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WORKSHOP PRACTICE SERIES from Nexus Special Interests

1. Hetdenlng, Tempering end 11. EJectropletJng 21.

Heat Tf8IJin'HJnt
2. VMicel M/111ng In tile Home
a. Scnlwcutllng In,. Ullhe
Maltln Cleeve
J. Poyner
12. Drllla. 7kps and Dies
Tubal Cain
13. Wotfcshop Drawing
Thbal Cain
14. Meldng Small Workshop

lbols 24
... Foundtywork Am8fetl S. Bray
8. Tarry Alpin 15. 'Wotkholdlng In the Lathe
I. Milling OpetatJons In tile Thbal C8ln 25
Lathe 18. Elec1rfc Motors
Tubal Cain Jim Cox
e. Measuring and Marking 17. Gears and Gear Cutting
MetaJs I. law
Ivan Law
7. The Art of Welding
18. Basic Benohwork
Les Oldrldge
Martin Cleeve
W. A. Vause 19. Spring Design and
8. Sheet Metal Work Manufacture
R. E. Wakeford 1\Jbal Cain
8. Soldering and Brazing 20. Metalwork and Machining
1\Jbal Cain Hints and Tips
10. Saws and Sawing tan Bradley
lan Bradley

3. Screwcutting in the Lathe

One of the most useful functions of a modem lathe is its ability to cut
*lemal or Internal thread of any thread form, pitch or diameter within -~·--••
~ity of the machine. Detailed information of a practical nature is,
easy to find - a situation that this book will do much to rectify.
nov••·1• •·
~ Cleave is a very experienced engineer with the capability of cor1V81•J••••
.,.lyses Into eas1ly understood forms. His own expertise and the sta1ndlll'llllrWIII
he works are evident in his writing, and in adc:frtion, he is also quite at _,_.,.._
...,al and metric measures having considerable experience in the
~utred when work1ng in partially metricated areas. This book is not
tDle freat1se on lathe screwcutting but is also a useful demonstration
tioCh Imperial and metric standards.
ISBN-13: 978·0·8524 2·838 ·:'
ISBN 0·85242·838-2

Martin Cleeve

Special Interest Model Books

t Model Books Ltd.


1 ust published by Argus Books Ltd. 1984

Reprinted 1986, 1989,1990,1992,1995,1997,1999,2002,2003

Acknowledgement 8

Introductory notes - Conversion notes - Quick
This edition published by Special Interest Model Books Ltd. 2002
reference thread sizing formulas
Reprinted 2003, 2005, 2006
Altering the pitch - Calculations- Simple and compound
© Special Interest Model Books Ltd. 2006 gear trains - Schematic gear train presentation-
Calculations for mixed numberTP I - Equal ratio setting -
Threads designated by lead - Proving gear trains- Self-act
The right of Martin Cleeve to be identified as the Author of this work has been feeds from lead screws- Diametral pitch worms - Formula
asserted by him in accordance with the Copyright, Designs and Patents for worms by DP - The DP formu la- how evolved- Proving
Rights Act of 1988. worm thread gearing.


All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form by
print, photography, microfilm or any other means without written permission 50- 12 7 translation ratio explained- Basic conversion
from the publisher. formulae - Checking metric gear t rains- Modified gearing
systems for metric pitches with an English leadscrew-
Reduced pitch translators- Alternative translation gearing -
The 2 - 21 (63- 160) method - Checking the 2 - 21 gearing__:_
1 3- 33 translation gearing and 15-38- Worms sized by module
- Gearing an English leadscrew, practical examples.
ISBN 0-85242-838-2
ISBN-13: 978-0-85242-838-2

Printed and bound in Malta by Progress Press Co. Ltd.


Probable standard pitches for metric leadscrews - Various single point threading tools discussed - High speed
Screwcutting calculations - Gearing for English threads with steel - Stellite - Blackalloy- Tungsten Carbide- Carbon
a metric leadscrew - Disadvantages of 127-50 step up - steel - Cutting angles- Internal threading tools - Inserted
Disadvantages overcome by altern ative transl~tion rati os. bit tools - Interna l thread tool bit fitted by brazing, a tested
Very small p itch errors- Proving m etric - Engltsh gear trams design- Thread t ool sharpening and grinding - A simple jig
- Finding exact pitch given - Quick checking f~r non:inal for the production o f accurate angles and a new design
pitch- Worms for gears sized by module: ge~n n g ':"''th . retractable, adjustable height, swing-clear, general purpose
metric leadscrew - Worms sized by DP: geanng w1th metnc and threading tool holder - The thread tool grinding jig
leadscrew- Change gear calculations by approximation. described- Sharpening external and internal threading tools
of various types: solid-with-shank and inserted bit.
M eani ng of pick-up - Examples - The thre~d dial indi ca~or or SECTION 8 PRACTICAL ASPECTS OF LATHE SCREWCUTTING 136
lead screw indicator - Action of English indtcator- M etn c Four ways of depthing a screw thread - Five ways of
threads: pick-up - Geared leadscrew indicators - Special depthing a nut thread- Square thread cutting- Acme
application of leadscrew indicator: How to pick-up for short thread cutting - Nut threads: notes on bore sizing - The
metric threads being cut from an English leadscrew - percentage approach to bore sizing for nuts- Tap finishing -
Leadscrew indicator for metric leadscrews- Pick-up when Special tap making - Multiple- start threads - How cut in
gearing is approximate- Repeat pick-up from ch_alk marks - lathe without dog- clutch control - Multiple-start nut
Repeat pick-up: electrical indication - Pick-up wtth dog- threading - How cut in lathe without dog-clutch control -
clutch control - Advantages and theory - A little-known Multiple start thread indexing by use of leadscrew indicator
method for obtaining even faster screw cutting with dog- - Mu ltiple-start worm thread notes - General observations:
cl ut ch control - Calculating metric pick-up. Thread crest radii - Taper threads - Improvised cutting
method - Screwcutting speeds - Lubrication - Effect of
MULTIPLE-START THREADS 100 coolant on light cuts- Screwcutting troubles, possible
Automatic start indexing (by dog-clutch control) - causes.
Designation of multiple start threads - Feasibility test (to
ascertain whether or not any given leadscrew is suitable for SECTIION 9 PRACTICAL THREAD SIZING MEASUREMENT 159
i ndexing a required number of starts automatically) - Pick- Defin itions of screw thread term s - The 3-Wire m ethod of
up for automatic multiple start indexing- M etric m~lti ple thread checking - Wire diameters and thread depth - Three
start threads from an English leadscrew - Automattc start wire formulae for 55 deg. screws - Checking Whit. thread by
indexing possibilities by dog-clutch control explained - metric measure - One-wire checking - Pitch diameter
Automatic start indexing of metric multiple-start threads calculations - Acme thread checking - Summary of
from metric leadscrews- Specialleadscrews for auto- start formulae for 1- wire checking- Helix angle of screw threads
indexing- Specialleadscrew design formula: For r:netric - Formula- Gauging nut threads - Thread classes - Threads
working, for English working- Example of lathe w1th dog- designated by class.
clutch control to the leadscrew drive.

6 7


I am greatly indebted to the Editor of
(Ed 20) for his kind permission to make
use of information contained therein.
Indeed without such guidance it would
have been impossible to make any sound
pronouncements on thread depths, basic It has been said that lathe screwcutting all other threads, reverse the lathe' (an
sizes, and thread gauging methods. cannot be taught from books, which instruction referring to tool repositioning
However, apart from space considera- seems to imply that students must learn between threading passes). Moreover, the
tions, it would obviously be unfair to this particular skill from trial and error adverse conditions for which lathe
reproduce large verbatim extracts from after gathering a few basic facts from an reversal is supposed always to be
the SCREW THREAD BOOK, so for those instructor. However, this outlook may necessary can sometimes be turned to
requiring more detailed information on arise partly from the fact that few genera l advantage for indexing the starts of
threads, as distinct from producing them, I engineering books can spare the multiple-start threads by a method
can but recommend the SCREW THREAD necessary space, and partly because whereby, after an initial setting, indexing
BOOK itself. writers seldom take the trouble to make takes place between every single thread-
Martin Cleave any specialised study of lathe screwcut- ing pass without additional attention from
ting, with the result that the same few the operator, and having the advantage
scraps of information are handed down that all starts (individual helices) are
from generation to generation w ithout any machined to identical proportions to close
attempt at sorting the wheat from the limits.
chaff; perhaps to disguise this deficiency it Having sa1d that, it would only be fair
Is sometimes remarked that too much to add that on deciding it might be a good
emphasis can be placed upon the ability idea to commit to paper the results of my
to cut threads in lathes. However, in this researches, I had no idea that the describ-
respect, while ordinary turning calls for ing of what is basically a simple process
the u:se of little more than common sense, would call for such a plethora of writing,
efficient and time-saving lathe screwcut- (and I have not used two words where
Publisher's Note
ting cannot be undertaken on the same one will serve} or indeed that the project
The publishers regret to record rhe death of the author, after submitting his basis,. and if a lathe operator is not in would lead to two Patent Applications,
manuscript but before it hod been typeset. posSE!SSion of all the relevant facts he may one for an independently retractable and
'Martin Cleave' was a pen-name used by Kenneth C. Hart a respected.co~­
tributor for some 30 years to the Model Engineer. His painstaking, perfecllomst not be able to avoid wasting time : time swing lathe toolholder (No. 1335978 -
approach to high-quality, accurate work. which so clearly comes thro~u,h in this w hich on small batch production can now lapsed), and one for a simple thread
book as in all his other writing, led him to design and describe many Oflgmallathe sometimes amount to whole working tool sharpening jig (No. 1417351 - not
accessories which have been made and are regularly used in hundreds of amateur weeks, not just the odd 30 minutes. For 'Sealed' although printed by the Patent
and professional workshops alike, perpetuating the memory of an engineer for
whom only the highest standards would suffice.
examJPie, it is not always necessary to Office), or that I would be devising
follow the time-wasting instruction; 'For formulas for the design of leadscrews of


special lead for the automatic indexing of few special threads are called for one over 1/1 0 thou/inch. In this respect, too.
obviously would not wish either to pay the 100 components with an English thread
the starts of multiple-start threads when many centre lathes will probably remain in
high cost of special taps or dies, or to at one end, and a metric thread at the
these cannot be auto- indexed from use with English feed dials graduated in other end.
standard English or metric leadscrews. await delivery when such threads can be thousandths of an inch, and metric thread
In general, despite the rapid advance- lathe screwcut for the trifling cost of a sizing will have to be carried out to inch CONVERSIONS
ment in fully automatic machine control, single-point threading tool and a few standards. The object here therefore is to
the ordinary centre lathe is likely to remain minutes of a lathe operator's time. Similar deal with these problems of change in Fortunately these days it is possible to buy
with us for a long time for the reason that remarks of course apply if a standard size such a way that the reader may choose a a good basic electronic calculator for a
it does not pay to set an automatic tap or die is not in stock. line of action best suited to his particular very modest sum, so it is no longer
necessary to occupy valuable space with
machine for only one or a few threaded There is also the point that bores to be ne~~· and simple formulas are given to
components such as those required for jig threaded are sometimes very short or conversion tables. Indeed, with a basic
factlrtate working to either metric or
and tool- making, or for experimental and shallow, a total depth being limited to say Engli_sh ~nits. As a matter of fact, partial formula and a calculator, any necessary
prototype work. And in many instances, f6 in. or so (4.8 mm) with an abrupt metncatton has led to the writer often figures can be obtained far more pleasan-
even when the quantity of components shoulder or completely closed base. These tly, quickly and accurately than by
having to lathe screwcut batches of 50 or
reaches the 50 to 1 50 total, a centre lathe threads are impossible to cut with a tap thumbing through fully tabu lated data.
can offer a saving when compared with simply because the tap would 'bottom'
the cost of a more specialised machine before the necessary tapered lead had
and the time taken to set it. fully entered, whereas such threads are
On the other hand, automatic and easily lathe screwcut with a single-point
semi- automatic threading attachments tool. I have a lso encountered external The following formulas will be useful for
general reference: Inch pitch= Metric pitch
can now be obtained for use with threads that were required to continue 25.4
standard centre lathes, and such attach- inside a recess - where of course no die
To convert inches to millimetres
7 Given the threads/inch, find the pitch in
ments can be fairly quickly set. However, could operate, and these had to be cut by
the initial cost can be high, and this has to the use of a special cranked threading multiply inches by 25.4. '
be weighed against the quantity of thread- tool. Another point in favour of lathe To convert millimetres to inches 1
Inch pitch = Th s/i
ing likely to be called for. screwcutting is that threads so produced read mch
multiply by 0.03937, or divide by 25.4.'
In contrast to the foregoing, I have are concentric and symmetrically
8 Given the pitch by inch measure, find
heard it remarked that screwcutting disposed about a component axis to close Given the pitch of a thread in
the threads/inch:
facilities are not really necessary on centre limits - i.e. are 'square' to axis. millimetres, find the threads/ inch:
lathes these days. as all threads can be 1
METRICATION Threads/inch = 25.4 Threads/inch =
cut with taps and dies. Now although 1nch pitch
Pitch in mm.
modern taps and die- heads are capable of Those brought up entirely with metric
Given the threads/inch, find the pitch 9 Given the metric pitch (mm), find the
cutting clean bright threads to close limits, units will have no difficulty in following
lnmm: threads per centimetre:
their use sometimes calls for very high the recommendation that, with metrica-
torques, whereas a centre lathe always tion, designers and engineers should work 10
forms threads in easy stages. admirably entirely from metric concepts. However, Metric pitch (mm) == 25.4 Threads/em = p·ttch .tn mm
Threads/ inch
suited to those components which by those of us long accustomed to working
Given the inch pitch, find the metric 10 Given the threads/inch, find the
nature of their design could not be gripped to English imperial measure tend to feel
pitch in mm: threads/em:
with sufficient security to withstand the uncomfortable until we have converted
high torques imposed when tap or die metric figures into English units having a Metric pitch (mm) = Inch pitch x 25.4 Threads/em = Threads/inch
running. Moreover a lathe will cut a thread satisfactory meaning to us. For example, 2.54
of any pitch on any diameter: for example for a time we will not have a clear idea of Given the pitch in millimetres, find the
Inch pitch: NOTE:The notation 'threads/centimetre'
it is as easy to cut 16 tpi on a diameter of the i mplication of a thread pitch error of,
is not ordinarily used or recognised,
4 in. as on a diameter of t in. or less, say, minus 0.003 mm until we have con- Inch pitch= but is sometimes useful for
whereas the use of taps and dies limits verted to inch measure and found tha t
0.003 mm equals 0.000118 in., or just 0.03937 x Metric pitch in mm explanatory purposes associated
one to standard sizes, and when only a
with lathe leadscrew gearing.


ISO Metric. 60 deg. By inch measure.
BORE = Major nominal screw dia (by inch measure) minus (Pitch (mm) x 0.0426)
ISO Metric, 60 deg. By millimetres.
The International Standardisation Organisation BOR E = Major nominal screw dia (mm) minus (Pitch x 1.0825)
(ISOI metric screw thread form.
UNIFIED 60 deg. By inch measure.
60 deg. included thread angle.
Screw thread crests may be rounded inside the .
BORE = M a]or . I d' . ( 1.0825· )
maximum outline: rounding is optional. nom1na screw 1a. mmus Threads/inch
Root radius = 0.1443 x Pitch. (Also optional/ UNIFIED 60 deg. By millimetres.
BOR E = Major nominal screw dia. (mm) minus (Thr;a~;/inch)


By inch measure.
BORE= Major nominal screw dia. minus (rhrea~~~inch)

The Whitworth & British Standard Fine (BSFI WHITWORTH AND BRITISH STANDARD FINE 55 deg.
Unified & American screw thread form. screw thread form. By mill/metres.
60 deg. included thread angle. 55 deg. included thread angle.
Thread crest may be flat, or given a radius of Crest and Root radius = 0 . 1373292 x Pitch BORE = Major nominal screw dia. (mm) m inus (Thr!~d~~nch)
0.108253 X Pitch. A The true form. B as lathe screwcut with a NUT BORE SIZING BY PERCENTAGE OF FULL THREAD
Root radius =0.144338.x Pitch. (Also optional/ single-point tool.
BORE = M a].or nomma . 1 screw d'1a. mmus
. (2d x% required)
DEPTH OF THREAD. (SCREW). BASIC DESIGN DEPTH where d = standard basic depth of corresponding SCREW threa d. % required = per-
ISO Metric 60 deg. centage of full thread engagement required.
UNIFIED 60 deg.
Bymm By inch measure (Nut thread depths are taken from the surface of bores slightly larger than would be
0.6134 (liven by major screw diameter minus twice the depth of thread of the corresponding
D = Pitch(mm) x 0. 6 134 D= or screw, hence basic nut thread depths are less than corresponding screw thread depths,
nnd are really only useful as a guide. Act ual nut thread depths may be greater or less
By inch measure: than calculated).
D = 0.6134 x Pitch (inch)
D = Pitch (mm) x 0.0241 * ISO Metric. 60 deg. Depth of NUT thread by mm:
*This figure is a close approximation. D = Pitch (mm) x 0.5418
D_ 15.58 D epth of NUT thread by inch measure:
- Threads/inch
D = Pitch (mm) x 0 .0213
D = Pitch (inch) x 15.58
UNIFIED. Depth of NUT thread by inch measure:
D_ 0.5418
By Inch measure: Bymm: - Threads/inch
D_ 0 .64 D_ 16.256 Depth of NUT thread by mill/metres:
or or
- Threads/inch - Threads/inch
D- 13.76
D = Pitch x 0.64 D = Pitch (inch) x 16.256 - Threads/inch

12 13


Depth of NUT thread by inch measure: DEPTH OF THREAD- SCREW BASIC DESIGN DEPTHS.
D- 0.6 (Thread depths are not proportionate to pitch)
- Threads/inch
Depth of NUT thread by millimetres:
D_ 15.24 mm mm Inch 6.0 3.25 0.1279
- Threads/inch
7.0 3.75 0.1476
2.0 1.25 0.0492 8.0 4.25 0.1673
3.0 1.75 0.0689 9.0 4.75 0.1870
4.0 2.25 0.0886 10.0 5.25 0.2067
5.0 2.75 0.1083 12.0 6.25 0 .2461

NUT BORE (MINOR DIAMETER) SIZING appears to lie in use of the percentage-of-
fu ll-thread formula, unless instructed
The Acme screw thread form. For nut bores the most practical approach otherwise.
29 deg. included thread angle.
THE ACME FORM THREAD 29 deg. Thread flank angle: 90 deg.
By inch measure : By English or metric measure:
0 D = 0 .5 x Pitch
=2 x Threads/inch plus 0.010
By millimetres: (Screw) W = 0.5 x Pitch.
NUT BORE SIZING (Minor diameter) The Square thread screw form.
D_ 12.7 p lus 0.254 By Eng lish or metric measure: For side (flank) clearance, the thickness
- Threads/Inch
Bore = (Major screw dia. minus Pitch) of the body of a nut thread will also be
plus C slightly less than the 0.5 x P. space
BORE = Major nominal screw diameter minus pitch. dimension of the corresponding screw
where C = a clearance allowance
(Nut thread depth is the same as screw thread depth) varying with Pitch.

NOTE : For the Acme thread (and for the (Without a ""clearance allowance" the
trapezoidal form) the standard major diameter of a t in. dia x 8 crests of a nut thread would contact or
clearances between screw and nut threads/inch ground thread tap is terfere with the roe>t of a correspon-
appear to be extraordinarily liberal. 0.654 in., i.e. 0.029 in. in excess of gly basic sized square thread screw)
Taking as an example a thread oft major screw diameter. thus
in. dia. x 8 threads/ inch, the offering an 'ann ular' thread
screw-thread depth is 0.0725 in. clearance of 14.5 thou./inch (0.37 As sized from the inner surface of (a
leaving a root diameter of 0.480 mm) which, to say the least, allghtly enlarged) minor nut diameter, nut
in., yet the recommended nut bore appears to offer a somewhat thread depth will be the same as the
The British Association (BA) screw thread
is 0 .500 in., showing that a screw excessive space 'for lubrication', acrew thread depth. form.
thread depth of about 0.064 in. especially when compared with the The clearance allowance may be any 47 t deg_included thread angle.
( 1.63 mm) would be sufficient, much smaller cle·a rances recom- amount felt desirable for lubrication, Radius at Crest and Root = 0.1808346 x
unless, of course, contrary instruc- mended for plain shafts and unless of course, precise instructions are Pitch.
tions are received. Similarly, the bearings. given. Depth of thread = 0.6 x Pitch.

14 15


The Principles of Lathe

The drawing, Fig. 1, shows i n an ele- rotating) to move from right to left by a
mentary way t he principles of thread certain distance for each revolution of the 2. Inside view of the carriage apron of s small lathe. The pinion at the left engages with a rack
cutting by means of a master screw: a leadscrew. If the leadscrew has 8 threads to the lathe bed. The half-nuts may be seen at the right, and leadscrew indicator is fitted at
lead screw (pronounced ' leed'. by the to the inch, or a pitch oft inch, each exact left.
way). Points to note are t hat t he spindle, revolution of the leadscrew will cause the plummer-block type bearer held a non-standard anti leadscrew deflection bush. This became
which is revolving with the chuck and nut to advance t inch. If the nut is made ..,,,nc••ssRrv with a change to the square thread form leadscrew.)
component to be threaded, drives the to carry a suitable holder provided with a is altered, so is the leadscrew speed passes" as may be seen again at the foot
leadscrew through gearing: in this pointed tool, and this is brought into the same proportion. of Fig. 4 which, if read upwards, shows
example by two gears each having 45 contact with the truly cylindrical In practice t he nut is split into two how a screw thread is formed by a
teeth and therefore giving a ratio of 1 :1. workpiece, then a helix will be circum- or "halves" each provided with a succession of passes each a little deeper
By this means the leadscrew will revolve scribed thereon, and the distance between IIICie""•av backing. mounted in correspon- than the previous one, until the thread is
at exactly ·the same speed as the piece to any two adjacent helices w ill be t in., guideways so that by means of a complete. The diagram, of course,
be screwed, and at the same time will quite regardless of the actual diameter of ever and cam-type mechanism indicates only a few of the greater number
cause the nut (which is prevented from the workpiece and regardless of the actual ~alf can?e moved radially outwards, of passes required before a full depthing
speed of rotation. because if the work d1sengagmg the leadscrew. The lead- and sizing is reached.
rew nut thus becomes known as "the
If-nuts", "the clasp nut", or the "split Fig. 3. A pair of half- nuts for use in a small
t". lathe.
The photograph Fig. 2 is an inside view
the apron of a small lathe and will give
idea of the arrangement. The half-nuts
shown in the disengaged position. The
pinion at the left engages with a
for hand traversing the lathe carriage
A pair of half-nuts suitable for the
ron shown may be seen in the
raph, Fig. 3.
Fig. 1 Illustrating Referring again to our basic diagram,
the basic 1, the initial helix circumscribed on
principles of lathe workpiece may be regarded as the
screwcutting. of a series of "cuts" or "threading

16 17

- Fig. 4. Showing how a screw thread is formed
by a succession of cutti ng passes of
Fig. 5. Showing the tumbler-reverse and
change-gear quadrant on a small lethe. This
progressively increasing depth. all-st~el quadrant with a single front locking
lever ts the author's own design.
ALTERING THE PITCH . leadscrew axis by releasing the locking
CALCULATIONS handlever. This illustration also shows a
--- From what has already been said it tumbler reverse mechanism which may be
follows that if the leadscrew (Fig. 1) can seen in its three positions in the diagram
be caused to revolve at exactly one half Fig. 6.
the speed of the component, and the lead- Some earlier lathes of this kind were
screw has 8 threads to the inch, then for sold without a tumbler reverse
each half revolution of the leadscrew t., 1 mechanism, but when one is fitted,
component will make one complete tun suitable driving wheels for the quadrant
and one complete helix will be circum- gearing are mounted on an extension
scribed. One complete helix for each half spigot S which is integral w i th the final
\ \ I \
' ' revolution of the leadscrew equals 1 6
complete helices for 8 revolutions of the
driven gear G of the tumbler reverse. For
later explanations it will be convenient to
leadscrew. For each 8 revolutions of the refer to gears fitted to this spigot as "first
leadscrew the tool will move through a gear drivers" and to call the spigot itself
D distance of one inch: accordingly 16 " the tumbler reverse output spigot".
helices or threads to the inch would be
formed on the component .
In our basic example (Fig. 1) the lead
II' \\\ \1' II I I N__ screw could be made to rotate at half the
speed of the component by removing t he
two 45 teeth gears, A and 8, and fitting a

_-LY~u~< c
driver of 30 teeth at A, and a driven of 60
teeth at 8, on the leadscrew.
Actually, of course, it is not possible to
so relate the distance between the lathe
I I' spindle and the leadscrew that no more
than two gears of equal or different size
may be arranged to meet all ratio needs.
so what is known as a "quadrant" or
- "change gear arm" is provided, upon
B which intermediate gearing may b e
- assembled and adjusted not only for
desired ratios, but to bridge the gap
between the lathe spindle or tumbler

_\ I A
reverse and the leadscrew gear.
The photograph Fig. 5 shows a typica l
arrangement for a small lathe of tho
instrument type. Each of the slotted
in three posi-
- 1:\- --,' \.
quadrant arms carries a movable "stud"
for the intermediate gearing, and thl'
whole quadrant may be pivoted about thl.'
neutral above,
and reverse


Normally on lathes of this kind, the first This can be arranged by using a 20 teeth Fig. 7. An example of
gear as a first gear driver and a 60 teeth u simple geur train.
gear driver will rotate at exactly the same
Gearing shown is for
speed as the lathe spindle. The tumbler gear on the leadscrew, but as these two 24 tpi with an 8 tpi
reverse is used either to cause the lead- gears will be positioned too far apart for leadscrew.
screw to revolve "backwards" for cutting direct meshing, the gap is bridged with At the left the gear
left-hand threads, or to correct the direc- spare change gears, which for this train has been
tion of rotation of the leadscrew in the purpose become temporarily known as 'straightened out' for
event of a gear train being of a nature that " idle gears", or " idlers" . Any number of clarity. At the right
makes a correction necessary. idle gears may be interposed without the same gearing is
For a simple lathe of the type affecting the ratio between the first driver shown as assembled
and the last given gear although design on a quadrant. The
illustrated, a set of gears is provided, and
tumbler-reverse (TRJ
with them it is possible to assemble a limitations usually restrict the possible
although shown,
great variety of ratios between the lathe number of idlers to two. The diagrams, plays no part in the
spindle and the leadscrew. These gears Fig. 7, will give an idea of the necessary ratio.
are known as " change gears". Special 1 :3 ratio, the left hand drawing showing
mention is made of these because of the gearing "straightened out" for clarity,
certain differences in the way in which and the right hand drawing showing the
sets are sometimes made up. For this par- gearing as it would be assembled on the be of no consequence. It is worth noting, tions within reasonable bounds it was felt
t icular lathe it is customary to provide a lathe. however that in a manner similar to that best to deal chiefly with calculations for
set of gears as follows: Two having 20 The idlers A and 8, Fig. 7. are shown as of the tumbler reverse, with the interposi- leadscrews of 8 threads/inch. Metric lead-
teeth, and one each of 25, 30, 35 and so a 65 and 40. but their actual size is of no tion of one idle gear the direction of screws will be dealt with later.
on up to 7 5 teeth together with one of 38 importance provided they are capable of rotation of the last driven gear will be the The simple examples already given for
teeth for reasons which will be explained bridging the space between the first 20 same as that of the driver, and the 8,16 and 24 tpi with a leadscrew of 8 tpi
later. However, in future such a set will be driver and the last 60 driven. Interposition of two idle gears will reverse showed that gearing was required in the
referred to as " 20-7 5 by fives" or merely Some find it difficult to understand that the direction of rotation of the final driven ratios 1 :1. 1:2 and 1 :3, or, in terms of the
as a " set rising by fives". Change gears the interposition of one or more idle gears gear relative to the first driver. number of threads to the inch of the lead-
rising in size by four teeth at a time, say cannot affect the ratio between the first That the leadscrews of some of the screw to the number of threads to the inch
24, 28, 32 and so on are not unknown driver and the last driven gear. One way of smaller lathes have left hand threads may for which the lathe was to be geared, 8:8,
and, of course, such a set would be looking at the question is to consider that be explained by the fact that a handwheel, 8 :16, and 8:24, and finally in terms of the
referred to as " rising by fours" . But what the teeth velocities of the intermediate which can be fitted to the leadscrew at number of teeth in the driving and driven
should be noted is that for example, a gear idlers must be exactly the same as the the right- hand end, may be turned gears: 45:45 (or any two of equal size),
of 32 teeth would be " special" to a set teeth velocity of the first driver, therefore clockwise to feed the carriage towards the 30:60, and 20:60.
rising by fives while a 55 teeth gear would the effect of meshing the leadscrew gear chuck. Accordingly, the number of teeth in the
be "special" to a set rising by fours and a with the idler gear cannot differ from the Before continuing with details of a driving gear divided by the number of
gear of 33 teeth would be "special" to effect of meshing the leadscrew gear general formula, it will be convenient to teeth in the driven gear, or leadscrew
both sets. directly with the first gear driver. Again. mention that although a leadscrew of 8 gear, is equal to the number of threads to
Before giving a general formula for idle gears can no more affect the rati o threads to the inch appears to be the the inch of the leadscrew divided by the
change gear calculations it will be helpful between the first driver and the last driven ltandard today for the range of smaller number of threads to the inch for which
to consider the basic requirements for than could a chain, or the number of links lethes, an earlier machine may be found to the lathe is to be geared, a statement
cutting a thread of 24 to the inch with a in a chain that may be needed to couple have a leadscrew of 10 threads/inch. With which may be condensed to the con-
leadscrew of 8 threads to the inch. the first and last gear. What does happen larger industrial lathes having leadscrews venient form:
If we wish to cut, over a given length, is that small idlers will revolve more of 4 or even 2 threads/inch w e are not
quickly and large idlers more slowly really concerned at this stage because Drivers Threads/inch of leadscrew
three times as many helices on a compo-
relative to the first driver, but as a drive is they will be fitted with selective gearboxes Driven = Threads/inch required
nent as are contained in the same length
of leadscrew, the leadscrew must rotate not being taken from the hub of the idle end calculations will not normally be The abbreviated form Drivers/Driven
at one third the speed of the component. gear, or gears, their speed of rotation can required. Accordingly, to keep explana- will be used in all subsequent examples.

