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Threading wooden dowels Options
mikeb
Posted: Wednesday, March 12, 2008 7:28:39 PM
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Joined: 3/7/2008
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Location: North Kingstown/RI
Hi fellow woodwroking educators,
I want to get your feedback on if you think that it is possible to thread woodent dowels with metalworking die's. I am investing this as I post and will let you know how I make out!!!!

Ryan Fall
Posted: Wednesday, March 12, 2008 10:17:46 PM
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Joined: 10/9/2007
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Location: OR
I have done the reverse in the past, tapping a wooden gearshift knob for a student that they made in my shop. It worked great with a low TPI tap of about 3/8 inch diameter. I would suspect that as long as you are doing larger hardwood small grain dowels and low TPI sizes that it should work fine.
I lucked out when I inherited my class that the previous teacher left behind a nice complement of threaders and a stanley dowel maker with lots of different size cutter heads. I have only had a few excuses to use them, but they are fun and the kids love it when they come out. Suddenly everyone wants to try it and they all need custom dowels for their projects!
mikeb
Posted: Wednesday, March 12, 2008 11:47:53 PM
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Location: North Kingstown/RI
I am looking to thread 1/4" dowel stock to 1/4" 20 or Fine threads for minor holding purposes.

Thanks
Mikeb
Mike Walsh
Posted: Thursday, March 13, 2008 9:54:34 AM
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Joined: 9/13/2006
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Location: Allegan MI
You can sometimes use metalworking dies - but I will bet you will have trouble with something that small. Some woods will hold a thread that is "rolled" onto the dowel. You are not cutting a thread but pressing it in. You will have as much - or better luck just using a "nut". If you succeed you can dip the threaded rod into Watco or other penetrating oil to "harden" the treads and keep them from splintering.

We used to buy old Pipe Taps and Dies sets in the 3/4, 1", 1 1/4" sizes. In the early 1900's they made them with extra coarse threads to cut cast pipe. They worked well- especially if sharpened with a file. They are hard to find now - but look in flea markets.

Of course, the wood supply houses carry modern taps and dies - but always buy a set at the same time. The die is made from the tap - so different brands, or batches may not "mate" perfectly.

Fine Woodworking had a series of articles in the very first issues about cutting threads. It is on their CD of old articles. That is very informative.
Jeffseiver
Posted: Friday, March 14, 2008 1:07:19 AM
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Joined: 11/22/2007
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Location: Mission Viejo/Calif.
Hey, You need a widjit tool to to that.
mikeb
Posted: Friday, March 14, 2008 7:49:28 PM
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Joined: 3/7/2008
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Location: North Kingstown/RI
Jeff,
Your right!!! I tried the regular metal dies with no luck!! I will have to invest in that tool!!!
Joe Barry
Posted: Saturday, March 15, 2008 9:23:58 AM
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Joined: 6/1/2006
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Location: Randolph,Vermont
I've had good luck with metal dies in the coase threads like 1/4-20. Dip the wood in mineral oil and use dense woods like maple and cherry
BRYAN CONKLIN
Posted: Tuesday, March 25, 2008 10:21:43 AM
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Joined: 11/6/2007
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Location: BOSTON, MA
If you want to thread dowels and make wooden nuts and bolts, etc. Check JR Bealle's website. He has a complete threading system that just needs a trim router and about 5min to set it up.
We use it here and the kids love working with it. It take a few to get the hang of it, but once you do, you can make some pretty sweet projects.
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