Build Your Own Spring Winder

Joe Collins

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This is the latest version of the spring winder I designed a couple of years ago. It is being used by several members of this board. I have dimensioned drawings available, and assistance, for those who would like to make one. I also have a video CD available showing the winder in operation.

Note: The hex nuts pictured are actually wing nuts. My CAD program does not have them.

Joe
 

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Jere Mihalov

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Looks interesting, I am thinking of making a spring winder.
I ran across a nice set of plans for a mainspring winder and step by step instructions for making it in a book by John Wilding. It is a construction manual for an "Elegant Scroll Frame Skeleton Clock," but it has a couple chapters on how to make a spring winder and some extra accessories for it, and how to use it properly.

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Here is the clock the book is the focus of...

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RJSoftware

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Hey Joe;

Sent you a pm to ask about how much you would charge to make one and mail it to me.

RJ
 

bangster

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I'm one of those who uses a Joe Collins winder. I bought it from him a couple of years ago, and to my mind it has features that make it superior to a lot of the big-name commercial winders.

They are superbly made; Joe is a meticulous craftsman.

bangster
 

leeinv66

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I'm another fan of Joe’s winder! I had Joe make the metal parts (I didn't have a lathe at the time) and ship them to me, I then constructed the rest my self. I was one of those " I've never had one, never needed one" people. Joe’s winder sure cured me of that!
 

br3jlm

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Fantastic :)

Got to use my new winder the other night.
Wow This is the ticket for me

Thanks Joe!! Very user friendly
 

Bogey

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I bought one of Joe's winders and have used it several times already. I bought an inexpensive winder from Time Savers and it was just OK. After using Joe's, I now have one for sale... guess which one. Joe's winder is GREAT :Party:. It is easy to use and his accompanying DVD explains very clearly how to use it for either loop end or barrel type springs.

If you're looking to invest in a spring winder, this is a definite good choice.

Great work Joe.
 

bangster

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How does Joe's spring winder compare to the Ollie Baker style?
Far superior, IMHO. Joe's is easier to work with and (I believe) safer (less likely for Sudden Attack by the Spring Monster).

AND, way less expensive.

bangster
 

bangster

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Joe's latest design appears to have a wingnut-operated brake for the crank. On my older model, I drilled a 1/4" hole a couple of inches below the crank, and stuck a 6" piece of rod thru it. When I want to brake the crank, I slide the rod out and let the crank rest against it.

bangster
 

bkerr

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I really like the idea of the all aluminum design. I have a mill and lathe and would like to purchase the bill of material and plans. Look like a great design.

How well does it work with kitchen clock springs?
 

harold bain

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Kitchen clock springs (loop end) should be the easiest to work on. Although I haven't used Joe's winder, I think we would have had a lot of people complaining if it couldn't do a good job on these.
 

Kevin W.

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I have one and it works well for the loop end springs.:)
 

Joe Collins

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I really like the idea of the all aluminum design. I have a mill and lathe and would like to purchase the bill of material and plans. Look like a great design.

How well does it work with kitchen clock springs?
The plans are Not for sale but can be had by sending me an email requesting them. Check my profile for my email address.

Kitchen clock springs are a piece of cake.

Joe
 

br3jlm

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Had Joes winder not been avialable to me, I dont know if I be able to service my clocks

The others are just so expensive

I love mine!!!!

As a novice, I highly recommend it:)
 

jjmove

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Has anyone ever used a Keystone mainspring winder? I used one in a Field Suitcase Workshop class, and it was excellent. Much better than my Ollie Baker "style" winder. Only problem is Keystone products tend to be a bit pricey. I own the Keystone depthing tool, which is excellent, but pricey.

JJ
 

rpm7653@aol.com

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Jan 31, 2009
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Hi Joe,

I am new to the the clock collecting world and very interested in obtaining the tools to work on my clock collection. I want to learn how to build a Spring winder tool. How do I go about getting the information to build one. I have seen many positive comments regarding your winder and I have view one of your videos. Please let me know how to proceed. I am also interested in any other tools which you have made.

Thank you,

Ron Maricich
 

Tinkerer Too

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Joe
Will you email me information on how to acquire/build one of your winders?