20 21

The reason for the plural in Drivers arises 40) more generally in place on the inter- driven, (or leadscrew gear) is reached at The next question is, having found the
from the fact that there may be more than mediate quadrant studs. But this means a the 20:75 ratio, which, with a leadscrew gears, how are they set on the lathe?
one driver and more than one driven gear larger range of screw gearing can be set of 8 tpi sets the lathe for cutting 30 tpi. What should be remembered here is
in a "compound train", as will be by changing only the one leadscrew gear Gearing for a greater number of threads/ that all gears in the numerator side are
explained shortly. But when there are and moving the idlers to suit the new Inch therefore calls for the use of driving gears, and all gears in the
more than one of each, the expression diameter. "compound gearing". denominator side are driven gears. It is
Drivers/Driven should be read as 'The Further examples similar to the forego- One example or compound gearing is generally necessary or more straight-
multiple of the number of teeth in ing are easily calculated mentally. Never- to be found in the wheels required for a forward, however, to position the largest
individual driving gears divided by the theless it will be revealing to set out the thread of 40 to the inch. The same basic driven gear on the leadscrew, but
multiple of the number of teeth in gearing for all threads of from 6 to 1 5 tpi. formula is used: provided the driven gears remain in a
individual driven gears." A leadscrew of 8 tpi will be assumed: Drivers Threads/Inch of LS driven portion of the train the ratio will not
T p 1 Driver = ...!!_ _ 40 First driver Driven = ThreadS/inch req. be affected. Hence we may reverse or
USE OF FORMULA 6 · · · Driven 6 - 30 Leadscrew exchange the denominators to 20/40 x
end substituting the known figures for a
gear 20/50 and the gears would be set on the
Suppose we wish to gear a lathe for a leadscrew of 8 tpi we have:
8 40 quadrant in the manner shown in the
thread of 9 to the inch, and the leadscrew 7 = ...,- = 35 Drivers 8
is of 8 to the inch, substituting the known diagram, Fig. 8. Gear meshing limitations
8 40 (or any two Driven = 40
figures we have: 8 would prevent the direct engagement of
= a = 40 of equal size)• but if we now multiply 8 and 40 by 5, we the 20 first driver (No. 1) with the first
Drivers 8 8 40 get 40/200, and although this halves to driven 40 (No.2). so the idle gear (A), here
Driven = 9 9 = g- = 45 20/1 00, the 1 00 gear is outside our shown as a 65, is interposed. The 40 gear
accordingly a first driver of 8 teeth driving 8 40 range. We therefore resolve 8/40 into is coupled to the second 20 driver (No. 3)
a leadscrew wheel of 9 teeth would give 10 =w = 5o factors: so that both revolve together, and the
the desired ratio, but as gears of only 8 8 40 Drivers 8 2 x4 second 20 driver is then engaged with the
and 9 teeth would be impracticable we 11 = n = 55 Driven = 40 = 5X8 50 leadscrew wheel, (No. 4).
have to multiply both numerator (8) and 8 40 factors are then raised to available
denominator (9) by some number that will 12 =12 = 60 e gear sizes by multiplying both 2 SCHEMATIC GEAR TRAIN
increase the number of teeth to a con- 8 40
venient figure. If it is known that the 13 - - - - = 13 = 65 5 by 1 0; and 4 and 8 by 5: PRESENTATION
change gears rise in sizes by five teeth 8 40 Drivers 20 20 The customary method for showing actual
increments, then there is no point in mul- 14 - - - - = 14= 70 Driven = 50 X 40 gear meshing sequences or arrangements
tiplying both numerator and denominator 8 40
by any number except 5, or multiples of 5: 15 =15= 75
Driver 8 x5 40 What should be noted in the list is that
Driven = 9 x 5 == 45 the driver remains at 40 throughout the
Had the gears risen by increments of range, and if this is replaced by a 20, then
four teeth, the gearing, with an 8 t.p.i. the threads/inch for which the lathe w ill
leadscrew would become: be geared will be exactly double in each
Driver 8 x4 32 case. For example, the 9 tpi will increase
Driven = 9 x 4 - 36 to 18 tpi and the 13 to 26 tpi.
In either instance, of course, it would
be necessary to interpose one or two idle COMPOUND GEAR TRAINS ""'"u""'"'•w out' for
gears of any convenient size to bridge the With a range of change wheels of from 20 t the right,
gap between the first driver and the lead- to 75 teeth, the limit for simple redu ction the tumbler-
screw gear. One is oft en sufficient, (TR) is
gearing consisting of one driver and one it plays no
although it suited the writer's purpose to
• See also page 24 for equal ratio setting in the final ratio.
keep two gears spare to the set (a 65 and

22 23

in tabulated form calls for the use of fairly refers to any spare gear of suitable size Fig BA. An example
complicated headings to show not only that may be used as an 'idler' to connect of a double-
the first driver and leadscrew gear, but main train gears that are too small to compound gear train.
mesh directly together. Gearing shown is for
whether or not the intermediate quadrant
The gear at the extreme left is always • metric pitch of 1. 75 3
studs carry only an idler, or two wheels mm. to be cut from a
keyed together, as for compound trains. the first driver, and the gear at the
ltmdscrew of 8 tpi.
Thus the written layout of individual extreme right always the leadscrew
(This particular r8lfo
exa mples for exp lanatory purposes wheel. Hence. if only one idle wheel had calls for use of s 21 T 5
becomes sufficiently tedious as to been used in the simple train, the layout lt1Br).
would read: 6-6
discourage the presentation of more than
an absolute minimum number, a circum- 20 - A-60 6
stance which would interfere seriously It was convenient to use letters instead
with later discussions on gearing for of numbers in terms of gear teeth to
metric pitches and allied matters. illustrate the double compound train
With the foregoing disadvantages in because, when resolving a fractional
mind a need was felt for a more straight- solution into a practical layout it is
forward method for indicating the actual necessary to ascertain that the sum of the The single compound train noted now is that if no wheel is available
positions of the gears on the lathe: a number of teeth held by gears D and E 20 - A - 40 that Is an exact multiple of 19, then preci-
method which once explained would not exceeds the sum of C plus F by a 20- 50 sion gearing is impossible. However, the
call for the repetition of headings referring minimum of five teeth otherwise C and F change gear set will probably include a
Dr1vers 20 20
to first drivers, studs and leadscrew gear, will mesh and will either lock the trai n Driven = 40 x 50 special wheel of 38 teeth, whereupon our
or for any special mention of gears which solid, or prevent the proper meshing of D initial formula will read:
are keyed together on the same quadrant The double compound train
and£. Drivers 8 2
stud. Sometimes it is useful to show the idle B- C F - G Driven = 38 x T
The schematic method requires gears actually used, in which case the D- E
headings only for explanatory purposes. layout for 24 tpi with an 8 tpi leadscrew B D F where the multiplication by 2/1 is simply
and here are three examples: might read: C XE XG written in to hold the ratio. Proceeding
from here, if the 8 and 1 are now mul-
c cro 20 - 65 - 40 - 60 D F being drivers and C E G the driven tiplied by 5 we have
"0 -oro In a single compound train the idle gear
may be placed between the first or second
rs. An example of a double compound
Drivers 40 2
ro ::l in is given In Fig. SA.
pair of main gears. and provided that tho Driven = 38 X 5
d-o d"O
(/) .... driving gears remain in a driving position,
.... ::l "0 ::l
c .... and finally, multiplying 2 and 5 by 10
.-(/) NC/l the ratio will not be altered: gives:
Simple 20-A - A - 60 20- 50
Drivers 40 20
20- A-40 calculation of change wheels for a
Single 20 - A - 40
Driven = 38 X 50
will give exactly the same ratio as of 1 9 to the inch is rather less
Compound 20- 50 20 - A - 40 than the examples previously which could be set on the lathe:
20-50 Assuming a leadscrew of 8 tpi we 20- A -38
Double 8 -C F- G Please also notice ( 1) a simple train 40 - 50
Compound D- E such as Drivers 8 In the example just given, 19 is. of
20 - A - A-40 Driven = 19 course, a prime number, and the
In each case the lines connecting the
gears show that the gears so joined are in would ·be written for arithmetical checkina If we multiply 8 and 19 by 5 we get 40/ impossibility of exactly gearing a lathe for
direct mesh. Gears placed one above the purposes as which would serve well enough had primes or multiples of primes should be
other show that they are coupled or keyed Driver 20 a 95 change gear, but we assume that noted. Thus with change gears by fives,
together. Letter A is short for 'ANY' , and Driven 40 set stops at 75 teeth. What should be 11 and 22 tpi call for a 55 change gear,

24 25

13 and 26 tpi call for a 65, although It can 23 whole threads in 2 in., hence accurate leadscrew loading cou ld be quite high. With English measure, lead is some-
be an advantage to have special gears of gearing cannot be set unless we have a Agreed the tumbler-reverse of some small times expressed in fractional form, and
23 or 46 gear. The gearing required is lathes transmits power through pinions of may be given as, for example, 5/ 3 2 inch.
33 or 44, and 39 teeth. We may note, too,
that for example a pitch of 1.1 mm Drivers/Driven = 8/1 1 t = 16/ 23 =
4/23 small diameter. but one may as well avoid One way of handling the fraction for
requires a 55 wheel, and 0.65 mm would x 4/ 1. Multiply the first 4 and last 1 by 5 = a repeti tion of the arrangement if possible. gearing calculations is to first convert to
call for a 65 gear, in the event of its being 20/23 x 4/5 = 20/23 x 40/50, or, to The most straightforward approach threads per inch:
necessary to cut these non-standard avoid use of small gears, double 20/23 to therefore is to obtain an extra gear having, 1 1 32 32 2
pitches with (theoret ical) accuracy. 40/ 46, and if two 40's are not available, say, 40 teeth, and to set the lathe: 5/32 =T X 5 = 5 = ~T.P.I.
multiply 4/5 by 15, giving 60/75, thus 40-A - A- 40 or 32 whole threads in 5 inches.
MIXED NUMBERS offering a complete gear train: 40/ 4 6 x With a leadscrew of 8 tpi a length of 5
60/75 which would set on the quadrant which doubles the teeth velocity and
Occasionally it is necessary to gear a lathe halves the teeth loading without altering inches contains 40 leadscrew threads so
for cutting a mixed number of threads to e.g. - we have:
the torque on the driving and driven
the inch. As an example of this, let us 40- A - 46 keyways. Drivers 8 x ~ _ 40
assume that gearing for a thread of 1Ot 60 75 Driven = 32 1 - 32
Another way of obtaining an equal ratio
tpi is to be cut from a leadscrew of 8 tpi: However, if a 23 or 46 gear is not avail- and, assuming a 32 is not available, divide
when two gears of equal size are not
Drivers 8 able, and if a small pitch error is not available is to use a single compound gear 40 and 32 by 8:
Driven = 10} objected to, then suitable gearing using train containing first a ratio increase, and 5 50 Driver
available gears by fives can be found by second, the same ratio inverted, such as = 4 = 40 Driven
Multiply both numerator and
denominator by 2 to eliminate the approximation, as explained in Section 4 45 40 Another approach lies in the expression
awkward fraction = 1 6/21 which which shows that a quadrant setting: 30 X 60 of both leadscrew and lead of the work in
factorises to 4/3 x 4/7. Multiply the first 4 30- A - 40 which reduces to terms of lead. giving a formula:
and 3 by 1 0, and the second 4 and 7 by 5 65 - 70 3 2 1 Drivers Lead of screw to be cut
and we have drivers/driven = 40/30 x 20/ w ould serve. 2x 3 = T Driven = Lead of leadscrew
35 which would set on the quadrant, e.g.: and which would set on the lathe: 5
20- A -30 EQUAl RATIO SETTING 40- A - 30 32
40 - 35 As has already been explained, when it is 45-60 - 1- = ~ x ..!!_ = ~Driver
32 1 4 Driven
However, as will be explained, larger necessary to gear a lathe for cutting a For the convenience of those who may 8
gearing offers a more mechanically sound t hread of the same pitch as that of the like a quick reference, Table T1 gives
II leadscrew, the leadscrew must revolve at
Evidently, now, either of the foregoing
gear train, and it would be as well to gearing for threads/inch from a leadscrew gives the same result as t he more direct:
increase the 20/30 ratio to 30/45 (by the same speed as that of the component of 8 tpi. and Table T2 gives gearing for
multiplying 2/3 by 1 5) thus offering a to be threaded. threads/inch from a leadscrew of 10 tpi. Drivers Numerator T.P.I. of LS
quadrant setting : If it is agreed that there are two 20 Driven = Denominator x 1
teeth change gears included with the set. THREADS DESIGNATED BY
30- A- 45 then these, of course, may be arranged: Screws having a lead greater than that
40 35 LEAD of the leadscrew require that the lead-
40 - A- 35 20 - A- A- 20 uo.;o.;"'""' ally a thread is designated by screw sha ll revolve at a higher rate than
30 45 but in consideration of the fact that the instead of by threads/inch or by pitch. the work, and although a small lathe with
Note t hat when we say, e.g. 'multiply smaller the gear diameter, the greater the d is the distance a screw advances an 8 tpi leadscrew would handle a lead of
2/ 3 by 1 5' to bring to change gear sizes, loading on the teeth (compare t he action lly in one turn in a fixed nut). It is 5/ 32 inch well enough, the strain upon the
we are using shorthand for 'multiply both of short and long levers) the use of gears. ary to designate multiple-start 3:1 step-up gearing required for a lead of
numerator and denominator by 1 5', and which if of No. 20 diametral pitch have a s by lead to distinguish the axial t inch, for example, would be severe
are thus taking a mathematical liberty radius of action of only half an inch, would nee of the screw from the pitch, indeed , especially as the efficiency of a
because, of course, 2/3 x 1 5 = 10. seem to contain an element of mechanical h. with any given lead, will decrease leadscrew and nut as a transmitter of
Some mixed number threads/inch unsoundness, especially as the pitch to proportion to the number of starts (see power can be as low as 30 to 40 percent.
resolve into primes, e.g. 1 1 tpi = prime be cut will be fairly coarse and inadvertent n 6) To reduce the strain, some early text


Table T1. Gearing for threads/inch with a leadscrew of 8 tpi. Assumes gears 20-20-75 by fives T2. Gearing for threads/inch with a /eadscrew of 10 tpi. Assumes gears 20-20- 75 by fives
are available. Alternative gearing for 11 t and 19 tpi requires a 38T gear. ti Vailable. Both sets of gearing for 11 t tpi are approximations. B is the best. but requires a 38T
Of the two sets of gearing for 19 tpi, A is an approximation, B is correct.
leadscrew of 5 tpi (1 J halve any driver or (2} double any driven gear, or (3} include a 1 to 2


20 - - A - - 38
4 4 0 - - A - - - A -- - 20 19s 40 - - - 5 0 50 - - A - -- A - - 20
19a 20 - - - A - - - A - - - 38
5 4 0 - - A - - - A - - 25 20 20 - - - A - - - A - - - 50 50 - - A- -- A- - 25
20 20 - -- A - -- A - - 40
50 - - A - -- A- - 30
6 40 - - A - -- A - - 30 22 20 - - A - - - A - - - 5 5
22 25 - - - A - - A - - 55
50 - - A - -- A - - 35 20 - - - A - - 30
7 40 - - A - - - A - - 35 24 20 - - A - - - A - - - 60
24 25 - - 40
40 - - - A - - 50 50 - - A
8A 40 - - A - - - A - - 40 25 30 - - 75 A- - 40
25 2 0 -- - A - - - A - - 50
40 - - A - - 30
50 - - - A - -- A- - 45
8s 45 - - - 60 26 20 - - - A - - - A - -- 65
26 25 - - - A - -- A - - 65
40 - - A - - - A - - 45 20 - - A - - 3 5 40 - - A - -- A - - 40 20 - - - A - - 40
9 28 20 - - - 4 0 28 2 5 - - 35
20 - - A - - 40 40 - - A- - 30 2 5 - - - A - - 40
10 40 - - A - - - A - - - 50 32 2 5 - - 50 45 - - 60 32 30 - - 60
• 20 - - - A - - 40 20 - - - A - - 4 0
11 4 0 - - - A - - - A -- 5,5 36 20 - - - 45 50 - -- A- - - A - - 55
36 2 5 -- 45

40 - - A - - 5 0
65--75 40
20 - - - A - - 40
20 - - 50 lJ..A 40 - - A - - 50 40 20 - -- A - - 50
2 65 - - 60 25 - - 40
55 - - 25 30 - - 38 20 - - A - - 50 3 0 - - A - - 38
11 -is 20 - - - 50 44 25 - - 55 1~ B 55 - - 50 44
20 - - - A - - 40
25 - - 55
20 - - - A - - 50
12 40 - - A - - - A - - 60 48 25 - -- 60 25 - - A - -- A - - 30
20 - -- A - -- 4 0
25 - - 60
20 - - A - - 50
13 4 0 -- A - - - A - - 65 56 25 - --70 50 - - A A- -65
20 - -- A - - 40
25 --- 70
14 4 0 - - A - - - A - - 70 60
20 - - A - - 50
20 - - 60 25 - - - A - - - A - - 35
- - 2 0 - - - A - - 50
20 - - 40 25 - - 60
60 25 - - 60
16 20 - - A - - - A - - 40 64 30 - - 50 25 - - A - -- A- - 40
30 40
25 - -
20 - -
20 - - 45 20 - - - 60 - -- -
18 20 - - A - - - A - - - 45 72 30 - - 40 25 - - A - -- A - - 45
25 - - A. - - 60
25 -- 75
35 - - A - - 50 20 - - 40 25 - --75 35 - - A - - 40 --
45 - - 75 80 30 - - 50 30 - - 50 80
25 - - 40 30 - -
20 - - 60

28 29

books recommend that the leadscrew Similar results are sometimes obtained (Drivers) 40 65 1 13 the worm thread has to be undersized, or
itself be driven, thus reversing the function by use of a speed-reducing chuck. (Driven) 50 X 75 X lf - 1 50 " thinned".
of the gearing from a step-up to a step- For purposes of calculating the lathe
= 0.086666 inch. quadrant gearing for a worm it is not
down ratio driving the component to be CHECKING
threaded. No doubt in the early days when The correctness of any given change gear The actual pitch of 11 t tpi is necessary to find the actual number of
the mechanisms of all lathes were set-up or calculated ratio for cutting a par- 0.0869565 inch so the above gear train threads to the inch which would give a
exposed, such an arrangement was not ticular number of threads to the inch may would produce a minus pitch error of satisfactory meshing: all that need be
too difficult. For a small lathe such as the known is the number of threads to the
be checked by inverting the gear train in 0.0869565 minus 0.086666 = 0.00029
Myford 3t in. some means would have to its tractional form and multiplying by the Inch, say 3 tenths of a thousandth of an inch of the leadscrew and the diametral
be devised for by-passing the tumbler- number of threads per inch of the lead- Inch, or 0.00762 mm. pitch (DP) of the gear with which the
reverse, otherwise the small pinions worm is to mesh.
screw :
thereon would have to transmit sufficient SELF- ACT FEEDS The diametral pitch number of a gear is
Driven LS TPI that number which states how many teeth
torque to rotate the lathe spindle against TPI When a small lathe is not fitted with a
Drivers x 1 the gear holds to each inch of (pitch)
the drag of a threading tool. separate feed shaft and the leadscrew has
With modern lathes the objection to For example, the gearing needed to cut to be used for self- act, or slow carriage diameter, and the DP of any gear
high ratio step-up gearing for coarse leads 28 tpi with an 8 tpi leadscrew may have traversing purposes, and is being driven presumed to be of English origin (i.e. sized
can be overcome by two methods. been calculated to: ugh a double compound reduction by inch measure) may be found in the
In one, special headstock gearing 20 20 ar train, it is sometimes useful to know following way:
allows of the work being driven at reduced Driven = 35 X 40 how much the carriage advances for 1. M easure the whole, or outside
speed while the leadscrew gearing is revolution of the work being turned. diameter.
and a check is desired. Inserting the 2. Count the number of teeth and add 2.
driven from a higher speed element in the is is the same as asking for what pitch
figures in the above formula we have: 3. Divide the teeth total so found by the
headstock. For example, if one of the lathe is geared, and the pitch formula
'back-gear' speeds Is six times as slow as 35 40 8 therefore used: whole diameter.
the ungeared drive and the change gear
TPI = 20
x T = 28
For example a gear has an outside
h Drivers 1
train is driven from the ungeared element, If, instead of threads/inch, it is desired c = Driven x -:l-::S<"'T""P::-:1- diameter of 3.1 00 inches, and has 60
a leadscrew driven through 1 :1 gearing to find the pitch of a thread which will be As an example, suppose the following teeth. Add 2, giving 62, and divide by
would be revolving at six times the work cut by a given gear combination, then the ng was being used to drive a lead- 3 .1 00. The figure 20 so obtained will be
speed. If the leadscrew was of 4 tpi then gear train is left in its original fraction al of 8 tpi: the DP of the gear.
six revolutions would advance the carriage form and multiplied by the pitch of the To give one more example: a gear has
20- 65 20- 75
through 1 t inches for each revolution of leadscrew: an outside diameter of 2.625 inches, and
25 - 70 has 40 teeth. The DP therefore equals 42
the work. In the unlikely event of a lathe
with this feature not being provided with a Pitch = Dr~vers
x 1 divided by 2.625 = 16.
Dnven LS TPI
fully selective gearbox, calculations for The foregoing are of course perfect
Thus the pitch produced by the foregoing Drivers 20 25 20 1
other leads with the special drive in use examples wherein the gear diameter is
gear train would be:
1 Driven = 65 x 70 x 75 x lf assumed to be correct, whereas in
would be made on the assumption that
the leadscrew was of 1 t inch lead, or 2/3 20
l f = 28
= 0.0357142 m = 0.003663 inch per revolution practice an undersizing would be most
tpi. Thus for example, gearing for a lead of 35 40 the work, or 273 tpi or "cuts per inch" probable, in which case a fractional or
3/4 in. would be calculated as follows: With an 8 tpi leadscrew, what pitch w ill mixed number DP would result from the
be given by the following gear train which AMETRAL PITCH WORMS calculation. However, the undersizing of
Drivers Lead of screw to be cut offers an approximation to a thread of 11 1 Ia sometimes necessary to use a lathe to the diameter would be unlikely to be so
Driven = lead of leadscrew to the inch? a worm. From the experimenter's severe as to cause doubt as to whether a
Hence - 40- A- 50 of view, a worm may be required to gear was, for example, of No. 16 or 1 7
3 65 - 75 with one of the lathe change gears, DP, and the nearest whole number may
Driver 4 3 2 1 20 Here the gear train must first be rewrit for the worm to mesh at right therefore be taken.
Driven =3 =4 x 3 =2 or 40 ten in fractional form, then multiplied by to the axis of the worm wheel, if The drawing Fig. 9 illustrates the chief
2 leadscrew pitch: is an ordinary spur gear, the body of dimensional terms used in sizing a spur

30 31

Fig. 9. Showing the
terms used in sizing a
(Based on Pi = 3.141 5926)

Approximation Error• Approximation Error•

+I- 1 part +/- 1 part
in parts: in parts:

1. 5 X 71 9. 7 X 35
113 6Xl3 -5527
2. 47 x 127
38 X 50 - 212765 10. 10 X 38
11 X 11 - 2261
13 X 29
8 X 15 +43 103 11. 22
7 + 2486

WHOL£ DIAM £ T£R 9 X 37

2 X 53 - 37 3 13 12. 5 X 27
1 X 43 - 1525
gear. Although a spur gear differs greatly FORMULA FOR DP 23 X 28
in tooth form from the teeth of a true WORM THREADS 5 X 41 - 24 096 13. 5 X 59
worm wheel, a description of which is Taking Pi as 3.14 1 5926, the formula for 2 X 47 - 953
outside the scope of this work, the spur gearing a leadscrew of ANY threads/inch
gear will serve well enough for explaining value for cutting worm threads sized by 6. 19 X 21
the terms associated with a worm thread, diametral pitch would read: 127 + 22 675 14. 5 X 32
which calls for an understanding of the 3 X 17 - 724
diametral and circular pitch. Drivers
7. 17 X 17
The pitch diameter, about which the Driven
4 X 23 - 10 857 15. 3 X 23
teeth are formed, Is that diameter which Leadscrew threads/inch 3 .1415926 2 X 11 - 600
would decide the ratio between two plain Diametral pitch of worm X 1
cylinders in frictional contact. 8. 15 X 31
The circular pitch is the distance This of course, although supremely 4 X 37 +10 537 16. 25
between any one point on one tooth and accurate, is rendered impracticable by the 8 - 189
the corresponding point on an adjacent 7-digit decimal portion for PI, consequen-
tooth, measured along the pitch circle, tly Pi has to be converted, by approxima-
and may be found from 3.1415926/ tion, into an improper fraction wherein the
error figures are as obtained from an 8-digit calculator which cannot reveal
diametral pitch. numerator and denominator figures will
lend themselves to conversion into avail- se errors w hen these are minimal.
The whole depth of a tooth space, or
depth of a worm thread, may be found able change gears. A list of 15 such
from: approximations for Pi will be found in the
- 2.157 accompanying Table T3. Here the reader
D - DP w ill notice that of the 1 5 approximations,


only two lend themselves to use with Drivers 10 22 5 11
,.... ,....
gears 'by fives and show errors that are Driven = 16 x 7 =4 X 7
M 0 <;I <;I It) <;I It) ~ not altogether unreasonable: these are
0 Ol 0 M ,.._ N ID ltl N Ol ltl
Ol ,.... ,.... co It) It) v v '<t M M M No. 9 with an error of minus one part in 50 55
+ + + + + + + + + + + +
6527 parts, and No. 1 1, the well-known 40 X 35
22/7 with an error of plus one part in which would set on a quadrant e.g.:
It) It) 0 0 0 It) It) It) 0 2486 parts.
V ltl
M co
10 ,.... ,.._ M M ltl 50- A - 40

(; (!)

However, with the list of Pi approxima-
tions on hand, our formu la for DP worms 55 - 35

1 ltlltl Oltl will now read: It should be noted, however, that the

~~ ~~ ~~ 11~ ~~ ~~ I I I I
1010 1010
0:: ~ Mltl '<tltl '<tltl Mltl
Drivers Leadscrew tpi p· lower the DP number, the more coarse the
z ~ Driven = DP of worm x 1 approx. thread. In this example there is an
0 z approximate 2 to 1 step-up in the lead-
0 c{
c{ c{ c{ c{ c{ c{ c{ c{ <( <( <( <( Hence, if a leadscrew is of 8 tpi and we
w a: screw speed relative to that of the compo-
0 wish to cut a worm to mesh with Myford
c{ c{
change gears which are of No. 20 DP and nent being threaded, and the strain on a
ID :l small lathe and its gearing would be
0 0
It) 0
0 0
0 0
we select No. 11 approximation for Pi,
It) '<t '<t significant.
ng the known figures we have:
Drivers 8 22 The Table T3A offers two sets of
co Driven = 20 X 7 gearing for cutting worms sized by
>I! >I!
,.... ~ CXl
0? M Ol
diametral pitch from a leadscrew of 8
6 It) ID It) M 6 CXl
n 22 and 20 are divisible by 2,
v N N N
I 7 I I I lving 8/10 x 11/7, and multiplying all
threads/inch and gears 'by fives'. The
gearing at the left is derived from No. 9
res by 5, we have 40/50 x 55/35,
approximation, and the right-hand gearing
ich would set on a quadrant:
It) It) It) It) It) It) It)
It) It)
from No. 11 approximation for Pi. For a
co co co co co co 10
40- A - 35
(!) leadscrew of 4 threads/inch, halve any
0 0 ltlO ltlO 0 0 ltlO ltlO OlO 0 0
M,.._ MM MM M,.._ MM M'<t M,.._ CO,.._
ltlO ltlO
'<t,.._ M'<t MCO CO,.._
ltlO 0 0
55- 50
Similarly it can be shown that if we use
No. 9 approximation for Pi, No. 20 DP
driving gear, or double any driven gear.
It is worth noting that No. 3 approxima-
l! (!) tion for Pi (Table T3) is usable if a 29T
x z
.. c{
I I I II I I I II <( 00
a leadscrew of 8 tpi will require special gear is available. For example,
gearing for No. 20 DP from a leadscrew of
c{ ltlO ltlO <( <(
;::-- a: '<t" co,.._ 8 tpi resolves to a neat:
0 It),.... .q-,.... - 30
70- 65
0 0
I 0 0 It) 0 0 It) 0
It) 0 0 It) It may occasionally be useful to note
29- A - 30
65 - 50
It) It) ltl M ltl ltl M ltl M It) ltl M t with a leadscrew of 8 tpi, gearing 50/ which under perfect conditions would
will cut a No.20 DP worm with a offer a worm pitch error of only plus 3.7
......nrPTI""' pitch error of minus 0.00083 millionths/inch .
v It) Ol co co co v ,.... ,.... ,.... v CXl . (This gearing shortens 'pick-up' - see Of the Pi approximations in general.
Ol Ol N Ol Ol Ol 0 Ol Ol v co Ol
Ol '<t M ,.._ Ol Ol M Ol ,.._ CO M tion 5) However, the 50/40 ratio uses
M M ltl 0 ,.._ M CXl ,.._ N ltl although Nos. 2 and 6, which each
v co v ,.... N 0 0 N v CXl ,.... CXl roximation No. 16 (from the Table contain the high prime 127, may appear
N Ol ,.._ ltl '<t M N 0 Ol CXl ,....
0 0 q itself has a very high error.
6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 0
give one more example of a gearing
practically useless, the 127's cancel when
used in conjunction with gearing for
lation, let us assume a worm is diametral pitch from a m etric leadscrew
red to mesh with a gear of No. 1 6 (No. 6 approx) or for gearing for module
.q c.o 00 ON...tC.OOOO N C.O and that a leadscrew has 1 0 threads/ (qv) from a threads/inch leadscrew for
............ NNNNNM M M . If we select No. 11 approximation which No. 2 Pi approximation can be
Pi, we have: used.

34 35

method (2) gives the threads/inch thai It might also be handy to note that a built-in selective 'threading' gearboxes
CHECKING PROPOSED would be produced by the gearing under ratio of 2002 to 2001 is given by: that led to the author objecting to such
QUADRANT GEARING perfect conditions. (B) 14/29 X 13/23 X 11 / 3 arrangements. With selective gearboxes,
To check any proposed gearing it is advis- And, of course, either (A) or (B) inverted of course, the makers decide what pitches
able to use the ordinary pitch-checking LEADSCREW ACCURACY will give a corresponding small speed shall be available, and immediately an
formula: Drivers/Driven x leadscrew Of course, unless special provision is reduction. unusual pitch is required it cannot be set
pitch, and to note how the resulting made, the pitch accuracy of any thread or The Table T38 (compiled by the author) without the protracted procedure of
figures compare with the proper circular worm thread cut in a lathe cannot exceed gives a selection of 48 close ratios from writing to the manufacturers with a
pitch of the worm as found from the the accuracy of the leadscrew used, yet in 125/126 to 6003/6004, factorised into 2 request for the necessary gears, which,
·formula: and 3-element ratios for use when upon receipt, are set on a quadrant - often
this respect there seems to be a strongly
3.1415926 held notion that lathe leadscrews are of necessary for thread pitch modification or termed by the makers 'outside gearing'.
Circular pitch Diametral Pitch correct pitch to very close limits, whereas. experimental purposes. Commercially, in a majority of instances.
Thus, the pitch given by gearing 40/35 except by accident, this is most unlikely. the necessity for special ordering leads to
x 55/ 50 tor No. 20 DP cut from a lead- Indeed even if a leadscrew was initially of a ref usal to process one or a few special
SELECTIVE GEARBOXES threads: a curious reflection on the lathe
screw of 8 tpi is: high accuracy it would be unlikely to
remain in that condition for any worth- Incidentally, it is the inability to which was once known as The King of
40 55 1
35 X 50 X B while period because of its exposed manipulate change gears on lathes with Tools'.
position. No doubt lathe makers w ould
= 0.1571428inch assert that their leadscrews ar e T38. A selection of 48 close ratios from 725/T 26 to 6003/6004 factorised into 2 & 3 -
and as No. 20 DP CP = 0.1570796 in. t ratios for use when necessary for thread pitch modification or experimental purposes.
reasonably accurate, but what is reason
there is an error of plus 63.2 millionths/ able? A pitch error of minus 2/10 thou.
inch. inch on a leadscrew of 4 tpi becom es 125/126 = 5/6 X 25/21 2744/2745 = 49/45 X 56/ 61
Similarly, the circular pitch given by minus 8/ 10 thou. in. over a 1 in. length, 252/253 = 12/ 11 x 21 /23 3002/3003 = 38/39 X 79/ 77
gearing an 8 tpi leadscrew: and 2.4 thou. inches over a 3 in. length. 505/ 506 = 5/ 11 X 101/ 46 3248/ 3249 = 56/ 57 X 58/ 57
29- A -30 One of the author's 8 tpi leadscrews 702/703 = 18/ 19 X 39/ 37 3255/ 3256 = 35/ 44 X 93/74
65 - 50 has an error averaging minus 0.0005 in. 703/704 = 19/22 X 37/32 3509/3510 = 11 /9 X 11/10 X 29/39
will be 29/ 30 x 65/50 x 1/8 = per inch, or minus 0.006 in. per foot, and 704/705 = 22/15 X 32/4 7 3519/3520 =5 1/ 55 X 69/ 64
0.1 570833 inch, showing a plus error of in gearing for some 40 tpi micrometer 749/750 = 7/25 X 107/ 30 3750/3751 = 5/11 X 15/11 X 50/31
II 0.0000037 in. on true CP of 0.1 570796 type threads for his own use, which 759/760 = 23/20 X 33/38 3751/3752 = 11 / 7 X 11 /8 X 31/67
in. required a pitch error not exceeding 799/800 = 17/20 X 47/40 3999/4000 = 43/ 50 X 93/80
If a knowledge of the threads/inch of 0.0001 in. per inch, it was necessary to 800/801 = 20/9 X 40/89 4004/4005 = 7/5 X 22/9 X 26/89
any worm is required, this can be found modify the gearing to speed-up the 'slow' 850/851 = 25/23 X 34/37 4255/4256 = 5/ 7 X 23/16 X 37/ 38
from: - ~eadscrew in the ratio 2001 to 2000. This 999/1000 = 27/20 X 37/50 4484/4485 = 59/65 X 76/ 69
r\Jtio is offered by: 000/1 001 = 20/ 13 X 50/ 77 4488/4489 = 68/ 67 X 66/ 67
( 1) Threads/inch Circular Pitch (A) 29/25 X 23/20 X 3/ 4 247/ 1248 = 29/ 39 X 43/32 4514/4515 = 2/ 5 X 37/21 X 61 /43
or (2) from the gearing and when this is included in the basic 1 10 500/1 501 = 30/ 19 X 50/79 4752/4753 = 48/ 49 X 99/ 97
x ...:L:.:e.:::a.:::d=.;sc;:r.:::
ew~t"'p-'-i 5 reduction for 40 tpi with a leadscrew of
Driven 604/1505 = 32/35 X 47/43 4756/4757 = 58/ 67 X 82/71
Threads/inch -Drivers
- 1 8 tpi, the following quadrant gearing it 7 49/17 50 = 33/ 35 X 53/50 4991 /4992 = 7/ 8 X 23/ 16 X 31/ 39
Method (2) is the more revealing when given: 750/1751 = 35/ 17 X 50/103 5015/5016 = 59/ 57 X 85/ 88
resolved to a mixed number fraction. For 45 - 40 23-75 1 = 5/3 X 8/23 X 50/29 5247/5248 = 53/ 64 X 99/82
example the threads/inch given by gearing 29-50 1/2002 = 3/11 X 23/13 X 29/14 5250/5251 = 5/1 X 21/59 X 50/89
40/35 x 55/50 with a leadscrew of 8 tpi This gearing with a perfect leadscrew 54/2255 = 46/41 X 49/55 5499/5500 = 3/5 X 39/20 X 47/55
= 35/40 X 50/55 X 8 = 70/11 = 6 & 4/ would cut a pitch of 0.0250125 in., but ol 55/2256 = 41/4 7 X 55/48 5529/5530 = 57/ 70 X 97/79
11. course, as the leadscrew was 'slow' tht 9/ 2500 = 49/50 X 51/50 5750/5751 = 5/1 X 23/71 X 50/81
Method ( 1) of course gives the 'true' last three decimal places were eliminated 500/2501 = 50/41 X 50/61 6003/6004 = 9/4 X 23/ 19 X 29/79
threads/inch value to close limits, and leaving the required 0.025 in. pitch.


