Spring steel for spring backs?

Discussion in 'Camera Building, Repairs & Modification' started by bliorg, Aug 19, 2007.

  1. bliorg

    bliorg Member

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    Hi, all -

    I'm building a spring back for my 5x12 reducer project, and I need some info on the springs themselves. I'm guessing spring steel? Anyone know of a source for this stuff (i.e. - can it be picked up at dePot et al)? Is it tricky to cut/bend/finish?

    Thanks for any tips.
    Scott
     
  2. Charles Webb

    Charles Webb Member

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    Hello,
    You can buy an assortment of spring steels from Brownells Gun Smithing Catalog. Comes "dead soft", you harden and temper yourself after sawing (Jewelers Saw" out the exact shape you want. Can be bent with round nose pliers as needed. Drill necessary holes before hardening. Sorry I don't have a link, but they are on the internet. They sell good stuff!

    Charlie....................................................
     
  3. noseoil

    noseoil Member

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    The backs I have made used spring steel which I got from old band saw blades. Just get the size you need (1/4", 5/15", 3/8" etc.) and use a grinder to remove the teeth. Snap with a vise and pliers to the length you need and work as required. tim
     
  4. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Subscriber

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  5. Jim Chinn

    Jim Chinn Member

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    If you are in or near a decent sized city, you may be able to find a restaurant surplus supply house. You should be able to find all kinds of stainless pastry blades and spatulas up to 10" in length with a variety of stiffness.
     
  6. Greg_E

    Greg_E Member

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  7. bliorg

    bliorg Member

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    Thanks for the ideas, everyone. I'm up to the springs, now. Have to make a decision. And I do have that old, dull 1/2" bandsaw blade hanging in the garage... :wink:

    FWIW, here's some pics of the progress so far. The base frame is about done, and the ground glass holder is finished and fits the frame nicely.
     

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  8. Neanderman

    Neanderman Member

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    It looks like very nice work! Are you using cherry?

    Ed
     
  9. bliorg

    bliorg Member

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    Thanks, Ed. It's quartersawn sycamore I had leftover from making some drawers for my daughter. Pretty stuff.

    I made some springs - not entirely happy with them, but they'll suffice for a first pass. Pics forthcoming...
     
  10. bliorg

    bliorg Member

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    Springs are installed - they're a little tight, but a 5x7 holder slides in just right, so I'm pretty sure a 5x12 will, also.

    Thanks for the help.
     

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  11. paul ron

    paul ron Member

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    Ah you guys aren't thinking at all.... those springs you install in the back of aluminum frames to hold the art in place comes in several different sizes.

    Any glassier will also have flat springs, used in comercial buildings when installing new glass in old window sashes.

    The band saw blades n hack saw blades are great too.
     
  12. Dan Dozer

    Dan Dozer Subscriber

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    Steve,

    You already have springs that look like they will work just fine, so I don't know if you will ever get around to replacing them. However, in my opinion, the Sycamore is so beautiful, it deserves something nicer looking than hack saw blades.

    When I made my 8 x 20, I pretty much copied the way that Kodak did it on my 8 x 10 2D - that is to use brass rather than some sort of spring steel. Brass is actually pretty "springy" itself. I used sheet brass from home depot that is used for kick plates for doors. I cut into strips about 1/2" wide and used two layers - one on top of the other just like Kodak did.

    The brass is easy to get, easy to cut, and looks good. However, there is one drawback. That is that you need to get a special saw blade for your table saw to cut the brass, one that is used for non-ferrous metals. For a good one, it's going to set you back around $75 or so. For a cheaper solution, you might consider cutting it with a dremmel and filing the cut edge smooth. I also only made one strip per side rather than the two hack saw blade strips you have on yours. Here is a photo of the back. You can also see that the top strip is a little shorter than the bottom strip. These two strips of brass on each side of the camera back seem to apply just about the right amount of pressure to the holder.

    Hope this helps.

    Dan Dozer
     

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  13. bliorg

    bliorg Member

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    Thanks for the idea, Dan. Might retrofit the brass leaf springs. Reminds me - I need to send you a check yet... :wink:

    FWIW, I painted the metalwork, which toned down the cheesiness factor considerably...

    Scott
     

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  14. Dan Dozer

    Dan Dozer Subscriber

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    Scott,

    The black looks much more "cheeseless". However, I've found that at some point, you have to stop building and switch back to shooting. Save the brass strips for later and get out and shoot so we can see what your new camera can do.

    If you're still interested in the Journal, it gives a lot more detail on the camera back that what I've written here.

    Dan
     
  15. bliorg

    bliorg Member

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    Thanks, Dan. You're right, of course. As soon as a lens and some film arrive, I'll see what it can do. :D
     
  16. tim_walls

    tim_walls Member

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    Wow.

    Can I just say, the amount of talent shown around here - from emulsion making to carpentry and metalwork (not to mention that photography malarky) - really is amazing, and more than a little humbling sometimes.

    Looks like a great job, anyway!
     
  17. bliorg

    bliorg Member

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    Thanks, Tim. :D
     
  18. barryjyoung

    barryjyoung Member

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    You can find good material to make back springs from at the automotive parts house near you. It is correctly called thickness gage, but many call it "feeler gage". It is available in 12 inch lengths and .040 thickness is what I use. It is stainless though, so you won't have that nice blued steel look. It is easy to shape on a bench grinder with an aluminum oxide wheel (the wheel that comes with almost all bench grinders). Then the edges can be filed, sanded and buffed to a pleasing finish.