How to attach compression springs
Compression springs are major parts many mechanical devices including pens and mattresses. They are designed such that their loops do not touch in an unloaded position and they get shorter when loaded. Unlike tension springs, they squeeze together.
Ever misplaced a spring during work? Did you find it? There are lots of stuff of that needs springs and knowing how to fix and attach them yourself will save you a lot of spring searching trouble. It is crazy how easy making a compression spring is. If like me, you make or repair a lot of things that need springs, this article is for you.
The spring design
Consider the physical dimensions, loads, and rate of the spring you want to make. This depends on what the spring will be used for; either over a shaft or in a hole. Compression springs start out loose but squeeze down. The spring’s design will directly affect its performance, whether it is going over a shaft or into a hole.
Required tools and materials
- You can use any metal cutter you have at home, including a tin snip. Make sure the wire is straight and with an accurate cut. If it has small bumps and coils, the compression spring will be much less effective because of inconsistency.
- Safety equipment; heavy-duty gloves, protective eyewear. If you use gardening gloves, you will be calling a doctor before you can even get to the first wind. It is easy to hurt yourself when working with metal.
- A drill. Make sure your drill either has a good torque or find a corded drill to use instead.
- An arbor or mandrel. This acts as the rod around which you will wind your spring. As you select which arbor to use, consider the compression spring’s inner diameter and ensure that its shaft is not narrowing out.
If you are making this spring at home, you might not have a lot of options in terms of material but you will need to ensure that it will have enough resistance in regards to where you will place it. Put factors like temperature, moisture and whether the spring will come into contact with chemicals into consideration.
Stainless steel resists corrosion, chemical changes and because of its high strength duplex grades, it has added strengths.
If the material of the wire is too soft for the intended function of the spring, it will need to go through a heating process. When the material is too soft, the coils will not have enough any force within its coils. If there is no force in the coils, it is not a spring. Different materials require different levels of temperature for the heat-treatment process.
Making the compression spring
Step 1: Bend the wire at a 90-degree angle. Make sure to have enough length to create a hook.
Step 2: Fix the drill to the arbor. Clamp the ‘top’ end of your wire between the arbor and the drill chuck.
Step 3: While still holding onto the rest of the wire with your other hand, slowly start the drill. As it spins, it will wind the wire around the arbor. If you are too fast in this part of the process, the spring may end up with inconsistent angled tension. This might need some practice, to maintain an even pitch and space in the rest of the spring.
Step 4: Slide the finished compression spring off the arbor and clasp the ends.
Remember to make the spring a little longer than you actually need so you can get the best section after cutting it out. Also, keep the ends you cut out safely to avoid any accidents.
It is important to keep a steady, slow speed throughout the winding process and to have protective gear. Excess torque on the drill might result in the wire whipping around.