Saturday, May 26, 2012

Success with Threads!

I played around practicing threading on Bradford Pear and discovered it threads fairly well - about like osage orange and dogwood. So I have been able to actually make a few little boxes with a threaded top! Here is my proof. The first box is osage orange and the second box is redheart. Hand thread chasing is very satisfying when you finally are able to cut good threads and get the parts to actually fit together. Click on the images to enlarge.
Osage Orange is one of my favorite domestic woods for threading
Threaded box of redheart

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Hand Thread Chasing

I have wanted to be able to add threads to some of my projects like lidded boxes. I have been working with a couple of fellow turners on making a threading jig which may be the way to go. We have acquired all of the parts but the project has been on hold for almost a year due to higher priorities with the rest of the team. This reminds me of a saying attributed to George Washington commenting on military staff, "What one man can do well, two can do less well and three can scarcely do at all." I may have to go it alone on this threading jig. But meanwhile, I decided I might try my hand at hand chasing. A friend of mine, Peter Lamb, actually gave me an opportunity to try it out and it looked like fun. I watched a bunch of Youtube videos by Sam Angelo on hand chasing which were all good. You can find them here Peter directed me to Mark St Ledger, a US turner who actually makes and sells hand chasers. Unfortunately, he is out of stock and won't have more til late summer.

So I picked up a set of Sorby 16 TPI thread chasers. I decided to make the tool armrest and a relief tool shown here.

The relief tool is an 1/8" allen wrench cut back a little with a flat on both sides. The tool armrest is designed to cradle the female thread chaser as it extends over the tool rest. I got the idea from Richard Raffan's book, The Complete Illustrated Guide to Woodturning. It is made from a 1/4" carriage bolt 9" long I picked up at Lowes for a couple of bucks. Easy enough but it did take some grinding. So I practiced on some Osage Orange and on some Dogwood. I was able to get some threads cut. There is a learning curve to hand chasing so I will have to get back to you with the final results. Stay tuned.