As for springs...it's so complicated! I know I need compression springs, and stainless steel would be best I assume. I see springs are measured in several ways, inside diameter, outside diameter, wire size, and of course length. As I understand it, the length is decided by me when I cut the spring, so I am most concerned with diameters. What size springs do you use for different sizes of dolls? Some of the other tutorial pages I found say you just have to buy a zillion springs and see what works, or even order custom ones. I'd like to try and narrow down the options a little bit! Especially since I'm only stringing one doll!
And hooks, what gauge/hardness/type of wire do you use to make your hooks?
I'll let you all know what I discover on my journey too...
You need TENSION springs . And you're right finding the right hook is the trickiest part when assembling a doll. I'm afraid there's no set rule to find the right springs; you'll have to try and test a lot before finding the correct size of spring, the correct wire width - tension will be much stronger if the wire is large, etc. You can also cut your springs if they have the right tension but they're too long. You also have to take the length of the hooks into consideration - one or two millimeters can make can make a huge difference. Adding swivels is another factor of course.
Hi, I'm only on my first doll so I'm experimenting myself at this stage but I'll share what I know. The springs you need are extension springs not compression springs, which means they stretch rather than compress. The fishing swivels come in a series of standard sizes. I find the size 10 suits me for most of the joints but any size between 8 and 12 would do. The larger the number the smaller the swivel, eg size 12 is smaller than size 8. I am trialling using jewellery memory wire for making the tiny s hooks,which is very hard and strong but fine. It is easily bent to shape using fine round jewellery pliers. I used sewing needles to make the steel bars, the same method Marina B uses. I bought a box of assorted springs off Ebay for about $12 to try and they have been fine for this first doll.
I really wish there was somewhere to buy the little s hooks though as it is quite time consuming to make them for each doll.
I keep thinking of things to add..!! I think the wire gauge I'm using is 22 or 20. It is silver plated steel so very strong. You will need heavier duty wire cutters to cut it. Also the swivels I mentioned are called barrel swivels and the extra bit that's attached to them will need to be cut off. Let me know if you have any other questions for now..
Thank you everyone for the help! I did know I needed extension springs actually, but I wrote the wrong word!
Fawkes, I will remember to make all the hooks first, that should help. My FH doll is only missing one hook (I lost it when her knee broke), so that shouldn't be too hard.
Jealoushe thank you for the tip about swivel sizes! The ones on eBay I saw didn't have good measurements, very frustrating. I think I will need the small ones because some of the openings in the arms and legs are very small (~.5cm). And wow, memory wire! That stuff is hard as hell to bend! I have some ring size memory wire for doll bracelets and bending the ends over is a nightmare. But I'll try it... And thank you for saying the wire gauge and type! That is very helpful. Sewing needles is a great idea for the pins. I don't need to do that for this doll but it's good info for people making whole dolls. Which might be me someday!