BartW

XXL coil springs, usefull ?

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Hello Everybody,

 

 

Today somebody told me they have tons (literally metric tons) of these things lying around. The round is 42 mm ( 1,65 inch).  They are about 100 pounds per spring. They also got smaller ones - 32 mm round, but less volume of those. They are free, because they are basically taking up space and the workshop is moving. Now I don't want to fill up my workshop with these, so what are they good for? and how much can one lazy blacksmith possibly use in his lifetime?

Is this good for making hammers, punches, drifts  ? I figured the long tapered piece on the top and bottom of the springs are basically drifts already, they just don't know it yet untill I pound them straight. :D

What steel would these be ? The maker is Siemens, Germany (they come from Siemens trains), but I cannot find a steel designation. Half of them are brand new, the other half have been replaced by newer springs, but still seem in one piece, and there are a couple broken.

 

springs.jpg.ca7a9ef123940bee05927e14520bcd24.jpg

 

friendly greetings, Bart

Edited by BartW
typo corrections

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Its great for making anything you'd like to out of them.. Once you understand the material it can be made to do so many different operations.. 

Wish I had a supply of these as larger sizes around here are harder to find..   Great find.. 

You can look up the specs for 5160 though sometimes they are made from other steels..    Since they are coils they might have a center seam from MFG on the inside which can be a problem so just keep an eye for this.. 

 

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What Jennifer said. Great material, and well worth salvaging.

If you have a choice, stock up on the new ones, so you don’t have to worry about stress cracks from use.

Even if you yourself told have a specific use for them right away, that’s good stock to trade with other smiths for things you need that they have.

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Don't bother with the broken ones, grab the new ones.  Yes hammers and drifts would be OK with that alloy(s).

If you have access to a powerhammer and a large forge you can use a lot; if all by hand just a couple.

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Powerhammer, no, press, yes (30ton).

Large forge, check. Sometimes some young people with 10 pound hammers and motivation. Helps too :-D

About hammers from this stuff, how do you harden the faces? Quench in oil, draw (temper) to purple? Keep in mind that I will test it anyway in advance. Just to know what steel it is, how it behaves and such. 

 

Mvg Bart 

 

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Cut some chunks and test harden them. Even if you crack a bunch, you’ll have plenty to play with.

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I would do a heated drift to do a differential temper and then use a heated ring to temper the very edges of the face back a little bit more.  User's preference though!

(and you have a lot of drift stock...)

 

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I have lots of spring steel around 45mm dia from digger track tensioning springs and have made punches and drifts with it and have found with mine if you just let it air cool is good for punches But I dont know what steel it is but probably 5160ish

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If you are letting it air cool and it's good for punches it's more than likely a different alloy..  5160 air cooled or normalized is pretty soft.. To soft for me to use as a hot punch or cold punch for sure.. 

I picked up a rail road tie clip spring on a walk down the tracks with it just hanging on the side of an embankment..  They are a very hard, high alloy steel and with even normailzed is hard enough to take a fracture even after hot punching something.. 

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Hi Bart,

In Europe you most often can run into these spring steel alloys: 51CrV4, 56Si7 and sometimes: 61SiCr7, 52CrMoV4.

All of them are oil quenching steels. 

They forge well you just have to take care about not to overheat them. Also no hot forming under 800 C grade. (They tolerate some level of abuse, but it's better to avoid that.)

I have two coils of 32mm dia springs. I use them for power hammer tools - welded on handle, stress relieved after welding. In August I forged a spear head out of a piece -  it took the longer forging process good, hardened nicely, no problems occured.

The funny part was to straighten the stock. I used a crane hook in a vise and a piece of pipe. 

If they are free, I'd took at least 5-6. They don't use much space, and can be valuable for others, too.

Bests:

Gergely

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If you have too many of them, please save one for a fellow Belgian (lurking) smith :)

No powerhammer, so 1 of them would last me a lifetime probably :D 

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Trading material!  Just don't fill your work area in antici------pation of trading in the future.

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OMG, run as fast as you can , (really take a vehicle), and get as much as you can.  You never know during the next 5 to 10 years what might come up or which friend may need exactly what you have.  Get as many different sizes that they have and of course try to salvage the newest once they have.  You will learn a lot about how these metals forge and what you can make with them.  Are they Free?  If so, that is even better. Good luck.  

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Money there waiting to be made.  Here's one example but they make nice dogs etc with a little fiddling and some other scrap bits.  These would be the grand-daddies of yard art at their size.  That's good..makes em harder to steal.

pig-welding.jpg

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I would love to have a few dozen of those big springs.  

Right off the bat, they make great stools!  Seriously, folks love those heavy industrial springs for stools.  They're rigid, they look cool, they have some heft to them....

Figure out way to mount a nice seat and you could sell them pretty quickly to boutique interior decorator types. 

For me, I'd use one for in the shop just so I'd have a nice place to sit and take a break.

I'd do a test piece to see what kind of quench medium they like.  If you can get them for free.... they'd be great for smaller hammers if you like making those kinds of things.  Of course, it's all about being able to heat-treat them properly so they'll perform like you want.  They might be a water-quench steel since they're mass-produced and a lot of companies are going that route because it's easier to clean up.  Hard to say, though.

Definitely think about bar stools and foot rests.  Furniture that has an "industrial" look is pretty popular and demands a very high price.  

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In my shop I have a couple of old---50's & 60's lab or drafting stools that showed up at the scrapyard.  Built like a battleship and lots of old school adjustments for height, back foot ring.  I will have to redo the pads on a couple.

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