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I Forge Iron

was it worth taking home

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At work one of our supersize garage doors gave up. It seems one of the lift springs broke.There are four of them on a rod. They"re about 3/8" diameter in a coil about 5" across and 3' long. Boss told the repairmen to replace them all and told me I could be the proud owner of all the old coil springs. Has any body out there worked with coiled spring. I've heated a short peace up and uncoiled it, want to try and make a set tongs. Any input appreciated.

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I'd guess that half (or more) the chisels and punches made by amateur blacksmiths are made from used coil spring. You can make any tool you wish with those springs as long as the diameter is appropriate.

Be aware though, that there was a reason the one spring failed. It could have been a small defect, or a forewarning that the entire spring has been used enough to have stress damage throughout it.

If I were on a budget, I would use the steel. The likelyhood is that you will not have problems. If not on a budget, I would buy new tool steel to make tools.

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Those coil springs can be good tool steel. But there can be ... problems ... inbedded in the steel. The one problem already stated is stress cracks from work, or from a possible flaw during the manufacturing process.

One other problem is that those coil springs are made to a specific minimum standard for metal and alloy content. But that actual alloy content can vary. So when it comes to heat-treating, there can be some problems with consistency in the heat-treat.

There usually are no problems after any obvious ones show up in the initial forging.


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The only problem not stated about making tongs with spring steel is the danger of letting them get red hot and quenching them in the slack tub. It can cause them to become brittle and if there are already stress cracks, etc. cause them to fail.

Good score though, it's good stuff and if you don't try to get max effects from your heat treat it's usually pretty forgiving of mistakes made heat treating.


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