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2ManyHobbies
05-24-2008, 12:55 AM
I'm looking for suggestions on material to provide a small clamping force (a few pounds at most) that will survive years of use and neglect while in contact with wood, dust, water, leather, human fingers, minor solvents, and only accidental encounters with oil.

I can form in a vice cold or with heat. The shape would be close to a 2"x1"x2" U, with the clamping force coming across the open end. No idea what the height or thickness should be, but I have no problem figuring that out on my own if anybody has a recommendation for a sufficiently durable material. I'd prefer a flat configuration over round wire though.

Lastly, looks and finish aren't important, sustained springiness and lack of staining and corrosion are.

Thanks!

wierdscience
05-24-2008, 08:00 AM
Go to -
http://www.mcmaster.com/

and do a search for "Spring tempered stainless steel strips"

clutch
05-24-2008, 12:19 PM
Don't forget to stress relief it after bending.

http://home.earthlink.net/~bazillion/finish.html

Temp chart near bottom.

Clutch

gundog
05-24-2008, 01:06 PM
This won't work for what you are looking for but I thought I would share. The thin strips you get from old windshield wipers make great pieces to make small springs out of and they are free. I have made small forceps to hold washers when assembling things and I have made some linkage for a gun out of the stuff also.

I think home shop guys where the original recyclers everyone else just copied us.
Mike

Paul Alciatore
05-24-2008, 01:26 PM
You leave out a lot that should go into the design of any spring. For instance, how much deflection would be expected? Will the load be static or dynamic. If dynamic, how many cycles per year/month/week/day/hour/minute/second/milisecond/etc?
If all you are doing is clamping a static load, then a solid block of SS would probably surfice. If you expect a 1/2" deflection several times per second, then fatigue would be a major problem and you may need to talk to a spring manufacturer for help. You did say "years of use and abuse".