Admitted, quick change gearboxes do quadrant gearing between self-act and ) Whichever is chosen, extra gears {4) Thread pitches of a coarseness much
allow for the rapid selection of any pitch screwcutting that users demanded the led a 'conversion set' would have to be exceeding that of the leadscrew cannot be
wi thin the range, yet, at the time of lever operated selected gearbox, lumping ,.,,,,,..,.,n for cutting threads of opposite cut without danger of overstraining the
writing, with a majority of centre lathes. together a selection of screwcutting and to that of the leadscrew. gearbox gears.
the time saved is largely negated by the feed ratios, but failing completely to When a 'conversion set' is in use for (5) A good range of spare change gears
archaic means provided for holding pick- perceive that the only genuine requi re- tting threads of opposite language to for cutting odd thread pitches outside the
up, {avoidance of 'crossed thread' during ment was for some sort of slow drive for t of the leadscrew, self- act, or range offered by the gearbox, (or even
screwcuttlng) and the slowness at which the feedshaft or leadscrew, this drive tomatic slow carriage traverse will not outside the range offered by the gearbox
the required pitch has to be cut. being totally independent of any gearing available until after removal of the con- together with the conversion set) and for
that may have been set on a quadrant for gearing and replacement of the indexing and general experimental work,
screwcutting purposes. and always avail I' gears used for connecting the will not be available unless purchased
750 THOUSAND PITCHES able even when a change gear quadrant spindle to the gearbox input. separately.
According to Prof. D. H. Chaddock. twenty was vacant. And of course, such an
change gears can be set in 380 2-gear independent self- act does offer immediate
combinations, 29,070 4-gear combina- change to or from screwcutting ratios. The
tions, and 775,200 6-gear combinations. author first fitted independent self-act
a total of 804,650 ways, and allowing reduction gearing in 1 940, and when a
10,000 or so for identical ratios arising change gear quadrant Is uncluttered w ith
from the assembly of the same gears in a double-compound reduction gearing for
different order, the total possible ratios self-act. a majority of common thread
from 20 gears in 2 , 4 and 6-gear com- pitches can be set in less than 60 seconds
binations is about three quarters of a by merely substituting one gear for
million, but not if they are locked up in a another and adjusting the new meshing
gearbox. Instead therefore of increasing distances. Hardinge use an infinitely
the versatility of a lathe, a selective variable speed electric motor for self-act
screwcutting gearbox reduces it. on their HLV- H High Precision Lathes, and
this has the additional advantage that
EVOLUTION OF GEARBOX feed rates can be varied whilst a cut is in
The evolution of the quick selective progress. Hardinge do however provide a
threading gearbox can be traced back to selective gearbox for most-used threads
the early screwcutting lathes which were Indeed prospective industrial lathe buyers
provided only with a leadscrew, quadrant, would today look somewhat askance at
and set o f change gears, and these gears any lathe without a 'threading box'. so
were se t on the quadrant either for ingrained is the belief that this refinement
screwcutting ratios - generally calling for is of paramount importance.
a simple train of gears - or for self-act
feed rates, which required a compound or SELECTIVE GEARBOXES FOR
double compound train of gears to give a
sufficiently slow leadscrew rotation. Con- MODEL MAKERS' LATHES
sequently when a quadrant was set for Those contemplating purchase of a small
screwcutting, no self-act rate was avail- lathe may like to note that if a selective
able, and vice-versa if a quadrant was set threading gearbox is felt desirable, then :
for self-act. Thus it was impossible to ( 1) A decision should be made whether to
alternate quickly between screwcutting order a metric or an English leadscrew
and self-act feed rates, and it was such a and gearbox. (If, of course, there is a
time-consuming operation to change the choice).

38 39

case - approximations for the 50/12 7
Drivers p 50
SECTION 3 ratio can be arranged w ith gears holding 5 X
consid erably less teeth.
Driven = 2 127
Whilst the forego ing analysis serves as Drivers 3P 50
6 X
an introductory explanation, ordinarily Driven = 5 127
metric pit ches are invariably expressed in
Gearing an English m illimetres, and the term thrds/CM is not
recognised: neither is it necessary to
Driven =
5 X
change a metric pitch into a thrds/CM Drivers P 50
leadscrew for metric value as an individual operation when
calculating g ear trains - t he necessary
Driven = T
In each example, P represent s the metric
X 127

figures are written into the f ormula which pitch (in mm) to be cut. The reason why
threads is evolved from the following reasoning -
these five examples are not reduced to
their lowest terms (e.g. 20P/12 7 for a
S ince t hreads/CM
Pitch in m m leadscrew of 4 tpi) is that each fo rm u la
we may initially position 10/P in place of leaves the translation ratio of 50/12 7
tpi in the stand'ard quadrant gea ring intact, and later, when we discuss
formula for threads per inch with an approximations for the ratio 50/12 7, t he
A lthough there were slight differences O RIGIN OF 127 GEAR English leadscrew (gearing = LSTPI/tpi to above formula will be used with the
bet ween t he English and American ratios If we want a reduction of 1 to 2 .54 in gear be cut) and we have: symbol T in place of 50/127, and the T
for the number of millimet res to the inch, f orm, then these quant ities w ill have to be will represent any one o f those
the difference was so small as to be of multip lied up to eli minate the 0 .54 Drivers LSTPI approximations.
Driven = _ _1_0_
interest only to the manufacturers of pre- decimal portion. Multiplying by 100 gives p Note: the 50/ 12 7 translation ratio is
cision inst ruments and gauge b locks, the gea rs of 100 and 254 teeth and on seldom used today, even by some of the
latter generally being sized to a m i ll ionth dividing each by 2 we have wheels of 50 we then introduce the necessary 1 to 2.54 best industrial lathes. However, these
of an inch, or to 25 millionths of a reduct ion by multiplying by 50/127 which
and 127 teeth. And it is in t his way that notes would be incomplete without a few
m illimetre. Nowadays, however, it has the seemingly strange 127 gear a rrives on gives the general formu la: examples showing the 50/127 t ranslator
been generally agreed that one inch the scene. Further, when you conside r Drivers LSTPI P 50 in use.
contains exactly 25.4 mm, or 2.54 that a lathe geared for cutting an English Driven =- - 1- - X TO x 127
centimetres. thread of so many to the inch can be USE OF FORMU LAS
Perhaps the simplest way to show, made to cut that number of threads/CM This formu la, where LSTPI = tpi of
A leadscrew of 4 tpi would most probably
basically, how a lat he with an English by t he inclusion of the 50-1 2 7 reduction leadscrew, and P = the metric pitch to be
be driven through a selective gearbox,
leadscrew may be geared to cut a metric gearing, you will see why the 50-12 7 cut, expressed in mm, is applicable to
thus affording the student no opportunity
thread is by the following reasoning. gears are sometimes referred to as 'tran- leadscrews of any number of threads/inch,
to set his own gears on a quadrant. Accor-
Suppose, for example, a lathe with a lead- slation gears'. The 50 gear, however, does but since in practice we are hardly likely to
dingly we wil l confine our attention to
screw of 8 tpi is geared to cut a thread of not appear in all gear trains because it encounter English leadscrews with other
simple lathes with leadscrews of 8 and 10
2 0 tpi with a basic gearing rat io of 8/20, often cancels with another of the gears. than 4, 5, 6, 8 or 10 tpi , the formu la can tpi.
and we wish to modify the gearing to cut For example, taking our original 8/20 be resolved into five simple and basic
Example 1. To gear a leadscrew of 8 tpi
20 threads per centimetre (0.5 mm pi tch) ration for 20 tpi, and introducing the 50/ exam p les, any one of which is easily com-
for a metric pitch of 1.5 mm.
instead of 20 tpi. Now, 20 threads per CM 127 reduction, we have 8/20 x 50/127 = mitted to memory, although we will
Substituting for P in the formula, we
is, of course, 'finer' than 20 tpi, and in fact, 20/127. probably only encounter Imperial lead- have:
as there are 2.54 CM to the inch, 20 The 12 7 wheel holds a p rime number screws of 4 and 8 tpi today.
threads/CM is 20 x 2.54 = 50.8 threads of teeth, and is therefore the smallest that Drivers 4 X 1.5 50
to the inch, or 0.5 mm pit ch. Accordingly, will offer an exact translation ratio. As will LEAD SCREW TPI FORMULA Driven = 5 x rn
to gear for the fi ner pitch, the 8/20 ratio be seen, when slight pitch errors can be 4 D riv.ers 2P 50 6 50 60
needs slowing down in the ratio 1 to 2 .54. permitted or ignored - as is usually the Driven = 5 x 127 = 5 x r n = 121


showing we require a 60 wheel as a driver Substituting for P we have: •nd overlook the stresses imposed on diametral pitch standard to the lathe. The
and the 127 wheel as a driven. or lead ~ such gear trains, when they are put to photograph, Fig. 1 OA shows the reduced
0.75 50
screw gear. -1- x 127 practical use. DP 127 gear in use. with the quadrant set
Example 2. To gear a leadscrew of 8 tpi for cutting a thread of 2.0 mm pitch.
multiplying 0 .75 and 1 by 4 to eliminatu GEARS OF REDUCED PITCH
for a metric pitch of 0. 75 mm. the decimal point we have: For the smaller 127 gear (and mating
Substituting for P we have: The change gears supplied with the lathe gears) a DP of No. 30 was chosen. and by
3 50 30 50
Drivers 4 x 0.75 50 30 Illustrated in Fig. 10 are of No. 20 DP. and this means the diameter of the original
4 X 1 2 7 - 40 X 127
Driven = 5 X fTT f27 = which might set on the quadrant:
for all ord inary purposes may be 12 7 gear was reduced to a comfortable
showing we require a 30 wheel as a assembled into fairly compact gear trains, 4.4 inches (approximately 109 mm) and
driver, and the 127 as a driven, or lead- 30- A - 40 but a gear of 127 teeth in the same with standard change gears and a reduced
screw gear. 50 - 127 dlametral pitch has an outside or whole pitch gear of 40 teeth to mesh with the
Example 3. To gear a leadscrew of 8 tpi Example 2 . To gear a leadscrew of 1Otp• diameter of 6.45 inches (approximately new 127 gear. metric gear trains can be
for a metric pitch of 0.6 mm. for a metric pitch of 3.0mm. 164 mm) giving a somewhat cumber- readily assembled in the manner shown in
Substituting for P. we have: Substituting for P we have: some wheel over which the change gear the right-hand table. No. T4. where the
3 50 cover will not fit. Such a large gear also reduced DP gears are shown in italics.
Drivers 4 x 0.6 50 makes the setting for some metric pitches
Driven = 5 x 127 T X 127
exceedingly voluminous: indeed many
and multiplying 3 and 1 by 20 to bring lO CHECKING METRIC GEAR
2.4 50 24 calculated settings are impossible. With
5xrn= m gear sizes w e have:
60 50
these limitations in mind and a wish to TRAINS
make practical tests for these notes. it
However. if our change gears rise by
fives, a 24 will not be available and we
20 x m seemed worth investigatin g the
When a gear train has been calculated for
cutting a metric thread pitch from an
must split the 24 into, say, 4 x 6 and where it would probably be convenient to possibilities of using a 12 7 gear of English leadscrew it is advisable to check
write: adopt the 50 as a first driver and set on reduced diametral pitch (smaller teeth) that the computed gearing will in fact cut
4 6 the quadrant: which could nevertheless be assembled in the metric pitch required. and for this
T X 127 50- A - 20
gear trains initially driven by gears of the purpose we may note that the pitch in mm
w e may then multiply the 6 and 1 by 5, 60- 127 10. The author's work- horse. A Myford lathe with quick ecting rack tailstock, Instant chenge to
giving : backgeer, specie/ clutch giving repeat pick up for ell thread pitches, independent self-act
However. in this example the student
4 30 rr~auct'fl'm giving Instant chonge to or from screwcuttlng ratios, adjustable carriage deed stop - also
5 xm should note the 50-20 step-up rati o,
whi c h alth ough followed by a n
as a thread run out stop - front locking change gear studs and quick lock for quadrant.
and bringing the 4 and 5 to gear sizes by height increased to 3{ ln. (about 92.0 mm.).
multiplying by ten we have:
Drivers 40
Driven = 50 x f27
approxim ate 1-2 reduction (60/12 7)
would place undesirable loading on tho
first part of the gear train. In this examplo.

too. the overall step-up is only 1 5Q-1 2 7
which could be set on the quadrant: or about 1 to 1.18 to 1 and obviously. but
40- A - 50 for the large number of teeth on the 1 2 7
30- 127 gear. the initial 50- 20 step-up would be
The basic formula for dealing with a unnecessary. When we deal with the
leadscrew of 1 0 tpi is of course similarly question of approximations for the ratio
dealt with. For convenience the formula is 50/127 we will see how such awkward
here repeated: step-up ratios can generally be avoided
Drivers P 50 Admitted, many text-books unhesitatingly
Driven T x 127 show large driving wheels- even up to 8 0
where Pis the pitch to be cut, in mm. or more teeth driving a 20 for example
Example 1. The gear a leadscrew of 10 tpi but in these instances it appears that
for a metric pitch of 0. 75 mm. writers get carried away by pure theory.

42 43

Fig. TOA. Showing a TABLE T4
12 7T 'translation ·
gear in use. The 127
wkh a meshing 40T. MM A. B.
the remaining gears 50 25 50 - - 25 40 - - 127
are of No. 20 DP: the
Myford standard. The
3·5 70 - - 127 70--40
quadrant is set for a 50 25 50--25 40 - - 127
thread of 2.0 mm. 3·0 60 - - 127 60--40
pitch from a lead 50 20 50 - - A - - 2 0
screw of 8 tpi. See
also text.
2·5 40 - - 127 40 - - 127
The pinion extreme 40 25 50 - - A -- 25
lower left drives any 2·0 50 - - 127 4 0 -- 727
gear train used for 50 25 35 - - A - - 20
screwcutting when
brought into mesh b y
1. 75 35 - - 127 40 - - 727
lowering the 50 25 30 - - A - - 2 0
quadrant. This pinion 1. 5 30 - - 127 40 - - 727
rotates at about 1/ 10 50 A - - 127 25 - - A -- 20
lathe spindle speed,
thus self- act feed
1.25 4 0 -- 127
rates are always 4 0 -- A- - 40
available. 1. 0 40 A - - 127 4 0 -- 727
40 25 40--A--50
from any gearing {including approximation
gearing, q.v.) used in conjunction with an
By way of example we w ill now check the
gearing previously calculated for a selec-
0·8 20 - - 127 4 0 -- 127
English leadscrew may be found from the tion of metric pitches from leadscrews of 30--A--40
formula: 8 and 10 tpi: 0· 75 30 A - - 127 4 0 -- 127
. . Drivers 25.4 Example No. 1 : 0.6 mm pitch from a lead- 35 - - 50 35 - - A - - 50
P1tch 10 mm = Driven X Leadscrew TPI screw of 8 tpi was calculated as requiring 1·0 40 - - 127 40 - - 727
Thus, for the five leadscrews set out on 40 and 30 drivers, and 50 and 127 driven, 40 50 30 - - A -- 50
page 4 1 we find the checking formula hence: 0·6 30 - - 127 4 0 -- 127
resolves to: 40 30 127 2 0 -- A -- 40
LEADSCREW CHECKING 50 x f27 x 40 = 0 ·6 mm 0·5 20 A - - 127 4 0 -- 727
TPI FORMULA Example 2. 0.75 mm pitch from a lead-
Drivers 127 20 50 30--60 40 - - 127
4 P = Driven x "20
screw of 10 tpi was found to require 30
and 50 drivers and 40 and 127 driven
0-45 45 - - 127 45--50
gears, hence: 20 50 2 0 - - A - - 50
P -- - -- X
Driven 25
30 50 127
0·4 40 - - 127 4 0 -- 727
40 x 127 x 50 = 0.75 mm
p = Dr~vers x 127
6 Dnven "3tJ Example 3. The quadrant of a lathe with a
leadscrew of 8 tpi is found to be set thus: Table T4. Gearing for metric pitches with a leadscrew of 8 tpl and the exact 50/127 translation
p = Dr~vers X 127 40-65- 40 ratio. Gearing at left is with standard No. 20 DP gears, gearing at right is with a 40 and 127 gear of
8 Dnven 40 reduced DP. See also text. Mixing of reduced D.P. gears (shown italicised) offers a more compact
32 - 29
11ssembly. Both systems give pitches to an accuracy equal to that of the lese/screw.
Drivers 127 What thread pitch or pitches would this
10 p = Driven X 50 gearing give if used for screwcutting?

44 45

(a) 40- 65 - 40 is merely a 1- 1 ratio, circa 1914 (See "Fowler's Mechanics & 50/12 7, the error being plus 7.9 thou. venient to use, say 53.
so can be ignored. The effective ratio is Machinists Pocket Book and Diary" - Inch per inch, or plus one part in 126 (2). Increase or reduce M (in t urn) by 1, 2
32-29. The metric pitch given would Sixth Annual Edition, 1 914, Edited by parts, whereas when 63 (or 7 x 9) is used & 3, thus forming a new number M '
therefore = 32/ 29 x 127/ 40 = 3.503448 William H. Fowler, page 281). Now . as a driving wheel - as the originator no (3). Note prime factors on numerator, and
mm i.e. 3.5 mm with a pitch error of plus although 63/ 1 60 may appear even more doubt intended - the error is 63 times (where possible) factorise denominators
0.003448 mm. cumbersome than 50/ 127, it can in fact less, i.e. plus one thousandth of an inch in offered by:
(b) The inch pitch given by the gearing = be broken down into elements: 7/ 4 x 9/ 8 inches, or plus one mm in 8000 mm if
you prefer to look at it in that way. N 50
32/ 29 x 1/ 8 = 4/ 29 = 0.137931 in. 40, 3/ 4 x 21 / 40 or 7/ 8 x 9/ 20 etc., thus M' X T
(exactly 7± tpi). considerably reducing gear sizes and the It will be seen however that in conver-
total number of teeth in some gear trains. ting from metric to English - i.e. cutting But: reject any quotients in M ' showing
For example, gearing for a pitch of 4 .0 tpi from a metric leadscrew - translation prime factors in excess of the number of
AlTERNATIVE TRANSLATION mm with a leadscrew of 8 tpi and the 63/ ratios have to be inverted, so under these teeth that it would be convenient to use in
GEARING 1 60 t ranslator is reduced to: conditions a 63 would properly become a gear form, say 73.
(Approximations for the driven gear, although even here, a 63T
35- A - 25 wheel as such is not remarkably useful. 63 Example 1. Let N = 63 (7 x 9)
exact value 50/ 127)
45 - 50 Is also a driven gear in approximations No. 127 X 63 = 8001 = M
Although use of the 50/127 ratio offers
wherein, neglecting the number of teeth in 13 and 16, (Table T5) before inversion, M minus 1 = 8000 = M'
t heoretically error-free Imperial-metric
the 'A' wheel, the teeth tota l = 155, and but we can be fairly sure that Nos.13 and
conversions, obviously the pitch accuracy
no effective gear is required with more 16 were unknown to the originator of the The approximation w ill now = ~· x 5 0
of any thread cut by means of a leadscrew 1
than 50 teeth. The same 4.0 mm pitch 63/1 60 approximation.
cannot exceed the pitch accuracy of t he
leadscrew itself, and, as already hinted in
using the 50/127 translator requires 7 X 9 X 50 = .!_ X ~ (No. 1 5 in
gearing: liST OF APPROXIMATIONS 8000 4 40 Table)
Section 2, lathe leadscrews, although suf-
ficiently accurate for general run-of-the- 40 - A -20 The foregoing notes on the 63/160
mill threading, would be most unlikely to 80- 127 Example 1A. Let N = 63 (7 x 9)
approximation will have formed a useful
hold an accuracy similar to that required showing a teeth total of 267, quite apart Introduction to the subject in general. 1 2 7 x 63 = BOO 1 = M
of jig-borer feed-screws, for example, from the undesirability of the 40-20 step- Investigations by the author revealed well M plus 1 = 8002 = M'
where the error has to be less than plus or up followed by an 80 driver. over 100 approximations for the ratio 50/ N 50
minus one tenth of a thousandt h of an If a 63 wheel is available, gearing for a 12 7 and many more could b e calculated.
Th e approximation = M' xT
inch per 16 inch length (0.0025 mm in 4.0 mm pitch with a leadscrew of 8 tpi So far, the range extends from 21 /50 with 7 X 9 X 25
406 mm) - see " Holes, Contours and becomes 63/ 50, thus offering a further an error of minus one part in 255 parts
Surfaces" by Richard F. Moore & reduction of the teeth total to 113. (one inch in 7 yards) to 3/ 5 x 43/ 44 x 4 7I
Frederick C. Victory. Published by The neglecting any necessary idle gears. 70 with an error of plus one inch in 12 But, as 400 1 is a prime and cannot
Moore Special Tool Company, Bridgeport, However, extensive investigations by the miles. The Table T5 sets out 46 of these therefore be factorised into gear sizes, this
Connecticut. author show that in general a 63T gear is approximations, those selected being approximation must be rejected
Moreover, lathe leadscrews are not of sufficient use to warrant the based upon potential value (for use in
generally exposed to swart and grit arising addition of one to a set of change gears. selective gearboxes, for example) and Example 2. Let N = 62 (2 x 31 )
from machining operations, consequently Occasionally a 63 wheel may be found actual value for use in quadrant setting. 127 X 62 = 7874 = M
a lathe leadscrew of supreme accuracy amongst change gears with a second- Except where otherwise stated, the =
M plus 1 7875 = M'
could not be expected to remain in that hand lathe, and this sometimes leads to approximations w ere newly calculated by
condition for any worthwhile period. the belief th at because 63 i s the author, the method of calculation N 50
The foregoing facts coupled with the approximately equal to 127/2, the ratio being as fo llows:
The approximation = M' x - ,-
awkward size of gears with 127 teeth led 25/63 shou ld be used in place of, and as (1). Multiply 127 by a number N, and let
to t he adoption of approximat ions for the an approximation for, t he ratio 50/12 7 . the product = M Note: N may = any 2 X 31 X 50
ratio 50/12 7, and perhaps the most Now. of course. while there can be no number the prime factors of which should 7875
commonly quoted approximation is 63/
160 which appears to have been evolved
'law' against using 25/63, this ratio is one
of t he poorest possible approximations for
not exceed the number o f teeth in the
largest change gear that it would be con- ~ x ~j (No.16 in Table)

46 47


"'"' 0
"' "' .... "'"' N 00 0 N
..."' "'..
"' "'
"'"'£N "'"'£N


.5 s

£ "'
"'.5 "'....5 "',5
., "'
; .s

i i i + -:: I i -;_ I i 7 -; i I

:=; !~ ~l~ ~~ ~~ ~ ~~ ~~ ~~~ ~ t:; ~~~ ~l!;l ~~~ ~ J~ ~ ~~


N ..
co oi
. .
e:: e::? Example 2A Let N = 62 (2 x 31 )
0 0 0 3 x 7 x 13 x 19
It) 127 X 62 = 7874 = M =
M minus 2 = 7872 = M'
u. and, by trial, 131 7 5 factorises into
en 2 X 31 X 50 reasonably low primes:
2 The approximation 5 X 5 x 17 x 31 whereupon, re-forming
0 ~~ into a three-element approximation we
...E .•
'1: ~ 25
= ~X48
31 have:
·; tb

(Not considered of sufficient value to
13 19 21 .
17 X 25 x TI (No. 1 1n Table)
0 include in Table).
a: 0 When computing approximations for
0.. ....
co 8 0
U> "'
N ....
<D the value 50/1 2 7 we may note that ( 1)
0.. "' ...., 0N .,
~ "'
"'.5 "'"'.5 M M N the higher the N multiplier. and the less
u. £ £ E Example 3. Let N = 3 X 7 X 13 x 19 the deduction to form M' the smaller the
0 I + i I + + = 5187 error in the approximation. (2) The
l- ~ ;;;!;;; ::ll~
en .g 127 X 5187 = 658749 = M suitability of any N multiplier is purely a
:::i e
)( )( )(

M plus 1 = 658750 = M' matter of arbitrary selection and trial. (3)


" )(
Trial factorisation of the M' denominators
)( )(
w N 50 obviously need not be continued beyond
al 0
= M' X T
trial division by prime 73, or the number
~ 3X7 X 1 3 X 1 9 X 50 of teeth held by a largest gear considered
658750 to be of reasonable size.

48 49

NOTES ON THE TABLE OF (2). gives the most convenient ratio for PRACTICAL EXAMPLES ing No. 1 7 translator we have:
APPROXIMATIONS. T5 repeat pick-up. (Avoidance of crossed Some examples from the author's Drivers 4 x 4 5 43 8 43
threading: see Section 5) = -5- x ...,-;r x 39 = 7
The Table is presented in descending experience will now be given. Driven x 39
(3). And to generally ignore the error- Example 1. To gear a leadscrew of 8 tpi
order of accuracy.
value of the approximation, although for 1.5 mm pitch. and multiplying 8 and 7 by 5 we have 40/
The error in any approximation is easily
of course, one would choose the best This 1.5 mm pitch is sometimes used 35 x 43/39 which conveniently sets on
revealed by multiplying the approximation the quadrant:
approximation, consistent with con- to concentrically thread nuts which, at the
in question by 127/50, cancelling where
ditions ( 1) and (2). same chucking, are subsequently finish
possible, e.g. No.11 40- A -39
This approach can save a considerable sized with a ground-thread tap. Conse-
2 19 40 127 19304 43 - 35
amount of time. quently pitch accuracy during lathe
g X "f3 X 33 and X 50 = 1 9305 Some of the higher value (minimum As with example No. 1, this 4.0 mm
screwcutting is unimportant and the 1 5/
error) approximations (Nos. 1 to 14) will pitch is often preceded or followed by
Here, as the denominator 19305 exceeds 38 translator (No.44 in Table) can be
not necessarily be of use for individual used. gearing for a thread of 8 tpi (and 14 tpi)
the numerator by 1 (one), the error is and this is quickly set by substituting a 40
quadrant settings, but Nos. 1, 4 and 11 The necessary gearing for a leadscrew
minus 1 (one part) in 19305 parts.
may be of value for incorporation in selec- of 8 tpi is: for the 35 and meshing the 40 with the
Example 2. To find the error in No. 21
tive gearboxes for the reasons that: 39 which now becomes a second idle
approximation: Drivers 4P X T gear:
(1) These approximations are of
minimum error. Driven 5
5 23 127 2921 40- A -39 - 40
4 X 73 X 50 = 2920 {2) Each hold nearly all the primes Substituting for P and T we have:
= 8 tp1,. and:
needed for 'threads per inch ' Drivers 4 x 1.5 15 18 Similarly
Hence, as the numerator exceeds the
denominator by 1 (one), the error is plus 1
gearing, and would thus avoid Driven = 5 X 38 = 38 40- A - 39- 70 .
(one) in 2920. This approach, incidentally,
duplication of those prime s But, as a 40T first driver is both necessary
43 = 14 tpl
elsewhere in a gearbox. and convenient (to suit the limitations
is thought to be more revealing than In general, and assuming any
errors expressed in percentages. CALCULATIONS. imposed by a special c lutch - see section necessary gears are available and that
Although any individual reader will 5). the 18/38 is rearranged to 2/1 x 9/38. pick-up does not require special con-
USE OF APPROXIMATIONS probably have to deal with, at most, two
The 9 and 1 are then multiplied by 4 , sideration, when choosing an approxima-
Hitherto it appears from a study of various giving 2 / 4 x 36/38, and the 2 and 4 mul- tion for 50/ 127 from the table, gearing
English leadscrews from the list of five on
text- books on lathe screwcutting that tiplied by 20, giving a final ratio of 40/ 80 can be simplified by sel ecting an
page 41 of this Section, for convenience,
X 36/38, which sets on the quadrant:
gearing for metric pitches to be cut from all five are here repeated, with symbol Tin appr oximation wherein a fractional
an English leadscrew (and vice versa) was, place of the exact 50/12 7 translation 40- A- 38 element of that approximation cancels
or is, more generally based upon or ratio, the T now representing any one of 36- 80 wholly or partly with the first element of
evolved from the use of only one the 46 approximation ratios in Table T5 This 1.5 mm pitch is often followed (or the general gearing formula.
approximate translation ratio, perhaps LEADSCREWTPI FORMULA preceded) by call for a thread of 14 tpi for Example 3. For example, the general
No.15, 63/160, but in the course of lathe Drivers 2P which a 70T wheel is substituted for the formula for gearing for metric pitches with
screwcutting over seven hundred feet of 4 Driven = 5 X T 80 and meshed with the 38 which then a leadscrew of 8 tpi is 4P/5 x T. Now
various threads, (individually seldom becomes a second idle wheel, and the 36 suppose we wish to gear for a metric pitch
exceeding about 2 in. in length) both Drivers p is merely left in position with nothing to of 2.5 mm. Substituting 2.5 for P, we
English and metric, from 4 .0 mm pitch to
Driven = yx T
have (4 X 2.5)/ 5 x T = 10/5 x T, accor-
1.5 mm pitch and from 8 tpi to 26 tpi.. the Drivers 3P 40- A - 38- 70 dingly if we can find an approximation
6 T
procedure now favoured by the author Driven = 5 x 36 containing an element 5/ 10, or 1 /2, the
(when translations are necessary) is to and of course 40-70 gears a leadscrew of gearing will be simplified. Scanning the
select an approximate translation ratio Drivers 4P table of approximations we find No. 18: 1/
8 T 8 tpi for 14 tpi.
that: Driven = 5 x
Example 2 . To gear a leadscrew of 8 tpi 2 x 37/ 47, consequently we have:
( 1 ). Offers the simplest gear train, i.e. Drivers p for 4.0 mm pitch. Drivers 10 1 37 37
avoids double compound gear trains. 10
Driven = -,-x T
Using the formula 4P/ 5 x T, and select- Driven = 5 x 2 x 47 = 47

50 51

which would set on the quadrant: (4 X 1.7)/5 X T = (4 X 17)/50 X T, but on ta ined from the formula already given:
42 - 20 30-50
37 - A - A -47 or, with a 40 scanning the table of approximations we
Pitch (mm) = Dr~vers x 127 35 - 40
first driver: find that No. 28, 1 5/17 x 25/56 holds a Dnven 40
denominator 17 which will cancel: But if we are going to introduce yet more
40 - A - 40 For example, taking the first of the three special gears to meet every adversity,
37 - 47 Drivers 4 x 17 15 25 3 5 gear trains given for a pitch of 2.0 mm we
Driven = -go- X U X 56 = 4 X 7 then attempts at the formation of rules or
And this gearing would cut a pitch of: have 45, 35 and 30 drivers, and 25, 50 systems are easily defeated.
37/47 x 127/40 = 2.499468 mm which after multiplyi ng up to gear sizes and 60 driven, hence:
showing a pitch error of minus 0.000532 would set on the quadrant: 45 35 30 127
mm, or 21 millionths of an inch, assuming
30- A - 35
25 X 50 X BO X 4Q = 2.00025 mm EXTRACTION OF AN
a lead screw of perfect lead. APPROXIMATION RATIO
Example 4. We may require a pitch of 3.5 FROM A GEAR TRAIN
mm from a leadscrew of 8 tpi. The basic which gives a pitch of 1. 7008928 mm,
requirement will then be (4 x 3.5)/5 x T = showing a pitch error of plus 0.0008928
Myford Limited, the well-known lathe
Occasionally when English/metric gearing
14/5 x T. Now obviously the 5/14 of No. mm, or p lus 35 millionths of an inch with contains an approximation for the exact
17 approximation would cancel nicely, a leadscrew of perfect lead. makers, i nvented a further modification of ratio 50/127 (as will be evident from the
leaving us with a 43 driver and 39 driven, the 63/160 approximation ratio, and this absence of a 12 7 gear) it can be useful to
but of course, if we have only gears 20- takes the form 3/4 x 21/40 calling for ascertain the approximation used for 50/
20-75 by fives plus one 38, we have to
CHANGE GEAR TABLE only one specia l gear of 21 teeth, and 12 7 in the gearing.
search for approximations for 50/1 2 7 For the benefit of those possessing only when this is used in conjunction with a The translation ratio can be found from
containing those gears, or primes of those the more customary set of change gears leadscrew of 8 tpi and their standard the following formula:
gears. No. 20 approximation: 5/7 x 2 7/49 20-20- 7 5 by fives, plus one 38, the Table gears by fives, offers the following basic
holds primes 3, 5 and 7, and may be T6 overleaf offers gearing for metric formula: T = Dr~vers x 10
Dnven P x LSTPI
rewritten: 5/7 X 3/7 x 9/7, thus: pitches from 4.0 mm to 0.25 mm with a Drivers 3P 21
leadscrew of 8 tpi and requires no special Driven = 5 x 40 where LSTPI = threads per inch of lead-
Drivers 14 5 3 9
Driven = 5 x7 x7 x7 gears with the exception of 0.25 mm pitch screw, P = the NOMINAL pitch in mm (as
which requires an 80 wheel, and an where P is the pitch to be cut. This distinct from the approximate pitch given
wherein two of the 5's cancel, one of the alternative train for 0.35 mm pitch, which approach offers neat gearing for the finer by the gearing) and T the approximation to
7's cancel with 14, giving numerator 2, requires a 33 wheel. In a majority of pitches, e.g.: be found.
and we have: examples, alternative gear trains are By way of example, and referring to the
1.0 mm pitch 30- A - 50
Drivers 6 9 60 45 given, and seven different approximations Table T6 wherein the first of the two sets
21 - 40
Driven 7 7 70 35 for the ratio 50/127 are used throughout of gearing for a pitch of 1.75 mm from a
which would set on the quadrant: the table. We may note that although the 2 .0 mm pitch 30- A -25 leadscrew of 8 tpi is given as 30/35 x 45/
45 - A - 35 63/160 translation ratio is used for some 70, what approximate translation was
gearing, it is always used in the basic form used?
60- 70
7/4 x 9/40 which of course eliminates 3 .0 mm pitch 45- 25 A -
And if we try using the No.44 approxima- call for a 63 gear, which as a driving The approximation T
tion we arrive at gearing : 21 - 40
wheel would be inconveniently large, 30 45 10 1
However, gearing for a pitch of 3 .5 mm
30- A -25 especia lly for the finer p itches, where, for 35 X 70 X 1.75 XB
35 - 38 proves rather cumbersome because it
example, a pitch of 0.5 mm would call for
calls for a 60 driver, and a 3-1 step-up, 5 27
Example 5 . Occasionally the approxima- gearing 1/10 x 63/ 40or 1/5 x 63/80. 7x (No.20 in Table T5)
and large ratio increases are always 49
tions may be used to compensate for lack Regrettably, because of the large speed undesirable:
of a particular gear. For example, reductions required for the finer pitches And multiplying by 127/50 to reveal the
60- 20 21 - 50
ordinarily, to gear for a non-standard pitch 0.75 mm down to 0 .25 mm, the double error we have:
of 1. 7 mm would require a wheel such as 35- 40
compound gear trains are unavoidable. 5/7 X 27/49 X 127/50 = 3429/3430
34, holding prime 17, and with a lead- The actua l pitch given by any of the Of course a more 'balanced' train can showing an error of minus one part in
screw of 8 tpi, the basic gearing would be: gear trains in the table T6 may be ascer- be obtained by use of a 42 wheel : 3430.

