Author Topic: Spring Strength?  (Read 1603 times)

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Offline GregH

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Spring Strength?
« on: April 07, 2019, 03:05:07 PM »
What are your thoughts on spring strength?

I've already broken a spring on my SCX, probably from playing rolls in Irish music, because it's a snappy in-out on the slide (we don't like to use words like "bash"). While waiting to get some new ones in the mail, I made a replacement out of similar sized spring material & forgot to re-temper it before installing (too lazy to take it all apart again). So it was kind of soft, and probably barely strong enough to get the kind of fast ornaments I'm looking for, but noticeably lighter and kind of fun.

The new Suzuki™ spring I put in is stronger than the original, so now I'm thinking maybe I could back that one off a little.  Is spring weight adjustment a thing you do, or do you live with the stock weight?  If so, what's a reliable way to adjust the spring?

pyro_fire60099

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Re: Spring Strength?
« Reply #1 on: April 07, 2019, 03:23:48 PM »
And if You re-temper the spring it would be softer..please explain ..

Offline smojoe

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Re: Spring Strength?
« Reply #2 on: April 07, 2019, 03:26:33 PM »
No experience with Suzuki springs, but I would suspect that they are similar to other brands. In the case of Hohner springs, they should have a departure angle of about 106 degrees. At which point they are rather stiff. Btw departure angle is the angle at which one leg of the spring departs from the other leg..i.e. angle beTWEEN the legs.

I used to back them off to about 71-88 degrees. Iow, squeezing the legs closer together. This reduces the torque required to compress the spring enough to actuate the slide. Early on I decided one day, having no replacement spring, to use a #2 safety pin. That's the one that is 2" (51mm) long. Never had another problem. Btw, the reduced torque means that you have to keep the slide mechanisms a bit cleaner.

In conclusion? Yes, springs can be and are adjusted. Re-tempering is a waste of time. As it is easy enough to replace a spring. Re-tempering falls into the minutae category.

'Ma' Libue   

Offline SlideMeister

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Re: Spring Strength?
« Reply #3 on: April 07, 2019, 03:52:50 PM »
1. The best way to keep your slide assembly clean is to start with a very light spring strength; when dirt begins cause "drag" the slide starts to act sluggish. (and you can easily "feel it" going on if you have a light spring) If you clean the assembly at this point, you will never have a dirty slide assembly, and those components will last at least twice as long.

2. A tough/strong spring will almost never stick, HOWEVER, it WILL merrily move dirt, crud and grit around the moving surfaces, (much like automotive valve grinding compound) and "grind" the snot out of those very components, starting with the finish. When you see "brass" the damage has already begun.

3. A tough/strong spring will hide/mask the subtle drag caused by little burrs, bends and dirt in the slide assembly that you really (or at least should really) wanna know about. ::) Bottom line is: You CAN'T feel the little things that are going on in there with a heavy spring!

4. A tough/strong spring will also lead to an elongated spring hole in the slide for reasons mentioned above.

I love light action springs. Still think I''m nuts?  :)
« Last Edit: April 07, 2019, 04:19:37 PM by Age »

Offline Jimmy Halfnote

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Re: Spring Strength?
« Reply #4 on: April 07, 2019, 06:57:29 PM »
 Well i don't like wimpy springs A. J. , one i like the slide coming back fast as possible , two resting your finger on the button of a wimpy spring is accident prone, your wear and tear assumption of the slide is arguable, the most wear is caused IMO  by the slide being shoved up by the spring action however weak or strong, the springs that come standard with harmonicas are just fine, no need to worry everyone.  ;)
                                                                                              jh.
                                                                             

Offline SlideMeister

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Re: Spring Strength?
« Reply #5 on: April 07, 2019, 09:52:30 PM »
Okay, Cancel Red alert! ;D I wasn't telling anyone to worry; just how and why I do what I do. FTR: My springs are every bit as fast as stock springs. I've gotten used to the light action and its still four times faster than anyone on the planet would ever need. (They're just a bit more sensitive and "dirt-conscious.  ;D) When the slide's return speed finally starts to slow down (which is inevitable) it just means it's time for the ole "scrubadubb!"   In a pinch, I just run some water in the slide which works as good as a complete cleaning; only it just doesn't last as long. :P
« Last Edit: April 07, 2019, 09:55:25 PM by Age »

Offline SlideMeister

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Re: Spring Strength?
« Reply #6 on: April 07, 2019, 09:59:19 PM »
Oh yeah, and the "shoved up by the spring action" thing you mentioned is also minimized with a lighter spring and also why I use a dot of Vaselene on the spring as well. Different strokes bro! ;D ;D
« Last Edit: April 07, 2019, 10:02:22 PM by Age »

Offline GregH

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Re: Spring Strength?
« Reply #7 on: April 08, 2019, 11:20:04 AM »
And if You re-temper the spring it would be softer..please explain ..