Thanks

Bill Bishop
 

Superpot

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Jul 6, 2009
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Hi Joe, just wanted to say a great big THANK YOU for your rapid and very kind responses to my emails.
I attach a photo of the spring winder I made last week.Can't wait to give it a try on my grasshopper skeleton clock spring.
I'll keep you updated to the progress.
Looking forward to your movie,
kindest regards,
Jeff
 

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harold bain

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Hi, Jeff, welcome to the message board. Looks like a well made winder. Good job:thumb::thumb:
 

Superpot

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Jul 6, 2009
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Many thanks Harold.
I hope to put a few photos on the message board now I know how to use it! lol lol

I have recently made some brass bobs in my opinion far better than the spinning method as "advised"
Lets see the response from other members, it should be interesting.
Jeff
 

eteo66

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Mar 31, 2008
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Hi Joe,

Can your winder be modified to work on watch mainsprings?

Thanks

eteo
 

Joe Collins

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Hi Joe,

Can your winder be modified to work on watch mainsprings?

Thanks

eteo
I have never tried it but doubt it could be. I don't work on watches and am not familiar with how their mainsprings are handled.

Joe
 

depatty

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Joe,
Wanted to say THANKS for sending me the plans for your spring winder! Had hoped to get it done sooner but life kept getting in the way. Finally got it done enough today to use it with a loop end spring and it works great! Modified the design a bit to work with what I had on hand. Gonna try to post a couple of pictures if I can figure out how that bit works on here.

Thanks again!
Dave
 

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Joe Collins

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Looks good Dave. The way you made the chuck assembly gives me an idea. I have just about used up the material I have been using for the extension ever since I started making the winder so must adapt something else.

BTW: You do know that the small arbors should be gripped by the jaws that are deeper in the Hanson/Irwin tap wrench? I have been informed of a problem in handling small arbors twice in the last 3 months due to this not being known. I have revised my info packet to cover this.
 

Tinker Dwight

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Oct 11, 2010
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Hi
This is a timely post for me. I'd just bought a
bunch of stuff at the hardware store to make
a winder for my anniversary clock.
I'll post it when done. It won't be shiny
metal, just wood and a bunch of fittings.
Now, I just need to find the time.
Tinker dwight
 

AJSBSA

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I have made my own spring winder it is an English pattern winder from a design by John Wilding modified so that I can use European style cylinder spring retainers, the best of both I think.

Here you can see it in use, I must have done a few hundred springs with it now and I am very pleased with it

http://www.ajsbsa.co.uk/SpringPage01.html
 

Joe Collins

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My first consideration when designing my winder was to eliminate the need for the heavy glove and firm grip required with most winders. The second was to design a winder that could be made by many of our members and third was to keep the cost down to a reasonable level. I believe I have met this criteria.

Here is a short video clip showing the removal of a barreled spring. While the clip does not show it the insertion is just as easy.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/clk_101/3134426494/
 

Curtis Jackson

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My first consideration when designing my winder was to eliminate the need for the heavy glove and firm grip required with most winders. The second was to design a winder that could be made by many of our members and third was to keep the cost down to a reasonable level. I believe I have met this criteria.
You have succeeded beyond any doubt and I am extremely grateful for your work. Those three points are what makes your winder the only recommendation that I will make to anyone else.

When I mention it to my elders their first reaction is "Really? It's made out of wood?" :D
 

depatty

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Looks good Dave. The way you made the chuck assembly gives me an idea. I have just about used up the material I have been using for the extension ever since I started making the winder so must adapt something else.
Thanks. The aluminum piece I used started life as a leg from a piece of restaurant kitchen equipment. The threaded bolt end is what I attached the handle to. Cut the diameter down and trimmed the length a bit. The piece that was trimmed off ended up as spacers on the carriage bolts.
I think I ended up spending less than $2 for the whole thing and that was for the carriage bolts and wing nuts. Turned the handle and extension out of a scrap piece of 1 1/4 inch lucite rod. Got the wood from an old pallet, and had everything else (including an extra tap wrench) in the junk box.

BTW: You do know that the small arbors should be gripped by the jaws that are deeper in the Hanson/Irwin tap wrench? I have been informed of a problem in handling small arbors twice in the last 3 months due to this not being known. I have revised my info packet to cover this.
Wasn't aware of that. Thanks for the additional info! I had noticed it would only close down so far but had just planned on using some brass stock to make 2, 3, or 4 sided square collars to take up to slack. But that would end up with more stuff to lose so the info on the jaws is great!

