Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 30
  1. #1

    coil spring compressor

    I saw a tool I've always wanted the other day and I thought this one was pretty amazing with a lot of features the others don't have so I am going to try and build one myself. I have a set of those little spring compressors but have always wanted one of the bigger more stable ones for ease and safety. After seeing this one http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Mt1UBTp0zk, I decided to do some research and figure out how much it would cost to build something like this. I'm not going to use an air cylinder for cost reasons, instead I'll just use a hydralic jack for now. I'll look for a used air cylinder sometime down the road to add.

    I think I have most of the "engineering" issues solved. I placed an order with mcmaster carr today and got 1 of all the parts I thought I will need so I can try them out and make sure they will all work. Didn't want to spend a bunch of money on 4 of everything and then find out it won't work! Going to get some metal this week or next week and order the rest of the parts once I make sure they will work the way I want. Hard to order the right idler roller when they have about 10000 of them!

    You can buy a "decent" spring compressor for around 150 bucks plus shipping. The really nice ones are 600-1000 plus shipping. I think I can build one of these for around 150 bucks and it will have some pretty cool features.

    Thought I would post it here in case anyone is interested. Also if anyone has suggestions or advice I'm open to all!

  2. #2
    Contributing Member MXtras's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Somewhere in Virginia
    Posts
    891

    Re: coil spring compressor

    Looking forward to seeing this come together.

    Scott
    If it wasn't for the last minute I wouldn't get anything done

  3. #3

    Re: coil spring compressor

    Thanks Mxtras. I did some more searching on mcmaster late last night and found some more parts to "test" for making the lower arms raise up and down smoothly. Sometimes it's hard to search threw mcmaster's million bearings and drive rollers to find something that might work! Also plan on using some UHMW plastic to align things.

    I'm open to suggestions if anyone has any advice. Thanks Scott

  4. #4

    Re: coil spring compressor

    I got my parts from mcmaster today and played around with them. The sleeve bearings are going to work good. I ordered some more "test" pieces like thrust bearings and some shoulder bolts and some misc. stuff so that it will be here tomorrow. The UHMW angle that I ordered is going to work good to keep everything lined up when going up and down. So I think I have most of the pieces figured out. Should come together smoothly. Once I make sure the stuff I get tomorrow will work I will order the right number of each piece and then I will have everything besides the metal which I plan on getting tomorrow or monday.

    Hopefully my "engineering" for the sliding will work out! I also spent sometime on ebay looking for an air cylinder to raise and lower the bottom jaws like the store bought compressor has. I was/am planning on using a bottle jack for now due to cost but I'm going to keep my eye open for an air sylinder on ebay. Problem is finding one with a big enough bore for the power but also a long enough stroke to compress the spring. Think I will need at least 6-8" of stroke to compress most springs. I'm sure I'll find one, just have to keep searching!

  5. #5

    Re: coil spring compressor

    Well the thrust bearings didn't work like I had hoped they would so I'm just going to use a lock nut to keep the sleeve bearing in place. Glad I only order one of each part I think I will need to make sure it works before I order 4 of them or I would have a lot of extra parts laying around! So I a little test to make sure the pieces would slide up and down against each other, to compress the spring the carraige with the bottom jaw will ride up on the frame of the machine. The UHMW plastic angle and the bolts with sleeve bearings seemed to work great.

    I also cut, drilled and tapped a piece of UHMW round stock which will tighten against a tube to hold the adjustable table in place under the strut so when you loosen the top nut the strut won't just fall to the floor. It's a pretty neat design feature I liked about this spring compressor. After I tapped it I screwed a 1/4-20 threaded rod into it and a bolt onto the threaded rod and a handle on the other end. The bolt in the middle will end up getting welded to the inside of a tube. When you turn the handle it will press the UHMW against another tube to secure it. Kinda hard to explain but it shows this in the video. I don't know how they accomplish this but this is the way I came up with and think it will work.

    So I think I have most of my issues worked out and will be placing another order today, my 3rd and hopefully one of the last for this project! Also am ordering a good sized spring pin assortment, have never used them in fabing stuff before but have had to take them out and replace in things. When replacing I always new the right size and just ran to the hardware store and bought a couple of the right size so now I will have a bunch of different sizes so I can see which one fits the best in my projects. Also I will be getting the metal today or tomorrow and then start fabbing everything up. This week is kinda a busy one so might have to wait for the weekend or next week.

    So I think I have most of the main issues worked out and can figure the rest out as I go. I also sketched up how I'm going to do the adjustable arms that hold the spring. If the arms are at the same level like some compressors each side of the spring will compress at different rates which makes it unstable and unsafe. You can adjust these arms so each side is right on the spring before it starts to compress so the spring will compress evenly and safely. Another feature I really like about this machine. Kinda hard to explain but is shown in the video.

