model shop but the quality and finish varies  depending on the manufacturer.


Hope this helps.


Edited By Windy on 30/03/2013 12:31:53

Steve Withnell30/03/2013 17:47:37
794 forum posts
215 photos

This is how I wound the valve springs for the Nemett 15S -

If you run out of wire, the escaping wire tail whacks you hard on the back of the hand. Even rigger gloves don't provide pain avoidance...

robert mort07/03/2014 09:31:50
18 forum posts
4 photos

Unfortunately the link above at no longer works.

I found the site very useful. Anybody know if it has moved to somewhere else?

AndyP07/03/2014 10:46:35
188 forum posts
30 photos

Agreed Robert, a most useful site, I was winding a spring this week for a knurling tool using its instructions. It has been archived by the "Wayback Machine" at **LINK** or maybe more usefully here .

Tim Stevens07/03/2014 11:02:04
1085 forum posts

When I was a jeweller coils of wire were made using a plain round rod in the jaws of an ordinary hand drill held in a vice. Make a right angle in the end of your wire, and thread it down a slot in the chuck, Put tension on the wire and turn the handle, and the coil is formed. I have made springs this way using spring stainless wire (hard drawn) - with a bit of manipulation to square off the ends. Be careful as you get to the end of the wire, as the last bit will stay straight (and gouge youyr hand, etc). And use pliers with rounded jaws for holding and bending - you don't want nicks in the wire.

You may need to do a few practice runs to get the diameter right (as the wire always springs back when the tension is released) - and perhaps try different wire diameters to get you rate correct.

Cheers, tim

Mark C07/03/2014 11:21:45
707 forum posts
1 photos

The best way (the way industry does it) is to form the wire against a coiling point. You could possibly do this using a mig welder to feed the wire and making a small coiling head out of some little ball bearings or silver steel bushes screwed to a plate. The wire needs to pass over the first roller at tangency with a second "coiling roller" placed a little higher to form the wire against. You then need a third "guide" roller to control the helix of your spring. Industrial coiling heads are a little more complex but in this basic form you would be able to coil a number of serviceable springs at any diameter you want by moving the position of the coiling roll relative to the support roll.


ian cable07/03/2014 13:09:31
40 forum posts

hi I did mine similar to Andrew ,I used a piece of hard wood with a saw slit in the tool post , rod with hole as a mandrel but I heated mine with a gas torch the spring usually keeps its tension when its formed, I found that the mandrel needs to be about 15 % smaller than the finished spring size ian c

julian atkins08/03/2014 00:12:05
1213 forum posts
353 photos

hi graeme,

have you thought of using springs out of shrader valves on car/bike tyres? ive plenty of spring wire for making your own if you want some. i think spring wire would be preferable to using guitar spring wire. ive a large tin of various gauges and am never going to use all of them so you are welcome to have whatever you want. PM me if i can be of help.



Edited By julian atkins on 08/03/2014 00:12:50

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