How to Make a Die for Cutting Threads on Wood

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The die is a cutting tool that resembles a blade and is used to cut the "male" or external threads. A thread cutting die resembles the the letter "V" in shape. A custom made die can be created in your own workshop to cut threads on wood if you have the right tools. Make your thread die using a piece of high carbon steel that will retain its sharp edge for many uses.

Things You'll Need

  • High carbon steel
  • Vise clamp
  • Hacksaw
  • Vise grips
  • Torch
  • Place the piece of high carbon steel in a vise so that one end is pointing upward at about 45 degrees. An old file can be recycled to create the die. Use a hacksaw to cut a triangular shape out of the middle to form a "V." Do not cut all the way through the steel. You want the "V" shape to be visible edge on.

  • Fill a metal container with 1 to 2 quarts of cool, clean water. Wear gloves and then grasp the newly cut die on the end that is not cut with a pair of vise grips. Heat the die until it glows red and then immediately cool the die in the water. This hardens the steel.

  • Polish the die with fine sandpaper after it cools to the touch. Wear gloves and grasp the die near the center. Apply the torch again, but this time heat the die from the opposite end of the cutting edge. Quench the die in the water when the end of the die reaches a temperature of about 540 degrees or turns slightly purple.

  • Polish the tool with fine metal sandpaper and then sharpen the cool die. The tool is now ready for use.

Tips & Warnings

  • Cut several lengths from an old high carbon file so that you have extra pieces in the event that your first attempt to make your own die fails.
  • Keep the container of water near the torch, because the die must be quenched in the water quickly after the proper temperature is achieved.
  • Use extreme caution when cutting metal and using a torch to heat metal. Serious injury and burns may result.
  • Always use protective eye-wear.
  • Wear gloves to protect your hands.
  • Use extreme caution when cutting the metal file with a hacksaw.

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