Large Diameter Wood Taps & Dies - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 42 Old 04-30-2012, 05:02 PM Thread Starter
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Large Diameter Wood Taps & Dies

Anyone have any suggestions for 2-3" wood taps and dies? I keep turning up duds. I'm trying to copy something built 200 yrs ago and I have no idea how to go about making wood screws so large...

If they could do it back then surely it can be done now, right? I've come across how to make dies in any size but they all require starting with the appropriate tap first...

I'm guessing it could be done on a lathe but I don't have a clue how.

Id preffer to find at least an appropriate tap. Any help would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!!!

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post #2 of 42 Old 04-30-2012, 05:32 PM
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I didn't find and taps and dies, but this looked intresting, cutting threads on a lathe http://www.opcaaw.com/InfoPages/Thre...%20Handout.pdf
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post #3 of 42 Old 04-30-2012, 06:25 PM Thread Starter
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That's interesting, dat. Thanks. I really hope to find a tap and maybe even a die too but I may have to go the lathe route :(

Anyone done this on the lathe?
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post #4 of 42 Old 04-30-2012, 06:49 PM
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I've got an ancient pair of the lathe threading tools shown on that link, but I never had the hand-eye coordination to get it to work, even at slow speed.
Beall makes a nifty but expensive thread cutter, I don't remember what sizes are available though.
Somewhere out there on the internet are plans for making your own from a chunk of wood and a piece of metal.

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post #5 of 42 Old 04-30-2012, 07:23 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joesbucketorust
I've got an ancient pair of the lathe threading tools shown on that link, but I never had the hand-eye coordination to get it to work, even at slow speed.
Beall makes a nifty but expensive thread cutter, I don't remember what sizes are available though.
Somewhere out there on the internet are plans for making your own from a chunk of wood and a piece of metal.
Joe, I've found plenty of references / plans for making the die but none for making the tap. I think I could manage if I started with a section of threaded stock but finding that or getting there is the problem.
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post #6 of 42 Old 04-30-2012, 07:47 PM
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Tom, Here's a link for a German company making just what you need with a tap and die set sized up to 2.5".
http://www.fine-tools.com/gewind.htm#zield12

Of course, at the price of 1126 Euro it will probably cost you 6 months worth of overtime

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post #7 of 42 Old 04-30-2012, 09:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by firemedic View Post
Joe, I've found plenty of references / plans for making the die but none for making the tap. I think I could manage if I started with a section of threaded stock but finding that or getting there is the problem.
Ever seen a spiraling cutter? Sorby has a large and a small one, I've got a small one. Set the right angle with the right cutter wheel and it might do it.
Look for the spiraling tool on the list of videos here if you want to see it. http://www.robert-sorby.co.uk/
My experience is you need a close grain wood, fairly hard, to hold the detail. I find poplar and pine to chip out pretty bad when spiraling.
They also have thread cutting tools, that's on the video list too, I've just never seen or used anything like that.
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post #8 of 42 Old 04-30-2012, 09:35 PM
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What secret project needs 2-3" threaded parts?

Woodcraft has a tap and die set up to 1-1/2"
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post #9 of 42 Old 04-30-2012, 10:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brink
What secret project needs 2-3" threaded parts?

Woodcraft has a tap and die set up to 1-1/2"
I think they are out of stock until mid June.
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post #10 of 42 Old 04-30-2012, 10:44 PM
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Tom,

Roy Underhill did a show a few years ago on building "thread boxes". That looked intreguing to me.
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post #11 of 42 Old 04-30-2012, 11:25 PM
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Have you tried doing a search in google-BOOKS (not google)?

Not sure if this is what you want, but there's a ton of hits on "wood tap"

If it jams, force it. If it breaks, it needed replacing anyway!
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post #12 of 42 Old 05-01-2012, 12:14 AM
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In metal, all it takes is a lathe with a lead screw to drive the tool holder along the bed. Pardon me on the terminology, It's been over 35 years since I touched a metal lathe and turned a thread.

On a wood lathe (I've never used one.) I think that if the tool rest is at an angle to the lathe bed, and the cutting tool has multiple teeth like a comb it might be easier than you think. Make the leading teeth shorter than the following teeth and the tool should guide itself into the stock.

