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Cutting springs


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#1 Bbdude

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Posted 28 August 2011 - 02:10 PM

Im working on a homemade but it requires about 7" of spring. The spring is 11" so it needs to be cut down. Anyone have advice on the best way to do this? Simply cutting it with a dremel?

Edited by Bbdude, 28 August 2011 - 02:10 PM.

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#2 landstricker

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Posted 28 August 2011 - 02:14 PM

You could do it with a dremel or with heavy duty chain cutters.
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#3 ChaosPropel

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Posted 28 August 2011 - 02:17 PM

I recommend using a dremel with a REINFORCED fiberglass cutting disc.
What I do is I grip the spring with some layered paper towels (to prevent my hands from getting burned), and go at the spring with my dremel at medium-high speed. Dig through it for a few seconds, then release, and let everything cool down. This keeps the sparks down a bit too. After a few passes, you should get it cut very nicely.
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#4 chavez guy

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Posted 28 August 2011 - 02:30 PM

I have some really nice wire cutters. Obviously I am not strong enough to just He-Man my way throught the springs with just those, so I actually use my vice to close the wire cutters which cut the spring. But I have a paper towel or two around the spring so that nothing goes flying and embeds itself in my eyeball or anything.
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#5 thesaz123

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Posted 28 August 2011 - 03:02 PM

Dremel metal cutting bits work best. You can buy them as Lowes or Home Depot. Just wear some sort of eye protection (because of sparks and bits of metal) and use a pair of needlenose pliers to hold the spring because the friction causes it to get quite hot. Good luck!
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#6 Ryan201821

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Posted 28 August 2011 - 05:17 PM

Dremel metal cutting bits work best. You can buy them as Lowes or Home Depot. Just wear some sort of eye protection (because of sparks and bits of metal) and use a pair of needlenose pliers to hold the spring because the friction causes it to get quite hot. Good luck!

This is awful. Use a bolt cutter.
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#7 taerKitty

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Posted 28 August 2011 - 07:57 PM

But file the ends down. Cutting a spring leaves both ends with very sharp edges.
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#8 shardbearer

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Posted 28 August 2011 - 10:10 PM

I just use a hacksaw.
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#9 TED

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Posted 28 August 2011 - 10:12 PM

Judo chop!
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#10 Langley

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Posted 28 August 2011 - 10:56 PM

Dremel metal cutting bits work best. You can buy them as Lowes or Home Depot. Just wear some sort of eye protection (because of sparks and bits of metal) and use a pair of needlenose pliers to hold the spring because the friction causes it to get quite hot. Good luck!


The more sparks the better. If you can get a slight glow on the spring, and then it cools to a different color than the surrounding metal, you are right on the money. You can also use cheap diagonal cutters, but you might have to use a vise on the handle to cut through it all the way (use c-clamps to hold it in place on the vice if it slips)
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#11 Carbon

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Posted 28 August 2011 - 11:06 PM

You can also use cheap diagonal cutters, but you might have to use a vise on the handle to cut through it all the way (use c-clamps to hold it in place on the vice if it slips)

Best to avoid that option, if at all possible (at least on cheap ones). I've broken handles clean off that way.

Edited by Carbon, 28 August 2011 - 11:07 PM.

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#12 CaliforniaPants

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Posted 28 August 2011 - 11:48 PM

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#13 dizzyduck

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Posted 29 August 2011 - 12:34 AM

I just use a hacksaw.
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#14 LT DAN ICE CREAM

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Posted 29 August 2011 - 07:31 AM

Be a man, use thermite to cut your springs.
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#15 evilbunnyo

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Posted 29 August 2011 - 07:55 AM

Be a man, use thermite to cut your springs.


Lol. If only that was as easy as you make it seem. I use a hacksaw for stuff like this. If you have a machine shop accsessible to you they might have sheet metal cutters and those will work but you have to go slow.
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#16 Langley

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Posted 29 August 2011 - 10:10 AM

Best to avoid that option, if at all possible (at least on cheap ones). I've broken handles clean off that way.


I was just screwing around. Honestly, you want to do the exact opposite of what I've just described above. Ryan's bolt cutter suggestion is probably the best so far. If you have a good set of lineman's pliers that might work, but spring steel might dull them or damage them. Don't clamp them into a vise, if you can't use your own hands, you're probably ruining the tool anyway.

