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How do I make a Wooden Screw?


WeekendMiniaturist
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Has anyone used metal taps and dies to make miniature wood screws?

 

To accomplish the life size wood screw, I purchased a Marples wood screw and box.  Do metal taps & dies work with wood?  Do they need to be altered to cut a wood screw?

 

I am thinking of other needlework stands that I can make in mini... I've had my eye on one for a long time....

 

Thanks-

 

Tamra

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Yes, this is something I also want to know, there is a lovely linen press in one of the museums in Cape Town that I have a measured drawing for with this huge wooden screw and one day I would like to make it.

Catherine Ronan has a lovely embroidery frame made by Roger Gutheil that has wooden screw threads.

http://kilmouskiandme.blogspot.com/2010/09/roger-gutheils-embroidery-frame.html

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We can also use wood screws for a book press.  I think my miniature piano stool has a metal screw.

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I must correct the name of the person who made my embroidery frame. For years I thought it was made by Roger Gutheil. I was wrong. It was in fact made by A. Thede.

 

I bought this piece long ago. It was the first nice piece of furniture I collected. I would love to see more of this mans work. I would also like to know if he is still making miniatures. If anyone knows something about him I would appreciate hearing about it.

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Allen Thede was one of those folks that showed up in the miniature world, was the the talk of the town for a bit and disappeared just as fast. I don't remember which dealer sold his work, I'll have to ask Mom, but someone had his stuff for maybe only one year at the Ashland, Va. Back to College event. I remember we ordered a bunch of it as it was so cheap and the quality was so good..... And then he disappeared. I think it was burn out.

I think we have needlepoint stand, he made two styles, one with a drawer.

Banister back chairs, both arm and side.

Cradles, a couple different styles.

Spinning wheel.

Chest of drawers.

Gate leg table

Shelf units

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Mom remembers it as Windwhistle Studios or something like that from Ohio, Allen was not real old but had gout due to drinking a bit much of beer. We did order the pieces at Ashland.

There was also a bed and a candle stand that we have.

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I found this photo of the candle stand...once again with a lovely wood screw...

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/484207397407379358/

Bill, I asked you last year in Tune if one can make wooden screws with the taps and dies and you said no...something to do with the pitch that is too small for wood, I am guessing the wood threads won't hold up to use if you tried to do it with steel taps and dies. I came across the wood making taps and dies that Tamra mentioned but I assume one won't find any small enough for our scale. Can one make it on a lathe?

Ah, look what I just found, the 1/2" or 5/8" might just be the right size for the linen press I want to make.

http://www.bealltool.com/products/threading/threader.php

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Thank you Bill.

 

I am sorry he wasn't around a bit longer. I would have loved to have a few more of his pieces. I bought the embroidery stand at a show in Chicago in the early 80's.

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If you know some one with a screw cutting metal lathe, they could turn out the proper screw taps for you out of tool steel  Then grind a couple of grooves length wise down the threads.  Harden the tap then use it to make the die.

 

I do have a screw cutting attachment for my sherline but it requires removing the motor to use it. I had hoped, at one time just to buy the basic lathe without motor and leave it set up that way.  Now can not justify it.

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My late friend Robt. Baker used to make the most perfect wooden screws in full scale, most about 3/4" in diameter. He did these on a foot powered Barnes 4 1/2 metal lathe set up with screw cutting attachment, mounted to the compound slide was a Foredom flex shaft. The real trick was the cutter he made mounted in it and the skill he had using it.

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Well, if I can figure out how to do this, this is the screw I want to make. Bill H, my bigger lathe does have the screw making attachment...so we will see. And now that I took the book out and looked at the drawing it is going to need to be smaller than a 1/4", a lot smaller than I thought.

post-6-0-90973300-1438022694_thumb.jpg

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Several years ago I made this setup for my screwcutting lathe. (A danish SR80 lathe)

 

Ramin is not the best wood for cutting threads. The milling cutter is 0.5mm and the dovel is 6mm.

 

P7274733.jpg

 

and overview

 

P7274735.jpg

 

The same setup can be used for making the taps and brass is hard enough for cutting a few threads in wood.

 

/Niels

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Well, if I can figure out how to do this, this is the screw I want to make. Bill H, my bigger lathe does have the screw making attachment...so we will see. And now that I took the book out and looked at the drawing it is going to need to be smaller than a 1/4", a lot smaller than I thought.

 

 

Elga

 

Not a lot smaller than 1/4".