52 53

35 -- A - ~-25 MM GEARING
45 - - 50 + 8000 15
4-0 35--50 30 75 + 8000 15
30--A--25 45 40
40 - - 38 + 3 80 44
25 - - - A - - 55
45 - - A 35 -343 0 20
1. 0 45 - - 65 - 1144 34
60 - - 70
3-5 20 - -- A - - 38
+ 380 44
30 - - A--25 30 - - 50
35 - - 38 + 380 44
20 - - A 55 - 1 144 34
40--A 50
+ 1650 29
0-8 45 - - 65
3-0 40 - - 38 25 65 -- 4446 19
30 - - A - - 38 35 60
60-~- - 50
+ 380 44 0· 75
30 - - 40 45 55
40 - - A - 1144 34
60 25 65
6 5 -- 50 + 1650 29
30 - - 50 20 70 - 3430 20
2· 75 45 35
65 A A- - 75 + 1650 29 20 - - 70 40 - - 38 - 2794 23
3 0 -- A - - 38
+ 380 44
0-7 55 75
55 - - 5 0
20--40 5 5 -- 5 0 - 466 43
35 - - A - - 4 0 30 75
45 - - 50 + 8000 15
2-5 35--38 40 75 - 4446 19
30 A A 38 + 380 25 65
44 0-6
4 5 - - 25 30 60 20 - - 40 45 - - 55
+ 8000 15 - 1 144 34
35 50 30 65
45 - - A- - 55 30 - - 60 25 65
- 1 14 4 34 - 1 144 34
2·0 5 0 -- 65 0·5 45 55
30 - - A - - 3 8 35--38 20 65 - 4446
40 - - 50 0-45 25 - - 50 19
30 - - A -- 35 25 - - 50 20 65 - 1 144 34
- 3430 20
1. 75 45 - - 7 0 0·4 45 55
30 - - A - - 38 55 - - 3 8 20 75 - 2794 23
35 - - 50 + 380 44 20 70
40 - - 60 35 38 30 - - 40 20 75 - 466 43
- 4446 19 33 60
50 ~- 65
1. 5 35--38 20 75
20 -- A --~- 50 - 4446 19
65 - - 55
+ 1650 29 0-3 25 65
30--A - - 38 25--55 20 80 - 1 144 34
45--75 + 380 44 0·2 5 45 65
35--50 30--60
45 40 + 8000 15
4 5 --55 25 65
1-25 50 40 - 1 144 34 TAB LET6
25 - -50 + 380 15 PLU S ONE 38.


WORM THREADS FOR GEARS Module by inch measure which, for a leadscrew of 8 tpi reduces to
SIZED BY MODULE. Drivers _ 4M x p
APPROXIMATIONS FOR Pi x 50/ 127 Driven - 5
=- 1 to 0.8085071 Symbol P.
GEARING Pi Example 1. Suppose we wish to find
Circular pitch (inch)
Approx. Approx. Error in
Just as an engineer working by inch DP gearing for No.1 module (circular pitch =
measure gains a knowledge of the relative 3.141 59 mm) with a leadscrew of 8 tpi. If
No. For P Approximation Circular pitch (mm)
dimensions of a gear and its teeth from Pix module we are limited to change gears 'by fives'
(Pi 3. 141 5926) t he diametral pitch number, so does the
from module (mm)
we will naturally seek a reasonable
metric system of module values indicate Circular pitch (inch) Pi x M looking approx. (P) that can be resolved
the relative proportions of gears dimen from module (mm) 25.4 into those gears. No. 11 , 26/ 21 should
5 +1 in 94 sioned in millimetres and sized by module. serve, as it holds primes 3, 7 and 13, and
4 The formula for gearing an English
Whereas No. 1 diametral pitch = Pi by leadscrew to cut worms sized by module
we have:
16 inch measure = 3.1 41 5926 inch, circular reads:
2 - 1 in 203 Drivers 4 2 13
13 pitch, No. 1 module = Pi in millimetres, Driven =5 x3 x 7
No.2 module = 2 x Pi = 6.283 ... mm . Drivers M LSTPI 50 X Pi
41 Driven = 10 X - - 1 - X 127
3 + 1 in 221 and 0 .5 module = Pi/2 = 1.570 ... mm which after multiplying up to change gear
33 circular pitch. where M = module number, LSTPI sizes offers a quadrant setting:
36 Before gearing can be calculated for threads/inch of leadscrew , and Pi
4 + 1 in 273 3.1415926.
40- A - 35
29 lath e screwcutting it is of course 65 -75
necessary to ascertain the module value This f ormula, however, a lthough
37 of the gear for which a worm is to be theoretically correct, when transposed The circular pitch given = Drivers/driven x
5 - 1 in 352
30 made to mesh. into gear trains, produces only cumber- 127/ 40
31 Given a gear suspected to be of metric some arrangements for which there may = 40/ 35 X 65/75 X 127/ 40
6 + 1 in 392 origin, the module number may be found not be sufficient space to set on a = 3.14476mm
by the following method: quadrant, even when Pi is approximated i.e. plus 0.0031 7 mm on true CP
58 Count the teeth and add 2 to 22/7. This difficulty can be overcome (about 1/ 10 thou . in. too coarse,
7 - 1 in 441
47 Measure the whole diameter in mm by use of approximations for 50 x Pi/ 127 assuming a leadscrew of perfect lead)
88 Dia. in mm and 14 such approx. ratios are given in Example 2. To gear a leadscrew of 8 tpi
71 + 1 in 477 then Module = Teeth plus 2 Table T7 which is presented in ascending for No. 1.25 module. We may note that
For example, a gear has 40 teeth, and order of accuracy. With use of symbol P for 1.25 module with an 8 tpi leadscrew,
57 the outside, or whole diameter is 52.5 for any approx. ratio the gearing formula the first portion of our formula, 4M/5,
9 + 1 in 541
46 mm then reads: cancels to 1 (one) so 1.25 module will be
17 - 1 in 796 Module = :i
5 5
= 1.25 mm
Drivers M
Driven = TO x - -
p given by any of the 14 ratios for which
gears shown in Table T7 are available.
26 We may also note:
11 +1 in 991
2T M0 d I
Pitch diameter
u e = Number of teeth
12 + 1 in 1896 (Pitch diameter here not to be confused
with whole or 'outside' diameter.)
13 - 1 in 2555 A lso, M odu le In mm
47 25.4
14 - 1 in 230000
38 Diametral pitch x - 1-

56 57

Example 3. Pitch required 4.0 mm with a metric leadscrew to cut so many threads/
SECTION 4 leadscrew of 3.5 mm pitch. CM, and then by increasing the leadscrew
Drivers 4 . 40 speed relative to the workpiece in the
-D- . - - =
multiply by 10 = - ratio 2.54 to 1, or 127/50, convert the
3 .5 35
threads/CM into threads/inch.
= a 40 driver and 35 driven. For example, a leadscrew of 3.0 mm
Lathes with metric lead- Example 4. Pitch required 1.5 mm with a
leadscrew of 3.5 mm pitch.
pitch geared 1 to 3 will cut a pit ch of 1.0
mm (1 0 threads/CM) but if we now speed
Drivers 1.5 15 30 up the leadscrew in the ratio 2.54 to 1. or
screws Driven = 3 .5 = 35 = 70
= a 30 driver and a 70 driven.
127/ 50. the pitch cut will become (using
the checking formula):
. 1 127 3
P1tch (mm) = x 50 x T = 2.54 mm
and, of course, 2.54 mm is exactly equal
CHECKING to 0.1 inch p itch = 10 threads/inch.
A lthough one may reasonably assume be threaded are both expressed in t erms To check that any gear train w ill produce
that a thread of 8 to the inch is the of millimetre pitch, the formula reads: the metric pitch for which the calculation APPROXIMATION GEARING
present standard for lathes of the light to Drivers Pitch of screw to be cut (mm) was made, we may note that: With the usual objections to using so large
medium duty Instrument type, it is not y et Driven = Pit ch of leadscrew (mm ) P't a wheel as the 127 in a driving position in
possible to say w hich of a c ho ice of a few 1 c h (mm ) = Driven
LS pitch (mm)
Example 1. Pitch required 2.5 mm. with a the gear trains, we again turn to the use of
similar metric pitches will become popular approximations for the 127/ 50 ratio. For
when the metric system is fully leadscrew of 3.0 mm pitch. (Change gears Checking Example 1
by f ives) these approximations, the Table T5 may
operational. The gearing for a pitch of 0.75 mm with a
be referred to, but it is important to note
The nearest integral ISO metric pitch to Drivers - 23.5 multiply by 10 leadscrew of 3.0 mm pitch was found to
that when these approximations are to be
a thread of 8 to the inch is 3.0 mm Driven - be 2 0/40 x 25/50, hence:
used for metric-English conversions, the
(8.4666 tpi) and it is understood that 25 Driver 20 25 3 approximations must be inverted. No. 29,
leadscrews of 3.0 mm pitch will be Pitch given = 40 X 50 X T
30 Driven for example, 13/33 becomes 33/ 13. We
adopted by the makers of the Hardinge 3 should also note that on inversion, the
Example 2. Pitch required 0.75 mm, 3 .0 =
HLV-H High Precision Lathe if circum-
mm pitch leadscrew:
4 = 0.75mm errors in the approximations are reversed
stances dictate that they have to change. from plus to minus and vice versa. For
Checking Example 2
Drivers = 0 5 multiply by 100
The gearing for a pitch of 1.5 mm with a exampl e, the error with No. 29
leadscrew of 3.5 mm pitch was found to approximation, 13/ 33 is plus one in 1650,
CALCULATIONS. 75 5 15 1 1
be 30/70, hence : but on inversion to 33/13. the error
GEARING FOR METRIC 300 = 1 0 X 30 =2 X 2
30 35
changes to minus one in 1651.
Pitch given =70
x 10 23 = 1.5 mm
M etric threads are Invariab ly designated 20 25 FORMULA
by pitch, and except for explanatory INCH WITH A METRIC LEAD-
40 X 50 It can be shown that the basic formula for
purposes, a reference to so many threads/ SCREW gearing a metric leadscrew of any pitch
which would set on a quadrant:
CM is neither recognised nor called for. Just as with an English leadscrew we for cutting threads/inch reads:
20- A -40
The c hange gear formu la therefore differs w ere able to convert threads/inch into
25 - 50 Drivers 1 10
slightly from that used for calculating thre ads/CM by introducing In to the gear
gearing for threads/inch with an English or, of course, with an 80 wheel available, train a reduction in the ratio 1 to 2.54 or
Driven = fi5f x LSP x T
leadscrew. quadrant setting would become:
50/127 (or by introducing approximations where TPI symbolises the threads/inch to
When the leadscrew and component to 20 - A - A-80 for the ratio 50/127) so we may gear a be cut, LSP, the pitch of the leadscrew in

58 59

millimetres, and T = 127/ 50, or any after inversion to 33/ 13 looks promising , 26- A -
38 50 15 150 .
approximation for that ratio. hence: 45 - 40 65 x 12 7 = 1651 = 0.090854mch
Drivers 1 10 33 10 The pitch error with this gearing and an The exact pitch of a thread of 11 tpi is
WHAT IS THE BEST APP - Driven = TI x 3 x 13 = 13
accurate leadscrew would be plus about 0.090909 inch, hence the pitch error in
ROXIMATION FOR 127/50? 50 driver
3.} inches a mile. However, without any the gearing (introduced by use of the No.
= 65 driven
This depends upon the pitch of the lead- multiple of prime 13 other than 65, the 29 approximation for 127/50) is minus
screw and the change gears available. For (2). Are the re any other approximations quadrant setting for the same ratio is 0.000055 inch.
a leadscrew of 3.0 mm pitch, the with characteristics similar to those just somewhat c lumsy : Example 2. What (inch) pitch is produced
traditional 160/63 approximation ratio outlined? from a leadscrew of 3.0 mm pitch by
65 - 40 20 - 50
resolves to: Scanning the Table T5 we find No. 34, gearing 26/ 38 x 45/40?
45 - 38
which after inversion offers 22/9 x 26/ 25, 26/ 38 X 45/ 40 X 1 5 / 12 7 =
Drivers/ Driven = 4/TPI x 10/3 x 40/ 63 or and for this reason it was omitted from
hence: 0.0909137 inch. which, from the
4/TPI X 10/ 3 X 5/ 7 X 8/ 9 the Table T8.
Drivers 1 10 22 26 reciprocal = 10.999442 threads/inch. i.e.
either of which offer somewhat cumber- Driven = 1 1 X 3 X 9 X 25 the thread will be too 'coarse- by
some gear trains with gears by fives, which redu ces to 8/ 9 x 1 3/ 1 5 and when METRIC/ ENGLISH. CHECKING 0.000558 of a thread turn. or plus
chiefly because denominator 3 will not multiplied up to gear size offers: The threads/inch given by any quadrant 0.0000047 inch on pitch - assuming a
cancel with any numerator in the Drivers 40 65 gearing used in conjunction with a metric lead screw of perfect lead.
approximation. Driven = 45 x 75 leadscrew of any p itch may be obtained
Careful investigation by the author (In examples similar to this, not having from the formu la:
shows that for t hreads/inc h from a lead-
screw of 3.0 mm pitch and gears by fives
any smaller multiple of prime 13 than 6 5 Threads/inch LEADSCREW OF 3.5 mm
can be a nuisance when the 65 has to b e PITCH
plus one 38, the most convenient _ Driven gears 127
used in a driving position). .,...,;-;---"'---- X --;=-....,-...,.:;;.:-,-----,
approximations are Nos. 19, 29, 34, 43, - Driving gears 5 x LSP (mm) The author's lathe was originally supplied
(3). Lastly, approximation No. 44 is
44 & 45 (from Table T5) and these generally worth trying regardless of other (Note the inversion: driven/ drivers) with a leadscrew of 8 tpi, but when any
approximations are used in the considerations. No. 44 after inversion = For example ( 1). Taking the first of our significant number of met ric threads are
accompanying Table T8 showing gearing 38/ 15, and we have: three calculations for a thread of 11 tpi to be lathe screwcut. a metric leadscrew
for threads/inch from 6 to 72. from a leadscrew of 3.0 mm pitch, we and half- nuts are substituted.On comple-
Drivers/ Driven = 1/ 11 x 10/3 x 38/ 15
As examples of the way in which Table found that the gearing resolved to a 50 tion of the metric threading, the metric
which resolves to:
T8 was ca lculated let us take the t hree driver and a 65 driven, hence: leadscrew is left in position until a suf-
Drivers 50 38
sets of gearing for a thread of 11 tpi from
a leadscrew of 3.0 mm pitch.
Driven = 55 x 45 65 127 1651
ficient number of English threads are
required to warrant change back to the
Threads/inch = 50 X 15= 150
We comme nce with the general English leadscrew. This procedure offers
formu la:
= 11.006666 the highest possible production rate for
MINIMUM ERROR quantities of screws - 50 to 100 or so - in
Drivers It is interesting to note that 11 threads/ Note here that t he 0 .0066 ... decimal
portion should not be read as 'of an inch' either language, although it does dictate
Driven inch from a leadscrew of 3.0 mm pitch
but as 'of a thread turn' hence the threads/ tha t translation ratios be used when only a
Then ( 1) Substituting the known could be arranged with No. 11 approxima-
inch will be 11 plus 6.6 thousandths of a few threads in either language are
figures,we have: tion which after inversion reads:
thread tum. required, and an adverse leadscrew is in
Drivers _ _1_ X ..!.Q_ x T 9/ 2 X 13/ 19 X 33/ 40 If gearing is to be checked in terms of position.
Driven - 11 3 It may be thought that from a business
which, when included in the general the pitch given by inch measure. the
Now, if we can find an approximation formula reads: point of view an additional lathe with a
forT which (A) contains no primes outside formula reduces to: metric leadscrew would be installed.
Drivers _ 45 X 26 . h ('me h es) 5 x LSP (mm)
those held in our gears by fives plus one P1tc = -Drivers
- .- - x
0 nven 127
There are severa l reasons why this was
38, and (B) after inversion holds 11 or 3 Driven - 40 38 not done. One is that the cost would not
or both in the numerator, then the gearing and, assuming a 26 gear is available, hence t he pitch given by the preceding be justified by one working without staff.
will be simplified. No. 29 approximation would set on the quadrant : example is: To justify the cost. any additional lathe

60 61

GEARS 20--20--75 BY FIVES PLUS ONE 38.
38--A--50 20 - - A -- 38
65 - - 35 + 4446 19 1650 29
55 - -65
50 - - A - - 30 19 20 - - A - -- A- - 45 -
6 55 - - 65
- 1650 29
30 - - A -- 60
380 44
3 8 -- A - - 30 - 380 44 55 - - 6 5 - 1650 29

5 0 - - A - - 35
20 20 - - A - - 30
- 1650 29 35 - - 55 + 465 43
55 - - 6 5
25 - - A - - - A -- 65 - 1650 29
7 50--55 + 465 43 20 - - A -- 45
38 - - A - - 3 5 22 6 5 -- 75 + 1144 34
50 - - 45 - 380 44 25 - - A -- 45
38 - - 5 5 - 380 44
50 - - A - - 40 - 1650 29
55 - - 65 25 - - A -- 60
8 38 - - A - - 4 0
- 380 44 24
55 - -65 - 1650 29
50--45 25 - - A - - 45
50 - - A - - 4 5 38 - -60 - 380 44
- 1650 29
9 55--65 30 - -A - -50
+ 4446 19
55 - - A - - - A - - 6 5 - 1650 29 3 8 -- 70
40 - - A - - 30 2 0 -- A - - 45
10 35 - - 55 + 465 43 26 55 - - 75 + 1144 34

38 - - A - - - A - - 45 - 380 44 2 5 -- A - - 45
38 - - 65 - 380 44
50 - - A - - - A - - 65 - 1650 29
2 5 - - A -- 65
40 - - A - - 45 5 5 - - 70 - 1650 29
11 65 - - 75 + 1144 34
28 20 - - A - - 5 5
38 - - A - - 45 + 465 43
50 - - 55 - 380 44 50 - - 60
25 - - 60 30 - - 65
38 - - A - - 50 55 - - 4 0 -1650 29
+ 4446 19
65 - - 70 32 25 - - A -- 65
25 - - A - - 30 5 5 -- 8 0 - 1650 29
12 55 - - 65
- 1650 29
38 - - A - - 45
50 - - 60 - 380 44 36 20 - - 65 25 - - 40
-1650 29
55 - - 45
25 - - A - - 35 20 - - A - - 5 5
- 1650 29
55 - - 6 5 40 35 - - 60 + 465 43
20 - - A - - 30 25 - - 60 20 - - 6 5
+ 465 43
50 - - 55 48 5 5 -- 40 -1650 29
25--A--40 - 1650 30--60 2 5 -- 70
55--65 29 - 1650 29
5 5 -- 65
16 25 - - A - - 30 56 20--A - - 55
35 - - 55 + 465 43
+ 465 43
25 - - 60
25 - - A - - 40 380 44 25 - - 60 20 - - 65
38 - - 45 60 55 - - 50 - 1650 29
25 - - A - - 45 38 - - 50 25 - -70
18 55 - - 65
- 1650 29
72 26 - -60 + 4446 19

62 63

must be in virtually constant use, and change to or from metric pitch ratios ca n 3.5 mm pitch 40 -
A -43 - 40 gearing (unless the minimum error
alt hough the writer made a very good be made by exchanging {or repositioning) 39 approximations happen to offer a more
living f rom his lathe, even that was not in on ly one gear. where you will notice that only the last convenient approach, or simplify gearing).
use for an average of more than about 12 gear is altered or moved, and the 43 there is the point that when such ratios
hours a week. THREADS/INCH FORMULA becomes a second idle gear, the 39 being are to be built-in to a lathe as a permanent
Moreover it is not possible to buy a Using our standard threads/inch formula conveniently leh in position for changes feature and are therefore outside the
modestly- p riced lathe similar to that used for a leadscrew of 3 .5 mm pitch in con- back to threads/inch gearing. And, again, control of the operator, one may as well
by the writer whose lathe carries many ju ncti on with No. 17 {inv erted) halving the 40 first driver to 20 gears for adopt the best ratio available and consis-
self-made modifications for efficient and approximation for 127/5 0, and substitut- p itches of 2 .0 mm and 1.75 mm. tent with compactness. In this respect it
time- saving operation - such as a specia l ing the known figures, we have: so happens that some of the minimum
clutch for high- speed threading {see error approximations are particularly
Section 5). and a quick- acting self- suitable: notably Nos. 2, 3 and 7, (Table
Driven = TPI X 3.5 X 5 X 43
ejecting rack operated tailstock, not to A lthough for reasons of lathe leadscrew T5) wherein the average error is about k
mention various other time- saving (where TPI = threads/inch required) we pitch inaccuracies there is little point in in. a mile, or 14 millionths inch per inch.
features which a majority of lathe makers find most figures cancel and can be seeking or in using metric/English conver- An example of an in- line conversion
steadfastly refuse to fit, and the fact that rearranged to: sion ratios of minimum error for quadrant ratio for changing the lead of a leadscrew
with all industria l lathes one would be Drivers 8 39
forced to pay for a selective threading Driven = TPI x 43
gearbox - which prevents the perfor- wherein the first fractional element (8/fPI) E
mance of some jobs unless gears are will be recognised as being the same as
ordered. for a leadscrew of 8 tpi, and the second
Indeed, the average centre lathe is element (39/43) is the only requirement
tolerated only because a majority of users for translation from metric to Engrish.
remain blissfully unaware of i t s
deficiencies - just as today some people SOME EXAMPLES
are content with washing their clothes by F
The author frequently has call for threads
wetting and banging with stones.
of 8, 12 and 14 tpi when the 3 .5 mm
After much deliberation, a metric lead-
pitch leadscrew is in position, and the
screw of 3.5 mm pitch was considered to
quadrant gearing for these threads is:
be the most advantageous for a lathe of
about 3-} in. centre height, and for the 8 tpi 40- A - 43
follow ing reasons: 39-40
{1). 3 .5 mm p itch approximates 7f Fig. 17. An example
12 tpi 40- A - 43 of an in- line metric-
threads/inch and is therefore slightly more
39 - 60 English conversion
robust than the 'standard' pitch of 3.0 ratio. At Fig. 11:1 the 23
mm . The half-nut threads are also leadscrew of 6.0 mm.
somewhat stronger. 1 4 tpi 40- A - 43 L
pitch is directly driven
{2). The pitch of 3.5 mm slightly modifies 39- 70
through the clutch,
'pick- up' and this facilitates the automatic also, halving the first 40 driver to 20 will but at Fig. 11:2 the
indexing of a range of multiple-start give gearing for 1 6, 24 and 28 tpi. gearing shown gives
threads, as will be explained in Sect ion 6 Moreover, gearing for 8 tpi is often the leadscrew an
(3). The pitch of 3.5 mm used in conjunc- preceded or followed by call for a thread EFFECTIVE lead or
of 4.0 or 3.5 mm pitch, and these pitches pitch of 0 .2 inch, i.e. - 37
tion with No. 1 7 (inverted) approximate
can be set thus: 5 tpi to close limits.
t ranslation ratio g reatly simp l ifies
quadrant gearing for threads/inch ratios.
Indeed, as will be seen, in some instances
4 .0 mm pitch 40 - A - 43 - 35
The error in the
gearing is plus one ®
part in 55,499 parts.

64 65

of 6.0 mm lead to an effective lead of 0 .2 whee l would of course be fitted to the TABLET9
in., or 5 tpi, is given in the diagrams Fig. gearbox 'output' shaft or spigot, and the
11 , 1 & 2 where, at Fig. 11. 1 the drive to box set as for a pitch of 6.0 mm, i.e. a 1 t o
the leadscrew is straight through via the 1 ratio. Thereafter, if the gearbox is set f or IN-LINE METRIC- IMPERIAL CONVERSION GEARING FOR LEADSCREWS OF FROM 3 ·0 TO 7·0
clutch, and at Fig. 11.2 the clutch has a pitch of 3.0 mm the leadscrew would
been disengaged and the 23 gear cut a thread of 1 6 tpi, and setting the box
engaged with the 37 on the layshaft, with for a pitch of 2.0 mm would cut a thread
the result that the effective lead of the of 24 tpi. GEAR SIZES

leadscrew is 0.2 in. to c lose limits when The table T9 details minimum error w
~ J:
the 20T input gear is rotating at the same metric/ English approximations for in- line w
speed as that of the lathe spindle. This gearing suitable for metric lead screws u WITH FI G.1 -o
arrangement can of course be provided from 7.0 mm to 3.0 mm pitch. In each 0
with a hand- lever for immediate selection a:::E
example the lettering corresponds to tha t ~::E a:_
between English and metric operation. on Fig. 11. In those instances where teeth U l wx
That this simple gearing shou ld offer a totals A plus 8, and C p lus D, differ by
a::x: ""0
metric/English conversion with an error of
only plus one part in fifty-five thousand
one or two teeth, it would of course b e
necessary to cut gears on slightly
:EO: A 8 c D w<(

four hundred and 99 parts, or plus one modified pitch diameters to suit the fixed 32 31 33 !§_X 29 X 28
thou. inch in 551- in. may seem surprising, centre dist ances.
1·0 29
4 0·249998
5 3 1 33
+ 1 IN 129921

but it is easily checked from our formula: In the opinion of the writer, however, 20 38 37 23 0·2000035 30x~ + 1 IN 55499
and for the larger lathes, the provision of 5 19 23
Inch pitch
- - -- X
5 x LSP 6·0 ~X~
-Driven 127 two leadscrews, one to English and one to 31 28 26 34
5 0-1999933 - l iN 30226
17 28
metric standards, both permanently in
with a 1-to-1 drive from the lathe spindle position, would prove more straight- 20 =!_Q X 37
38 37 23 0·1666696 + 1 IN 55499
to gear A (Fig. 11.2) we have: forward than any amount of juggling with
6 19 23
Drivers 20 37 30 11100 translation ratios. Moreover, pick-up 31 34 39 28
4 0·24999 17 -1 IN 30226
Driven = 38 x 23 x 127 = 55499 problems (see Section 5) would b e
= 0.2000035 inch reduced to insignificance. 29 31 28 33 0 · 124999
4·0 8 -11N129921

showing an error of plus 3.5 millionths of 32 31 29 33 0·124999 - 1 IN 129921

an inch on pitch. EXTRACTION OF 127/50 3·5 8
With the in- line translation ratio t aking APPROXIMATIONS =!_Q X 37
20 38 37 23 0·1000017 + 1 IN 55499
effect as in Fig. 11.2, gearing for threads/ 10 19 23
inch is determined by the formula as for a
As w ith the case of approximate gearing 3 ·0
31 28 26 34 0-0999966 ~X~ - 1 IN 30226
leadscrew of 5 tpi: for a metric pitch from an English lead- 10 17 28
screw, it is occasionally useful to extract
Drivers Effective leadscrew TPI or ascertain the approximation for 12 7/50
Driven = TPI to be cut used in any approximate gear train for for which the gearing was devised, and 30 38 26 3 39 57
T = 50 X 70 X T X TO = 25 X 35
cutting threads/inch from a metric lead- LSP = the pitch of the leadscrew (in mm).
In the example, Fig. 11 :2 the effective
screw. The approximation for 127/50 con- For example, gearing for a thread of 26
leadscrew tpi is 5, accordingly, to set for a This is No. 19 (inverted) in table T5.
tained in any gearing may be found from tpi from a leadscrew of 3.0 mm pitch may
thread of 8 tpi, for example, wou ld call for
the formula: be:
gea ring in the ratio 5 to 8, say a 25 driver WORMS FOR G EARS S IZED BY
and a 40 driven, fitted to the input shaft at T _ Drivers x T PI x LSP 30 - A - 50
F. - Driven 1 10 38 - 70 MODULE
In those instances where the lathe has where T = the approximation to be When it is necessary to cut a worm to
what app roxima tion (T) for 127/ 50 was mesh with a gear sized by module, and
a selective screw-cutting gearbox, the 2 5 extracted, TPI = the nominal threads/inch
used? the leadscrew is of metric pitch, the


quadrant gearing may be calculated from only. One way of finding an approximation The 25th and 39th additions hold
Drivers 3 19 7 ratio is as follows:
the general formula: Driven = LSP (mm) x DP x 5 primes with in our range, and since the
First find what we may term the 'basic higher the multiplier the less the error, we
Drivers 22 Module Using this formula for a leadscrew of 3.0
Driven = 7 x Leadscrew pitch (mm) ratio', in this example 8/19 which equals a will try the 39th: 39/56 which factorises
mm pitch, the first of the three elements step-down ratio of 1 to 2.375. Now, by to 3/7 x 13/8 and when brought to gear
For example, gearing for No. 1.25 cancels out, and, for example, gearing for repeated addition of 2.375 with a sizes offers a quadrant setting:
module from a leadscrew of 3.0 mm pitch: a No.20 DP worm becomes: calculator, (which for example with a
30- A -40
22/7 X 1.25/3 = 11/7 X 5/6 Drivers 19 7 Casio LC 826 can be done at the rate of
65 - 70
Driven = 20 x 5 80 a minute with the time to examine
which, brought up to gear sizes cou ld be which when multiplied up to available each new set of figures) continue until a With this gearing t here is a theoretica l
set on a quadrant e.g.: change gear sizes would set on a quadrant figure is reached in which the decima l pitch error of minus 0.000097 inch.
25- A - 35 for example: portion is small enough to be ignored, or is
55 - 30 large enough to be counted as 1 (one) for
The metric pitch given = drivers/driven 70-40 adding to the integral figures. In this case,
x leadscrew pitch = 25/35 x 55/30 x 3 at the 21st addition, we get a figure of The following basic ratio formu las for
= 3.9285714 mm. This gearing, under perfect conditions, 49.875. Rounding this up to 50, we have gearing an English leadscrew for a metric
Circular pitch for No. 1.25 module= Pi would cut a No. 20 DP worm with a pitch a driver of 21 (the 'count' figure when pitch by approximation are arranged for
x 1.25 = 3.9269907 mm. error of plus 7 mi llionths inch. adding ) and a driven wheel of 50, and 21/ keying on a ca lcu lator.
The gearing therefore shows an error of A less accurate formula which may 50. after factorising and mu ltiplying up to
plus 0.001 58 mm, about 62 millionths nevertheless sometimes prove useful avai lable change gear sizes, offers Leadscrew Key"
inch. (The error arises from taking Pi as reads: quadrant gearing: Threads/inch
22/7). Drivers 4 20 35 - A - 50
Driven = LSP (mm) x DP 45 -75 4 127/(20 X P)
DIAMETRAL PITCH WORMS - which gives a theoretical pitch error of 5 127/(25 X P)
with which, for example, gearing for No. 6 127/(30 X P)
METRIC LEADSCREWS 20 DP resolves to a simple 40/30 with a
minus 0.000132 in., or, roundly, 2-t thou.
in. per inch of thread. 8 127/( 40 X P)
A theoretically accurate formula for leadscrew of 3.0 mm pitch. With this 10 127/(50 X P)
gearing a metric leadscrew to cut worms gearing, under perfect conditions, the If the repeated addition is continued to the
sized by diametral pitch reads: pitch error for a No. 20 DP worm is plus 4/ 2 7th we obtain a reading 64.125, and, *On a Casio LC 826 one would key for e)( ample for 2.2 mm pitch from

