Holding drill rod for threading operation with die

Discussion in 'Clock Repair' started by bytes2doc, Oct 6, 2018.

  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  1. bytes2doc

    bytes2doc Registered User
    NAWCC Member Sponsor

    Aug 31, 2009
    160
    3
    18
    Physician
    Tennessee
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    I have a 5/32 W1 drill rod that I'm trying to thread with a 8-32 die. I've tried a vice, I've tried chucking it up in a lathe, but the rod always turns once the cutting thread of the die catches.

    What's the trick in doing this?
     
  2. R. Croswell

    R. Croswell Registered User

    Apr 4, 2006
    10,492
    912
    113
    Male
    Trappe, Md.
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    Is the 5/32 rod in an annealed state? You won't have much luck if it isn't.
    Thread cutting oil (not lubrication oil) may help.

    RC
     
  3. bruce linde

    bruce linde Technical Admin
    NAWCC Member

    Nov 13, 2011
    7,125
    906
    113
    oakland, ca.
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    If it’s longer than you need, maybe you can square up two sides so that a vice would hold it?
     
  4. bytes2doc

    bytes2doc Registered User
    NAWCC Member Sponsor

    Aug 31, 2009
    160
    3
    18
    Physician
    Tennessee
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    I assumed it was annealed as I thought that is the way the stock is sold. I just ran a file across it and it cuts right in. I have been using light matching oil. What would be a good cutting fluid, kerosene?

    I need threads on both ends, so I suppose I could file flats in the middle.

    The rod will be used to hold the two endcaps on a brass tube weight.
     
  5. Jerry Kieffer

    Jerry Kieffer Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    May 31, 2005
    2,721
    388
    83
    Male
    wisconsin
    Country Flag:
    Barry
    Drill rod is difficult to thread especially the inexpensive rod. Where was your die manufactured/brand and what condition is it ?

    Jerry Kieffer
     
  6. bytes2doc

    bytes2doc Registered User
    NAWCC Member Sponsor

    Aug 31, 2009
    160
    3
    18
    Physician
    Tennessee
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    I'm using sharpening oil, not light machine oil.

    I picked up the rod from Granger, not sure of place of manufacturer.

    The dies I tried using are Irwin. I also tried a Harbor Freight brand.
     
  7. Jerry Kieffer

    Jerry Kieffer Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    May 31, 2005
    2,721
    388
    83
    Male
    wisconsin
    Country Flag:
    #7 Jerry Kieffer, Oct 6, 2018
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2018
    Barry
    Suppliers of drill rod generally sell various grades of drill rod. If Granger only sold one grade, it is likely to be of better quality and thread-able.

    Harbor freight Taps and dies are made in China or India and are really not practical to thread much of anything.

    Older Irwin Taps and dies are generally USA made, but of carbon steel. While it is possible to thread drill rod with them, it will be a difficult process if a quality thread is desired.

    For threading Drill rod, I would suggest either USA or European manufactured adjustable HSS Dies for best results. In the case of Adjustable Dies, you can adjust for a shallow thread on the first pass and the final fit on the next pass when threading difficult material. This will produce a much higher quality thread. The following link explains the application of Dies and Die construction.

    Industrial Supply Equipment from MSC Industrial Supply

    Jerry Kieffer
     
  8. bangster

    bangster Moderator
    NAWCC Member

    Jan 1, 2005
    19,797
    429
    83
    utah
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    #8 bangster, Oct 6, 2018
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2018
    Thread Cutting Oil like this is what you want. So dark it's almost black. It can make a real difference.
     
    bytes2doc likes this.
  9. Jim DuBois

    Jim DuBois Registered User
    Gibbs Literary Award NAWCC Member Sponsor

    Jun 14, 2008
    2,951
    650
    113
    Male
    Magnolia, TX
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    I would recommend using mild steel in lieu of drill rod. As suggesed above drill rod is substantially harder to machine than is mild steel. I can think of no practical reason to use drill rod for suspending a weight inside a shell. And as Jerry points out most of the off shore made taps and dies are not really going to do the job. Dull or poorly made taps and dies are a bit akin to playing with snakes, you may have an unpleasant outcome....
     