    On a side note I picked up a 30" slip roller off craigslist this weekend for 75 bucks and it came with a metal work bench that it was mounted to. I was pretty excited about this. That was on the things to build list but now I don't have to. Figured the rollers alone would cost more than 75 bucks so I just bought it. We had one at a mill I worked at for a couple years and I used it to make some metal buckets that were about 8" in diameter and welded expanded metal to the bottom to so dust would fall threw. We used them to hold parts for the machines and they worked great.

    I have some pictures of my "pieces" I have put together so far but they are not on this computer so I will try and get them on here tonight. Not sure if anyone is interested in this project but I think it is pretty neat and can really come in handy for anyone that works on their own car.

    Thanks, Scott

  6. #6

    Re: coil spring compressor

    Haven't updated on this project in a while so here's what's new. I've learned so much about "engineering" with this project(and another one I started at the same time, a rim clamp for changing tires which is a whole nother story and turning out to be pretty complex so been working on that more than the spring compressor!) so I've had some set backs and ended up buying some parts that didn't work out so well but things are still moving along.

    I started welding up the frame and also got the "sled" made and attached the bolts with sleeve bearings. With the UHMW on one side and the sleeve bearings on the other the sled slides very smoothly and is very strong. I still need to support to verticle angle that the sled slides up and down on but I'm waiting for a new air cylinder to come this week and mount that before I reinforce everything.

    I originally bought a used air cylinder from ebay that has a 2" bore and 6" travel which raised me no problem but after I learned how to calculate the force of the cylinder I realised it probably wasn't going to be big enough to safely compress the springs. So back to ebay I went and found a 4" bore with a 12" travel air cylinder. I watched it and started bidding with about 30 minutes left. Think it was around 30 bucks and I won it at 75 bucks, 90 total with shipping. More than I really wanted to spend but I know this cylinder that has 1500 lbs of force will be plenty enough for this project.

    Next I need to mount my new cylinder and then add bracing for everything. After that I will fab up the arms that hold the springs. I have some rod and pipe for the hinge so that shouldn't be a problem. The arms that hold the spring are adjustable since one side of the spring is higher than the other. This is going to take a little thinking to do but I believe I have it figured out and will start those as soon as I get the hinges done. Then there is just a couple other little details to work out and then test everything and then paint it. That last part is important to me because I always get my projects working and then say I'll come back and paint but never do!!!

    So after I figured out which bearings and other parts to use this wasn't that bad of a build for something that is crazy expensive to buy. I figure that I will have about 200-250 into it and most of that will be the air cylinder and controls. Here are some pictures that show some progress.

    Attachment 686

    Attachment 687

    Attachment 688

    Attachment 689

  7. #7
    Contributing Member MXtras's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Somewhere in Virginia
    Posts
    891

    Re: coil spring compressor

    Nice write up!

    ...and we finally have some pics!!


    Scott
    If it wasn't for the last minute I wouldn't get anything done

  8. #8

    Re: coil spring compressor

    Sorry it took so long to get the pics on here! Thanks for the complaments Scott. Hopefully I can get some progress done and finish this up. I have a ton of projects going on and the garage is really full. Also looking forward to playing with an air cylinder that big!

    I'll start a new thread about the rim clamp I talked about and have some pretty neat pics to go with that one to.

    Scott

  9. #9
    Contributing Member MXtras's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Somewhere in Virginia
    Posts
    891

    Re: coil spring compressor

    Well - even dispite that lack of replies, please keep updating. Not sure if anyone else is watching, but I am!

    Good looking stuff!

    Scott
    If it wasn't for the last minute I wouldn't get anything done

  10. #10

    Re: coil spring compressor

    I will Scott. Thanks for the compliments, means a lot coming from someone with your caliper of work! I was planning on spending the afternoon and evening working on this to finish everything besides the arms but one of the kids ended up coming home sick from school so looks like today is shot. I'll get up early tomorrow and get some work done.

    I'll keep posting updates on here. When I'm done(and make sure it works smoothly!) I'll put together a parts list and costs so if anyone else is interested they should be able to put one together.

    I don't like paying someone else to do work I can do just because I don't have the tools. You can buy those spring compressors for 40 bucks that I have and use up till now but this compressor has a ton of really nice features and also is a lot safer than others I have seen.

Similar Threads

  1. Its still Spring
    By VegasBruce in forum Off Topic Talk
    Replies: 15
    Last Post: 07-08-2007, 11:21 PM
  2. Working with spring steel - any tips?
    By Cebby in forum Metal Sawing, Machining, and Forming
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 11-08-2006, 02:43 PM
  3. Compressor Noise
    By zonk in forum Compressors and Media Blasting
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 10-10-2005, 06:29 PM
  4. Considering buying compressor
    By garrett1478 in forum Compressors and Media Blasting
    Replies: 13
    Last Post: 09-04-2005, 08:45 PM
  5. Air Compressor?
    By cjwalkeriii in forum Items Wanted
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 08-26-2005, 12:14 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •