Trouble with a spring

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Forum topic by jcn posted 07-07-2010 06:42 PM 1254 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View jcn's profile


37 posts in 2964 days

07-07-2010 06:42 PM

I have a hole about 11/32” in diameter, 3.5 inches in depth. I need to put a compression spring in the bottom of it, so that a dowel inserted into the hole will be pushed out when the top of the hole is uncovered.

The tolerances are pretty tight. The spring is 1” in free length, and 0.25” in compressed length.

The problem I have run in to is that I have been using CA glue to glue the spring in there. But the CA glue gets on the side wall of the hole, and the spring winds up glued to the side, so the spring doesn’t compress fluidly. It feels like it’s catching, and doesn’t compress as far as it should.

I don’t think CA glue is the right answer, I don’t know a way to get it all the way down there cleanly. I guess if I had a long tube or something that might do it, but I still fear the glue will get on the spring.

So, let me just back up and throw away my notions about the right way to do this and just ask y’all. How would you put a spring down in this hole in a way that it will retain it’s full springiness, but not fall out if turned upside down?

12 replies so far

View Michael Murphy's profile

Michael Murphy

453 posts in 3033 days

#1 posted 07-07-2010 06:55 PM

How about a soda straw or milkshake straw from Micky D’s? Cut a length a little longer than the hole is deep, apply the glue to the bottom of the hole by dropping it down the straw, pull out the straw, drop in the spring.

-- Michael Murphy, Woodland, CA.

View swirt's profile


2786 posts in 2999 days

#2 posted 07-07-2010 07:34 PM

A dab of epoxy injected into the bottom with a syringe and then put the spring in.

scratch that …sorry just saw the 3.5” depth so probably a syringe would not work. Go with a straw. Put a plug of gum in the bottom of the straw to create little well for some epoxy, then ihold the wood piece, hole side down and slide the straw up into it. Then invert the entire piece and the straw. the epoxy would run out intot he ottom of the hole, then withdraw teh straw and poke the spring into place.

-- Galootish log blog,

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18291 posts in 3703 days

#3 posted 07-07-2010 09:10 PM

Use a q-tip to wax the sides with Johnson’s paste wax, then put a bit of epoxy on the spring and set it in.

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View lilredweldingrod's profile


2496 posts in 3134 days

#4 posted 07-07-2010 09:19 PM

Can you Drill in from the bottom, glue a spring to another dowel or plug and glue that in? A picture of your job would be very helpful. Rand

View jcn's profile


37 posts in 2964 days

#5 posted 07-07-2010 09:28 PM

Yeah, sorry I don’t have any pictures. Though, really if I did have a picture it would just be a picture of a piece of wood with a hole in it. :)

I drew a diagram though.


I’m getting a lot of really good ideas from this thread already though. So far I like the straw idea the most because I have some Wendy’s straws in the floorboard of my car, and I wouldn’t have to go get anything new. The CA glue does a good job of holding the spring, I just gotta keep it off the sides of the hole.

View swirt's profile


2786 posts in 2999 days

#6 posted 07-07-2010 09:46 PM

My fear would be that the CA would eventually fail to hold the spring as it bends a little each time. I envision the epoxy doing a better job .. but that might be out of ignorance of me not using CA enough for metal to wood bonds.

-- Galootish log blog,

View jcn's profile


37 posts in 2964 days

#7 posted 07-07-2010 09:48 PM

I personally love epoxy. The only reason I didn’t use it from the beginning was I couldn’t think of a way to get it down there cleanly. An epoxy syringe with a straw might be the right way. Or maybe I can find a straw sized such that the spring will slide down the middle, which would let me put epoxy on the spring, then drop it down into the hole without rubbing any epoxy on the sides.

View lew's profile


12102 posts in 3783 days

#8 posted 07-07-2010 10:15 PM

I would add, that a slight counter bore into the end of the dowel- the diameter of the spring- would help hold the spring in place during assembly.

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View woodprof's profile


44 posts in 3218 days

#9 posted 07-07-2010 11:23 PM

If a straw doesn’t have the right diameter, how about making a cylinder of wax paper the size of the hole? Same idea as the straw, but easy to customize the size.

View Kent Shepherd's profile

Kent Shepherd

2718 posts in 3314 days

#10 posted 07-08-2010 03:52 PM

Can you glue epoxy the spring to the end of the dowel first, let it dry then insert in the hole? If I’m following , maybe it doesn’t matter where the spring is connected.


View sh2005's profile


97 posts in 3264 days

#11 posted 07-09-2010 04:05 PM

What if you mount the spring on a piece of small stock first…. it can be roughly the size of the diameter of the hole, say 10/32” dowel or so. It doesn’t even have to be round, a square with its corners rounded off with a file. The idea is that it fits inside the hole without much slop. You can decide on how thick you want it to be. Mount the spring on it with glue or using some sort of fastening. Once the spring is mounted (if using glue, let it dry first), put some glue underneath the small piece of wood and lower the assembly in the hole. Put the dowel through spring and put some downward pressure on the stock while the glue dries.

It’s a little elaborate and it raises the position of where the spring sits inside the hole (and possibly the position of the dowel depending on how it is connected to the spring) so it may not work for your design. A fix for it maybe is to drill a hole in the center of the small piece so the dowel can pass through it.

View lilredweldingrod's profile


2496 posts in 3134 days

#12 posted 07-11-2010 04:32 AM

I’m interested in your solution because i have been thinking of this to raise the tray in a box I am building. Rand

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