  10. bytes2doc

    bytes2doc Registered User
    NAWCC Member Sponsor

    Aug 31, 2009
    160
    3
    18
    Physician
    Tennessee
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    I thought the same thing.

    I'm building Bill Smith's Skeleton Wall Clock, my first build. Been at it for years now, plugging away when I can. The man says use drill rod. Who am I, a lowly novice clockmaker to question a master clockmaker. I do wish I bought the mild steel.
     
  11. bytes2doc

    bytes2doc Registered User
    NAWCC Member Sponsor

    Aug 31, 2009
    160
    3
    18
    Physician
    Tennessee
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    Thanks Jerry, looks like I'm off buying more tools. Can I get away with least expensive HSS split die they have listed, the one under the column Made in USA, or is it better to go with OSG?

    They're not giving giving this stuff away.
     
  12. kinsler33

    kinsler33 Registered User

    Aug 17, 2014
    3,370
    400
    83
    Male
    Science teacher, writer
    Lancaster, Ohio, USA
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    Edit: you should be able to find appropriate rods and hooks and end nuts at timesavers.com, whom you should know if you're working on clocks.

    I've had good luck with both Harbor Freight and Irwin dies on mild steel. Drill rod, which is tool steel that's been ground for accuracy, is gonna be miserable to thread. Since the diameter of the rod isn't critical you should be able to find mild steel rod in a smallish diameter at your local home-improvement store. Then you can choose an appropriate thread size, thread the stuff, and buy nuts that'll fit. Or you can buy pre-threaded rod from the same rack and be done with it: unless an agent from the Royal Swiss Horological Inspection Brigade unscrews your weights, nobody will care.

    I have no idea why someone would have specified drill rod for this unless they thought all steel rod was drill rod. I've never found a use for the stuff.

    Mark Kinsler
     
  13. Jerry Kieffer

    Jerry Kieffer Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    May 31, 2005
    2,721
    388
    83
    Male
    wisconsin
    Country Flag:
    The MSC site was posted mainly for the information on Dies. MSC usually provides great quality, superb service and next day delivery, but are a little expensive.
    I can not tell you why Bill Smith would have specified drill rod, but usually had a reason for suggestions. However, even if you attempt to thread inexpensive mild steel rod from the local Hardware store or Home Depot, the result may very likely be the same as this is not considered free machining by any means. It has slag and everything else in it.

    A quality Die will be a good investment if for no other reason than to experience the value of quality.

    For quality, I would suggest that the minimum be at least USA made. You can google for bargains such as the following link where Die price and Shipping are less expensive than some.

    8-32 1Od HSS Adjustable Round Split Die

    Jerry Kieffer
     
    bytes2doc likes this.
  14. Willie X

    Willie X Registered User

    Feb 9, 2008
    12,774
    985
    113
    Buy some 3/32" mild steel welding rods. There is absolutely no reason to use drill rod for this purpous. Willie X
     
  15. Jim DuBois

    Jim DuBois Registered User
    Gibbs Literary Award NAWCC Member Sponsor

    Jun 14, 2008
    2,951
    650
    113
    Male
    Magnolia, TX
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    Many folks think our clocks usually have hardened steel for pinions, arbors and pivots. While that is true pertaining to French and some German clocks such as Vienna regulators and some high quality regulator types the majority have rather soft steel or iron arbors, pinions, and pivots. And that holds true for clocks made for 3 centuries or so.

    I have cut many pinions, wheels, and made a fair number of other clock parts. I use 12L14 for the vast majority of my work. It machines well, very well.

    C12L14 Cold Roll Steel "12L14 is used extensively in automatic screw machines for manufacturing numerous parts requiring considerable machining and close tolerances, along with a smooth finish. 12L14 can be used to maximum advantage where considerable machining is required, such as bushings, inserts, couplings, and hydraulic hose fittings. With good ductility, 12L14 is suitable for parts involving crimping, bending, or riveting."

