When replacement springs are not available or would take too long to order, they can be custom fabricated. Music wire can be made into coiled springs if it is available in the correct gauge. The new spring must match the diameter and shape of the old spring, or it will not function correctly when installed.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Calipers, ruler
- Music wire
- Steel rod or pipe, same diameter as old spring
- Welding gloves, full leathers, eye protection
- Propane torch
- Large metal can
- Vegetable oil
Measure the thickness, or gauge, of the old spring, using calipers or a ruler. Select music wire with the same gauge.
Locate a steel rod or pipe with the same diameter as the inside of the old spring.
Clamp only the end of the steel pipe or rod in a bench vice. Don welding gloves, eye protection and full leathers.
Hold the music wire with pliers or vice grips. Heat the wire to medium red with a propane torch while winding it around the steel rod or pipe, as you would wind wire around any other mandrel, until your coil is the same length as the old spring.
Form each end of the music wire like the original spring. Bend the wire with pliers as needed or strike the ends with a hammer to shape them.
Reheat the entire spring to medium red and allow it to cool for about an hour.
Heat entire spring to orange and quench in a large metal can of vegetable oil.
Temper the spring by placing it in an oven at 232 degrees Celsius for one hour. Allow it to cool to room temperature. Repeat two more times.
Tips and warnings
- There are three main types of coiled springs: compression, extension and torsion. Compression springs push against a load. Shock absorbers in cars and trucks are examples of compression springs. Porch swings use extension springs to compensate for increases or decreases in load. Zycon Global Services explains, "Extension springs ... are attached at both ends to other components ... as the components move apart, the spring pulls them back together." Torsion springs return as closely as possible to their original shape when a load is pulled around its axis. They are often used in seat belt locks.
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