10 thou. inch. ignoring the decimal portion, we have 2 7/ alcadscrewof 81pi {40 X 2 .2) ++ 127
64 which factorises into 3/8 x 9/8,
CHANGE GEAR CALCULA- offering change gears that wou ld set on a
10 3.1415926 127 lathe: In each example P represents the metric
= LSP (mm) x DP x 50 TIONS BY APPROXIMATION pitch for which approximate gearing is to
25 - 40 30 - 50
Although it is not possible to arrange be found.
45 - 40
where DP = t he diametral pitch number accurate gearing for any particu lar thread For example, required a basic ratio for a
This is a more accurate ratio, showing a
and LSP =the leadscrew pitch in mm. unless a gear is available having a number thread of 2.2 mm pitch from a leadscrew
pitch error of plus 0.000101 in., but it
Here of course the seven-digit decimal of teeth which is the same as, or an exact of 8 threads/inch.:
could not be set without two 40 gears.
portion for Pi makes it quite impossible to multiple of, the tpi or metric pitch number 127/(40 x 2.2) = 1.4431818 (store in
Similarly, the basic ratio for a thread of
modify to change gear sizes. However it required, a reasonable compromise can memory).
11 t tpi from a leadscrew of 8 tpi is 16/23
so happens that 3 .1415926 (Pi) x 127 = often be found by approximation. At the ninth addition we have
398.98226, which rounds up to 399 with For examp le, a thread of 19 tpi
= 1 to 1.4375, and by repeated addition
12.9888634, rounding to 1 3 offers
we have, after the 24th.:
an error of plus 1 in 22491. Moreover ordinarily requires a 38 gear special to a gearing in the ratio driver/driven = 9/13
399 factorises into 3 x 7 x 19, and using set rising by fives, and with a leadscrew of 25th. addition 25/35.9375 = 25/36 which brought to gear sizes = 45/65. The
this approximation, the gearing formula 8 tpi the gearing is 20/38 x 40/50, but if 34th. addition 34/48.875 = 34/49 pitch given = 2. 1980769 mm, a m inus
(after cancellat ions where possible) can a 38 gear is not available we have to see 39th. addition 39/56.0625 = 39/56 error of 0.0019231 mm, or about 75
be rearranged to what can be done with the gears by fives 57th. addition 57/ 81.9375 = 57/82 millionths/inch.

68 69

METRIC- ENGLISH This gearing gives a pitch of 0.039975 7
APPROXIMATIONS inch compared with a true pitch of 0.04 SECTION 5
The fol lowing basic ratio formulas for inch, the error being minus 24.3 millionths
gearing a metric leadscrew for threads/ of an inch, or about 6/10 thou. in. per
inch by approximation are arranged for inch, assuming an error-free leadscrew.
Occasionally when resolving a gearing
keying on a calculator.

Leadscrew Pitch Key

formula we may encounter values fo r
which gears are not available, such as f or
Problems and Analysis of
example 74/75 (2/5 x 37/15) which
M illimetres

3.0 (15 X TPI)/ 127

would call for a 37 o r 7 4 gear outside our
range. However, if 1 (one) is added t o
Repeat Pick-up
both numerator and denominator of 74/
3.5 (35 x TPI)/254
7 5 we have 7 5/76 = 5/2 x 15/38 which (Avoidance of 'crossed threading')
4.0 (20 x TPI)/127
would fal l within the Myford range of
5.0 (25 x TPI)/127
gears by fives plus one 38. The error A sound knowledge of the relationship ment giving high-speed repeat pick- up
6.0 (30 x TPI)/127
introduced by the addition of 1 (one) to between the leadscrew threads, lead- for all pitches without special interven-
7.0 (35 x TPI)/127
numerator and denominator is plus one screw gearing, and the helices on a com- tion by the operator, see page 83).
part in 5624 parts. ponent being threaded can result in the Let us first deal with those few cases
An interesting example of the effect of saving of a very considerable amount of where, with ordinary lathes as distinct
For example, required a basic ratio for a
modifying by addition occurs with No. 23 time, especially w hen engaged on from those with dog-clutch control, repeat
thread of 25 tpi from a leadscrew of 3.0
approximation for the English/ metric con- quantity production of threads of any pick-up is assured.
mm pitch:
version ratio 50/127 (Section 3): 22/49 x significant length, where there is a poten- If 8 tpi is being cut with a leadscrew of
(15 X 25)/ 127 = 2 .9527559 50/57 which has an error of plus 1 in tial saving, not of the odd half-hour, but of 8 tpi, and the first cutting pass has been
2793. But if 1 (one) is added to numerator whole working weeks. As has been made, then for the next, and all subse-
At addit ion 22 we have 64.960629,
50 and denominator 49, we have 22/50 x explained, threads are lathe screwcut by quent cutting passes, the half- nuts may be
rounding this up to 65 therefore gives a
51/57 which reso lves to No.10 taking a series of passes of progressively re-engaged at any moment when their
basic ra tio of 22/ 65 = 2/5 x 11 / 13, say:
approximation: 11/25 x 17/19, having an increasing depth. What we now have to threads happen to coincide w ith the lead-
error of minus 1 in 23750, an error 8t consider is the fact that unless certain screw threads, and the tool will follow the
.20-A - 50 times less than that given by No. 23 conditions are met a threading tool will original helix. This may be demonstrated
55-65 approximation. not always follow the first helix trace on after taki ng the first pass, by stopping
subsequent passes except in a limited the lathe, taki ng up gearing backlash, and
number of instances. making trial half- nut engagements with
As already hinted, repeat pick-up or the tool just clear of the workpiece and
'pick-up' is the term commonly used to positioned at various intervals along the
indicate that a threading tool is repeatedly length of the helix : at each re-engagement
and exactly f ollowing the groove of a of the half- nuts, the tool point will be seen
thread being cut. For our purposes here it to exactly coincide with the helix. In f act,
w i ll occasionally be useful to borrow an with the provision that the leadscrew is
expression from the vocabulary of the not de-geared and the tumbler- reverse
electrical world, and to refer to repeat has not been interfered w ith, you will find
pick-up as synchronous working, or to it im possible to re- engage the half-nuts in
state that an exactly following threading an adverse position. The same conditions
tool is in synchronism with the thread will hold if the workpiece (and lathe
being cut. spindle) is turned through part of a revolu-
(For lathes of specialised design tion, or is slowly revolving whilst trial half-
provided with a dog-clutch arrange- nut engagements are being made.


Similar tria l half-nut engagements with hold ~ x 2 = 2t component thread turns, 'synchronous distance' (SD) or as be ascertained by reducing the number of
a workpiece having 16, 24, 32 or 40 tpi and so on up to seven leadscrew threads 'minimum pick-up'. teeth in the driving and driven gears to
and a leadscrew of 8 tpi will also show the holding ~ x 7 = 7f component thread their lowest integral, or whole number
impossibility of engaging the half-nuts in
turns, and~ x 8 = 9 complete component terms. The driving figure (numerator) will
an adverse position. 16 tpi picks up at 2 thread turns in one inch, or 8 leadscrew Is it always possible to stop the lathe
then give the minimum whole number of
component thread intervals, 24 tpi at 3 threads. spindle and leadscrew on completion of
leadscrew threads (LST), and the driven
component thread intervals, and so on; However, from the foregoing it will not each cutting pass, and to run the carriage
figure (denominator) the minimum propor-
consequently we may say that if the be difficult to perceive that synchronism and tool clear of the workpiece, then to re-
tionate whole number of work thread
number of threads/inch being cut is the or pick-up could always be assured (for engage the half-nuts at a synchronous
turns (WT). The synchronous distance
same as, or an exact multiple of the cutting odd number tpi from standard distance to hold pick-up for the next
(SD), or minimum pick up, is then found
number of threads per inch of the lead- English leadscrews) by the followin g cutting pass?
by multiplying the leadscrew pitch
screw, no special precautions are required sequences: 1. There will be an SD for every conceiv-
(expressed by inch or metric measure) by
to ensure pick-up. ( 1 ). Stop the lathe on completion of ea~h able combination of gearing between a
the minimum LST figure. Hence we may
Now let us suppose that with a lead- cutting pass, and with the half-nuts component thread and leadscrew of either
say, with drivers and driven reduced to
screw of 8 tpi, a 9 tpi helix has just been engaged. language, but sometimes, in relationship
lowest terms:
traced upon a piece of stock of just over (2). When the lathe has stopped, to the length of the thread being cut, the
one inch in length (gear ratio 40 to 45), SD will be of too great a length to render Drivers LST
disengage the half-nuts. Run the Driven = WT
but the lathe has been stopped at the ter- carriage to the right through a suf- it of any practical use. Occasionally the
SD will exceed the entire leadscrew and LST x leadscrew pitch = SD
mination of the trace before disengaging ficient number of whole inches
the half-nuts. The tool point will of course (groups of 8 leadscrew threads) for length, then of course, the SD cannot be It is important to note that this formula
coincide with the trace at its termination. the threading tool to clear the start of used at all. will give minimum pick-up or SD for ALL
But if the t ool is now withdrawn just clear the thread. Re-engage the half-nuts. 2. When common threads are being cut ratios, including English/metric conversion
of the workpiece, and the half nuts (3). Adjust tool depthing. Set the lathe in in the same language as that of the lead- gearing (and vice versa) and any other
disengaged, subsequent trial re- motion for the next cutting pass. screw (English with English, or metric approximate gearing.
engagements along the length of the NOTE: Right carriage repositioning with metric) and the correct gearing (as Some examples will now be given.
workpiece will show a series of adverse traverse measurement as at (2) distinct from approximation gearing) is
Example 1. leadscrew 8 tpi, geared to cut
tool positions until the carriage has been should always be made from being used, SD's are more often short 19 tpi
traversed exact ly one inch to the right (8 where the carriage last ceased enough to be of practical use.
leadscrew threads) at which position the 3. When a thread being cut is in a 20- A - 38
screwcutting traverse, and all
tool point will again coincide with the language opposite to that of the lead- 40 - 50
cutting passes must be made in
ninth thread groove. It will also be seen full. screw (metric with English or vice versa) Drivers 20 40 8 LST
that at a distance of ha lf an inch from the For want of a better term, this the so:s are sometimes short enough to Driven = 50 X "38 = 1 9 WT
term inal position of the trace, the tool will be referred to as the 'Stop be of practical use for carriage and tool
and 8 LST oft in. pitch = 1 inch SD.
point will be exactly mid-way between and Reset' method or as 'Rack repositioning. Generally speaking, when a
two thread traces. If the experiment is & Pinion Resetting' (see also thread being cut is in a language opposite Example 2 . Leadscrew 8 tpi, geared to cu t
made, and the lathe set in very slow to that of the leadscrew and approximate approximately 19 tpi (38 gear not avail-
page 89).
motion, it w ill be easy to see that the gearing is being used for the ratio 50/127 able):
We may therefore state that when a
chances of re-engaging the half-nuts at a thread to be cut is not an exact multiple of or for 1 2 7/50, those approximations of 35- A -50
correct pick-up moment are remote. The the leadscrew threads, correct pick-up low value (maximum error) offer the 45-75
reason for these adverse tool positions in occurs only at those positions on a lead- shortest SO's, and those of high va lue Drivers 35 45 21 LST
relation to the helix lies in the fact that the screw where a complete whole number of (minimum error) offer the longest SO's. Driven = 50 x 75 = 50 WT
number of work threads to each single threads to be cut corresponds to a HOW IS THE SO CALCULATED? and 21 LST oft in. pitch= 2t inch SD.
leadscrew thread is fractional until the complete whole number of leadscrew With either an English or metric leadscrew Example 3. Leadscrew 10 tpi, geared to
eighth leadscrew thread is reached. One threads, English or metric. For future of ANY p itch, the SD, or minimum pick- cut 13 tpi:
leadscrew thread 'holds' ~ = 1 t compo- reference, these measurements or up for ANY component thread pitch 40- A -20
nent thread turns, two leadscrew threads distances will be referred to as the (English, metric, DP or modu le etc.) can 25-65


Drivers 40 26 10 LST Drivers 20 25 1 LST screw is 'slow' (too fine) or 'fast' (too 5 LST of 6.0 mm pitch span 5 x 6
Driven = 20 x 65 = 13 WT Driven = 40 x 50 = 4 WT coarse) then the pitch of a screw being cut 6 WT of 5.0 mm pitch span 6 x 5
and 1 LST of 3.0 mm pitch= 3.0 mm SO. will be correspondingly too fine or too = 30mm
and 10 LST of fo in. pitch = 1 inch SO. coarse, but the proportionate work-thread so
Example 8. Leadscrew 3.0 mm pitch, = 30mm
Example 4 . leadscrew 8 tpi, geared to cut turns to leadscrew-thread-turns will
a thread of 2.0 mm pitch by approximate geared to cut a thread of 12 tpi using No. Much confusion can be avoided by
19 approximation for 127/ 50: exactly hold good.
gearing (using No. 11 approximation ratio NOTE: In the event of English threads noting and accepting this paradoxical
for 50/127) 38 - A - 50 situation, which appears to defy explana-
being cut from a metric leadscrew
26- A - 38 65 - 70 (of any pitch) and with the exact tion other than by example.
45 - 40 Drivers 38 65 24 7 LST 12 7/ 50 translation ratio, as 1 2 7 We may note, however, that the same
Driven = 50 x 70 = 350WT interchange or inversion occurs when an
Drivers 26 45 117 LST is a prime, the minimum LST
Driven = 38 x 40 = 1 52 WT and 247 LST of 3.0 mm pitch = 741 mm figure can never be less than 127. English leadscrew and the thread to be
(About 29 inches SO). Hence if a Jeadscrew is of 3 .0 mm cut are both expressed in inch pitch for
and 11 7 LST oft in. pitch = 14-f in. SO.
Example 9. A special leadscrew of 7-5- tpi pitch, the SO will be 381 mm ( 15 which the basic gear ratio is derived from
Example 5. leadscrew 8 tpi, geared to cut
is used (for special reasons) to cut a in.). and for a leadscrew of 6.0 the formula:
1.75 mm pitch with 50/ 127 translation
thread of 5t tpi, by quadrant gearing : mm pitch, SO will of course be Drivers Pitch by inch measure to be cut
40- A - A - 30 762 mm (30 in.). Driven = Pitch of LS by inch measure
40- A - 20
35 - 127 What is minimum pick- up or SO? whereby, for example, gearing for a thread
Drivers 40 4 LST of 10 tpl (0. 1 in pitch) from a lead screw of
Drivers 40 35 70 LST When calculating threads/inch quadrant
Driven = 20 X 127 = 127WT Driven = 30 = 3 WT 8 tpi (0.12 5 in pitch) resolves to 0.1
gearing with an English leadscrew, the driver/ 0. 125 driven, which, raised to least
and 4 leadscrew threads of 7 t tpi Jeadscrew threads/ inch appears as the whole numbers shows a 4 driver and a 5
and 70 LST oft in. pitch = 8-f in. SO.
(0.1363636 inch pitch) = 0.5454 inch numerator in the formula:
Example 6. leadscrew 8 tpi, geared to cut driven. Yet for determining pick-up or SO
3.0 mm pitch by approximate gearing so. Drivers _ Threads/inch of leadscrew we have:
Driven - Threads/inch to be cut
(using No.3 approximation for 50/1 27):
In examples of this type (9) (which the and in any resulting basic ratio, such as f 4 LST x 0. 125 in. = 0.5 in.
23 - A - 25 author has actually used) a precise SO for 9 tpi from a leadscrew of 8 tpi, the 5 WT x 0.100 in. = 0.5 in.
38 - 37 measurement is unnecessary because, as numerator 8 remains as the Jeadscrew-
will be seen, the sole purpose of ascer- thread-TURNS-to-component-thread- wherein , of course, what was the
Drivers 23 38 874 LST
Driven = 25 x 37 = 925 WT taining the SO is to find the position (on a TURNS RATIO figure for calculat ing pick- numerator pitch-to-be-cut figure has to be
'dead' leadscrew) at which to re-engage up or SO's. used as the LST figure.
and 874 LST oft in. pitch = 109± in. SO.
the half- nuts to hold pick- up for a thread On the other hand when a metric lead-
In this example it may be thought that being cut, and one is hardly likely to drop screw and thread to be cut are both
with a minimum SO of about nine feet, in at the third or fifth leadscrew thread expressed in terms of PITCH, we have the 'COMPLETE REVERSAL'
something must be wrong, but since none with the knowledge that re-engagement formula: Frequently with the type of lathe more
of the gears cancel or are further reduc- must be made (in this example) at the Drivers Metric pitch to be cut generally used today, when the pitch of a
able, the LST f igure is correct, and It fourth (or at the eighth, t w elfth, or Driven = Metric pitch of leadscrew thread to be cut shows an awkward
requires exactly 925 NOMINAL 3.0 mm sixteenth, according to length of thread). and, for example, we use a basic driver 5 relationship to the pitch of the leadscrew,
pitch turns to span the same distance of and driven 6 for cutting a pitch of 5.0 mm screwcutting is carried out with the half-
109± inches. (The metric pitch given by EFFECT OF LEADSCREW from a leadscrew of 6.0 mm pitch, yet nuts remaining in engagement until com-
the gearing Is 2.9999457 mm). ERRORS when the basic ratio t is used for assess- pletion of the thread, both lathe spindle
At this juncture it may be asked if errors in ing pick-up, the pitch- to-be-cut figure (5) and leadscrew being reversed to reposi-
Example 7. leadscrew 3.0 mm pitch, becomes the LST numerator figure, and tion the carriage and tool for every fresh
pitch of a leadscrew can affect pick-up.
geared to cut a thread of 0.75 mm pitch : the leadscrew pitch in mm (6) becomes cutting pass. For this method the lathe
The answer is no. Pick-up depends only
20- A - 40 upon the number of leadscrew thread the component-thread- turns denominator requires a reverse drive for the headstock,
25 - 50 turns (English or metric) and if a lead- figure: and (as with the stop & reset method)

74 75

extra care is required to stop in time to special dog-clutch here referred to is and four un-numbered sub-divisions. The
prevent the tool from running into a described under DOG- CLUTCH CONTROL spindle is free to revolve in a bearer
shoulder. When the lathe is reversed with at page 83. mounted on the lathe carriage.
the tool clear of the component, the lead- The number of teeth on the worm
screw drives the carriage back to its TRADITIONAL PICK- UP AIDS : wheel is always some exact multiple of
starting position, and correct pick-up is the number of threads on the leadscrew
held because each return pass is a pure
THE LEADSCREW INDICATOR designated either by threads to the inch or
reversal of each cutting pass. For future We have seen that when threading, for by metric pitch. In this example a wheel of
reference this procedure will be referred to example, 7, 9, 11, 13, 19 tpi with a 1 6 teeth is shown engaging with a lead-
as THE COMPLETE REVERSAL METHOD. standard English leadscrew, the lathe may screw of 8 threads to the inch, such as
It may be as well to mention here that be stopped at the end of each cutting would be fitted to a small lathe. Larger
when using the complete reversal method pass, the half-nuts disengaged, and pick- lathes with leadscrews of 4 threads/inch
on the more common type of lathe, the up regained by returning the carriage to may have a similar 16 teeth worm wheel. Fig. 12. A leadscrew indicator for an English
lathe spindle must be reversed to drive the the right through a sufficient number of but there would be slight differences in leads crew.
screwcutting gear train backwards. This is whole inches for the tool to clear the com- interpreting the indicator readings, as will Now suppose a 1t in. length of 9 tpi is
emphasised because some text books can ponent, then re-engaging the half- nuts for be seen. being cut. and the total carriage
give the impression that the tumbler- the next cutting pass. Similarly, of course, During the initial fitting of a leadscrew movement is 2 in., giving a t in. tool
reverse can be used to return the carriage for even number tpi such as 10, 14, 18, indicator, lateral fixing adjustments are starting cle aran ce. For explanatory
by reversing only the leadscrew with the 22, 26, the carriage requires righ t traverse made so that when the half- nuts are purposes, let the first cutting pass be
half- nuts engaged. For example, through steps of half an inch, and t hreads engaged, any one of the indicator gradua- taken when the LSI reads 1, (one) stop the
"Workshop Technology" (Part 1 Fifth Ed. divisible by 4 such as 12 and 20 will pick tions falls exactly opposite a fiducial mark, lathe on completion of the pass, and
1971) by Dr. W.A.J. Chapman states, at up at t inch intervals. The disadvantage of indicated at P on the diagram. disengage the half- nuts. If the carriage is
pages 359-360 "Some lathes have a this method lies in the lathe having to be now returned through a sufficient distance
lever on the apron which reverses the stopped before disengaging the half- nuts, to the right to cause the LSI to revolve
leadscrew without reversing the machine, and this led to the development of the ACTION OF THE INDICATOR from 1 to 1, showing a 2 in. traverse, the
and this method is about the most con- THREAD DIAL INDICATOR, also known If, when the leadscrew is stationary, the half-nuts can be re-engaged ready for the
venient of all for bringing the tool back to as a 'THREAD CHASING DIAL', or, carriage is moved along the lathe bed, the next threading pass, and pick- up would be
its starting position." What Dr. Chapman perhaps best, as a ' LEADSCREW indicator worm wheel treats the lead- assured.
is referring to here (although no explana- INDICATOR' (LSI) which obviates the screw as a rack, and the indicator dial will At this juncture we may note that when
tion is given) is a special reversible single- trouble of having to stop the lathe at the revolve. As the leadscrew in our diagram the half-nuts are engaged and the carriage
tooth dog-clutch positioned at the input termination of each cutting pass. As will is presumed to be of 8 tpi and the worm is making a threading pass, the LSI dial
end of screwcutting gear trains, and not to be seen, the LSI registers favourable half- wheel has 1 6 teeth, each exact turn of the remains stationary because that portion of
some special arrangement for operating nut engagement moments with the lathe indicator dial will measure a carriage the worm wheel which is engaging with
the tumbler-reverse from the apron, as the running and, in effect. a LSI integrates traverse movement of 2 in., half a revolu- the leadscrew merely acts in the same
uninstructed may easily be led to believe. I leadscrew revolutions with carriage tion therefore registers a movement of way as would a few threads of a nut
also recall reading somewhere that, movement in such a way that favourable one in., and so on, down to the one-eighth similarly engaged and moving with the
quote: "A tumbler-reverse is handy for half-nut engaging moments are divisions which show a movement of two carriage.
repositioning the carriage when cutting repeatedly registered from any convenient leadscrew threads. or tin. Let us now see w hat happens to the
long threads." This is quite wrong. If a carriage and tool starting position. On the other hand, if the carriage is LSI when cutting the same 1-i in. length
tumbler-reverse is de-geared at any time An indicator is shown diagrammatically stationary, and the leadscrew is rotating, of 9 tpi thread without stopping the lathe
during the screwcutting, then correct pick- in Fig. 1 2. The arrangement consists the leadscrew will act as a worm, and will on completion of each threading pass.
up will be lost. Not only that, far from essentially of a worm wheel engaging drive the indicator, whereupon each As before, with the carriage in its
being 'handy', waiting for a reversed lead- with the leadscrew, the worm wheel complete turn of the indicator will show starting position, we wait until the lead-
screw to reposition a lathe carriage over spindle being vertically mounted and t hat the leadscrew has made 1 6 whole screw has turned the indicator to reading
any significant distance is a waste of time, fitted at its upper end with a dial having turns, half a turn of the indicator, 8 turns 1, then engage the half-nuts for the
and best avoided whenever possible. The four main divisions numbered 1-2-3-4, of the leadscrew, and so on. threading pass. On disengaging the half-


nuts at the end of the threading pass, the half-nuts only at the odd dial numbers 1 or Worm threads sized by OP or module register 20 in. (80 LS revs) in one turn of
indicator dial commences to revolve, and 3, (one inch of travel). For even numbers also have SO's outside the scope of lead- the dial, 10 in. (40 LS revs) in half a turn,
during the time it takes to reposition the divisible by 2, the half-nuts may be screw indicators. For example the actual 5 in. (20 LS revs) in t turn, 2t in. (1 0 LS
carriage 2 inches to the right, the lead- engaged on any numbered division, 1, 2 , 3 number of threads/inch held by a worm to revs) in t turn. and 1tin. (5 LS revs) in f6
screw may make two revolutions, so the or 4. For even numbers divisible by 4, mesh with a No. 20 OP gear is 6~1 :35 turn, thus making the geared dial suitable
indicator wil l, at the instant of ceasing the such as 12 tpi with three whole threads whole threads minimum in 5-! inches. for registering pick-up for 4.0, 2.0, 1.0,
right traverse, read 1 again, showing one and 20 tpi with five whole threads to each NOTE: Leadscrew indicators are of no 0.5 and 0.25 mm pitches. A miniature
whole turn plus one eighth of a turn for two leadscrew threads, the half-nuts may use unless the gearing is exact (i.e. is not selective gearbox is used to change the
the two leadscrew revolutions. Favourable be engaged at any t dial division. an approximation) for the pitch being cut. geared LSI rat io for registering other
half -nut engagement positions or With a four-inch indicator and a 4 tpi If the SO exceeds the indicator travel, pitches. For example a reduction in the
moments occur only at each 8 revolutions leadscrew, odd threads may be picked up then the leadscrew indicator cannot be ratio 4 to 25 is required for a dial to
of the leadscrew, or at one inch or mul- at any numbered dial division, 1, 2, 3 or 4, used. register pick-up for 5.0, 2.5 and 1.25 mm.
tiples of one inch of carriage travel, so, showing inches of carriage travel. Threads For example, if, for lack of a 38 gear. a pitches at 100, 50 and 25 leadscrew
assuming the carriage cannot be moved a divisible by 2, such as 6, 10, 14 will pick nominal 1 9 tpi is being cut with a lead- revolutions: 25 in,. 12-! in., and 6-l- in.
further t inch to the right, the lathe is left up at any revolution of the dial. showing
t screw of 8 tpi with gearing: respectively.
running until the leadscrew has made 6 t wo leadscrew threads, or half inches of 35 -A- 50 However, waiting for a geared LSI dial
more turns which will be shown by the travel. For threads divisible by 4, such as 45-75 to show pick-up for the coarser metric
indicator moving through a further t turn 4, 8, 12, 16, 20, and upwards the use of pitches could waste considerable time : a
to reading 3, and the half-nuts may be re- the indicator is not strictly necessary, minimum pick-up, or SO, is, as we have
leadscrew rotating at say 100 rpm could
engaged. We may notice also that from although it is sometimes handy to watch seen, 2f inches, and is therefore outside
waste up to a whole minute between each
the scope of a leadscrew indicator that
the time of disengaging the half-nuts to an indicator to avoid attempts at engaging threading pass when cutting a 5.0 mm
the time of re-engaging the work will have the half-nuts on to the leadscrew thread will register only in a maximum of 2-inch
pitch, which picks up only at every 100
made 9 revolutions and the leadscrew 8. groups, or in exact sub-multiples of 2
crests: an event which can sometimes leadscrew revolutions. although waiting
If for any reason the ha lf nuts are not result in spoiled work by giving a false time will decrease with the length of the
engaged on the first favourable reading 3, start to a threading pass. Half- nut thread thread to be cut, because during the non-
then, of course, the leadscrew may be crests can grip leadscrew thread crests
cutting return passes when rack traversing
allowed to revolve until the indicator again with sufficient force to traverse a lathe INDICATORS to the right, the leadscrew indicat or dial
reads 1, showing 8 more leadscrew carriage. The pending metrication led to the will rotate one turn for every 25 inches of
revolutions. The limit of usefulness of leadscrew development of geared leadscre·w right traverse, so if a thread is of 22 in.
An indicator such as that just described indicators is reached when the SO of the indicators, their design probably being length (88 LST), then after repositioning
which makes one dial revolution for each thread to be cut is equal to one revolution based upon the fact that when cutting at the right, the dial will have only to
2 inches of travel could be termed a "2- of the indicator dial, for example 11 t tpi metric threads from an English leadscrew count the remaining leadscrew thread/
inch indicator". and similar 'half numbers' for a 2-inch used in conjunction with the exact 50/127 revs, less the few revolutions the lead-
When the leadscrew is of four tpi and indicator, and 11 t and similar 'quarter translation ratio, SO, or minimum pick-up screw will have made during the right
the indicator has the same number of numbers' for a 4-inch indicator. 11 t tpi in INCHES is equal to 5 multiplied by the traversing. For example, 22 in. = 88 LST,
teeth- 16- the dial will show four inches shows 23 whole threads in 2 inches, and pitch of the thread to be cut expressed in add 5 for the revs made by the leadscrew
of carriage travel per revolution, and we 11 t tpi = 45 whole threads in 4 inches. millimetres. during right traverse = 93 , and 100- 93 =
have a "four-inch indicator," although the With a majority of present lathes the For example, with a leadscrew of 4 tpi 7, i.e. 7 leadscrew revolutions to be made
number of leadscrew threads for each customary method for holding pick-up and the 50/127 translation ratio, a pitch before the LSI dial registers correct pick-
revolution of the dia l will remain at 16. In when the SO exceeds the capacity of a of 1.0 mm picks up at 5 inch intervals. or up, for which at 100 rpm the operator
case of doubt, of course, the amount of leadscrew indicator is to work 1 by the at each 20 revolutions of the leadscrew. would have about 11 seconds in hand.
carriage travel to each revolution of an complete reversal routine. It 1is also 2.0 mm pitch at 10 in or 40 leadscrew But of course, if the first favourable
indicator can be found with a rule. customary (although not always revs and so on. moment is missed, then the total waiting
For a two-inch indicator, when cutting necessary, q.v.) to work by this method Hence a 4-inch leadscrew indicator time would be 71 seconds.
odd threads such as 7, 9 , 11 and so on, it when cutting metric threads with an having an additional dial driven through To minimise this potential waste of
is well to form the habit of engaging the English leadscrew and vice versa. reduction gearing in the ratio 1 to 5 would time, these geared leadscrew indicators

