I need a local - ish (Bristol & area) source of spring steel such as one
might make into car leaf springs. Stones Springs used to be in Midland Road
but no longer, I fear. Anyone got any ideas please?
The spring steel must be of the commercially available variety (old
designation EN45 or EN45a) used for making car leaf springs - we use it for
making combat swords as it has the correct blend of toughness & hardness.
Mild steel cannot be anything but case hardened & will not take the
A good spring steel sword will last for years of re-enactment.
We cannot use old car springs as they are completely unpredictable - one
might last years, another break first time out.
"Andy Dingley" wrote in message
EN45 would be a strange steel for leafsprings. However you'll find it
in RWD van halfshafts (or closer to it) and they don't have the same
problem of pre-existing cracks.
The "microcracking in leafsprings" argument is bollocks. The cracks
might indeed be in there, but they're no worse to deal with than any
other sort of cold shut. The defence against them is in the hands of
rec.knives is a useful resource on this, especially the excellent FAQs
If you're _that_ bothered about fracture in swords, and how they
behave if they do break, doesn't it mean you have to start using the
(probably the rampaging steels for you lot!)
We first purchased EN45 spring steel from Stones Springs in Midland Road,
Bristol in the early 1980's. They made car & commercial suspension springs
on the premises. We have always understood that it was the industry standard
& remains so even though the identification code has changed, probably
We tried re-working car leaf springs & they always broke. Someone in a
university did a cross section sample of new and used steel & found there
was significant growth in crystal size in the re-used sample, so as we don't
want bits of steel whizzing off into the audience, we have never used it
Only a Biker knows why a dog
sticks his head out of a car window.
Bollocks. This Victorian notion of "Fracture mechanism by crystal
growth" was discredited in the 19th century, after studies of railway
axles. Its debunking is the core of C S Smith's well-known book,
"History of Metallography".
Recycled springs are known to have problems with cracking, but it's
not by "crystal growth". It's also possible for smithing (probably
needing a power hammer though) to avoid this during their re-