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Thread: New threading jig

  1. #1
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    New threading jig

    Many of you are aware of the Klein and Baxter threading jigs for making boxes with screw on lids. These jigs are sold by Bonnie Klein (http://www.bonnieklein.com/turning-p.../threading-jig) and Best Wood Tools (http://www.bestwoodtools.com/), respectively. The Klein and Baxter jigs are fairly similar in design. I've long had one of these threading jigs on my "gotta-have-some-day" list.

    Soren Berger has recently introduced a new jig that uses a substantially different design (http://sorenberger.com/). (At least, the jig is new to me. It may be old news to the rest of you.) From what I read on his website, Berger's jig is supposed to be easier to use and set up than the other jigs on the market. In addition, the jig handles a wider range of thread sizes -- as small as 5/8" to as large as 5" -- than the other jigs. Do any of you have any experience with this jig?

    For those of you who are just curious, you don't need to "pre-order" the jig on Berger's website to learn the price of the jig. I've done that for you. After pre-ordering, I received an email telling me the jig could be mine for just $845 -- including shipping! That's quite a bit more money than the Klein and Baxter jigs and would put the Berger jig even farther down on my gotta-have-some-day list. Question is, are the improvements worth the additional price?
    Last edited by David Walser; 04-22-2010 at 1:02 AM. Reason: To add size information.

  2. #2
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    guess it depends on how many boxes you plan to make.

  3. #3
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    A home built option...

    I've seen demos of the Berger tool next to variations of the Baxter tool and can tell you that the Berger tool is very quick to setup from doing the ID to the OD, and is a well thought out design.
    Like alot of tools out there, if money is no object...I'd buy the Berger in a heartbeat. If I recall...it also has greater flexibility on initial design for longer/deeper threads...but that's not something most of us need for simple threaded boxes with just a few threads.
    Both of these designs help reduce or eliminate the tear-out from use of hand thread chasers on wood that really doesn't like to take a thread.

    I'm kind of frugal...and see no big obstacles in coming up with a simple alternative to the Baxter design that will enable me to make threads as well. One thing most of our club members in this area do agree on...making threads in wood doesn't have to be spot on perfect like with metal...they should be intentionally a little loose anyway, so having perfect ID to OD relationships is secondary to getting clean threads.

    If you want to explore making a jig similar to Baxter design, here's one possible source of a double angle mill similar to one I found on ebay...the key part of the system. The rest of the jig can be cobbed together in various ways, using various materials...depending on how fancy you want to get.

    http://www.maritool.com/Cutting-Tool...duct_info.html

    They seem to go by different names...but if you have a picture or sketch and go see a machine tool supplier...they can lead you to correct item.

    I have making the jig on my lists of 'things I want to do'...but several of our club members have made their own jigs (very nice jigs) for a song.

  4. #4
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    I had a Klein lathe and threading fixture, but have not even seen any of the others. I don't particularyly like the idea of not having any fine adjustments on the Berger. On the Klein, if you need to remove a couple thou for a better fit, you turn the knob. It appears that on the Berger, you loosen bolts and slide the head. Bolts in slots aren't very precise. You could move that slide stop and use a feeler gage for an accurate move. Different species of wood require different settings too. If the wood doesn't cut quite as clean, you need more clearance. I also think that the feed thread is rather short on the Berger. If you cut a 1" long thread, do you lose some of the fit on the fixture thread and does the spindle drop? Soren is a highly skilled and creative guy. I'm sure he has worked out a great tool, but I sure wouldn't put out that much cash until I could see one in action.

  5. #5
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    If you want to make your own threading jig, the late Jean Michael has some great pics on his site that show the one he made.

    http://www.atbq.qc.ca/jm2/thread.htm

    It doesn't look too difficult to make.

  6. #6
    I would have to see it in action. Personally, I can't see any way to make the threads that doesn't involve a lot of labor. A lot of fine detail work to get things to match. Bonnie's jig can go down to 5/8 inch if you get a smaller cutter. I would never go beyond about 2 inches due to wood movement, unless the wood is stabilized so it will never move. 12 threads per inch, okay, 16 is a bit better to me as there is less wood to remove from the shoulders to get the grain to line up.

    robo hippy

  7. #7
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    Wow. I have never been one to shy away from spending money in this vortex. I have a great many tools still in the package because they caught my eye and then I moved on to something else before the tools arrived. But I just have to say WOW! That seems extremely expensive for what it does. I am in the process of making my own with parts from the bay and HF for about $50.

    I got my 60deg double angle HSS cutter from ebay for $0.99 with about $4 in shipping. I bought a 5" cross slide vise from HF on sale for $39.99. From a local surplus store, NPS, I got a serious of all thread rods and 2 nuts for each. These were sold by weight and cost about $1 for each set. I got 3/4" x 16tpi, 1x8tpi and 1 1/4" x 8tpi. I picked these sizes so that I could just thread my chucks onto the ends and get different thread pitches for the turnings.