78 79

have been used in conjunction with which a leadscrew indicator is suitable for half-nuts may force the carriage against 6.0 mm pitch. One revolution of the
automatically disengaging half-nuts. use in the normal way. the left stop, and perhaps move it. indicator dial registers a carriage travel of
Threading passes are commenced at say The work length limits of 2 and 4 120 mm, or 20 leadscrew revolutions.
(geared) LSI dial reading 1. On completion inches for corresponding indicators apply The four numbered graduations
SHORT METRIC THREADS because of the confusion which would indicate actual travel in millimetres, and
of the threading pass, the half-nuts
automatically disengage. The lathe is A modification of the foregoing method arise if the indicator was called upon to each of the 20 subdivisions one leadscrew
stopped, the carriage traversed to t he allows of threading to the base of a blind make more than one revolution. In this thread, or 6.0 mm of carriage travel.
right, and the lathe run in reverse until the bore or to shouldered work without fear of respect, too, it is important to note that if, The Instruction Plate reads:
LSI dial has been driven back to its an over-run when cutting SHORT metric with a 2-inch indicator, the total carriage A. 0.5, 0.75, 1.0, 1.5, 2, 3, 6 mm. pitch
original starting reading, whereupon, of threads with an English leadscrew, or travel is 2 inches and the cut is com- Any line on indicator.
course, the half-nuts are engaged and the English threads with a metric leadscrew. menced at indicator reading 1, when the (i.e. engage half-nuts at random on
lathe run in forward motion for the next For reasons which will be understood in lathe is stopped on completion of the left leadscrew)
cutting pass: all of which takes about the due course, the total carriage travel must to right cutting pass and the carriage is B. 1 .25, 2.5, 5, 10 mm pitch
same time as the complete reversal not exceed the length capacity of the returned to its left stop the LSI will again Any numbered line.
method, but with the advantage that fear indicator being used. For right-hand read 1, showing one whole indicator turn. (i.e. groups of 5 leadscrew threads)
of over-run is eliminated. threads the method is as follows: Pick-up will not be correct, however, until C. 4.0 mm pitch
However, geared leadscrew indicators Cutting passes are made with an the lathe has been run forwards for a suf- Lines 60 or 120.
(and indeed ordinary LSI's) probably will inverted tool with the lathe spindle ficient time for the indicator to make one (i.e. any group of 10 leadscrew
not long survive in competition with much running in reverse. (Interna l threading revolution, 1 - 1. Similar remarks, of threads)
more efficient methods for holding pick- tools need a right-hand crank). A left-hand course, apply to a 4-inch indicator when The pitches in set A are all exact sub-
up, so a deeper analysis of thei r dead stop limits left-hand, hand traverse the thread plus tool starting clearance multiples of the leadscrew pitch, for which
characteristics seems unnecessary. of the carriage and is set with the cutting requires a 4 inch carriage travel. the half-nuts can be engaged at any con-
tool at the desired inner starting position. If the lathe has a metric leadscrew the venient moment. The 6.0 mm leadscrew
The lathe is run backwards until the LSI LSI may read 30-60-90-120 and show a pitch holds exactly 12 0.5 mm threads, 8
reads 1, and the half-nuts are engaged. maximum carriage travel of 120 mm 0. 75 mm threads, 6 1.0 mm threads, and
SPECIAL APPLICATION OF On completion of the cut, the lathe is (4. 7244 inches). but, or course, the so on.
LEADSCREW INDICATOR stopped and the half-nuts disengaged. routine will be the same as for the English Of set 8 , each pitch to be cut contains
When threading up to shoulders or to the The tool is cleared, and the carriage hand leadscrew: after each cutting pass in a whole number of threads in five lead-
base of a blind bore in the conventional traversed against the left stop. The lathe reverse the la~he is run forward s until the screw threads, one quarter turn of the
way with the customary type of lathe and spindle is now run FORWARDS until the LSI again reads the chosen starting figure. indicator dial, 5 LST = 30 mm. holding 24
(ungeared) leadscrew indicator, there is an LSI again reads 1, which clearly shows This left to right working is suitable for 1 Fig. 13. A leadscrew indicator dial for metric
ever present risk of the carriage over- that the work, leadscrew and carriage are all threads including odd pitches given by /eadscrews.
running, breaking the tool and spoiling the all in the same relative positions as for the approximation gearing.
work. To avoid this risk, and to allow of first cutting pass, whereupon the lathe is For left-hand threads the lathe spindle
somewhat faster working with less stopped, the half-nuts re-engaged and the would run forwards for the cutting passes
anxiety, some turners are in the habit of lathe again started IN REVERSE for the and in reverse while t he half-nuts are
cutting such threads by running the lathe next cutting pass. disengaged and the leadscrew is driving
in reverse, using an inverted threading An actual test of this method showed the LSI back to its starting reading.
tool, and taking the cutting passes from its practicability, but some care had to be
left to right. The non-cutting return passes taken to stop the lathe spindle at the right INDICATOR FOR METRIC
are then made by hand traversing from moment after its forward run to reset the
right to left against a dead stop, and the LSI. A little previous experimenting will
leadscrew indicator used to show correct show the way in which backlash affects An example of a metric leadscrew
pick-up. For this kind of working the lathe the LS I reading, this can then be allowed indicator is given in the diagram, Fig. 13
is run in reverse throughout, and the for, otherwise backlash may give a false which shows the design fitted to a
thread being cut must be of a kind for indication, and attempts at engaging the Harrison lathe with a metric leadscrew of

80 81

1.25 mm pitches, 12 2.5 mm pitches, 6 lathe must be reversed with the half-nuts reset' routine, cha lk marking was the only ship between component thread turns and
5.0 mm and 3 10.0 mm pitches. remaining in engagement with the lead- way of achieving repeat pick-up for leadscrew are simple, such as when
Lastly, set C, the 4.0 mm pitch, shows screw until completion of the thread, or threads that were not exact multiples of cutting standard threads in the same
1 5 whole threads in 1 0 leadscrew any of the other means previously outlined the leadscrew threads. The leadscrew language as that of the leadscrew.
threads. Note: although minimum pick-up may be adopted to hold pick-up. This indicator was invented long after the
for a pitch of 4.0 mm with a 6.0 mm pitch applies also to the cutting of threads/inch, screwcutting lathe. DOG-CLUTCH CONTROL.
leadscrew is 2 LST to 3 component thread DP or module worms and other pitches If, after the first threading pass, the AUTOMATIC PICK-UP.
turns, it would be impracticable to read outside the scope of the leadscrew carriage, leadscrew, lathe spindle and
indicator. We now turn to lathes of specialised
the unnumbered basic indicator gradua- component can be restored to the exact
design which give repeat pick-up without
tions in pairs. It seems therefore that while an English relative positions each held at the com-
call for any special intervention by the
We may also note that 0.4 mm and 0.6 leadscrew indicator will cover all ordinary mencement of the first pass, then on re-
mm pitches will pick-up at any line on the English pitches in common use, similar engaging the half-nuts, the second cutting
As will be seen, the dog-clutch method
indicator because 6.0 mm holds 1 5 whole facilities cannot be offered by a single pass will exactly follow the first.
is a modification of the complete reversal
0.4 mm pitches and 10 whole 0.6 mm indicator and a metric leadscrew for all Chalk-marking may therefore be carried
way of achieving pick-up, but it is
pitches. For thread pitches showing a common metric pitches. out in the following way. With the lathe
generally necessary to purchase lathes
whole number of thread turns only in geared for the screw to be cut, the
groups of 3 or 7 leadscrew threads such REPEAT PICK-UP FROM carriage is positioned so that the cutting
with the refinement already fitted. The
'CHALK MARKS' writer made and fitted the clutch to his
as 0.45 mm pitch, holding 40 whole turns tool is just clear of the starting end of the
lathe in 1973.
in 3 leadscrew threads, 1. 7 5 mm pitch, Although today this method is never workpiece, and the half-nuts are engaged.
The accompanying diagram, Fig 14,
holding 24 whole turns in 7 leadscrew adopted, it was used extensively in the Backlash in the gearing is taken up by
illustrates the principle of operation, and
threads, or 3.5 mm pitch, holding 12 early days. Indeed, apart from the rotating the lathe spindle through part of a
shows that in addition to the normal
whole turns in 7 leadscrew threads, the complete reversal method or the 'stop and turn. The tailstock body {e.g.) is then
screwcutting arrangements, a dog-clutch
Fig. 14. An elementary diagram illustrating rhe principles of single-tooth dog-clutch control giving brought up to the carriage to form a right-
DC is interposed between the first
instant repeat pick-up for all thread pitches. hand dead stop. A chalk mark is now
quadrant driving gear A and the tumbler-
made on top of the leadscrew, and
reverse output spigot, the tumbler-reverse
another mark on top of the chuck or work
being represented by gears E and F with a
driving plate.
1-1 ratio. The clutch is of the 'single tooth'
After the first threading pass, the lathe
type: that is to say that each clutch
is stopped or slowed, the half nuts
member has only one dog, pin, or sector,
A disengaged, and the carriage returned to
so that when engaged, the angular
the right-hand dead stop. The lathe is now
relationship between each member, and
slowly run until both the leadscrew and
hence between the headstock spindle and
chuck chalk-marks take up their original
gearA , cannotchange.
positions, whereupon the half-nuts may
be re-engaged and the second cutting
pass made. CUTTING PASS
B A practical test clearly demonstrated For introductory purposes it will be
the disadvantages of this method. The necessary to assume that screwcutting
best that could be done was to hand-pull will be carried out with the half-nuts
the lathe driving belt, and at each chalk- remaining in engagement until completion
marked revolution of the chuck, check for of the thread.
coincidence of the mark on the leadscrew: Referring to Fig. 14, and starting from
an appallingly slow and inefficient the position shown, to initiate a screwcut-
process. It is doubtful too, whether this ting pass, the half-nuts N are engaged,
approach could be relied upon except and the lathe spindle set in motion. Now
under those conditions where the relation- the clutch CD is engaged by means of the

82 83

hand-lever G, which of course sets the moment dog C contacts dog D. all condi- The automatic arrest of traverse motion temporary leadscrews of special lead, will
leadscrew L in motion, thus traversing the tions will be exactly the same as for the eliminates all fear of over-runs into the similarly automatically index the starts of
carriage K and tool T from right to left (Y first cutting pass, quite regardless of the base of blind bores, or into shoulders, any multiple-start thread the lead of which
to X). ratio between gears A and B. We may also hence operator fatigue is greatly reduced. is within the capacity of any given lathe
On near completion of the threading note that as the relationship between dog With automatic arrest of traverse without excessive stresses on the gearing :
pass, the carriage K contacts collar J C and dog D can never be more or less motion, much higher threading speeds are the lead limit may be taken, generally, as
(previously suitably positioned and locked than one exact component thread turn out possible (up to 500 rpm in brass with the being twice that of the leadscrew : t in.
to rod R) thus moving rod R to the left of phase, and one component thread turn author's lathe, and up to 1000 rpm with lead (4 tpi) for a lathe with a leadscrew of
where it abuts lever G and pushes the exactly equals one component thread the Hardinge). 8 tpi, and 6.0 mm lead for a lathe with a
dogs out of engagement, which of course pitch, there is no way in which correct Thread lengths can be pre-determined leadscrew of 3 ,0 mm lead, pro rata (see
stops the leadscrew and arrests saddle relationships can be lost. to within 0.001 inch (0.025 mm), and it is Section 6).
traverse motion with the tool T at the X On repositioning the carriage to the Y not necessary to pre-machine a runout
runout position. (Residual momentum in position, the starting clearance Z can be groove: this is progressively formed by the
the leadscrew and its driving gears held to any convenient minimum. Special threading tool, and takes the form of an
ensures that dog D fully disengages). The applications of the clutch control that call annular recess having the same depth and POWER LEADS C R E W
lathe spindle and workpiece may remain for repeated specific settings for the X - Y form as that of the thread being cut. REVERSAL
in forward motion. length will be dealt with in due course. The question of engaging half-nuts on The few industrial lathes at present fitted
to a fast revolving leadscrew never arises with the dog-clutch also have power
CARRIAGE RETURN LEFT- HAND THREAD ING -all half-nut engagements are made on a reversal for the leadscrew (not to be
To reposition the carriage and tool at Y For cutting left-hand threads, rod R is 'dead' leadscrew. consequently all thread- confused wit h a tumbler reverse), the
ready for the next cutting pass, the tool is locked clear of lever G, collar J is set and ing passes can be made without false drive being taken from an additional but
withdrawn, and the leadscrew rotated by locked to rod R to locate the carriage at starts. oppositely rotating clutch plate, and a
means of the handwheel H , whereupon, the X position. the leadscrew is reversed, A workpiece being threaded may handwheel is unnecessary. The diagram
after attending to tool depthing, the dog and cutting passes are made from left to remain in rotation for any length of time Fig. 1 5 shows one form of reversible
clutch may be re-engaged for the next right, and when the tool has traversed between cutting passes without loss of clutch which, to the best of the writer's
cutting pass. clear of the workpiece, the clutch is pick-up: a feature of value for the removal knowledge, was devised by the makers of
disengaged by hand operating the lever G. of thread crest burrs and cleaning prior to the Hendey-Norton lathe circa 1914. That
PICK- UP HELD After which, of course, the tool is taking a measurement or testing the fit of this clutch was not adopted as standard to
Repeat pick-up is assured because on repositioned at X by turning the hand- a gauge. With the more common type of all lathes can only be explained by
turning the handwheel H to return the wheel H. screwcutting lathe not fitted with the assuming its action was not properly
carriag~ and tool to the Y position, the
clutch, when it is necessary to thread with understood by other lathe manufacturers.
leadscrew gear B drives gear A and the DOG-CLUTC H - ADVANTAG ES the half-nuts engaged until completion of The following description assumes that
clutch member D through a series of a thread, (the complete reversal method), threading operations will be carried out
The advantages of a dog-clutch control for
pitch-by-pitch component thread turns the time during which a workpiece can be with the half-nuts N remaining in engage-
a leadscrew drive are overwhelming. Pick-
without disturbing the relationship allowed to rotate between cutting passes ment with the leadscrew until completion
up is assured for all pitches, regardless of
between the leadscrew and gears A and is strictly limitep by the distance through of the thread being cut.
the language of the leadscrew, and regar-
B . Also, with the half- nuts in engagement, which the carriage can travel along the Referring to Fig. 15, the lathe spindle 0
dless of the pitch of the thread to be cut.
at each single revolution of dog D , the lathe bed: an infernal nuisance. drives bevel gear 1 (one) through gearing
Indeed it is impossible to devise any
leadscrew w ill move the carriage by As will be explained, the dog-clutch G - H at a 1 to 1 ratio. Bevel 2 is driven
quadrant gearing with which pick- up
exactly one component thread pitch control permits the automatic indexing of through bevel 3 in a direction opposite to
would fail to hold.
distance in the direction X to Y, even the starts of a worthwhile range of bevel 1.
Pick-up is always ready immediately a
though the leadscrew itself may make mu ltiple-start screw & nut threads Bevel gea rs 1 and 2 are free to rotate
tool has been re-positioned for a fresh
only part of a turn at each exact turn of without stopping the lathe spindle and on shaft 4 which carries a first-gear driver
cutting pass, consequently no time is lost
dog member D. workpiece until completion of all starts to A for a leadscrew gear train, or for the
in waiting for a leadscrew indicator to
Consequently, upon re-engaging the final depthlngs, and at the higher thread- input drive to a selective threading
register. With the clutch control a lead-
clutch for the next cutting pass, the ing speeds offered by the clutch. Or, with gearbox.
screw indicator is unnecessary anyway.

84 85

are therefore reversed, and the carriage K with traverse movement of the carriage.
Fig. 15. An ele-
mentary diagram is driven up to collar P which pulls rod R For operation of the clutch, this hand-lever
illustrating the to the right and moves boss 5 back to would be used to rotate the stop rod
principles of a revers- neutral, thus stopping the leadscrew and through about 20 deg. either side of
ible single-tooth dog- arresting carriage traverse. 'neutral'. Exact details are not available.
clutch control giving Control rod R, of course, extends to the
instant repeat pick-up length ofthe lathe bed, and collarsJ and P FAST RESETTING
for all thread pitches. are preset according to the position and Ordinarily, with power leadscrew reversal,
Please also see text. length of a thread to be cut, plus a starting non-cutting return passes take exactly the
A clearance. same time as the cutting passes: a feature
to which objection is sometimes taken
lEFT-HAND THREADS because of the time that can be devoted
For cutting left-hand threads, the left- to- to repositioning a carriage by power when
right carriage repositioning movement is cutting long screws. In this respect it
used for cutting passes, and the right-to- seems not to be generally understood that
left movement for non-cutting return when cutting any standard thread in the
passes. same language as that of the leadscrew
NOTE: (1). When this type of reversible (and sometimes with conflicting
clutch arrangement is in use, the lathe I anguages) the non-cutting return passes
B spindle must not be run in reverse. A can be made by rack- and-pinion traverse:
reversed lathe spindle reverses the action 1. On completion of the first cutting pass
of lever 7 and stop collars J and P which, (when the lead-screw will have
therefore, instead of releasing the clutch automatically ceased to rotate)
would jam it harder into engagement. disengage the half-nuts. The
NOTE: (2). For returning the carriage to a workpiece may remain in motion.
right-hand dead stop by rack and pinion 2. By rack-and-pinion traverse, run the
traverse for fast tool repositioning during carriage to the right (X to Y, Fig. 14)
screwcutting (q.v.) a reversible dog-clutch through one, or as many SO units as
would require a handlever lock or stop to may be necessary to position the tool
prevent inadvertent engagement of the clear of the workpiece to allow for a
Bevel 1 is integral with driven spur gear boss 5 to the left, thus engaging dogs C reversing dogs. starting clearance. Re-engage the half-
H, and of course bevels 1 and 2 are and D which, with the lathe spindle nuts. Set a right-hand carriage dead-
restrai ned from endwise movement. rotating, sets shaft 4 and gear A in APRON CONTROl stop.
Boss 5 is coupled to shaft 4 by means motion, thus driving the· leadscrew L, On some lathes, lever 7 (Fig. 15) can be 3. Attend to tool depthing, and engage
of splines, one of which is shown at 6, and which, with the half-nuts engaged, traver- operated and the dog-clutch engaged (or the dog-clutch for the next cutting
upon which 5 is free to slide axially by ses the carriage K from right to left, hand disengaged) by means of a hand- pass.
movement of lever 7, pivoted at 8. where, on contacting collar J on the stop, lever mounted on the lathe apron and thus 4. On completion of the second cutting
Bevels 1 and 2 each carry a single or control rod R, lever 7 is moved to travelling with the carriage. This is con- pass, disengage the half-nuts, run the
driving dog, D and E. Boss 5 carries driven neutral, thus disengaging dogs D - C and venient, indeed necessary, when cutting a carriage up to the right-hand dead-
dogs C and F. arresting leadscrew rotation and carriage thread at the right-hand end of a long stop, and re-engage the ha lf-nuts
traverse. (The position shown in the shaft in a large lathe whereon a headstock ready for the third cutting pass.
diagram). mounted control lever would be out of NOTE: When this method is being
OPERATION To reposition the carriage K to the right reach. For rod R to serve this dual used, every cutting pass, once started,
Assuming the lathe carriage K is for the next cutting pass, lever 7 is moved purpose, the rod probably has a keyway must be made in full, right up to clutch
positioned clear of collar J, an anti- in a clockwise direction, thus engaging throughout its entire length, along which a disengagement, otherwise correct
clockwise movement of lever 7 slides dogs E and F. Shaft 4 and the leadscrew handle-lever boss and key can freely slide pick-up will be lost.

86 87

RACK RESETTING EXAMPLE cut from an English leadscrew of 4 or 8 t pi on a piece of silver steel of i in. diameter. traverse, and instead of reversing the
(and with correct gearing as distinct from The leadscrew was of 8 tpi, geared thus: lathe, merely allow the whole to remain
Suppose a 1Ot in. length of 18 tpi thread idle, disengage the half-nuts, and rack-
approximation gearing) is merely a matter 35-A-25
has to be cut from a leadscrew of 4 t pi.
of making a quick mental divisibility test : 36 - 80 and-p in ion traverse up to a right- hand Y
For simplicity, let the material and
tpi not divisible by 2 = 1 in. SO, tpi divis- which used No. 1 5 approximation for 50/ stop and re-engage the half-nuts, then
diameter of the workpiece be such that restart the lathe spindle. This could still
ible by 2 only = tin. SO, tpi divisible by 2 127 (See Section 3). Accordingly the
threading has to .be carried out at 200
rpm. and 4 = -! in. SO, and TPI the same as or lrreducable basic ratio was 35/25 x 36/ save 40 hours on a batch of long screws:
an exact multiple of the leadscrew tp i 80 = 63/ 100, showing exactly 63 lead- more in fact, because w ithout automatic
The number of 1 8 tpi thread turns in leadscrew stop at X, threading speeds
have SO's the same as the leadscrew screw threads t o 100 (nominal) 2.0 mm
1ot in. is 189, which to traverse at 200 have to be much slower, and hence return
pitch: i.e. no 'wrong' positions on the lead- pitch thread turns, and 63 leadscrew
rpm wou ld take 56.7 seconds, or, with a
screw. threads of t in. pitch = 7.875 in. passes with the half-nuts engaged would
starting clearance, about one minute.
Therefore, on completion of each cutting take longer, even twice as long, thus
Let 10 b e the number of threading RACK RESETTING. METRIC. showing a possible saving of two weeks
pass at X, the carriage was rack- and-
passes required to complete the thread. If Suppose a 250 mm length of 1.75 mm pinion traversed to a right stop at Y 7i- in. on a batch.
power dog- clutch reverse is used to pitch has to be cut from a leadscrew o f from X, which of course gave a t in. However, rack-and- opinion carriage
reposition the carriage (X to Y, Fig. 14) for 6.0 mm pitch, at what distance should Y starting clearnce. If memory serves, this resetting on an ordinary lathe, which the
each fresh cut ting pass, then, of course, be set from X? writer has personally tested and found
thread was cut at about 200 rpm, each
each ret urn pass would take one ~ minute The basic ratio for 1.75 mm pitch with entirely practicable, is greatly aided by:
threading pass taking about 30 seconds.
and the total non-cutting return-pass time a leadscrew of 6.0 mm pitch is 1.75 to 6 . 1. A runout groove or recess equal in
As very many passes were required to
per screw would be 10 minutes. Multiply by 4 to bring to whole numbers = p roduce a clean bright thread, the time width to about 1 t to 2 component
7/24 = 7 leadscrew threads to each 24 saved by rack-and-pinion resetting must thread pitches, to allow for slight varia-
Time Saved component thread turns minimum. 7 lead- have been between 20 and 30 minutes. tions in the X runout position, and,
Rack- and- pinion repositioning may t ake, screw threads of 6.0 mm pitch = 42 mm (A t ravelling steady was not used, hence 2. A 'buffer' or flexible type left-hand
say, three seconds, so the total time saved SO. more and light er cutting passes had to be runout indicator (as distinct from a left -
per return pass will be one minute minus A thread length of 250 mm contains made). hand carriage dead-st op) the flexibility
3 seconds = 57 seconds, or 9t minutes 42 mm about 5.9 times, but as we cannot in the left indicator 'stop' being to allow
for ten return passes, therefore if 250 have a f raction of an SO unit, we must set RACK RESETTING. ORDINARY for th e inevi table slight carriage
such lengths of thread were required, the Y at 6 SO units .from X, and 6 X 42 = 252 LATHES (STOP AND RESET overruns at the X run out position.
ti me saved by rack- and-pinion resetting mm. This would allow a 2 .0 mm starting METHODS) The diagram, Fig. 1 6 illustrates the
would be about one working week of 40 clearance, which, with a chamfer, should On ordinary "lathes without a dog-clutch requirements. An extendable indicator rod
hours. be sufficient. If not , then one more offering repeat pick-up and auto runout R is free to slide axially in a bearer 0
complete SO unit would have to be added stop, when cutting threads for which a (preferably mounted on the lathe head-
Finding the 'Y' Setting t o t he resetting X - Y distance, making X - stock). Rod R is provided with two axially
leadscrew indicator is of no use, such as
For a lathe with a lead screw of 4 tpi to cut Y = 2 94 mm, giving a starting clearance 1.75 mm pitch from a leadsrew of 6.0 mm adjustable collars, A and 8 with a com-
18 tpi, the basic gear ratio is 4/ 18 = 2/ 9, of 44 mm (about 1-} in. - for which it may pitch, where the relationship is 7 lead- pression spring S interposed between
not further reducable in whole number be necessary to use a half- centre support). screw threads to 24 component t hread colla r 8 and the fixed bearer D . With this
terms, accordingly each 2 leadscrew However, even -with a 44 mm starting turns, one is customarily advised to arrangement, slight over-runs of the
threads hold exactly 9 component t hread clearance to .be re-traversed at every reposition the carriage for each fresh carriage K merely compress springS, con-
turns = t inch SO. Obviously, 1 Ot in. cutting pass, t here would obviously be a
great saving in time by rack- and-pinion
cutting pass by reversing both lathe sequently there is no jamming which
contain tin. 21 times, so 22 SO units: X - spindle and leadscrew, with the half-nuts would prevent half- nut disengagement.
Y = 11 in. would give a t in. starting resetting. remaining in engagement until completion When the carriage is returned t o the right-
clearance, or, if the component has a of the t hread: the 'complete reversal hand dead stop C after a slight over-run at
pronounced chamfer, an X - Y distance of
RACK RESETTING. A TRAN - X, the spring S returns the indicator rod R
1 Dt in. would serve. As a matter of fact, SLATION EXAMPLE But if one has to stop at the X runout to its original position, with collar A
finding the SO's, and hence the ·y· On one occasion the writer had to cut a position to reverse a lathe, one may as abutting the bearer D .
posit ion for all standard threads/inch to be 7-} in. length of 2.0 mm pitch (ISO form ) welll ascertain the SO or necessary X - Y Initial settings may be exactly as shown

88 89

in the diagram with the right-hand stop re'engage the half- nuts on to a wrong set f f,q. 17. The author's
Cpositioned about one-quarter of a lead- of leadscrew threads despite the fact that sin g le- tooth dog-
screw pitch ( 1.5 mm for a leadscrew of very many threading passes were taken. d utch mechanism.
6.0 mm pitch) away from the carriage K During threading it is advisable t o Th e crosshead
when this is in the Y position. This small watch the gap between the carriage and n/isembly does not
gap G allows for the occasional early the projecting end of the indicator rod:
stopping of the lathe under which circum- indeed this is necessary when internally
1mctional view below
stances the leadscrew would not have threading blind bores by normal right t o
revolved quite enough to permit re- left traverse on any lathe without a dog- A.Ma in spigot or
engagement of the half-nuts at the Y clutch. support shaft.
B. 2 5T pinion (driven
position. Before the half-nuts can be Any doubt over whether or not a right-
by tumbler reverse)
engaged on a wrong leadscrew thread at hand stop is correctly positioned is easily C Driving dog boss.
Y, an over- run at X has to amount to one dispelled by taking a threading pass with D. 40T driver for gear
whole leadscrew thread pitch, which is the tool slightly withdrawn, and observing trains.
unlikely. On the other hand, if a stop at X that the tool is in fact following the first E. Sliding-dog boss.
is made exceptionally early, thus preven- helix cut. free on A.
ting re- engagement of the half-nuts at Y, F. Free collar.
then it is permissible to rotate the chuck GENERAL DOG-CLUTCH G. Retaining collar.
by hand through a sufficient portion of a NOTES II. Retaining washer.
K. Pull-off ( disengag-
revolution to bring the leadscrew threads The author's dog- clutch may be seen in Ing) spring.
into a favourable position for half-nut re- the photograph Fig. 17, and Fig. 17A
engagement. As a matter of fact, when shows the clutch mechanism in section.
testing this method, four complete This clutch is engaged against the com- lever when necessary. This instant DOG-CLUTCH RATIOS
threads were cut from a leadscrew of 8 pression of a strong spring, and is held in disengagement ensures that the dogs do Although Figs. 14 and 15 show a 1 to 1
tpi, all with awkward pick- up of SD engagement by an over- centre lever not drive on their tips on near completion ratio between the lathe spindle and dog-
figures, the m inimum possible X - Y linkage. Collapse of this li nkage and of th reading passes. At the time of writing, clutch, pick-up can be held with 1 to 2, 1
settings being 1 in., 1 t in., 1 t in. and inst ant clutch disengagement is effected this clutch has operated over eighty to 3 etc reduction gearing between the
three of these threads being of metric by carriage traverse motion abutting a thousand times with full reliability. lathe spindle and the clutch, correct pick-
pitch. On no occasion was it possible to stop- rod, or by means of the hand control

L. Coupling rods.
M . Crossheacllink.
N . Adjusting nut.
0 . Sliding dog.
P. Non- sliding dog.
R. Operating rod
(linked to hand-
le ver control and
trip mechanism}
T. Space for tumbler-
Fig. 16. Illustrating reverse lever pivot.
the principles of a On moving rod R to
'buffer type' thread the right, against the
runout indicator for pull of spring K, dog
rack resetting on 0 is brought into
lathes without dog- engagement with dog
clutch control for the H G L r E 0 C B T A
P, and gear Dis set in
L------------------------L--------~----------------~ kadscrew. motion.

90 91

up moments then occur at every second. would be repeatedly and increasingly passes, which seems to be a somewhat in translation ratio. and setting another on
third etc revolution of the lathe spindle, depthed with the result that when. by clumsy approach, with the risk that one the quadrant, with a more favourable (i.e.
and of course, at the lower clutch speeds chance, the second helix came into phase, might forget to slow down again for each much shorter) pick-up, or X - Y (Fig. 14)
the shock at the moment of engagement the extra heavy cut would tear t he f lanks cutting pass, even assuming that the lathe distance suitable for rack resetting
is correspondingly reduced. and spoil the thread. A similar experimen t could be speeded up and slowed down between cutting passes.
An Italian Patent (the Manaioni) goes with the input gears reversed to 3 to 2 (54 quickly enough to make it worthwhile. Admitted, in general, the shorter the
so far as to advocate the use of lead- to 36) and the remainder of the gearing pick-up distance, the less accurate the
screws of 1 inch lead (or 25.0 mm lead) readjusted to give a lead oft in. was tried PICK- UP AND APPROX TRAN- translation ratio, but on the other hand it
i.e. 1 tpi, and a 1 to 8 reduction between with the object of cutting a 3-start thread SLATION RATIOS is generally only surmise that a leadscrew
the lathe spindle and the dog-clutch with oft in. lead and 0.04166 in pitch. Again. As already mentioned, the lower the error is of perfect lead, and if a thread was
the idea of threading at speeds of up to three starts were obtained, but with the In any approximate ratio for 50/127 or required with a specified very small lead
2000 rpm, at which speed clutch engage- same unreliability over which of the vice-versa, the greater the minimum SD or pitch error it would be most unwise to
ment would be at only 250 rpm, although helices would pick-up at any given cutting or X - Y pick- up distance. attempt to cut it on an ordinary centre
one would imagine that the advantages pass, so unless there is some additional This of course has little effect on times lathe, no matter how accurate the lead-
for short threads would be minimal, if any. feature not disclosed, the method must be for the more common short thread lengths screw and gearing may be thought to be,
This Patent also stated that if the written off as of no practical use. The when threading with a reversible single- simply because, even after the greatest
reduction gearing between the lathe special 36 and 54T gears that had to be tooth dog-clutch, or by the complete care, if a customer rejected such a screw
spindle and dog- clutch is temporarily made for this experiment were subse- reversal method, but low error approxima- as having a pitch outside the limits laid
modified, 'for example, to 2 to 3, pick-up quently re-bushed for use with the tions generally entirely precl ude all down, the time devoted to making the
would occur at every 1t revolutions of a standard change gear set. possibility of rack- and-pinion carriage screw would be entirely wasted, with no
piece being threaded, thus making it resetting between cutting passes when possibility of argument.
possible to automatically index the starts REPEAT PICK-UP : JAPANESE cutting threads of any significant length. Accordingly, if small pitch errors are
of a 2-start thread. The writer took the These notes would be incomplete withou t For example, the Colchester Lathe Co's acceptable, screw-cutting can be con-
trouble of testing this assertion by mention of a Japanese lathe whereon the approximation of 6/7 x 8/11 x 12/ 19 siderably speeded up by selecting a
temporarily removing the tumbler- reverse leadscrew nut is in the form of recirculat- which approximates 50/ 127 with an error suitable ratio from the accompanying
through which his dog-clutch is driven at a ing bearing-balls permanently engaged of plus one part in 3657 5 parts (or about Tables, T10A and T1 08 which offer a
1 to 1 ratio, and substituting reduction with the leadscrew. When screwcutting. plus 1.7 in. a mile) when used in conjunc- range of basic ratios for 30 metric pitches
gearing in the ratio 2 to 3 with specia l the leadscrew nut is prevented from tion with a leadscrew of 4 tpi to cut a or leads to be cut from a leadscrew of 4
gears of 36 and 54 teeth. An attempt was rotating by means of a pin or lock, and thread of 6.0 mm pitch, shows a minimum tpi.
then made to automatically index the users are advised to cut all ttlreads by the S D (or X - Y) figure of 6912 leadscrew NOTE: For a leadscrew of 8 tpi, halve the
starts of a 2 - start thread of t in. lead, f 8 in. complete reversal method: despite the threads = 144 feet: nearly 29 5-foot denominator. If this is not possible, then
pitch with a leadscrew of 8 tpi - some- fact that the lathe is driven by a motor of lathebed lengths. This also means, inci- let the denominator stand, and double the
thing that ordinarily cannot be done. The about 7 horse- power which, at the dentally, that if X - Y happened to equal in numerator. Maximum pitch for a lead-
lathe was geared: moment of each reversal, must place a length 48 leadscrew threads (12 inches) screw of 8 tpi should not exceed 6.0 mm.
36-54 severe loading on the electricity supply. and the lathe was stopped at X, and the (If a selective gearbox is fi tted the
CL Ordinary traverse of the carriage by carri age rack traversed to Y, then on re- maximum metric pitch cut from a lead-
40-65 - 30 hand is probably carried out by rotating starting the lathe, one would have to wait screw of 8 tpi should not greatly exceed
45-40 the leadscrew nut along the leadscrew by until the leadscrew had made 6912 minus 3.0mm).
where CL symbolises the single- tooth means of a hand wheel and bevel gears on 48= 6864 revolutions before the half- The tables are also used for ascertain-
dog-clutch. The overall ratio between the the apron. nuts could be re-engaged for the next ing the best approximate ratios for the
lathe spindle (the 36) and the leadscrew Not having an opportunity to experi- cutting pass. Consequently, if, for automatic and semi-automatic indexing of
(the last 40) was 1 to 1 for the t in. lead. ment with this type of lathe, it is not example, a significant number of 12 inch the start s of multiple-start threads- q.v. -
Two starts of te in. pitch w ere certainly possible to offer any hints that might lengths of 6.0 mm pitch thread were Section 6.
obtained, but as there was no guarantee hasten carriage repositioning - except required, and a lathe with a metric lead- In the tables, examples with errors of
as to lll:'hich of the two helices would pick- perhaps that of temporarily speeding up screw was not available, considerable less than one part in 1000 parts (0.00 1 in.
up at any single cutting pass, one helix the lathe spindle for non-cutting return rime could be saved by ignoring the built- per inch) are indicated thus *. No ratio

92 93

Pitch Exact
or Basic Approxim at e Ratios Basic Minimum
Lead m m Ratio 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
12.0 240 17 * 36 49 66 70 74 2 x 50 2 x 69*
m 9 T§ 26 35 37 39 1 x 53 1 x 73
11.5 230 29" 38* 49 67*
m 16 21 27 37
11 .0 220 19 26* 33 45*
127 TI 15 19 26
10.5 2 10 28 33 38* 43* 48* 53 58 63 68 71 8 1*
m T7 20 23 26 29 32 35 38 41 43 49
10.0 200 11 30 41 52* 63* 2 x 37* 2 x 40 2 x 48* 2 x 56 2 x 59* 2 x 67 2 x 70
m 7 T§ 26 33 40 1 x 47 1 x 51 1 x 61 1x 71 1x 75 1 x 85 1x89
9 .5 190 3
m 2
9 .0 180 17* 24 27 44 2 x 39* 2 x 46 2 x 49
m TI 17 T§ 31 1 x 55 1x 6 5 1 x 69
8.5 170 4 47 51 55 59 63 67 71 * 75*
m 3 35 38 41 44 47 50 53 56
8.0 160 24 34* 39 44 63* 2 x 46*
m 19 27 31 35 50 1 x 73
7.5 150 13* 20 32 33 45 46 58 59* 71 72* 84 85*
m TI 17 27 28 38 39 49 50 60 61 71 72
7 .0 140 11 21 32" 43* 54* 76* 85
127 TO T§ 29 39 49 69 77
6 .5 130 38 39 40 41 42* 43 * 44* 4 5* 46 47 81 83
m 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 79 81
6.0 120 17" 18 33 35 37 49 50 52* 53 67 69* 71
127 18 T§ 35 37 39 52 53 55 56 71 73 75
5.5 11 0 13" 19 33 45*
ill 15 22 38 52
5.0 100 11 15 26* 37* 40 41 48* 56 59* 63* 67 70
127 T4 T§ 33 47 51 52 61 71 75 80 85 89
4 .5 90 12 17* 22 27 29 39* 46 49 56* 61*
127 T7 24 31 38 41 55 65 69 79 86

P itch Exact
or Basic Approximate Ratios Basic Minimum
Lead mm Rat io 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
22 39 46* 63*
4.0 ~ 12 17*
12 7 19 27 35 62 73 100
3 .5 1 ~~
11 16* 21 27* 38*
20 29 38 49 69 78
25 26* 33 35 37 1 x 49 1 x 53 1 x 67 1 x 69* 1 x 71 *
3.0 ~ 17 *
2 x 73 2 x 75
127 36 53 55 70 74 78 2 x 52 2 x 56 2x71
28 25 1 x 37* 1 x 41 1 x 59* 1 x 6 3* 1 x 67
2.5 1 ;~
11 13* 15 20 24*
28 33 38 51 61 71 89 2 x 47 2 x 52 2 x 75 2 x 80 2 x 85
2.0~ 6 11 17* 23* 1 x 39 1 x 63*
127 19 35 54 73 2 x 62 4 x 50
1.75 ~ 8* 11 19* 1x2 1 1 x 27" 1 x 43
127 29 40 69 2x38 2 x 49 4 x 39
1 .5 ~ 13* 1 x 17* 1 x 25 1 x 33 1 x 35 1 x 37 1 x 49 1x 53 1x 67 1 x 69" 1x 71
127 55 2 x 36 2 x 53 2 x 70 2 x 74 4 x 39 4 x 52 4 x 56 4 x 71 4 x 73 4 x 75
1 .2 5 25 10 11 12* 13* 14 15 1 x 35 1 x 37* 1x 4 1 1 x 59" 1 x 63* 1x 6 7
ill 51 56 61 66 76 2 x 89 4 x 47 4 x 52 4 x 75 4 x 80 4 x 85
20 3 11 14 1 x 17* 1 x 23* 1 x 26* 1 x 37* 1x 39 1 x 63*
ill T§ 70 89 2 x 54 2 x7 3 5 x 33 5 x 47 4 x 62 8x 50
0.8 16 1 X 12 1 x 17* 1x 2 2 1 x 39 1 x 46* 1 x 63*
ill 5 x 19 5 x2 7 5 x 35 5 x 62 5 x 73 5 x 100
0.75 15 1 x 13" 1 x 17* 1x 25 1 x 33 1 x 35 1 x 37 1 x 49 1 x 53 1x 67 1 x 69* 1 x 71
127 2 x 55 4 x 36 4 x 53 4 x 70 4 x 74 8 x 39 8 x 52 8 x 56 8 x 71 8 x 73 8 x 75
0.7 14 1 x 13* 1 x 15" 1 X 16* 1 x 27* 1x 4 1" 1 x 43* 1 x 44*
m 2 x 59 4 x 34 5 x 29 5 x 49 12 x 31 10 x 39 7 x 57
0.6 12 5 7 1 X 17* 1 x 26* 1 x 33 1 x 37 1 x 49 1 x 53 1 x 67 1 x 69* 1x 7 1
127 53 74 5 x 36 5 x 55 5 x 70 5 x 78 10 x 52 10 x 56 10 x 71 10x 73 10 x 75
0.5 10 1X 1 1 1x 13* 1x 17* 1x 23* 1 x 25 1 x 35 1 x 37 1 x 49 1x 53 1x 63" 1 x 67 1x71
ill 2 x 70 3 x 55 6 x 36 4 x 73 6 x 53 6 x 74 6 x 78 12 x 52 12x 56 16 x 50 12x71 12 x7
Table T1 0. Giving basic gear rat ios for metric pit ches from a lead- For a leadscrew of 8 threads/ inch the same rat ios can be
screw of 4 threads/ inch. converted:-
*Denotes ratios w ith an error of less than 0. 1% ( 1) If possible, halve the denominator.
None have an error of more than 0 .4% {2) If ( 1) is not possible, let the denominator stand, and double t he
To check the metric pitch given by the gearing shown: numerator.
Note : The metric pitch cut f rom a leadscrew of 8 threads/inch
P(mm) = Driver(s) x 122 should not exceed 6.0 mm, and this can severely strain a small
Driven 20 lathe.

holds an error greater than one part in In each example. a minimum compo- pitch. Here we have a choice of six approx For example, No. 2 approx for 8 tpi: 9/
250 parts {plus or minus 0.004 in. per nent starting clearance oft in. is al lowed rtltlo s, four of which are starred. 1 0 in. = 17 x 30/ 127 = 0.1250578 in. and the
inch). for. Thus, for a 12 in. length of 6.0 mm 40 leadscrew threads, No. 4 approx 43/ reciprocal = 7.9963025 tpi. The pitch
The actual metric pitch given by any of pitch, No. 3 setting would have to be 39 would therefore serve. 43 LST of 0.25 error is p lus 57.8 millionths of an inch.
the ratios can be found from: Driver/ used, the starting clearance {Z) being t ln. pitch = 10.75 in., so, with X- Y = 1Ot Some examples of the Metric/Inch
Driven x 6.35 (or x 127/20). inch. ln., w e would have at in. Z clearance. The tables in use will now be given.
For example, a ratio of 1 7/18 for 6.0 We may note that the 17/18 ratio fo r nrror with this approx is plus 1 in 5460 1. Required: a 10 in. length of 8 tpi.
mm p itch gives an actual pitch of 1 7/18 x t hreading 6.0 mm pitch is derived from (No. 17 approx for 50/127). 10 in. = 254 mm = 254/6 = 42.333
6.35 = 5.9972221 m m , an error of No. 27 approximation for the 50/ 127 For the finer pitches we should . . . i.e. 43, 6.0 mm pitch leadscrew
0.00277 . .. mm or minus 0.00011 in. translation ratio, and with this approxima- remember to scan the exact basic ratio threads. No. 2 approx: 9/ 17 is starred. 43/
wit h a perfect leadscrew. tion, the m inimum X - Y resetting holds columns. For example, minim um X - Y for 9 = 4.77 ... 'Round' to 5 = 5 x 9 = 45
All ratios in the tables are in basic form, for the following pitches: 12.0, 9.0, 6.0, 1.0 mm pit ch geared 20/127 is 20 lead- leadscrew threads of 6.0 mm pitch = 270
i.e. not further reducable in int egral 4.0, 3.0, 2.0, 1.5, 1.0, 0.8, 0.75, 0.6 and screw threads = 5 in. Only Nos. 1, 2, 3 mm X - Y. The component thread length
number numerator and denominator 0.5 mm, although t he approximation ratio 11nd 4 approx ratios give shorter X - Y rack = 254 mm, hence the Z clearance will be
terms, theref ore, of course, many requ ire with the 17 numerator will not necessarily resetting distances. 270-254 = 16 mm {about tin.).
resolving into suitable change gear form. always appear in column 1 of the t ables. 2. Required: a 12 in. length of 6 tpi.
It is assumed that the lathe has a selective 12 in. = 304.8 mm. Divide by 6 {the
screwcutting gear box, and that any USE OF TABLES METRIC / ENGLISH RACK leadscrew pitch) = 50.8, 'round' to 5 1
necessary gears fo r 'outside' rat ios will be Some furthe r examples of the use of the RESETTING leadscrew threads. Accordingly we
obtained from the lathe makers. tables will now be given. The Tables T 1 1A & 8 give a selection of require, if possible, a LST {numerator
The t ables show ratios in basic form to 1. Required: a 3 in. length of 3.5 mm approximate ratios for cutting threads/ figure) of between 51 and 52 or so. We
facilitate the selection of mini mum pick- pitch. We have a choice of six Inch from a metric leadscrew of 6.0 mm may note that No. 1 approx: 1 7/ 24 with
up or X- Y settings for any metric pitch t o approximate ratios, with numerators from pitch. numerator multiplied by 3 = 51 LST. 51 x
be cut. In each example, the numerator 11 to 43. No. 1 shows 11 leadscrew NOTE: For a leadscrew of 3.0 mm pitch, 6 = 306 mm for X- Y which would allow
equals the m inimum possible number of threads to 20 component thread turns. 11 halve the denominator. If this is not a Z c learance of 1.2 mm {0.047 in.)
leadscrew threads in any X - Y setting, LST of 0.25 in. pitch span 2.75 in., hence possib le, let the denominat or stand, and which shou ld serve w ith a fairly well
t herefore any numerator multiplied by the X - Y wou ld be too short. Two such X - Y double the numerator. Maximum threads/ pronounced starting chamf er. The pitch
leadscrew pitch gives a measurement for units = 5 . 5 in. which would be Inch for a leadscrew of 3.0 mm pitch error with the 17/ 24 approx is p lus
m inimum X- Y. inconveniently long w ith a Z starting should not exceed 4. 0.000656 in.
For example, taking the 1 7/18 ratio f o r clearance of 2t in. The next ratio, No. 2. The metric/inch tables are used in If we t ry the better approxi mation No.
a pitch of 6.0 mm: 1 7 leadscrew threads 16/ 29 = 16 X 0.25 = 4 in. for X - Y which exactly the same way as the inch/ metric 2: 12/ 17 we find 4 x 12 = 48 LST which
of 0.25 in. pitch = 4.25 in. minimum SO, of course wou ld cover the required 3 in. just explained, with the exception that the is too short, and 5 x 12 = 60 LST = 360
o r X - Y setting. Hence, according to the length with 1 in. Z clearance. exact basic ratios cannot be used for any mm which for a component length of
length of a 6.0 mm pit ch to be threaded, The actual pitch given by the 16/29 thread length much shorter than 127 304.8. mm wou ld leave a Z gap of 55.2
the X - Y resetting distances may be ratio = 3. 5034482 mm: a pitch error of leadscrew threads = 762 mm {30 in.) T wo mm {2 . 1 7 i n.) which could be of
made as follows: plus 0.0001357 in. tpi: 2.75 and 3.25, offer a m inimum pick- inconvenient length.
.2. Required: a 5 in. length of 4.0 mm up of 1524 mm and 2.625 and 2.875 tpi 3. Required: a 5 in. length of 3 tpi. 5 in. =
pitch. For this pitch, the table shows a show a minimum pick- up of 508 LST = 127 mm. 127/6 = 2 1.16 = 22 LST. The
.x- Y range of s ix approx ratios. 5 in. = 20 lead- 3048 mm . nearest approx ratio is No.2: 24/17. 24 x
screw threads of 0.25 in. p itch. No. 3 To check the inch pitch given by any 6 = 144 mm. X - Y. 144 mm minus com-
No. {Inch) {Inch)
approx 22/ 35 should serve. 22 LST span approx ratio, multiply D river/ Driven by 30/ ponent length of 127 mm = 17 mm {0.67
1 4.25 4. i 25 5t in. = X - Y, thus allowing a comfort- 127 {or by 0.2362204). The reciprocal in.) Z clearance. The pitch error from this
2 8.5 8.37 5 able t in. Z c learance. The pitch given = will of course give the threads/inch. ratio is plus 1 54 millionths/inch.
3 12.75 12.625 3.9914285 mm, the error being minus
4 17.0 16.875 one part in 466.
5 21.25 21. 125 3. Required: a 10 in. length of 7.0 mm

96 97

co Pitch Exact
or Basic Approximate Ratios Basic Minimum
Lead mm Ratio 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
2 127 17 19 36* 53 55 70 74 87 89
60 8 9 TI 25 26 33 35 41 42
2.5 127 17 22* 27 39 56 100*
75 TO TI T6 23 33 59
2.625 508 21 29* 34 45 so· 66 71*
315 TI T8 21 28 3i 4i 44
2.75 -254 17 20•
37 43
-35 57* 63
165 11 13 24 28 37 41
2 .875 508 22 25 28" 31 47 53" 59 81"
345 15 T7 T9 21 32 36 40 55
3 127 17 24* 31 38 41 58 65 75
90 12 T7 22 27 29 4i 46 53
3.25 254 13 17 30 43" 47 56* 64 69*
195 TO TI 23 33 36 43 49 53
3 .5 127 17 23* 29* 35 40 52* 63 64 75* 81*
105 14 T9 24 29 33 43 52 53 62 I 67
4 127 17 18* 19 35 37 52 53 55" 87 88 89
1To T6 n T8 33 35 49 50 52 82 83 84
4 .5 127 16" 31 33 47" 49 50 63" 65 76 78 79* 2 X55*
T35 TI 33 35 50 52 53 67 69 81 83 84 3 x39
5 127 1 1* 17 27 28 39 50*
150 TI 20 32 33 46 59
6 127 12* 17 19 29 31 41 1 x75
180 TI 24 27 4i 44 58 2 x53
7 127 17 20 23* 26* 29" 32 35 1 X63 1 x 75* 1 x81*
210 28 33 38 43 48 53 58 2 x52 2 x62 2 x 67
8 127 9" 17 19 26 35 37 44 53 1 x 55* 1 x87 1 x 89
240 TI 32 36 49 66 70 83 TOo 2x52 2 x82 2 x84
9 127 8* 25 31 33 38 39 47* 1x49 1 x55* 1 x63* 1 x65 1 x79
270 TI 53 66 70 81 83 TOo 2 x 52 3 x39 2x 67 2 x69 2 x84
10 127 11" 14 17 25* 27 39
300 26 33 40 59 64 92
11 127 5* 17 23 27 1 x43 1 x57* 1 x 63
330 TI 44 60 70 2 ·56 2 <74 2 82

Pitctl Exact
or Basic Approximate Ratios Basic Minimum
Lead mm Ratio 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
12 127 6* 17 29 31 1x41 1 x55* 1 x65 1 x67* 1 x 73* 1 x 75
360 T7 48 82 88 2 x58 4 x39 4 x 46 2 x 95 9x23 4 x53
14 127 10 13* 16 17 23* 29* 1x35 1 x 63 1x 75" 1 x81"
420 33 43 53 56 76 96 2 x58 4 x 52 4 x62 4x67
16 127 9" 13 17 19 22 1x35 1x37 1 x53 1 x 55* 1 x87 1x 89
480 34 49 64 72 83 2 x66 2 x70 4 x50 4 x52 4 x82 4 x84
18 127 4* 19 1x25 1x31 1 x33 1x39 1 x47* 1 x49 1 x 55" 1 x63* 1x65 1 x79*
540 T7 81 2x53 2x66 2 x70 2 x83 4 x 50 4 x52 6 x39 4 x67 4 x69 4 x84
19 127 2 1X29 1 x33* 1 x37* 1 x39* 1 x41" 1 x49* 1 x 76*
570 9 5x26 4 x37 2 >-. 33 5x35 4 x46 4 x 55 ..,..,.-;(31
1 1.
20 127 7 17 1 x25* 1 x27 1x39
600 33 52 80 2 x59 2 x64 2 x92
22 127 5* 17 1x23 1x27 1 x43 1 x57* 1x63
660 26 88 2 x60 2 x70 4 x56 4 x74 4x82
24 127 3* 17 1x 19 1 x29
1 x31 1 x41 1 xss•
- - 1 x65*
- - 1 x 67" 1 x73* 1X75
720 17 96 2 x54 2 x 82 2 xaa 4 x 58 8 x39 8 x46 4 x95 9 x46 8 x 53
26 127 7* 8 1 x22* 1 x29* 1 x43* 1 x 57* 1 x85*
780 43 49 5x 27 2 x89 4 x66 5 x 70 6 x87
28 127 5 8 1 X13* 1x 17 1 x23* 1 x29* 1 x35 1 x44" 1x 63 1 x75" 1 x81 •
840 33 53 2 x43 2 x 56 2 x 76 2x96 4x58 3 x97 8 x52 8 x62 8 x67
32 127 9* 11 13 1x17 1x 19 1x35 1 x37 1 x53 1 x55* 1 x 87*
960 68 83 98 2 x64 2 x72 4x66 4 x70 8x50 8 x52 8x82
36 127 2* 1 X19 1 x25 1x31 1 x33 1x39 1 x47" 1x49 1 x55* 1 x63 1 x65 1x79
1080 T7 2 x81 4 x 53 4x66 4x70 4 x 83 8 x50 8 x 52 12x39 8x67 8 x69 8 x84
1 X 11* 1 x 25" 1x27 1 x39
40 127 7 1 x 17
1200 66 2 x 52 2 x80 4 x 59 4 x 64 8 x46
Table T1 1. Giving basic gear ratios for threads/inch from a lead- For a leadscrew of 3.0 mm. pitch, the same ratios can be
screw of 6.0 mm. pitch. converted:-
*Denotes ratios with an error of less than 0.1 % (1) If possible halve the denominator.
None have an error of more than 0.4%. (2) If ( 1) is not possible, let the denominator stand, and double the
To check the pitch given by inch measure from the gearing shown: numerator.
Note: Threads/inch cut from a leadscrew of 3.0 mm pitch should
P(' l Driver(s) 30 not be less than 4 (four). and this can severely strain a small lathe.
CD m. = Driven x 127

With the thread
shown, there is
obviously sufficient
space between
thread turns for the
Multiple-start threads cutting of a secona
and similar thread.
The screw would
rhen be termed 'a
rwo-start thread'.

If an 8 tpi helix is cut to 55 deg. Whit. LEAD AND PITCH

form and instead of depthing to the fu ll Hitherto, and by long custom, we have
0.080 in. the helix is depthed to one ha lf indiscriminately referred to the pitch of
that amount, i.e. 0.040 in., then very ordinary single threads, and to the pitch of
broad thread crests will remain, and in leadscrews. We are entitled to do this
fact, these crests will be of exactly the because in a single thread, pitch carries Sometimes there is a tendency to modest rotary movement, such as to
necessary w idth to allow the cutting of a the same meaning as lead. However, with reg ard the pitch of an English multiple focus a camera lens, to operate the ram of
second tpi helix of 0.040 in. depth mult ip le-start threads there is an impor- start thread from the point of view of a fly-press,or to release a lathe tool turret
between the first helix. tant although simple distinction between 'thread per inch', for example, 2-start, for indexing. Multiple-start threads may
The resu lt ing threads will then have lead and pitch, and much confusion can 0 . 125 in. lead, '16 tpi pitch'. This also often be seen on jam and pickle-jars
much of the appearance of 16 tpi, and in be avoided by noting this: 01pproach is however not to be recommen- to facilitate a rapid removal of the tops,
fact, a ·saw- tooth" type thread gauge with ded, and excep' insofar as in this example although in these instances there is
1·6 "teeth' to the inch would fit nicely.
LEAD the notation would inform a turner to seldom a ful l t urn of any one start.
The lead of a screw is the distance depth the helices to the same amount as But why not merely use a coarse
Such a 'double' thread would be known
through which it wou ld advance axially on for a thread of 1 6 tpi, the statement is thread? This is best answered by an
as a '2 ~start' thread. (see also Fig. 1 8) The
being rotated one turn (360 deg.) through ambiguous because although the threads example. Suppose you have a brass tube
means adopted to cause a threading too l
a fixed nut. This definition applies to any would have every appearance of an with a wa ll thickness of 0.070 in. and you
to cut the second start or helix exactly
m id-way between the f irst is known as
screw. single or multiple threaded. ordinary single-lead 16 tpi. an ordinary 16 w ish to thread it to advance t in. in one
s tart indexing. Any thread with 2 or more PITCH tpi nut would certain ly not fit. It wou ld turn. This would ordinari ly call for a thread
individual helices is known as a multiple- The pitch of any thread is the measured however be quite in order, indeed some- of 8 tpi, which in the Whit. form has a
start thread. d istance from a point on one thread to a times convenient, to refer to the pitch as depth of 0.080 in., so of course. in
Had the 8 tpi lead in our example been corresponding point on the next adjacent for example '16 pitches per inch', attempting to thread the tube you would
cut to a depth oft of 0.080 in. = 0.02666 thread. In other words. pitch is the .1bbreviated to 'ppi'- as d istinct from tpi. break through into the bore, whereas, as
in., then the first 8 tpi lead helix would distance from, e.g., the centre of one Fortunately, for metric multiple start you have seen in o ur opening example,
leave thread crests of sufficient width to thread crest to t he cent re of the next threads there is less chance of confusion you can cut two separate 0.12 5 in. leads
fit in two additional helices, and the result nearest thread crest, and this applies to b ecause these are designated entirely by to half depth, or three 0.125 in. leads tot
would be a 3-start thread of 0 .1 2 5 in. lead any thread, single or multiple threaded. load and pitch, and there is no possibility depth, the latter leaving a tube wall-
and 0 .041666 in. pitch, and the whole Hence in our example of an 8 tpi lead, of referring to the pitch in any other terms. thickness of 0.043 in.
would have much of the appearance of an 2 - start thread, as soon as we cut the
ordinary thread of 24 tpi. second helix midway between the fi rst. USES OF MULTIPLE THREADS STANDARDISATION
A workpiece may hold any number of te
we produced a pitch of in., even though Mu ltiple-start threads are used when it is On searching both "Machinery's
individual helices (starts). but the most the lathe remained geared to cut a lead of n ecessary to p roduce a large axial, Handbook" (Ed. 17) and "Machinery's
common would be 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6. 0.125 in. (ondwise) movement from a small or Screw Thread Book" (Ed.20) I can find no

100 101

reference to any standardisation for PPI = TPI of lead x number of starts Experi ment No.1. 4 tpi leadscrew latter for reasons already explained.
mu lt iple-start threads, we are free to Chuck a 3t inch length of 1 in. dia. free- Advance the threading tool to its original
design multiple- start threads by: 2. When the pitch is adopted as the
culling bright steel with a projection of 10 thou. in. depthing. Start the lathe. Note
( 1) Fixing the lead and number of base reference, then the LEAD will
dbout 1 t in. from the chuck jaws. Face that the tool follows the origina l helix. Be
starts, and accepting the resulting vary according to the number of
starts: ana chamfer the end. Skim a length of ever ready, however, to stop the lathe at X
pitch, or nbout 1 t in. to a b right concentric before disengaging the ha lf -nuts. Stop the
(2) Fixing the pitch and number of Lead (linear) = Pitch x Number of starts finish. Set a Vee-type threading tool with lathe at X. D isengage the half-nuts, and
starts, and accepting the resu lting 11 fairly sharp point. and form a runout rack traverse up the R.H. carriage st op -
2a. If the lead is preferred in terms of
lead. yroove at X (Fig. 14 Section 5) about 1-;} or probably just short of it. Re-engage the
tpi, then:
From the point of view that pitches ln. from the chamfered end, and of about ha lf-nuts and reset the tool to the same
have been standardised for ordinary single TPI of lead = --=--=---~---=--­ 30 thou, in. depth and f2 in. wide at the 10 thou. in. depthing. Take a third cutting
threads, the second option m ight appear Pitch x number of starts
bose. (This is only a demonstration run. pass. Note to your satisfaction that every
to be more reasonable, yet if the axia l 2b. More simply, if we firs t resolve tht> und a full thread need not be subsequently time these operations are repeated, the
advance per revolution is to be the ru ling p itch into p itches per inch: ppi, then: c;ut, so we can take liberties with the tool follows the original first helix trace.
factor, then the resulting pitch may some- lhreading' tool). Pick-up is held in this way because X -
times be non-standard. Of course, if you TPI of lead Set the select ive gea rbox to cut a Y holds exactly 9 component thread t urns
Number of starts
are working for someone else, then the thread of 6 tpi. Set the lathe spindle to run t o 6 leadscrew thread turns. The fact that
decision will have been made for you very slowly: about 80 rpm. Advance the some component thread turns are not cut
unless you are the draughtsman. METRIC MULTIPLE START
threading tool to the component surface in the Z gap makes no difference.
Before we can cut a multiple-start THREADS until it j ust scratches. Set the cross-feed Now let us see what happens if instead
thread we need to know the lead so that a Because with metric working there is no dial to zero. Traverse the tool clear of the of operating with an X - Y setting of 6
lathe can be geared accordingly. The only call for designat ing multiple start threads c:omponent t o an approximate Y position . leadscrew threads ( 1-l in.) we move the
reason we require a knowledge of the other than by pitch and lead, and because Advance the cross slide by 10 thou. in. stop C back -!- inch. making the X - Y
pitch is for the purpose of depth to metric pitch and lead figures seldom l:ngage the half- nuts. Start the lathe. The resetting distance 7 leadscrew threads,
the correct amount. Pitch depthlngs will involve a string of almost meaningless tool will trace a 6 tpi helix. Be ready to t
i.e. 1 in., thus deliberately misplacing
be found under "Quick Reference Thread decimal f igures as w ith English working. slop the lathe before disengaging the ha lf - pick- up.
Information Summary" (Page 10 Section 1 ). there is less chance of confusion, hence: Free t he stop C, disengage the ha lf-
nuts and when the tool reaches about the
The following formulas w il l cover all nuts. traverse the carriage one leadscrew
LEAD = Pitch x Number of starts rniddle of the runout groove.
ord inary requiremen ts for multi-start Set a left- hand buffer-type stop- thread to the right (-!- in.). re-engage the
threading. PITCH =
Starts Indicator (as in Fig. 16 section 5) to abut halt-nuts, reset and lock stop C, with a
A further simplification lies in the fact lhe carriage side. (Perhaps a stop- sma ll gap G. Set the threading tool to its
1. When the lead (expressed as tpi) is that, unlike English tpi, many st andard mdicator is not strictly necessary for such original 10 thou. in. depthing. Start the
adopted as the reference, then the !llow 'threading' speeds on external work lathe and watch the component. You will
metric pitches are exact multiples of each
pitch will vary according to the other, with the result that leads are more whereon the approach of t he tool to the find that the tool is tracing a second helix
n umber of starts: often whole or integra l numbers, free from runout groove can be watched, although exactly midway between the first. St op
recurring decimals. on the other hand. watching helices in the lathe at X. D isengage the half-
Pitch nuts. Rack traverse back to Y, re-engage
Lead tpi x number of starts motion can g ive the illusion that they are
MULTIPLE-START THREADING moving axially past an already stationary the half-nuts and take another cutting
1 a. If the lead is given in linear measure,
Semi-Automatic and Automatic Start- tool, then, by the time it is realised tha t pass at the 10 thou. in. depthing.
and the pitch is preferred as 'pitches the tool is in fact still traversing, it may be Although you will not now be able to see
per inch' (ppi) then: Indexing
too late to prevent an overrun.). what is happening, the tool will in fact re-
Let us carry out some simple practical
PPI = Lead x Number of starts experiments that can be performed on any Disengage the half-nuts, rack traverse trace the first helix. Repeat the resetting
small industrial-type lathe with either an the ca rriage to the Y position with X- Y = procedure, and the tool will re-trace the
1 b. Or, more simply, if t he lead is English or metric leadscrew. The experi- 6 leadscrew threads: 11- in. Re-engage second helix, repeat again, and the too l
expressed as tpi, and the pitch is ments w ill greatly assist in understanding the hal f-nuts. Set a right-hand carriage will re-trace the first helix. In fact. if you
required as ppi, then: all further explanations. dead stop C with a small gap G - the conti nu e thus, incr·easing the too l