Thanks again for providing these plans!
Dave
 

Tinker Dwight

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Oct 11, 2010
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Hi
You really don't need plans. You might look at:
https://mb.nawcc.org/showthread.php?t=7627
for a couple of variations on a theme.
A list of things to think of:

1. crank to turn that can be locked so it doesn't turn
or possibly has a ratchet( must work both directions ).
2. Way to slide the spring and winder shaft in and out.
3. Way to hold barrels of different sizes.
4. Way to support the arbor of a spring's other side.
5. Room to get a c clamp or sleeve on or off the spring.
6. Way to hold the ends of a spring, pin or post

Tinker Dwight
 

Joe Collins

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Hi
You really don't need plans. You might look at:
https://mb.nawcc.org/showthread.php?t=7627
for a couple of variations on a theme.
A list of things to think of:

1. crank to turn that can be locked so it doesn't turn
or possibly has a ratchet( must work both directions ).
2. Way to slide the spring and winder shaft in and out.
3. Way to hold barrels of different sizes.
4. Way to support the arbor of a spring's other side.
5. Room to get a c clamp or sleeve on or off the spring.
6. Way to hold the ends of a spring, pin or post

Tinker Dwight
TD I believe the request was addressed to me and I provided the information via email. I have been providing plans, free of charge, for several years now and really do not need any help!

BTW. Your link is about a book on watchmaking.

Joe
 
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aka

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Jul 3, 2007
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I've been using Joe Collins mainspring winder for quite some time, and been extremely satisfied with the quality and design, in fact I ended up having two of them.
There is nothing special that I built, but as a hobbyist, I want to share my experience with all of you. For the past year or so I've been wanting to build an Aluminum loop end main spring winder, primarily for my own satisfaction.

In the absence of a lathe or other metal cutting tools, it was a hard thing to do. Finally I bought some aluminum pieces from Ebay, a tap & tap handle, and with my cordless drill machine I was able to make one. I could not make the winding crank so I used from one of my Joe Collins winders.

As I mostly work on loop end mainsprings, and rarely on barrels, so I'll be using this one for loop ends, and the original winder for hole end springs.

It wasn't very expensive to build from Aluminum, I paid $18 for the aluminum bars & cut to size, bought the tap and drill from Home Depot, and rest is all effort in marking, drilling, and tapping the holes. I have attached some pictures, please excuse my messy workbench.

I had issues many time times, not properly tightening the chuck jaws, and ended up having slippages on the winding arbor while winding, so I decided to cut a portion of a #6 winding key, filing to a square end, and sticking it into the jaws. Now I dont have to tighten the jaws every time, as long as the width of winding arbor is same. I have a #5, #6, and #7 keys cut for usage, and this variety is good enough for loop end mainsprings. However, the picture does'nt show that part.

Thank you Joe, for making your winder available , and being so helpful to all of us.
 

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Joe Collins

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Nice job AKA.

Note: AKA and others using my winder, please note that there are two sets of jaws in the tap wrench I use. The smaller jaws are deeper in the chuck. Many, if not most, loop end spring arbors are of the small variety and need to be clamped in them. I apologize for not making this clear early on.


Joe
 

cazboy

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TD I believe the request was addressed to me and I provided the information via email. I have been providing plans, free of charge, for several years now and really do not need any help!

BTW. Your link is about a book on watchmaking.

Joe
Hi Joe,
Besides being an innovator, you're also a gentleman!

My question: what tooling is required to build your spring winder?
 

Joe Collins

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Hi Doug,

The crank and chuck require the use of a metal lathe, the anchor can be made with hand tools, i.e. drill and hacksaw. The wood parts require some kind of saw. I use a table saw, band saw and miter saw as well as a router but a table saw or a radial arm saw could do most of the work.

This site has a thread showing some of the construction steps.

http://madmodder.net/index.php?topic=2289.0

Have you looked at the plans? If not I will send you a copy.

Joe
-> posts merged by system <-
Here is my "hand-made":)
Nice job Artin,

Sturdy and well made. I am sure you get a lot of satisfaction when using it.

Joe
 

itspcb

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Joe
Would you be good enough to send me a copy of your plans please?
Many thanks,

Peter
 

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