I needed to repair a kitchen utensil whose spring had broken. All of the utensil was made with stainless EXCEPT the spring which had rusted and then broke. Obviously the replacement spring should be made with stainless. Unfortunately the only appropriate sized SS wire I had was aircraft safety wire (for wiring down nuts) and it comes in an annealed state. I could make a spring shape out of it but it had no "spring back". I.e. when deflected it just stayed in the new position. I decided to try work hardening it.
1) cut off an appropriate length
2) clamp one end in the vise and the other in a vise grip
3) place foot on vise and pull on the vise grip as hard as I could (half expecting the wire to break and me go careening across the shop.)
4) It stretched about 20% longer.
5) wind the spring and it worked perfectly
P.S. I looked for a tips and tricks section to the forum but didn't find one. Would that be an appropriate sub-forum to add?