 

Screwsize in 1/12 scale from the drawing is 4.6mm so a M5 thread will do. The good news about that is that you can cut the threads with a standard tap and die set (despite what Bill says :-). I have done that with good results long time ago when I made a copy of my grandfathers workbench with wooden spindles.

 

The screwpitch from the drawing is around 1mm and M5 is 0.8mm but then you have to use less force when you press your linen

 

Hint for the external thread make the dovel a little thinner than the thread table say. The internal thread can be cut with data from the book.

 

 

/niels

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Niels, I see that your bit appears to be "straight on" creating the thread... The visual effect is quite evident, and the milling cutter at .5mm is so small.  Photos are great. It is nice to see how you setup your tooling.

 

Elga, love the linen press - this will be a beautiful project in 1/12th scale; but I am confused about where the two surfaces are that are pressing the linens.  I am so grateful to have an iron! 

 

What are the specs that I would need to cut metal tap & die to use for wood?  do the threads need to be at a different ratio when intended for wood?  After reading Bill H's & Bill R's post, I am guessing that the thread chasing attachments on a metal lathe are powered at a much gentler speed - without the motor, or with foot pedal power.   (This is another reason WHY I want to go back to school for machining class.)

 

And this leads me to the questions,  what kind of wood is conducive for miniature wood screws, and most importantly for me, what kind of wood will lend itself to be cut in real life wood screws?  Wood screws are frequently found, but the wooden threads are frequently damaged; since I want to actually use my frame in real life for my scale miniature petit point projects, I think choosing a wood that is suitable for its use is most important, and I'll have to make a decision if I want my threaded frame to be the same wood as the needlework stand.

 

 

Bill R, what kind of wood your friend like to use for his 3/4" wood screws? 

 

Is this the time to get the swiss pear out for miniatures wood screws? 

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Thank you Niels, I thought a M5 might do the trick, with a lot smaller I just meant that I remembered wrong and thought it was bigger until I looked at the book. And I was wondering if in this case because it isn't quite so small if a normal tap and die won't work.

Tamra, the drawing I posted are the detail drawing of the screw part, it doesn't show the full piece, I think I have a very old black and white photo of it somewhere, this book was printed in the 1950's I think. I have seen the real linen press in the museum at Groot Constantia and am planning to go look at it again in September in Cape Town, it is quite close to my friend's house, they don't allow photos to be taken.

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Tamra, here is a scan of the linen press, it is made of two woods, one light and the other dark, I will have a good look at it and make notes when I go and see it, I love the ornamental fretwork on it, this is the only one I have seen so far with fretwork.

post-6-0-10632500-1438064692_thumb.jpg

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Niels, I did a bit of searching and found out there are M5 taps and dies with a 1mm pitch, both in HSS and carbon steel, the carbon steel is quite a bit cheaper.

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Catherine Ronan send me this beautiful photo of an antique cider press with a massive wooden screw, I think it is great that the people incorporated this piece into their kitchen.

post-6-0-11314000-1438322394_thumb.jpg

The description that came with the photo.

"An old wooden cider press engraved 1844 is a listed piece, still sitting where Thomas Baker originally installed it. The early-19th-century dresser, with its bow-front shelves, is also an original fixture. ‘We’ve left it looking slightly distressed because we didn’t want to “modernise” it,’ Van Breda says. Its shelves are filled with his collection of creamware, silver bonbon dishes and napkin rings. The hen painting is by a local artist, Patricia van Diest."

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Interesting thread and there are certainly a lot of nice subjects to miniaturize. Wood threads are not something I have tried but I would try using ordinary coarse series taps/dies on boxwood which is pretty dense/hard and is commonly used in the model ship hobby.  Box turns beautifully and polishes well.

 

In full scale, there are specialized wood taps and threading boxes (wood dies) which are often made by the craftsman.   I wonder if they could be made in miniature?  I remember an article in Fine Wood Working.

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Jack, I searched at finewoodworking.com and found, "Getting the most from a Threadbox" and the gentleman soaked his dowel rods in linseed oil before cutting lifesize threads.  It would be fun to make some miniature wooden Jorgeson type wood clamps with wood threads.

 

I previously purchased a Marples threadbox for life size turnings - If something isn't intuitive immediately, I try to learn to do things in life size, understand what is happening and then try to miniaturize. 

 

Another article, "Quick Fix for Tapping Wood discusses using a metal bolt in Issue 218 / February 2011.

 

I purchase the magazine on occasion, I'll have to go to the library to find out if I can have digital or print access locally...

 

Thanks for the tip -

 

I'm not familiar with boxwood, though, so  I will have to go to the local woodworking store to see what is available.

 

Tamra

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