December 26, 2014-USA-You’ve used items with compression springs before, like a mattress, a notebook and a pen. To many people, these springs look easy to make: Just grab a straight wire and force it into a bunch of coils. The result is an odd-looking spring. With the right equipment, you’ll be able to make compression springs with consistent and equidistant coils.

Determine the length of wire you’ll need for the compression spring. Decide how wide you want the coils to be and call this the diameter, or “d.” Pick a number, “n” (any number), then multiply it to the diameter: “n” times “d” or (n)(d). Know that the diameter of your coils influences how much wire you need; “n” allows you to overcompensate to prevent coming up short on coil diameter. Determine how many coils you want–”c”–then add an arbitrary number, “m”, to get: “c” + “m” or (c+m). Know that the number of coils you want influences how much wire you’ll need; “m” allows you to overcompensate so you don’t come up short on the number of coils. Add the results you got for coil diameter, “(n)(d),” and number of coils, “(c+m)”: (n)(d) + (c+m). Use the result of this formula to measure how much wire to cut.

Test your Pneumatic Tools with a chalk, turn on the machine and move the tool post forward. Stop the machine after a couple of turns, then measure the chalk-mark coil spacing. Adjust the equipment and repeat this test until you get the spacing you want. Put one end of the wire from Step 1 into the coiling equipment.

Begin the coiling process; move the chuck as slow as possible as the wire coils. Keep going until you get an initial set of coils. Make note of how many coils are being made, until you get the number of coils you want. Remove the restraints you initially placed on the wire and watch the coils close in. Make sure you have at least two coils, on both ends of the spring, that are closed in. Operate the chuck in the other direction as slowly as possible. Make sure the coiling machine doesn’t grab the front part of the wire as the springs are freed from it. Cut off extra wire, then place the spring in a spring oven to release its stress. Air-cool the spring after destressing it in the oven.

Measure the spring when you’re done. Start with its diameter, then count the number of coils you have. Do this in two stages; measure your coil numbers only if your spring diameter is right. Skip measuring the number of coils you have if the diameter is wrong. Change the arbor to get the right diameter. Use different numbers for the formula from Step 1 if you don’t end up with the right number of coils. Cut off excess coils if you went overboard.

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