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    Working with leaf springs


    Workshop Savvy

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    Working with leaf springs

    Post by Hermit on Thu Jan 23, 2014 10:39 am

    Many enquiries seem to come in regarding working leaf springs.The first thing to understand,is when you acquire a leaf spring,it is in it's finished condition,for the job it was designed to do.You will be wanting it to do a different job.
                                            In order to alter it to do a different job,you need to first understand how it's made.The spring starts out as a relatively soft piece of steel,it is cut to shape and then bent to the required profile.Once the spring has been cut to shape and bent,it then has to be heat treated(hardened and tempered)heat treatment gives the spring it's "springiness".Leaf springs,once hardened,cannot be bent cold without fracturing or breaking.Leaf springs,like any metal,can be bent using heat.As soon as the spring is bent with heat,it is useless,the temper has been destroyed,and the "springiness" is gone.So how can a leaf spring be worked?.If extensive shaping is required,the spring should be heated and softened(annealed)worked to the required shape,and then re-hardened and tempered.Unless you are an extremely skilled blacksmith,or have access to a highly  sophisticated(and expensive) hardenening and tempering industrial facility,forget it.You can shape,or 'tiller' the bow yourself.The best way to do this would be with an angle grinder.Grinding creates lots of heat,so excessive grinding can destroy the temper,so proceed with caution!Filing I would say,is not an option,filing heat treated steel will dull your file in record time,with little removal of metal.
                      As for using a prod with a hole in the exact centre,Would you try to use a longbow with a hole drilled right through the centre of the handle?

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    Re: Working with leaf springs

    Post by Rizzar on Thu Jan 23, 2014 11:14 am

    I totally agree with your points.

    If I had written about it it would have taken me a long time and I would have expressed it more complicated making it harder to follow.
    (which in fact I prepared but was not satisfied with)

    My suggestion for handling the holes still is either
    -stiffening the area with clamp plates
    -grinding the prod so low that there is no hole anymore
    -living with much efficiency loss during lower calculated tension with shorter draw
    -or completely forgetting about leaf springs with center holes cuting them into pieces to forge some beginner knives with the metal.

    btw: Hermit, you´ve got pn!!!


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