    It can be case hardened using something like Kasenit, but I have only had to complete arbors and pinions in that fashion sporadically. Most are as hard as the originals parts as is. It seems a waste of time and tools to make replacement parts that are of tool steel when the original parts are soft and are mild steel or iron. It takes more care, more time, better tools, more rigidity and power in the machine, on and on. I charge(d) 2x for parts made of tool steel vs. mild steel. Tool steel is not fun to machine. I generally don't recommend it for other than experienced machinists. This thread offers a number of reasons why following the hard path unnecessarily costs more....
     
  16. kinsler33

    kinsler33 Registered User

    Aug 17, 2014
    3,370
    400
    83
    Male
    Science teacher, writer
    Lancaster, Ohio, USA
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    I hadn't thought of welding rod. We are fortunate, however, to have in our little city a good steel distributor into whose establishment you can walk and purchase just about any quantity you like.

    That, and I also like to scrounge through scrap yards and our recycling center to see what they've got. Our local recycler had some big slabs of copper the other day, maybe 3 inches thick. Without the slightest conceivable use in mind, I longed for them anyway, for they were simply glorious, bright red. Natalie finally had to lever me out of there.

    Mark Kinsler

    sigh
     
  17. shimmystep

    shimmystep Registered User

    Mar 5, 2012
    4,101
    81
    48
    Cambridge, UK
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    I think the point here is that Barry is making the clock; buying the parts from Timesavers is prob not in the 'spirit' of the project! :)




    Cutting a thread on tool steel/drill rod is eminently possible, it is all about the quality of the die, cutting oil, and technique. As Jerry said, taking a couple of passes at it will get better results, and be kinder on your die. I make new longcase movement seat board hooks using drill rod/tool steel. Having the steel in chuck jaws and the die held in a lathe tail stock die holder gives best results.
     
  18. kinsler33

    kinsler33 Registered User

    Aug 17, 2014
    3,370
    400
    83
    Male
    Science teacher, writer
    Lancaster, Ohio, USA
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    Yes. He's building the clock from scratch, which I'd be incapable of doing. (That's why I've found many clock repair books to be less than useful, for they try to teach you to build a clock instead of repairing something excavated from an attic.)

    I'm afraid I'll always be in repair mode: fix the thing and return it. That's rather different from being either a clock collector or clocksmith.

    M Kinsler
     
  19. shimmystep

    shimmystep Registered User

    Mar 5, 2012
    4,101
    81
    48
    Cambridge, UK
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    No one book is perfect is it! I've different books with chapters that cover the same subjects, some writers cover and explain things in different ways which can make it harder or easier to understand! I always found that Laurie Penman is a good writer on the practical subjects, also for escapements. Malcolm Wild is a great source for wheel and pinion cutting info.
     
  20. bytes2doc

    bytes2doc Registered User
    NAWCC Member Sponsor

    Aug 31, 2009
    160
    3
    18
    Physician
    Tennessee
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    Both items came in this week, the cutting oil and the dies from Shars.

    I had a chance to use them this morning. What a world of difference! Cut through the drill rod with no problems, no difficulties, and perfect threads - all in about 3 minutes.

    Thought I would end the thread with an update. Great advice, thanks for the help!

    Barry
     
  21. RJSoftware

    RJSoftware Registered User

    Apr 15, 2005
    8,363
    87
    48
    Male
    Loxahatchee, Florida
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    you can buy 8-32 all thread cheap at Lowes/builders square. 4 foot lengths. Just run a nut on before you cut to size.
     
    Kevin W. likes this.
  22. Kevin W.

    Kevin W. Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Apr 11, 2002
    22,557
    379
    83
    I work at the Veritas Tools machine shop.
    Nepean, Ontario, Canada
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    Good suggestion RJ, just to add my 2 cents i would not have used drill rod, would have gone with mild steel rod.
     
  23. Willie X

    Willie X Registered User

    Feb 9, 2008
    12,774
    985
    113
    I think that drill rod was in the "instructions". No rhyme or reason otherwise. Willie X
     
  24. bytes2doc

    bytes2doc Registered User
    NAWCC Member Sponsor

    Aug 31, 2009
    160
    3
    18
    Physician
    Tennessee
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    That's right, it was in the instructions.

    This is my first clock build, following Bill Smiths Scroll Wall Clock.

    The man says use drill rod, I use drill rod. Threading the drill rod using quality dies proved no problem.
     

Share This Page