Piano wire doesn't just appear in pianos. This thin, strong wire also makes a fast clay-cutting tool and light, sturdy springs. If you're missing a spring in your couch or mattress, you don't necessarily have to purchase a new piece of furniture. With a little piano wire, you can make a brand new spring. You can also use piano wire springs in building projects like swings and hanging planters. The process takes a little time, but with patience you can have a handful of homemade piano wire springs.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Metal rod
- Ceramic pot
- Large gravel
- Piano wire
- Wire nips
- Eye protection
- Leather gardening gloves
- Propane torch
- Cool water
Stand a metal rod upright in a ceramic pot. Fill in the area around the rod with large gravel. Pack the gravel tightly so the metal rod doesn't move. A ceramic pot with a wide base works best. Choose a metal rod slightly smaller than the desired diameter for your spring.
Nip a piece of piano wire at least four times as long as you want your spring to be. This works well for ½- to 1-inch springs. For 2 inches and longer, use six to eight times the length of the finished spring. For a 1-inch spring 3 inches long, cut a piece of wire 12 inches long.
Put on your eye protection and gloves. Set your propane torch on a sturdy surface and light it. Turn the flame down to about 1 inch high.
Grip your wire with two pairs of pliers spaced about 3 inches apart in the centre of the wire. Hold the centre of the wire in the flame until it turns cherry red. Quickly remove the wire from the flame and wrap it around the metal rod, pulling your pliers in opposite directions. Pull the pliers up and down to make the coils as close as you want them. Larger springs should have larger coils, while smaller springs have coils with almost no space between them.
Continue heating and wrapping sections of your wire until the entire wire is coiled into a spring. Heat the entire spring evenly in your propane flame. Quickly squeeze or pry apart any uneven coils with your pliers and plunge the spring into cool water. It is ready to use.
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