Spring Steel

This forum is dedicated to the Live Steam Hobbyist Community.

Moderators: Harold_V, WJH, cbrew

Post Reply
Posts: 84
Joined: Fri Jul 06, 2012 11:33 pm
Location: Mead, Colorado

Spring Steel

Post by jeffsmith » Wed Jan 22, 2020 7:12 pm

I am making some leaf springs for tender trucks. I am using blued #1095 spring steel. What is the best way to bend a curve into the leaves so they will take a set. Any suggestions out there. Thanks

User avatar
Posts: 1821
Joined: Wed Jan 15, 2003 2:44 pm
Location: Fresno, CA

Re: Spring Steel

Post by Greg_Lewis » Wed Jan 22, 2020 7:42 pm

I just bent mine with my fingers over a piece of pipe of some eyeballed diameter. Bend before drilling any holes.
Greg Lewis, Prop.
Eyeball Engineering — Home of the dull toolbit.
Our motto: "That looks about right."
Celebrating 30 years of turning perfectly good metal into bits of useless scrap.

User avatar
Posts: 2766
Joined: Wed May 02, 2007 8:33 pm
Location: Chattanooga TN

Re: Spring Steel

Post by Fender » Wed Jan 22, 2020 9:00 pm

Try hammering them against a steel pipe with a rubber hammer. This makes a smooth curve, and prevents a kink.
Dan Watson

User avatar
Posts: 2274
Joined: Sat Jan 04, 2003 2:09 pm
Location: Anchorage, AK

Re: Spring Steel

Post by Dick_Morris » Wed Jan 22, 2020 9:25 pm

I made a die from a piece of pipe with a spigot welded on and some 2x4 with a radius cut into it, used on an arbor press. Some experimentation is needed to get the radius right. Some of what I got came off the roll at about the right radius.

Something I learned while acquiring spring material, some of what I bought is rolled to the correct width with nicely rounded edges, some other is sheared to width and has a somewhat rough edge.

Posts: 258
Joined: Sun Jul 22, 2018 4:09 pm

Re: Spring Steel

Post by hoppercar » Thu Jan 23, 2020 8:03 am

I rolled mine thru a sheet metal roller, made easy work of it

User avatar
Posts: 1442
Joined: Thu Jan 09, 2003 6:50 pm
Location: Michigan, USA

Re: Spring Steel

Post by Marty_Knox » Thu Jan 23, 2020 11:32 am

hoppercar wrote:
Thu Jan 23, 2020 8:03 am
I rolled mine thru a sheet metal roller, made easy work of it
Just make sure to run it through both ways so you don't end up with a flat spot at one end.

Steve Goodbody
Posts: 156
Joined: Thu May 25, 2006 7:16 am

Re: Spring Steel

Post by Steve Goodbody » Thu Jan 23, 2020 5:06 pm

Hi Jeff,

With my loco springs (1/16" x 1") I bent the steel when in unhardened / un-tempered condition using a simple curved hardwood press tool (a male and female former) squeezed together in the bench vice. I pressed long lengths of steel a short section at a time to create a continuous curve, then cut the springs to length afterwards avoiding any flat sections. Then I hardened the leaves - cherry red and oil quench - followed by tempering in molten lead.

I tweaked the bottom leaves to a slightly tighter radius in order to pre-load the pack and keep everything tightly together upon assembly.
Best regards

Posts: 103
Joined: Sun Mar 31, 2013 9:53 pm

Re: Spring Steel

Post by KarlKobel » Thu Jan 23, 2020 6:20 pm

I rolled mine thru a sheet metal roller, made easy work of it
Hoppercar didn't say whether he rolled them individually or the whole length before they were cut like I did mine.
That way I could get the 'correct' radius for all of the pieces.
I set up a stop in the shear to make each length in turn.

My tender has 12 sets of spring assemblies per truck.

Sorry, no pictures of the spring construction.


Post Reply