Basically I heated up the new spring material & let it cool slowly to untemper it to make it easier to shape.  What I mean by re-tempering is heating it up & quenching it to make it "tempered" ie. harder.

Thanks for all the interesting replies. I'm going to have to think about this some more.

Offline SlideMeister

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Re: Spring Strength?
« Reply #8 on: April 08, 2019, 11:58:09 AM »
Yeah, I've never had much luck with anything but ruining springs with heat; like maybe lowering my car an inch with my acetylene torch. :P  That worked just fine, actually. :)

Offline Grizzly

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Re: Spring Strength?
« Reply #9 on: April 09, 2019, 12:35:15 AM »
And if You re-temper the spring it would be softer..please explain ..

Basically I heated up the new spring material & let it cool slowly to untemper it to make it easier to shape.  What I mean by re-tempering is heating it up & quenching it to make it "tempered" ie. harder.

Thanks for all the interesting replies. I'm going to have to think about this some more.
I'm trying to remember what I know or have heard about tempering. I was working mostly with non-ferrous metal, but I had to work with steel on occasion. There is a difference between hardening and tempering. IIRC, you can draw the temper out of metal by letting it cool slowly, or even sticking it in sand to slow the process. Hardening, or re-hardening, by quenching either in oil or (in my applications) water, can make metal brittle. I think tempering is different, perhaps (again) drawing the temper out, but only so far, so the metal has a memory without being so brittle that it would snap or refuse to bend. It has to bend, but recover its original configuration; not bend and hold the new shape. Correct me if I'm all wrong.

Tom
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Offline SlideMeister

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Re: Spring Strength?
« Reply #10 on: April 09, 2019, 09:25:14 AM »
Yeah, I remember my dad doing all that stuff when I wuzza kid: forging, tempering annealing, case hardening and stuff (he worked as a blacksmith at one time)  It's just that I was never interested enough in it to pay attention. :-[ (Stoooopid! :P)  Whenever I was working on something, he'd offer to do whatever he felt was needed to make it work best. He was quite a guy, actually.
« Last Edit: April 09, 2019, 01:32:27 PM by Age »

Offline Grizzly

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Re: Spring Strength?
« Reply #11 on: April 09, 2019, 11:55:00 AM »
People like your dad exhibit their own form of genius.

Tom
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Offline GregH

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Re: Spring Strength?
« Reply #12 on: April 09, 2019, 03:08:52 PM »
Grizzly/Tom:

Yeah that's my thinking as well. I've done a bit of blacksmithing over the years, & what you said seems right to me. My original spring broke because it was too hard, although I think the way the slide arm runs past the tube for the cover screws is a design flaw. 

SaxonyFan

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Re: Spring Strength?
« Reply #13 on: April 09, 2019, 03:28:25 PM »
My chrom springs usually function best in the moments before they break. Most chrom springs have spring constants that are too large. The larger the constant the larger the frictional forces in the slider setup because the forces aren’t entirely parallel with slide plane.

 There is a trade off between making one that will last (one with a large constant usually) and one that plays well (one with a smaller constant). Better materials might allow the best of both worlds. The harmonica manufacturers no doubt know all of these trade offs well. I would be really excited to have the option to purchase a premium spring.

Offline Grizzly

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Re: Spring Strength?
« Reply #14 on: April 09, 2019, 10:56:40 PM »
Grizzly/Tom:

Yeah that's my thinking as well. I've done a bit of blacksmithing over the years, & what you said seems right to me. My original spring broke because it was too hard, although I think the way the slide arm runs past the tube for the cover screws is a design flaw.
Although people can have extraordinary skills in more than one field, excelling in one can be an expression of genius, whether it's with words, math, music, crafts, fine arts, diplomacy, etc. Genius isn't always measured by an I.Q. test.

I'm a musician first. I play several instruments, sing, write, arrange, conduct, teach. But I made most of my living with my hands. I was a master craftsman for a flute manufacturer for 31 years, at the top of my game. I've done other things as well but not to that extent.

One way to avoid breaking springs is to play a CX 12. It's a coil spring, not a leaf spring. I'm not sure strength is an issue with CX 12 springs, but I think the same length spring with fewer turns might be lighter.

Wally Peterman makes after-market springs. i hope he chimes in.

Tom
working on my second 10,000!