Richard says: "It may be news to you, but products fabricated "simply" (cut,
twisted, etc) from standard steel shapes and alloys tend to cost a small
proportion over the steel itself, in a good market."
Richard, It may be news to you, but springs are not simply fabricated. They
cost is not in proportion to the materials price but the machinery to wind
the coils, the labor to run the machinery, the cost of heat treating the
finished coils, the overhead for the building to house the machinery and
store the product. Throw in shipping costs, then the markup to the
distributors and then the markup to me because I'm too stupid to buy a
length of bulk wire and do the above myself. It's not an easy thing to make
a small spring from say, .010 wire. Let alone trying to make a torsion
spring from .250 or bigger wire, can you say "don't try this at home". The
next time you run into those $5 springs, pickme up a couple and I'll give
you $10 plus shipping.
Torsion springs are wholesaled by weight, and the price tracks the steel
market, just like structural steel. I agree, I'm not gonna smelt ore and
forge I-beams in my workshop, any more than torsion springs. But anybody
paying $55 for a few pounds of curled-up ASTM A229 wire is paying
convenience-store prices. I'll continue to get mine drop-shipped from the
As others have said, it may be best to have it hired out.
On a side,
I replaced two panels of a 14' X 14' commercial door myself a few years ago.
I consider myself a tad more than handy with tools so it did not seem like a
big deal. In the end it was not a problem, but the cautions of the job being
a bit dangerous are true. Standing on an extension ladder,12 feet in the
air, unwinding the springs was an adventure!
For me, the funny part was when I was looking for the replacement panels, a
garage door company told me that I could not do it myself! Comments like
that just make me more determined!
I ended up finding two used panels from someone that drove a truck through
their overhead door.
The standard winding bar for residential doors is 1/2" mild steel, 18"
Over 1000 correspondents happily tell me they did it themselves.
No, he got hurt by ignorance of proper technique.
I have spent years trying to sort through the friend-of-a-friend horror
tales to get to the truth of injuries from torsion springs. I have
collected a few reliable first-hand accounts of injuries. The cause
seems to be simply not having the simplest of tools and techniques.
Typically, someone is hurt because he loosens the cone setscrews without
knowing to engage a winding bar first.
There is a wide variation in service life. Price has little to do with
it. See my page:
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