If you absolutely have no alternative to using a dremel, I would use a vise, vise-grips or pliers on either side of the cut as a heat sink. Make the cut very slowly with steady even pressure and pause frequently. Don't let the metal start heating up enough to change colors. Especially do not repeatedly heat and cool the steel to extreme temperatures. If the metal turns orange and then cools to blue, it will become harder and more brittle, and will be pretty useless in that part of the spring.

Oh, and use eye-protection. And by that I mean shop glasses, not a fucking paper towel.
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#17 shardbearer

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Posted 30 August 2011 - 05:26 PM

Sheet metal cutters? I have a pair and they wouldnt even make a dent in a spring! Theyre like reinforced scissors!
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#18 BOSS9

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Posted 30 August 2011 - 09:20 PM

I cut a [k26] today, and was surprised that using two vise-grips close together on the coil with the area I want to cut between them, just gently wiggling/ bending the spring broke it quickly and cleanly, with no other distortion. I'm sure it won't work on smaller (less powerful) springs, and the absolute best option is bolt cutters, but I was surprised how well this worked. Also, the vise-grips were on REALLY tight.
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#19 Curly

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Posted 30 August 2011 - 09:41 PM

I cut a [k26] today, and was surprised that using two vise-grips close together on the coil with the area I want to cut between them, just gently wiggling/ bending the spring broke it quickly and cleanly, with no other distortion. I'm sure it won't work on smaller (less powerful) springs, and the absolute best option is bolt cutters, but I was surprised how well this worked. Also, the vise-grips were on REALLY tight.

Be careful, springs with a higher coils per inch will become very messed up.
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#20 Shrapnel

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Posted 29 November 2011 - 01:25 AM

Im working on a homemade but it requires about 7" of spring. The spring is 11" so it needs to be cut down. Anyone have advice on the best way to do this? Simply cutting it with a dremel?



If you have a pair of wire cutting pliers they should do the job perfectly, you can also use long-nosed pliers to bend of the ends of the springs.
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#21 Langley

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Posted 29 November 2011 - 09:29 AM

If you have a pair of wire cutting pliers they should do the job perfectly, you can also use long-nosed pliers to bend of the ends of the springs.


This thread is from August, and you don't seem to have added anything that was't already mentioned earlier. Read This and don't do it again.
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#22 Daniel Beaver

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Posted 29 November 2011 - 01:44 PM

For future reference to anyone who finds this thread in a search, this part of Shrapnel's suggestion is erroneous:

If you have a pair of wire cutting pliers they should do the job perfectly

Standard wire cutters are a terrible tool for this. You could use the vise trick, but it may ruin your tools. The rest of the thread has good suggestions:

Tools that cut springs like warm butter:
Bolt cutters
Dremel w/ reinforced fiberglass cutting disk
Angle grinder

Tools that cut springs like butter that you left in the fridge:
Sheet metal snips (and other "big damn metal cutters")
Hacksaw


Most households have a hacksaw laying around. Use that instead.

Edited by Daniel Beaver, 29 November 2011 - 01:45 PM.

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#23 wardrive

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Posted 29 November 2011 - 04:44 PM

Go with a pair of heavy bolt cutters, generally something capable of cutting Cyclone fence easy.
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#24 taerKitty

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Posted 29 November 2011 - 05:17 PM

Go with a pair of heavy bolt cutters, generally something capable of cutting Cyclone fence easy.


Boltcutters come in many sizes (but seem to be all about the same shape.) This is one case where size does matter. I have a tiny 12" pair, and it can cut [k26]'s, but takes a lot of grunting. I also have it's 2' older bro, and that thing seems to not even notice there's a hunk of wire in the way.

Harbor Freight had the big bro on sale for $9. Yes, their quality is sh!t, but that's if you're giving them hard use. The stuff we do - plastic, polycarb, etc, is nothing. And, besides, if they break (or, more likely, get lost) it's not a lot of butthurt to replace.

I have a Dremel w/cutting disks, but haven't used it much, so I can't say if it is or isn't good. However, I wouldn't consider cutting springs with anything other than the 2' boltcutter.
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