This section is from the book "The Boy Mechanic Vol. 2 1000 Things for Boys to Do", by Popular Mechanics Co.. Also available from Amazon: The Boy Mechanic, Vol2: 1000 Things for Boys to Do.
Procure a nut, having a small thread that will admit the size of the wire to be used in making the spring. Cut a small notch to the depth of the thread where the thread starts, and procure a smooth rod that will pass snugly through the threads of the nut. Shape one end of the rod to fit a carpenter's brace, if there is no drill chuck at hand, and drill a hole in the other end to admit one end of the spring wire.
Ill: The Threads in the Nut Will Guide as Well as Coil the Spring Evenly
Bend the wire at right angles and insert the end in the hole. Place the end of the rod in the nut, which should be gripped in a vise, and turn the rod, at the same time seeing that the wire is guided into the notch cut at the start of the thread. The wire will follow the thread of the nut and make a perfect spring of an even opening throughout its length. Closed or open coils can be made by using a nut having the proper number of threads. - Contributed by A. Spencer, Kinston, N. C.