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Chainmailbill

Replacing Springs on Pliers

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Question for all of you:

I blow through springs in pliers quickly. Very quickly.

The springs in my new Wubbers lasted about 10 days before the first one had a stress fracture, by 2 weeks it was cracked and gone. The second spring followed suit pretty quickly.

I now own 4 pairs (2 sets) of the wide-jawed Wubbers, plus 2 pairs of these: http://bluebuddhaboutique.com/supplies/tools/tool_images/duck-bill.php and of the 6, only 1 pair still has both springs functional (and I doubt for long).

It's not a manufacturing issue, or a quality issue, it's just that I'm hard on my tools and I use them all day every day.

I've finally found pliers that I actually like and are comfortable in my large, strong hands, but I can't afford to buy a new pair every three weeks when I blow the springs out. Currently, there are rare earth neodymium magnets epoxied and duct taped onto the Wubbers, which helps a little bit, but the magnets tend to slide around under the tape and don't provide the same sort of spring force I'm used to.

Obviously, there's a way to replace these springs. I bet someone on here has done it before. Any tips/tricks?

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When my springs go out, I take the spring steel slats from an old pair of wiper blades, cut and bend them to length and insert them in the handles. so far I have not had a problem using them.

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Try some TRL brand pliers. They have very resilient springs that do not spring back too hard. I have made a few shirts with a couple of pairs and no breakage.

Movak

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I use the 5" mastercraft pliers from Canadian Tire. They have a lifetime warrantee so when the spring breaks I get them replaced with new ones. I have 4 pairs of them so that I don't have to keep going back every week, but I am still in there every month or so replacing them tho.

I also have a couple pairs of Xuron's that TRL sells. Have been using them for 2 years now and have yet had to replace the springs.

Edited by shivan911

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I also have a couple pairs of Xuron's that TRL sells. Have been using them for 2 years now and have yet had to replace the springs.

I have a pair of Xuron's that I use at my work for electronics, and though the spring lasts a LOT longer than regular pliers, I've found that mine have started 'sticking' a little when going from closed to open. These pliers are about 4 or 5 years old though (used pretty much every work day). I think the reason for their sticking is that the spring on the Xuron's push directly on one of the sides of the pliers, eventually digging a small groove in it.

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I use the 5" mastercraft pliers from Canadian Tire. They have a lifetime warrantee so when the spring breaks I get them replaced with new ones. I have 4 pairs of them so that I don't have to keep going back every week, but I am still in there every month or so replacing them tho.

I also have a couple pairs of Xuron's that TRL sells. Have been using them for 2 years now and have yet had to replace the springs.

I second Shivan911's comment. I use nothing but mastercraft. I've even deliberately wrecked a pair and they replace them no question asked. my mini bolt cutters are used so badly that the jaws don't even touch anymore. they don't care. swap them out without even signing anything.

as for the xurons sticking. try putting a little bit of 3 in 1 oil on the hinge. I oil my pliers periodically and i'm always amazed at the amount of black stuff that comes out as the oil seeps in. just put a couple drops on them anywhere they hinge and let them sit on a piece of paper towel overnight. come morning you'll have a black ring of almost soot like material that's seeped out. wipe off and repeat the next night. then for the next couple days you'll have oil coming out of the hinge, but you'll have freely moving pliers again.

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I have made springs sort of like a close pin spring shape that workes ok.

attaching the handles to the spring can be a bit tricky.

I know a few people that used pallet straping to rebuild spings on pliers; though the action is never quite the same it seams to work.

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I have the Lowes kobalts with the lifetime guarantee but it has gotten to be such a hassle replacing them that I just ordered the Lindstrom RX flat nose pliers. They have replaceable spring system (replacement springs cost $2.50). The only down side is the pliers themselves are $49.50! Thank you Christmas bonus!

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Thanks for all the responses. I should have made myself a bit clearer, I guess - I'm not looking for new pliers with stronger springs. I used Craftsman pliers for years because I could replace them at any Sears when I blew through the springs in them. I've found the pliers that I like, that give me the leverage that I need, and most importantly minimize hand fatigue and strain. I just need to replace the springs.

Seamus - How do you anchor them to the pliers? Every time I try to slide a new length of spring into the handle, the action of the pliers just pushes it down between the metal handle and the plastic/rubber/what have you until it doesn't actually spring anymore. If I had a welder with fine enough control, I could try tacking the spring to the handle but last time I did that I merely blew right through the spring and burnt the handle.

Brady - The price of a tool doesn't matter to me if it does what I need it to do and I like it - I'm probably sitting on close to $1500 in tools that are one way or another related to chainmail, and at least half of that is pliers. I've looked at the Lindstroms before, the handle design seems great and I like the spring (and more importantly that its easily replaceable) but those jaws look wicked narrow. I like my pliers to have no teeth, flat jaws, and be at least 7/32" wide. For production work or harder/thicker metals, the wider the better.

LH - You've given me an idea I'll have to try - Making one spring the shape of a clothes pin, effectively a long, narrow U shape that goes into BOTH handles. Now let me see if I have an old pair of wiper blades in the garage that can be sacrificed to the cause... Or let's see if the wipers on my car "need" to be replaced yet!

Thanks guys!

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LH - You've given me an idea I'll have to try - Making one spring the shape of a clothes pin, effectively a long, narrow U shape that goes into BOTH handles. Now let me see if I have an old pair of wiper blades in the garage that can be sacrificed to the cause... Or let's see if the wipers on my car "need" to be replaced yet!

Just incase you dont have wiper blades...

By that same idea, couldn't you simply test it with say 18GA square steel wire (or 16GA ground flat on a side) just for a proof of concept for the shape?

The only slight inconvenience that I foresee with this design would be if both sides are attached, it would restrict the opening motion of the pliers to some angle. With a bit of tweaking, that would most likely not be a problem.

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I just bend a piece into a "v" shape and slide one half under the vinyl. If i need more tension I just adjust it a bit. I've not had much problem with it moving around. :)

Seamus - How do you anchor them to the pliers? Every time I try to slide a new length of spring into the handle, the action of the pliers just pushes it down between the metal handle and the plastic/rubber/what have you until it doesn't actually spring anymore. If I had a welder with fine enough control, I could try tacking the spring to the handle but last time I did that I merely blew right through the spring and burnt the handle.

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So I had a thought regarding the attachment of a new spring to the pliers. I would take some 18 guage wire and wrap it around the new spring and wire handle and then twist it together on the inside of the pliers locking the new spring into place. Then cover the wire attachment with electrical tape/plasti dip. Then if you are like me, 5-10 days later when you break the new spring just cut the wire and replace.

I will try it this weekend on some of my beat up pliers and post pics it it works.

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So I had a thought regarding the attachment of a new spring to the pliers. I would take some 18 guage wire and wrap it around the new spring and wire handle and then twist it together on the inside of the pliers locking the new spring into place. Then cover the wire attachment with electrical tape/plasti dip. Then if you are like me, 5-10 days later when you break the new spring just cut the wire and replace.

I will try it this weekend on some of my beat up pliers and post pics it it works.

Do not use electrical tape, at first it is OK, but your body heat and movement on the pliers will re-soften the adhesive on the tape and it will move around on you and you will have the sticky adhesive hands..

I have been want to try the cold shrink tape (self-amalgamating tape) or that foam tape that bicyclists us on their handle bars, after finding a better way of re-attaching new springs on some of my pliers. Although I may give in and buy a set of Parallel Pliers.

Edited by stry

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Well... my green pliers have flat pieces of metal with notches cut into them so they fit together, then the ends just slide into the handles. Seems simple enough to do, and they still open wide.

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