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The Home Shop Machinist

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Homemade Springs
by Mark Jachniewicz

My wife and I like to go to flea markets. Besides a good exercise it is a pleasure to get a real bargain whether you need it or not.

Recently, I bought a very small hand drill for the high price of $1. After I got the chuck off and took it apart I noticed it had no springs, probably either rusted away or lost. So, I bought a spring kit from Harbor Freight. However, naturally, they did not fit into the spring holes of the chuck jaws, which were 1/8" diameter.

PhotoI decided to make the springs and bought spring wire. After watching instructions on YouTube I tried one design that used a pipe to wind a spring on a spindle, but it did not work for me. So, I used my Makita drill and a nail and it worked!

I first put the wire, then the nail, into the jaws of the chuck and tightened with all my might. I spun the drill at about 60 rpm, keeping great tension with my hand on the one foot or so of wire I used. As I got near the end I held the wire with pliers so as not to waste any.

Photo
Photo

Once the spring is wound, I just clip them off to the right size or loop them. I can make a compression spring by simply stretching a tension spring a little bit.

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