HOW TO MAKE SPRINGS
There are three things you'll need to read before you get started. First, the DISCLAIMER:
|This document is designed to provide information in regard to the subject matter being
covered. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of its contents. However there may be
mistakes, both typographical and in content. Additionally, work in the metal trades implies an
acceptance of the risk of injury, loss, or damage, the cause of which is clearly beyond the
control of the writer of a work on the subject. Therefore, the author of this document accepts no
responsibility or liability whatsoever for any injury, loss or damage sustained by a reader who,
having read this material, then seeks to apply what he or she has learned therein.
Second, before you start to work with spring wire, read the section on safety.
When you have read that section, read it again. No kidding.
And third, about this document: I've tried to write for the benefit of someone who has (or can gain
access to) basic hand and power tools. The sections of the document are arranged in logical order
presuming a minimal knowledge of the metalworking trades in general or of springmaking in particular,
and cross-linked to provide a forward path that leads from this point through the entire manufacturing
process. There's a glossary of spring terminology and an
addendum, which should help you to define terms and find additional
resources. Where possible, I've indicated where to find additional information in the main body of the
text. Most of the current material relating to the subject is written for mechanical engineers, but
there are some other writeups I've heard of, too — see the addendum for links to these.
In its first incarnation, this site was made in frames. In the second, I did away with the frames
for the sake of design simplicity. Since then I've added a thing or two like for instance the site map,
which will give you a bird's-eye view of the whole
shebang. This is now the third incarnation and except for freshening the links from time to time, I
consider it done. If you want to have the whole as a handy reference, spiral-bound so it lays flat on your
workbench, feel free to buy your very own copy of the
print version. Lastly, the text itself
is of very limited use without the graphics, and there is no 'text-only' version of this site. So if you've
got your graphics turned off, turn 'em on, OK?
Any comments or suggestions for improvement should be made to
This section will give you some basic information about springs, what they look like, what their
parts are, and how they work.
If you already know about springs and want to get right to it, be my
There are three basic types of springs:
||Compression springs can be found in ballpoint pens, pogo sticks, and the valve assemblies
of gasoline engines. When you put a load on the spring, making it shorter, it pushes back against
the load and tries to get back to its original length.
||Extension springs are found in garage door assemblies, vise-grip pliers, and carburetors.
They are attached at both ends, and when the things they are attached to move apart, the spring
tries to bring them together again.
||Torsion springs can be found on clipboards, underneath swing-down tailgates, and, again,
in car engines. The ends of torsion springs are attached to other things, and when those things
rotate around the center of the spring, the spring tries to push them back to their original
See the Glossary for detailed diagrams of these types of springs.
Forward to Spring Design