If I remember correctly, the points of the cutter should be 60°, the distance between the points should be 1/TPI or threads per inch and the depth of the full cutter is half 1/TPI times square root of three. (TPI is threads per inch)

Anyway it would take multiple passes to get the threads that you want. I think that to cut the inside threads you would need a symmetrical cutter.

I'm sitting here after a couple of hours at the machine, two drinks and net gain/loss was zero. So take the above with a bit of vodka and a twist of lemon.

Use the right tool for the job.

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post #13 of 42 Old 05-01-2012, 08:44 AM
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I have a big metal lathe to cut threads, and mill to cut the slots - but looking at my plow planes I see they are all slightly different - different TPI and different shape. The troublesome part is the shape of the threads - it is not the american standard 60 degree you see on metal, and yet it's not an acme thread either - it would take some playing with to figure out how to grind the bit. Then of course there is the trouble of finding a piece of metal round stock 3" thick to work with. But I'm sure if you've got a decent machinist near you it could be done cheaply if you show him a 3/4" version and ask him to go big.
I'm sure with a sharp enough cutter one could just mount a piece of wood in the metal lathe and cut metal-like threads, but the sharp edges would be very brittle and be prone to breaking.

Another tool out there attaches to the lathe - I think I saw it mentioned in a thread here a while back in the woodturning section. It too is not cheap, but it's only half a leg instead of an arm and leg. It's a Baxter threadmaster.
http://bestwoodtools.stores.yahoo.net/bathma.html

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post #14 of 42 Old 05-01-2012, 09:34 PM Thread Starter
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You've all given me some good insight on the topic and for that I say thank you very much!

Yesterday on shift was crazy and today in the shop was hectic too. But I will go back and weigh each suggestion and reply to each of you. By hook or by crook I will be producing 3" wooden screws before long.

For those questioning why I want/need them... I'm working on recreating a 175-200 yr old bench I had the pleasure of viewing. I hope to get a private viewing from the owner once it's no longer on exhibit to study it further. When I do I will certainly share some pictures.

It's truly remarkable.

Thanks! ~tom
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post #15 of 42 Old 06-18-2012, 09:51 PM Thread Starter
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solution

As an update I ended up buying a 1-1/2" tap and die set as well as a nice stick of 7/4" persimmon from Mike on wood barter to make my screws and nuts for some traditional bench vises. I really wanted larger screws but I couldn't wait any longer to get the ball rolling. I'm going nuts right now because the tap & die came in over a week ago and the persimmon has been in for about 5 days but I haven't managed to get to the shop with me being in MS for class.

HOPEFULLY, I'll get started with a few tests tomorrow with poplar to see how the tap and die perform. I'll let ya'll know how it goes and get some pictures up.

ps. I knew I had seen the solution to what I wanted to do before and had come up with a few reasonable ideas but it wasn't until the other day while re-reading one of Underhill's books that I came across his how-to on building screws as large as 16" in diameter for agricultural use presses!! and it jogged my memory. So I intend to still go bigger with some future vises but I'm going to give the 1-1/2" screws a shot first.
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post #16 of 42 Old 06-19-2012, 01:40 PM Thread Starter
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mahogany screw and nut!

That was a test run... Persimmon to come soon.
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post #17 of 42 Old 06-20-2012, 01:54 AM
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That's sweet I can't wait to see the one you make from persimmon and the vise/bench that go with it.

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post #18 of 42 Old 06-20-2012, 03:28 AM
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Man that looks good Tom!
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post #19 of 42 Old 06-21-2012, 01:33 AM
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That is just cool!

I recall looking at, and for, threading devices (rather heavily, too) a year or so ago when I was preparing to make my moxon vise. I wanted to go all out with threaded maple screws or something madhat like that. I got a little disheartened at the time due to cashflow and ended up slapping it (the moxon) together with 5/8" all-thread and nuts (worked great!).

I keep threatening to make another moxon-/-bench-on-a-bench soon so thanks for rekindling the wood screw idea. Just may go that route.

p.s. Glad you updated. Thanks

Last edited by autre; 06-21-2012 at 01:35 AM. Reason: thanked Tom
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post #20 of 42 Old 06-21-2012, 07:02 AM
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the finished piece is way kool

Do you have any step by step photos? Also a shot of the tools themselves would be great! Thanks, bill

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specfic. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo
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