    I saw the basis for what I am building online. An Australian or NZ turning had a few pics up. The Cross slide vise is mounted on a plywood plate that is mounted to the ways of the lathe. The all-thread, tho a good sized bolt could be used in it's place, is threaded with 2 nuts and these are then welded to a riser piece of steel. Something mild can be used and I obtain a piece of scrap from a buddy with welder. This riser is clamped in the vise at a repeatable height and then the rest seems somewhat clear. Use a jacobs chuck to hold the cutter. Set the speed and go to town. Use the features of the cross slide vise to change what you cut and where for inside and outside and you should get a nice repeatable relatively easy way to cut threads.

    I am going to finish it one of these days. I just find that $50 for something I am thinking could be nice is easier to deal with than $800+.

    I have however been accused at times of trying to save-my-way-out-of-trouble. And that is probably true , but I have found that some things are worth the money and some things are just expensive for no real return. I don't have one of these, obviously, and it is probably a great device. But I find myself thinking that you can get/make something cool for a whole lot less.

    I found a few photos from someone else, these are more polished than the ones I saw but show what I am trying to duplicate.


    Good luck!
    Joshua
    Attached Images Attached Images

  8. #8
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    I think the pictures you show are Dick Mahany's. I built one with the help of Dick and it works pretty good. The cutter is the only thing I'm not happy with. Think I used a 60 degree cutter from Enco. The problem I've had is not being able to thread the external thread close enough to the top without the cutter stopping travel. The result is too many turns to close a lid. That was with 14 tpi. Maybe 8 tpi would help. I tried grinding the end of the cutter but it's been a while now and I don't remember if it helped or not.
    Rich

  9. #9
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    Nice looking but, very pricey!

    It sure looks nice, but for that price I think I could have a machine shop make one for me fo less. I made one that I have about $80 into and it works very nicely. Like has already been said if money was no object I would buy on just for its great looks and quality of workmanship.

    My 2 cents,

    Jeff
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  10. #10
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    Thanks to everyone who replied!

    I appreciate the feedback. I also find myself in agreement with most of you. I couple of years ago, maybe more, I was actively working on making my own threading jig. It looks like it would be a fun project. I gave that up, concluding I'd never get any turning done if I spent my precious and rare shop time making the jig. Until I retire, I may choose to value my time more than my money.

    Anyway, I heard about Berger's jig and checked it out on his website. I was puzzled that there was no price mentioned anywhere. But, since there was a "pre-order" button, I assumed the jig wasn't yet available and the price hadn't be finalized. When the email came stating the price, I was shocked (as many of you were). Frankly, I wondered if it was just me or if others would think the price was out of line. Thanks for confirming I've not completely lost my senses.

    Note: I have no objection to Berger's price. If he can sell the jig for ten times the price, good for him. I don't object to anyone making money and I hope we are all one day (if only for a day) filthy rich. However, I'd be unlikely to buy the his jig at half his current price without a lot more information. At his current price, all I can do is shake my head and wonder.

  11. #11
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    I know this is from April 2010, but I just found it. $845.00 shipped huh? WOW.

    I just saw the vids of it on youtube 2 weeks ago, so I went to his website and saw the same pre order thing, a week later I got a responce saying another email would come and tell me about the great discount that they just had over the Holidays but would extend it to me. How Lucky huh?

    A few days later the next email came telling me the sale was over, BUT, would extend it for the next 10 purchasers for, US $495.00 Plus shipping. And you will recieve 1 Caliper of your choice.

    I thought $495.00 was Out of Line for it before seeing this thread even.

    I responded, Sorry to rich for my blood, but if it becomes available for U.S. $250.00 or Less, please feel free to contact me and I will buy it. Thank you very much.
    (Havent heard from them on that yet.)

    It is a nice looking setup, Pro made and all, (BTW the Nice Wood Box it is showing that it comes in, the email now states it comes in a black cardbourd box with a foam insert. With a Pic.) but NOT $500.00 nice for it. I'd like to make Some threaded lidded boxes, not 5000 of them.

    I'd rather find myself a NOVA Ornamental Turner, wish they were still made. (Got one collecting dust anyone, feel free to contact me.)
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  12. #12
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    I have a set of Ray Iles thread chasers, and they work good, but only on woods dense enough to cut a thread without chipping. If you want to thread woods like walnut, cherry, maple, etc. and don't want to spend a lot of money, make a jig that works on both the dense and not so dense woods. Dick Mahany posted some pics of one he built;http://www.sawmillcreek.org/showthre...t=#post1207644 and with his gracious help I built one myself. Works great and cost around $100.00, or less.

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