Making a Simple Spring Bender

by Charles Darley

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Making a Simple Spring Bender
Having reached the stage of needing the 2.5mm piano wire (spring wire) bent to form a spring,  I set about making a simple wire bender.

The progression of pictures shows what lies behind the simple machine.  Basically a piece of 1"x1" angle steel, about 6" long, which was drilled 1/4" and countersunk a little, to take the reduced end of the 1/2" former, around which the spring is formed. The lower end of the 1/2" former was machined to 1/4" and cut off, so that it just protruded below the angle iron, and then it was riveted over.

You will see in the pictures that there are many holes drilled in the angle iron, as I did not know where I needed to locate the holder of the spring steel being formed. The experience of making the first spring shows that the best position to hold the spring steel is near to the forming post.

The clamp to hold the wire is made from a piece of 1/4" round bar. This was cross drilled and filed off so that there was little of the bar showing above the spring steel being formed.  It passes through the angle iron and then is locked into place underneath by threading the bar 1/4" BSW and tapping a piece of brass bar to match.  It would probably be much easier to make this clamp out of an ordinary nut and bolt, which wouldn't require any threading and tapping - MW.

NOTE:  The spring steel being formed must be held securely in place, else it will tend to creep along the angle iron and not be well formed around the forming post.

The forming handle is merely a flat piece of bar about 9"x1"x3/16" long, drilled out to fit the 1/2" forming post and a 1/4" section of bar riveted on using the same method of reducing the bar size and using an appropriate size hole before riveting in.  The bar only projects 1/4" below the handle, so fouling the clamped section of spring should not occur when making the second turn etc.

All the bends were made using this simple machine, with the angle iron held in a suitable vice.  To ensure that the holder will release the bent work piece, the hole in the clamp needs to be about 25% bigger than the material being bent.

When making the central 2 turns, the spring steel being formed must rise up and make the second turn around the post and above the first turn and to achieve this the turning handle must also rise up with the spring steel!!!!

I have set the two arms of the spring about right angles to each other, and early trials seem to shows this to be very promising.  After I had made the spring I noticed wear on the pin on the forming handle, indicating the great force needed to form the spring steel.  If I were going to be making several springs then I would use a hardened material for this part.

WARNING: The utmost care must be used when forming the spring.  Allowing the handle to slip off the material being formed must be guarded against by the use of even and controlled pressure.  Being able to stop the bending immediately is essential.  As I have no control over how you use these ideas, no responsibility can be accepted for any accident or injury howsoever caused by following these ideas.  Suffice to say that I have safely made the necessary spring using the machine described.  You are advised to wear suitable gloves and safety goggles.

Part 1, showing forming post

Part 2, handle

Handle mounted over forming post

Rotate handle to wrap wire around post

Detail of clamp

Finishing off the ends

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