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Old 24th Apr 2024, 2:30 pm   #1
stevehertz
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Default WTD: Valve retaining springs

I'm looking for quantity three valve retaining springs. They're different sizes, one each for ECC83, EZ80 and EL84. See photo. All costs covered, thanks.
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Old 24th Apr 2024, 5:52 pm   #2
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Default Re: WTD: Valve retaining springs

I just went to a model shop and got some 1mm piano wire (£1.30 per metre length) and bent up my own, to match the original ones I still had. Very easy and works just like the originals.
-Jeremy
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Old 16th May 2024, 7:58 pm   #3
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Default Re: WTD: Valve retaining springs

As I got no offers I followed Jeremy's suggestion and made these spring clips out of piano wire. Initially I tried 1mm piano wire but found it very hard to bend and form and generally deal with, such is its strength and springiness. Plus, the original types are 0.8mm so I bought some more piano wire of that thickness and the job was slightly easier. I say slightly because this stuff just doesn't want to be bent!

After straightening the wire (it comes wound in a c8mm loop) which was job in itself, I first formed the 'point' of the clip by bending a length around a screwdriver shaft. After that I initially used a former the same diameter as a valve to obtain the curved part that cradles the top of the valve. This didn't work because the wire simply springs back to a larger radius bend. I found that an old GPO jack plug obtained better results. Difficult to explain but this was also a difficult process due to having to grip the pointed tip of the clip and GPO plug in a vice while performing the bend, the problem being that the vice itself was in the way of the full bend that I wanted. Anyway, with some ingenuity and swearing I was eventually able to form the top cradle. The rest was relatively easy, bending the 'hooks' at the bottom, cutting to length and then a final inwards kink as per the originals. I'll post some photos in due course. TBH, although I managed to make the clips it's not an easy job to perform, but with a bit of ingenuity and very sore thumbs it is possible!
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Old 16th May 2024, 8:27 pm   #4
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Default Re: WTD: Valve retaining springs

Well done!

This wire is also used by dental technicians to fabricate the springy bits of removable braces. A real skill but it comes with practice.
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Old 17th May 2024, 4:10 pm   #5
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Default Re: WTD: Valve retaining springs

Photos of finished valve retaining springs as promised.
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Old 18th May 2024, 9:33 am   #6
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Default Re: WTD: Valve retaining springs

Good job, I have never made these but I can understand how tricky it would be.
John
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Old 18th May 2024, 11:38 am   #7
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Default Re: WTD: Valve retaining springs

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Good job, I have never made these but I can understand how tricky it would be.
John
It's the inherent, strong springiness of the piano wire that makes it difficult. But saying that, it's because of that characteristic that it's the best stuff to use for the job; once formed it won't bend out of shape or release its hold on the valves. But 0.8mm thickness is the way to go if anyone is thinking of making some.
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Old 18th May 2024, 1:01 pm   #8
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Default Re: WTD: Valve retaining springs

Hi Steve - that looks great, well done. It would have been much easier on the fingers with the recommended heat treatment pre and post bending. Here's a link in case others have been inspired by your valiant efforts:-

https://www.freeflight.org/Library/T...atTreating.pdf

Cheers
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Old 18th May 2024, 1:21 pm   #9
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Default Re: WTD: Valve retaining springs

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Hi Steve - that looks great, well done. It would have been much easier on the fingers with the recommended heat treatment pre and post bending. Here's a link in case others have been inspired by your valiant efforts:-

https://www.freeflight.org/Library/T...atTreating.pdf

Cheers
Chris
Ah, now you tell me?! Ok, for next time then
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Old 18th May 2024, 2:18 pm   #10
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Default Re: WTD: Valve retaining springs

Hi Steve - sorry I was a bit late to the party on this one mate. My personal easy option has been to use a short length of the bare copper earth wire from lighting twin and earth cable. OK. it's copper coloured which may offend the purists, but it can easily be tinned with solder to overcome that objection if necessary.

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Old 18th May 2024, 5:19 pm   #11
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Default Re: WTD: Valve retaining springs

It'd have no springiness though.
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Old 18th May 2024, 11:00 pm   #12
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Default Re: WTD: Valve retaining springs

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It'd have no springiness though.
True Graham - but springiness is optional really, its basic function is to stop the valve from falling out, which it does quite satisfactorily. I've seen several examples of the valve securing material being string etc but at least I do have some minimum standards!

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Old 20th May 2024, 7:27 am   #13
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Default Re: WTD: Valve retaining springs

Without the springiness and strength (that copper wire can't provide) I fail to see how it could fulfil the basic function of safely holding the valve in place. I mean, if you don't move the set then the clips are not required at all, but if the set is being (for example) transported, then a good retaining spring is needed.
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Old 20th May 2024, 11:28 am   #14
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Default Re: WTD: Valve retaining springs

Hi Steve - whilst I understand that "springy" clips were introduced for good reasons; multiple valve changes over the lifetime of the equipment for example, in reality the valve is already fairly tightly held by maybe 9 pins being gripped by the valve socket. The actual forces on the fairly light-weight valve involved in its transit are also pretty minuscule. So a rigid metallic retainer made of copper wire is actually way over-spec'd for the job - it ain't gonna come loose under any impact that wouldn't destroy the equipment itself!

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Old 20th May 2024, 5:09 pm   #15
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Default Re: WTD: Valve retaining springs

"So a rigid metallic retainer made of copper wire is actually way over-spec'd for the job - it ain't gonna come loose under any impact that wouldn't destroy the equipment itself!"

Sorry, I fundamentally disagree with that statement. Copper wire is simply not suitable to make a reliable, durable, valve restraining spring from. Quite simply it is 'not the tool for the job'.
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Old 20th May 2024, 5:15 pm   #16
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Default Re: WTD: Valve retaining springs

I think the participants going to have to agree to disagree!

Copper wire is useless for this job as far as I'm concerned.
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Old 20th May 2024, 7:42 pm   #17
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Default Re: WTD: Valve retaining springs

If necessary you could always add a small spring, this was a common method used by various manufacturers.
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Old 20th May 2024, 8:36 pm   #18
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Default Re: WTD: Valve retaining springs

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If necessary you could always add a small spring, this was a common method used by various manufacturers.
John
Hmm, I don't recollect seeing a valve retainer that uses one spring. However there's quite a few different designs of 'spring powered' valve retainers including tubular ones that act as shields as well. However, the type in question ie in this thread, do not use a wound spring. Apart from the shield types just mentioned, other types that use springs normally take the form of a 'cap' of some sort that presses down on the top of the valve, with two wound springs on each side that anchor down to the valve socket.
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Old 21st May 2024, 8:11 am   #19
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Default Re: WTD: Valve retaining springs

You are correct Steve, two springs are used far more commonly than one.
We are in danger of breaking forum rules, any further discussion on this topic should be under a new thread, do you think?
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Old 21st May 2024, 9:04 am   #20
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Default Re: WTD: Valve retaining springs

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You are correct Steve, two springs are used far more commonly than one.
We are in danger of breaking forum rules, any further discussion on this topic should be under a new thread, do you think?
John
Indeed. But basically I'm done now, up to mods.
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