102 103

depthing at every second cutting pass you tpi helix, 10 thou. in. deep. Stop the lathe 0.0357142 in. PITCH (which will of Re lease st op C and move the carriage
will ultimately cut a 2-start thread of 6 tpi at X. Traverse back until X- Y = 8 lead- c;ourse have every appea rance of 28 tpi, to the right through one leadscrew thread.
lead (0. 1 666... i nch lead) and screw threads (2 inches). Re- engage the I!XCept that the hel ix ang le ('slope' of making X - Y = 42 mm, re- engage the
0 .08333 ... in. pitch: the pitch having half- nut s. Set stop C. Take a series of thread) will be more pronounced). ha lf -nuts and reset stop C. Adjust tool
every appearance of a thread of 12 tpi - threading passes all at the 10 thou. in . The reason for the format ion of the four dept hing to the same 0.25 mm and take a
and you w ill have semi-automatically depth. Not e that the tool always fo llows !!tarts (or four separate helices) is that, as threading pass. You will see another helix
'indexed' the two st arts. I say 'semi- the same helix. Pick-u p for the single he lix we have seen, w ith a ratio of 4/7, each formed mid-way between the first.
automatically' beca use the lathe had to be is held because 8 leadscrew threads span leadscrew thread holds 1t component Minimum pick-up for a lead of 4.0 mm
stopped at the termination of every exactly 14 component thread turn s thread turns, therefore at the 9 leadscrew with a leadscrew of 6.0 mm pitch is 2
cutting pass, and could not (indeed must (including the 'missing' turns in t he Z gap). X - Y setting we have embraced 9 X 1t = leadscrew threads to 3 component thread
not) be started again until the carriage is After you r last resetting at Y, deduct 2 1 5-i component thread turns, thus the Y turns, hence one leadscrew thread holds
repositioned at the Y position with the leadscrew threads, making X - Y = 6 lead- posi tion is permanently t component t
3/2 = 1 component thread turns, accor-
half- nuts re- engaged. screw threads. The basic ratio for a thread tl1read turn out of phase w ith the lead- dingly, with X - Y set at the seventh lead-
of 7 tpi from a leadscrew of 4 tpi is 4 to 7. screw. You cou ld also say perfectly screw thread the relationship is a ltered t o
Hence one leadscrew thread 'ho lds' 7/ 4 - legitCmat ely that the Y position is perma- 7 leadscrew threads X 1f = 1Of COmpo-
STA RT IND EXIN G T HEORY 1t component thread t urns, and 6 lead- ne ntly t component thread turn out of nent thread turns, consequently the X - Y
Exactly how does the lathe index the two screw threads t herefore hold 6 x 1t - phase. If we commence w ith a plain setting is one half a component thread
starts in strict turn? 1Of component thread turns. Accordingly, unthreaded workpiece: turn out of phase, and if this setting is
For a thread of 6 tpi from a leadscrew if cutting passes are now made at the X - repeatedly followed, then you w ill cut a 2-
The first pass w il l cut No.1 helix Phase '1'
of 4 tpi, the basic gearing ratio is 2 to 3, Y = 1t in. setting you w ill ultimately cut a The 2nd No.2 helix tort
start thread of 4.0 mm LEAD .and 2.0 mm
i.e. each two leadscrew threads hold 2 -start thread of 7 tpi LEAD (0.1428571
in. LEAD) and 0.0714285 in. PIT CH
The 3rd No. 3 helixt
exactly t hree component thread turns. The 4 th No.4 hel ix t ort
Accordingly, one leadscrew thread 'holds' (which will look like 14 tpi.}. Exp eriment No . 4. M etr ic leadscrew
Then at the fifth pass we are already 4 6.0 m m pitch. T o i nd ex 3-starts.
exactly 3/2 = 1 component thread turns, After re- tracing the two helices at a 10
thou. depthing a number of times to ><. -} = 1 whole turn out of phase, so the Machine away the threads formed at Exp.
therefore when we altered the X - Y
satisfy yourself that one or the other is fifth pass will recu t the first helix, the sixth No. 3. Set the lathe to cu t a thread of 4.5
setting distance to 7 leadscrew threads,
the number of component thread turns always fo llowed, then after your last Y pass will cut the second helix, and so on. mm lead at about 80 rpm. Set X.- Y = 7
'embraced' was 7 LST x 1t = 1Of. Hence resetting, retract stop C, move the Y leadscrew threads = 42 mm. Set stop C
position to the right through three lead- Experi ment No.3 . Metric Leadscrew. etc. Take a series of threading passes at
every cutting pass (after the first of any
screw threads. making the total X - Y = 9 6.0 mm p itch . 0.25 mm depth, always stopping the lathe
series, to be pedantic) is half a component
leadscrew threads, = 2 t inches. Prepa re an 88 mm length of 25 mm dia . at the X runout position before d isengag-
thread turn out of phase with the previous
With the ha lf- nuts engaged at the new (or 1 in . d ia.) free cu t ting mild steel as for ing the half-nuts.
cutting pass. The fi rst cutting pass will be
setting and the same 10 thou. depthing, No. 1 exp., but let the length to be You will see that at the first cutting
in phase (it cannot be otherwise}. The
threaded equal 30 mm (about 1i in .) from
second cutting pass will be t turn out ot start the lathe and watch the component.
You will see a third helix fo rmed amongst the chamfered end to the runout groove.
pass, one helix will be formed. At the
second cutting pass, a second helix will be
phase w ith the first, thus a second hel ix is
the first two. Stop at X, disengage the Set the lathe to cut a thread of 4.0 mm formed, and at the third cutting pass, a
f o rmed. The third cutting pass will again
half-nuts, traverse back t o Y, re-engag e lead at about 80 rpm. Take a threading third helix will be formed. What you will
be half a turn out of phase with t he
the half-nuts, and take another cutting pass of about 0.25 mm depth. Stop the not be able to see is that at the fourth
second pass, so it must be in phase with
pass. This pass will re-trace one ofthe first lathe at the X runout position. Disengage cutting pass, the first helix w ill be re-
the first pass: as you found.
two helices already cut, but on again the ha lf- nuts and rack traverse to position t raced. However, if you increase too l
Exp eri m ent No . 2 . 4tpi leadscrew. resetting at Y and taking another cutting Y with X - Y = 6 leadscrew threads = 36 depthing on ly after every set of three
Machine away the he lices formed by pass, a fou rth helix will be formed, thus mm thus offerinQ a Z starting clearance of cutti ng passes you will ultimately cut a 3-
filling all gaps. Hence, if you con t inue 6.0 mm. Set the right hand stop C, with a start thread of 4.5 mm lead and 1.5 mm
experiment No. 1. Set the lathe to cut a
thread of 7 tpi at 80 rpm. thus, increasing tool depth only at every small gap G. Take a number of threading pitch.
FOURTH cutting pass, you w ill ultimately passes al l at the same 0.25 mm depth and Minimum pick- up for a single 4.5 mm
Set the threading tool t o the same X
runout position as for No. 1 Exp. Cut a 7 form a 4-start thread of 7 tpi lead, and satisfy yourself tha t pick-up is assu red. lead is 3 leadscrew threads to 4 compo-

104 105

nent thread turns. so one leadscrew all anxiety over stopping at the correct taken when dealing with these.
thread holds 4/3 1 ~ component thread IS AUTO-START INDEXING
position, hence, after making an initial X By use of the methods outlined, the
turns and 7 leadscrew threads therefore Y setting, the operator has only to count cutting of any given multiple-start tnread
hold 7 X 1 ~ St Component thread the cutting passes. according to the wnh several shallow helices takes virtually We have seen that to automatically index
turns, so we are permanently } compo- number of starts, before making a no longer than the cutting of a much the starts of multiple-start threads we
nent thread turn out of phase, with results depthing increment, and the operation deeper single thread of the same lead, and have to deliberately misplace pick- up for a
with which you are now familiar. thereafter is no different from the cutting with the higher threading speeds offered single lead. This precludes all possibility of
of an ordinary single-lead thread. This by clutch control and use of an indepen- auto-start indexing any thread the lead of
Experiment N o. 5. 6 .0 mm pitch lead- process is entirely free from any urgency. dently retractable toolholder, multiple- which is the same as or an exact multiple
screw. To index 5-starts. The number of revolutions made by a start threads can be produced very rapidly. of the leadscrew pitch, because for such
Using the same workpiece as for Exp. No. workpiece after clutch disengagement But even on lathes without dog-clutch threads the minimum leadscrew threads
4 , clean off the threads to a smooth and before re-engagement for the next control for the leadscrew drive, the 'stop- figure is 1 (one) which means that at
surface. Set the lathe to cut a thread of cutting pass has no effect whatsoever on .md- reset' method has distinct advan- whatever position the half-nuts are re-
5.0 mm lead, and set the spindle to run at the sequence or order in which individual ro~ges over all other means for start engaged on a leadscrew, only a single
about 60 rpm. Take a threading pass at a helices come into phase for cutting. Thus, 111dexing (except perhaps one. which uses lead will be cut on a workpiece. Thus, for
depth of about 0.25 mm. Stop the lathe at for example, if, after rese tting at Y, the multiple tools spaced at an exact pitch example, a l ead of 1/ 8 in. (8 tpi) when cut
X, disengage the half-nuts and run the second of three helices is due to be traver- distance apart). Ordinarily one is advised from a leadscrew of 8 or 4 tpi cannot be
carriage to tho right through 6 leadscrew sed, it will be traversed, even if in the ro complete one start fully (i.e. one helix) auto indexed into any starts except one,
threads = 36 mm. Re-engage the half- meantime the workpiece ha s been before commencing on the next. While because pick-up from an 8 tpi leadscrew
nuts and set stop C. Now take four more rotatin g t hroughout the whole of a this may not be totally unsatisfactory for is 1 LST to 1 WT, and from a leaclscrew o f
threading passes, carefully fo llowing the lunch-break. It is the dead' leadscrew that <:ut ting a few multiple start screws - 4 tpi, pick- up is 1 LST to 2 WT. There are
'stop- and-reset' routine and you will form will have been waiting 'out o r phase·, the where the individual helices can be however two methods for overcoming
five separate helices, and, of course, if you disengaged dog-clutch will merely be <:hacked for size by 'wiring' (q.v.) it these limitations, and these will shortly be
persist at this X Y setting, increasing waiting for a 'whole component thread presents difficulties and uncertainties described. In future. to avoid wearisome
tool depth on completion of every fifth turn pick-up', accordingly it is of no conse- when internally multiple-start threading repetition of 'Auto-Start' & 'Semi Auto-
cutting pass. you will fully form a 5-start, quence at which of any series of compo- simply because a multi-start nut thread Start' both will be referred to as 'Auto-
5.0 mm lead, 1.0 mm pitch thread. nent turns the clutch is re-engaged to set cannot be checked for size until all starts Start' Indexing.
Basic gearing for a lead of 5.0 mm with the leadscrew in motion. However. at the have been completed, or are thought to
a leadscrew of 6.0 mm pitch is 5/ 6, hence risk of being repetitive I will say again that have been completed. And then, if a screw FEASIBILITY TEST
each leadscrew thread holds 6/5 = 1 ~ when u sing this method. all cutting passes gauge will not enter, which of the starts is The rules for ascertaining whether or not
component thread turns, accordingly 6 must be made in full, right up to the X undersize 7 There is no way of telling. and auto-start indexing is possible are simple:
leadscrew threads hold 6 x 1~ = 7i com- position, or up to automatic c lutch all starts would have to be laboriously A. If the LST figure (numerator) in any
ponent thread turns. The X - Y setting is disengagement. if the lathe has a clutch, individually re-indexed and shaved until basic gear ratio is exactly divisible by
therefore permanently ~ component otherwise pick-up will be lost. One some- the gauge did fit: obviously an extremely the number of starts to be indexed.
thread turn out of phase. times forgets to re-engage the half-nuts at time-consuming task, with risk of leaving then auto-start i ndexing is possible.
FULLY AUTOMATIC START the Y position, too, and then again, if the one or more of the starts oversize. On the B. The quotient from test A (when
leadscrew is set in motion, pick- up will be other hand, using the 'stop-and- reset' division is possible) gives the number
INDEXING method, tool wear is evenly distributed of leadscrew threads which should be
lost. It has to be 'found' again by taking up
Had the foregoing experiments been all gearing slack and making trial half-nut over all starts, so individual helices are added to or deducted from the total
carried out on lathes with single-tooth engagements along the length of the more likely to be of identical size to close number of leadscrew threads in pick-
dog-clutch control for the leadscrew drive, workpiece until the tool can be seen to limits, and if a gauge does not fit. one has up for a single lead.
it would not have been necessary to stop coincide with one of the thread grooves. only to take the appropriate number of For example. with a leadscrew o f 8 tpi,
the lathe spindle at every X runout after which traverse must again be com- cutting passes, each set of passes with a threads of 5, 7. 9, 11 etc. tpi can be auto
position. The clutch would automatically pleted up to the X runout position. Nut small depthing increment, until a gauge indexed into 2. 4 or 8 starts, simply
arrest carriage traverse by stopping the threads are very difficu lt to re - does fit: any question of re- indexing does because 8 (the LST figure in the basic
leadscrew, thus relieving the operator of svnchronise, so extra care should be not come into the operation. ratios 8/5, 8/7, 8/ 9, 8/ 11) is divisible by 2.


4 and 8. The X-Y settings would be: pick- up tor a single lead will auto index 5- screws, metric leadscrews, and to lead- tpi), 3 -starts, 1/24 in. pitch. The length to
For 2-starts, 8/2 4, set 8 plus or starts. screws of non-standard metric or English be threaded is 1 j- in., and the proposed X
minus 4. Later we will encounter LST figures pitch {q.v.). - Y setting is 13 LST = 45.5 mm.
For 4-starts, 8/4 2, set 8 plus or composed of two prime elements, such as Invert the basic gear ratio to Driven/ {The gearing happens to be a basic ratio,
minus 2. 33 = prime 3 x prime 11. As 33 is divis- Driver and multiply by the number of lead- 43 being a prime.)
For 8-starts, 8/8 = 1, 8 plus or minus 1. ible by 3 = 1 1, a LST misplacement of screw threads held in the proposed X - Y Checking:
NOTE: according to the length to be plus or minus 11 LST would index three setting. Do not resolve improper fractions. Driven 43 43
threaded, complete the total X - Y units starts, but you w il l find that we can also II the X - Y setting is correct, then the Driver39 x 13 LST = 3
that would give d single lead, then add or displace plus or minus 22 LST for three denominator in the quotient will equal the
Denominator 3 confirms that three
deduct the leadscrew thread displacement starts. If a basic gear ratio is for examp le number of starts required. starts would be indexed.
figure. 33/35 then 1 LST holds 35/33 WT (leave Example 1. A 4 tpi leadscrew is set to cut
For example: required a 4 in. length of in improper fractiona l form) and 11 LST a 3 tpi lead, 2-start 0.1 666 in. pitch over a
5 tpi, 4 - start 0.05 in. pitch thread from a therefore hold 35/33 x 11 = 1 1 & 2/3 length of 1t in. The basic gear ratio is 4/3.
leadscrew of 8 tpi . 4 in. X 8 = 32 LST = X WT, and 22 LST hold 35/ 33 x 22 = 23 & The X - Y setting should be 6 LST = 1t in. AUTO START INDEXING
- Y pick-up for a single lead. 8/4 = 2, add 1/ 3 WT. Is this correct? ALTERNATIVES
two leadscrew threads, making total X- Y It is worth noting that in all these Checking_· 1. Use of leadscrew of opposite
= 34 LST = 4f in. calculations we are hardly interested in Driven 3 9 language to thread to be auto-
whether a leadscrew is of English or 6 LST X - Y
Driver 4 X 2 indexed.
Example 2. A leadscrew of 6.0 mm pitch metric (or any odd) standards: we deal
Denominator 2 shows that 2 starts 2. Use of leadscrews of specia l lead.
is to be set to cut a 1OOmm length {about almost entire ly with the relationship
would be produced. (1) When a thread in the same language
4 in.) of 4.5 mm lead, 3 - start, 1.5 mm Ie ads crew-thread-turns-to- com pone nt-
as that of a lathe leadscrew cannot be
p itch. Find the X - Y setting. thread-turns for any particular gearing
Example 2. A leadscrew of 6.0 mm pitch auto-indexed into starts because the LST
The basic gear ratio will be 4.5/6 = 3/4, ratio. Thereafter; if for example, an X - Y
IS geared 18/17 to cut nine starts, 4 tpi
figure in minimum pick- up is not exactly
i.e. 3 LST to 4 WT. Pick- up for a single setting has to include 6 leadscrew threads
d ivisible by the number of starts required,
lead therefore falls into groups of 3 LST, it is useful to know that if the pitch is of lead, 0.02 777 in. pitch over a length of 90
mm. The X - Y setting was calculated to = it is worth looking into the possibility of
and 6 groups = 6 x 18 = 108 mm. Mis- 6.0 mm, six such threads make X - Y =
16 LST = 96 mm. cutting the thread from a leadscrew of
p lacement for three starts = LST/3 = 1. 36 mm and if the pitch is 0.25 in., then six
opposite language wherein the necessary
Therefore deduct one leadscrew thread lead screw threads make X - Y = 1.5 in. Checking:
gearing (genera lly derived from an
from the six groups, and X - Y = five Perhaps I should add that although al l Driven 17 136
16 LST X- Y - -g approximate translation ratio) may show
g rou ps p lus 2 LST = 1 7 LST = 102 mm. the foregoing may appear somewhat Driver 18 X
an LST figure that is divisible by the
If a 2.0 mm starting clearance is complicated when judged by the amount Denom inator 9 shows that 9 starts
number of starts to be indexed.
insufficient, then we can add one lead- of writing required to describe the would be produced.
As we have seen, a lead of 0 .2 5 in. (4
screw t hread to the six groups of three, process, in practice, as soon as minimum
tpi) cannot be indexed into any st arts
making X- Y = 19 LST = 11 4 mm. pick-up from basic gear ratios for any Example 3_ A special leadscrew of 7 1/ 3 except one, when cut from a leadscrew of
As a matter of fact when the LST figure single lead has been mastered, then tpi is geared 4/3 to cut two starts 0.0909
4 tpi, but if a lathe with a leadscrew of 6.0
is a prime as in this example {prim e 3), displacement and subsequent X - Y ln. pitch on a lead of 5t tpi over a t hread mm pitch is geared in the basic ratio 18/
three starts can be indexed by misplacing setting requires little more than a quick longth of 2 in. X - Y is set at 1 8 LST 17 (See Table T11 A& B Section 5). then,
plus or minus one or two leadscrew mental calculation, or at most, a few h1bout 2.45 in.)
as numerator 18 is divisible by 2, 3, 6, 9
threads. One LST holds 4/3 = 1 & 1/3 WT, f igures on a scrap of paper. Checking_· and 18, all those starts could be auto
and 2 LST hold 1 & 1/3 x 2 = 2!&:2/3a nd Dr~ven3 x 18 = 27 indexed. (The lead error with the 1 8/1 7
as far as we are concerned, being-2/3 out CHECKING AN X-Y SETTING Dnver 4 2 ratio is p lus 0.0001157 in. assuming a
of phase has exactly the same effect as That any proposed setting will Denominator 2 shows that the lead screw of perfect lead).
being 1/3 out of phase. Similar reasoning automatica lly index the requi red number proposed setting will index 2 starts. For a five start thread of the same 0.2 5
will show that when the LST figure in of starts (assuming the gearing is correctly in. lead we could use the 55/52 ratio
basic ratio is prime 5, a LST displacement set) may be checked by the fo llowing Example 4. A leadscrew of 3.5 mm pitch (pitch error minus 0.000 1515 in.) And, of
of 1. 2, 3 or 4 leadscrew threads from means wh ich is applicable to English lead- Is geared 39/43 to c ut a lead of 1/8 in. {8 course, as 55 is divisible by 11, the ratio

108 109

could be used to auto index 11 starts if setting is 33/3 = 11 leadscrew threads = wastefully long Z gap to be re-traversed chosen for basic ratio, and WT is the com-
required. 2.7 5 in., thus leaving an approximate 1. 7 5 about three thousand times. The idea of ponent thread turns denominator figure
If we have to index the 0 .25 in. lead in. Z gap to be re-traversed after every Indexing the starts by orthodox means for basic ratio. The rules are as follows:
into four starts, then we require an resetting at Y. And if we choose the 69/ 73 (q.v.) was of course dismissed as being Choose an integral WT number that
approximate ratio with a numerator divis- ratio with its theoretically smaller error, totally uncompetitive, especially as repeat will not cancel or reduce with an integral
ible by 4, so we could use either 52/49 69/ 3 = 23 LST = 5f in. X - Y minimum, orders were anticipated. Therefore, in the number of leadscrew threads (the LST
(error plus 0.00068 in. on pitch). or 88/83 which would leave a gap of about 4f in. to event, a special leadscrew of 7 1/3 tpi figure), the latter being given a value the
(error plus 0.00045 in. on pitch). Also, as be repeatedly re-traversed. was made, with a threaded length of same as, or an exact multiple of the
52 is divisible by 13, then 13 starts could Nevertheless, in view of the fact that about 5 in., which brings us to the subject number of starts required.
be auto indexed. start indexing would be automatic, or of special leadscrew design. In choosing the LST and WT figures for
• Similarly, metric leads can be start semi-automatic, and cutting the threads special leadscrews, select the lowest
indexed by making use of the approximate merely involves counting sets of cutting
SPECIALLEADSCREW possible LST figure so as to minimise Z
ratio for metric threads cut from a lead- passes before adding depthing incre- DESIGN tool- starting clearances, and at the same
screw of 4 tpi. (Table T1 OA& 8 Section 5). ments, t hen when only one or a few such As has been explained, if the number of time arrange for a LST to WT ratio that
For example, a lead of 6.0 mm cannot threads are required, the approximate leadscrew threads in basic gear ratio for a will offer a leadscrew pitch near to the
be auto indexed into any starts except one ratio approach has much to recommend it, single lead is exactly divisible by the standard for the lathe, otherwise a special
when cut from a leadscrew of 6.0 mm even w ith fairly lengthy Z gaps and a number of starts to be auto- indexed, then leadscrew may prove to be undesirably
pitch, but if the required 6.0 mm lead is necessity for ordering any specia l gears auto-indexing is possible. From this it coarse or fine.
geared from a leadscrew of 4 tpi in the for setti ng on an "outside" quadrant. follows that if we predetermine the pick- Example 7. Find a suitable leadscrew tpi
ratio 52/ 55, then, as 52 is divisible by 2, 4 up figures (minimum LST numerator to auto index a 5f tpi lead into two starts,
and 13, those st arts could be indexed on a figures) to suit our specia l requirements, 0.0909 in. pitch.
6.0 mm lead (lead error plus 0.003636 MULTI-START THREADS. Let LST = 4 and WT = 3
then calculate what metric pitch, or
mm (0.0001431 in.)). And if we want to QUANTITY PRODUCTION. threads/inch a leadscrew will assume to TPI of specialleadscrew = 5-f x 4 7.1..
index the 6 .0 mm lead into three starts we SPECIALLEADSCREWS hold those figures, we can design 3 J
have a choice of two numerators divisible (2) In those instances where a Individual leadscrews that will In this example, 4 was chosen for the
by 3: 33/35 (error m inus 0.0128 mm on significant number of mult i- start threads automatically index any lead into any LST figure because it is divisible by 2, the
lead) or 69/73 (error plus 0.00205 mm on of identical lead and pitch have to be cut number of starts with economical Z gap number of starts to be auto indexed, and a
lead). Finally, a 6.0 mm lead can be and any of the means already outlined starting clearances regardless of the WT figure of 3 was selected because it
indexed into five or seven starts by use of cannot be used for any reason, then a lengths of the component threads. will not cancel with 4.
the 35/37 ratio (lead error plus 0 .0067 5 great saving in t ime can be effected by The special leadscrew (and half- nuts)
mm) In short, the selection of a suitable making a leadscrew and half- nuts of SPE CIAL LEADSCREWS. was cut from a leadscrew of 8 tpi by basic
approx ratio is merely a matter of gearing 12/11. then, for the necessary 5f
special lead, the leadscrew, of course, ENGLISH WORKING
scanning the numerators in the Tables having just sufficient thread to suit the tpi lead, the new leadscrew was geared in
T10&T11 and making the divisibility test. Because of the awkwardness that can be the ratio 4/3. Now, of course, the basic
component thread length, with the Introduced by recurring decimals when
remainder as p lain shaft. ratio 4/3 is that originally chosen, so with
INCONVENIENCES English special leadscrews are designated the special leadscrew we have 4 LST to
An example of a special leadscrew by lead, it is preferable to express lead in
However, w i th this approximation arose when the writer was called upon to every 3 component t hread turns, hence a
terms of threads/inch as an integral displacement of plus or minus 2 LST on
approach, inconveniences can arise from thread 150- off, 2-start, 5t tpi lead, number, or as a mixed number fraction. any X - Y setting for a single lead (groups
the length of the Z gap (starti ng clearance) 0.0909 in. pitch screws and blind bore The formula reads: of 4 LST) indexed the two starts on the 5-f
when the length of thread to be cut and nuts.
start indexed is incompatible with a TPI of special tpi component lead, and even under the
Although a lead of 5t tpi can be auto-
leadscrew most unfavourable conditions, any Z
necessary X - Y setting. indexed into two starts from a leadscrew
For example if a 1 in. length of 6.0 mm _ TPI of lead x LST No. chosen starting clearance gap could never exceed
of 8 tpi: basic ratio 16/11 , the minimum X
lead, 3-start, 2.0 mm pitch is required and - Y setting would have been 8 LST = 1 in.,
- WT number chosen 4 LST = 0.5454 in.
the 33/35 ratio is used in conjunction with which would have fallen at 16 plus 8 = 24 where TPI of lead is the lead tpi of the We may also note that as the LST
a leadscrew of 4 tpi, the minimum X - Y LST = 3 in. which would have left a workpiece, LST is the numerator figure f igure of 4 is divisible by 4, the special

110 111

clearances for threading components of writer to question the standardisation of
leadscrew could be used to index the 5f Specialleadscrew Pitch (mm) = 1r1y length: leadscrews of 3.0 mm pitch for lathes of
tpi lead into four starts by a LST displace-
ment of plus or minus 1 LST on pick-up Lead of screw to be cut x WT chosen Let LST = 6 (divisible by 3, for 3 - starts) the instrument or model makers' type and
for a single lead. LST figure chosen LetWT = 5 size, and after considerable trial calcula-
Example 2. Find a suitable leadscrew tpi 6 x 5 tions the conclusion was reached that for
= - - = 5.0mm general purpose threading, and for special
to auto index 2-starts, 1/8 in. lead (8 tpi) where the lead of the thread to be cut is 6
1/1 6 in. pitch. expressed in mm. The rules are as follows: purposes such as auto-start indexing, a
Choose an integral work thread turns end of course, a leadscrew of 5.0 mm standard leadscrew of 3.5 mm pitch
Let LST = 4. and WT = 5
pitch geared in the ratio 6 to 5 will cut a offered the widest scope.
; = 6~
8 4 number (WT) t hat will not cancel or
TPI of special leadscrew = thread of 6.0 mm lead, and a displace- It so happened that shortly after this
reduce with an integral number of lead-
This leadscrew would therefore auto ment of plus or minus 2 (or plus or minus 3.5 mm pitch leadscrew was ready for
screw threads (LST). the latter being given
index the two starts by an LST displace- 4l) LST on pick-up for a single lead will use, an order was received for 1 00- off 5.0
a value the same as or an exact multiple of
ment of 2 on pick-up for a single lead. A Index t hree starts. mm lead, 2-start, 2.5 mm pitch screws
the number of starts to be indexed.
displacement of 1 or 3 leadscrew threads Example 1. Required a suitable leadscrew
(A displacement of plus or minus 3 LST and nuts. Basic gearing for a lead of 5.0
would also auto-index 4-starts, 1/ 32 in. w ould index 2 - starts on the 6.0 mm lead, mm from a leadscrew of 3.5 mm pitch is
pitch to auto-index 5- starts, 3.5 mm lead ,
pitch. l nd a displacement of plus or minus 1 LST 10 driver, 7 driven, hence the LST figure
0.7 mm pitch.
However, had we chosen a WT number As we require five starts it will be w ould index six starts.) of 10 was divisible by 2 , and the two
t o cont rast with an LST figure of 6, the Example 3. Required a suitable leadscrew starts could be auto- indexed by a
reasonable to select 5 for the LST figure,
resulting leadscrew would automatically pitch to auto-index 3 - starts, 3.0 mm lead, displacement of plus or minus 5 lead-
and, say, 4 for the WT figure, so that
index an 8 tpi lead into 2, 3 or 6 starts: 1.0 mm pitch. screw threads, so any Z gap could not
whatever pitch the special leadscrew
Let LST 6 and WT = 7 assumes, it will offer a minimum pick-up The leadscrew of 5.0 mm pitch (from exceed 35 mm or about 1.3 inches.
8 x 6 example No. 2) would serve when geared Had the leadscrew been of 3.0 mm
TPI of specialleadscrew = -7- = 6~ of five LST to 4 component thread turns:
In the basic ratio 3 to 5 showing 3 LST to
WT pitch, the basic gear ratio. would have
Example 3. Required a special leadscrew each 5 component thread turns. Accor- been 5/3. i.e. 5 LST to 3 WT, and as 5 is
Pitch of special = 3.5 x 4 = 2 _8 mm
to index 5-starts on a lead of 3 tpi. dingly a displacement of plus or minus 1 not divisible by 2, auto-start indexing
lead screw 5
(0.0666 in. pitch).
In this example, had we chosen 7 WT
or 2 leadscrew threads on pick- up for a would not have been possible.
Let LST = 5 (divisible by 5 for indexing e lead would index the three starts.
to 5 LST the pitch of the special leadscrew
5 starts) Otherwise:
LetWT = 4
w ould be:
Let LST = 3 and WT = 4, then:
TPI of specialleadscrew
3 X 5
= - 4- = 3 f
3.5 X 7
5 = 4 .g mm tch of = 3 x 4 = 4 _0 mm GEARING
cia! leadscrew 3 A lthough the use of step-up ratios
In all examples, the basic gear ratio to We could also have chosen 3 WT to 5
However, a 4.0 mm pitch leadscrew whereby a leadscrew is caused to rotate
cut the required lead tpi from the special LST which would offer a special lead-
3 LST to 4 WT would only index a at speeds in excess of the lathe spindle
leadscrew will be that chosen when desig- screw pitch of:
m component lead into 3 - starts or a are not to be generally recommended,
ning the leadscrew: LST/WT. Thus in 3.5 X 3
= 2 . 1 mm lead, whereas had we chosen an there is the point that when such ratios
example 3, when the 3{- tpi leadscrew is 5
which could prove inconveniently fine. figure of 6 any resulting leadscrew are used for cutting coarse l eads
ready it should be geared 5 to 4 to cut the uld auto index 2, 3 and 6 starts, so let associated with multiple-start threads, the
Example 2. Required a special leadscrew
3 tpi lead. try LST = 6 and WT = 7, the special loading on a lathe is not so severe for the
t o auto index a lead of 6.0 mm into 3 -
(Proof: driven/driver x tpi of leadscrew . ,.,r1c::t·r<>•AJ p itch will then be: reason that the individual helices are sized
starts, 2.0 mm pitch. We have seen how
= 4/ 5 X 3{- = 4/5 X 15/4 = 3.). 3 X .7 and depthed by pitch, and the greater the
this indexing can be carried out by using
- -- = 3.5mm number of starts carried by any particular
an English leadscrew of 4 tpi geared, e.g. 6
SPECIAl lEADSCREWS in the ratio 33/35, but we also noted that You will notice that in this example (3) I ead, so in proportion will the thread form
METRIC. for some component thread lengths the Z have a choice of three leadscrew be shallower and therefore more easily
The pitch of a special leadscrew for auto- gap could be wastefully long for quantit y hes for indexing a 3.0 mm lead into 3- cut.
start indexing leads specified to metric production. Accordingly, for a specia l rts: 5.0 mm, 4 .0 mm, and 3.5 mm. This As already mentioned, however, step-
standards can be found from: leadscrew offering economical start ing one of the circumstances that led the up ratios cannot always be used in

112 113

association with the selective threading teeth on the first gear driver, and re- ltarts on the work-piece b.ecause the LST the half-nuts on completion of each
gearboxes sometimes fitted t o small engaging the gears. Suitable for screws, displacement for 4-starts = 16/4 = 4 threading pass than to stop the lathe
lathes of the model makers' type. and, with reservations, for nuts. leadscrew threads, or four leadscrew spindle and leadscrew at the desired
5. Operate with the top-slide set parallel revolutions=..} turn of a LSI. moment before disengaging the nuts.
MULTIPLE-START THREADING to the lathe bedways, and on completion The disadvantage with this method We should note, however, that the
of one start, advance the top slide through seems to lie in having to wait for a LSI to thread t o be start-indexed with a LSI must
Six alternative start-indexing methods. one pitch distance (by reading the top register the appropriate moments for half- be o·f a lead for which a LSI could be used
1. As already ment ioned, use two or slide feed dial), then cut t he next start. The nut re-engagement. Although a leadscrew normally to show a single lead pick-up,
more threading tools spaced at exact pitch top-slide may also be advanced by small will be making a few revolutions between and any necessary LST displacement
distance apart. For the finer pitches and amounts to ease the trailing cutting action the moment of half- nut disengagement at figures must be exact sub-multiples of one
small bore internal threading it may be of the threading tool, but any such the X runout position and whilst rack whole turn of a LSI as were the 8 and 4
necessary to have integral tools made up advancements shou ld be exactly repeated traversing back to a Y starting position. LST displacement figures for indexing the
by a specialist firm. Components to be for all helices. This method requires a run there obviously can be no guarantee that 5t tpi lead into two or four starts.
threaded must be free from shoulders, or out of sufficient width to allow for all a LSI will be approaching anywhere near As an example for which a LSI is of no
must have ample runout clearance to necessary top-slide pitch advancements. or will not just pass the necessary reading. use, we may take a leadscrew of 8 tpi
allow tooling to run completely clear of Suitable for screws, and with reservations, For example, during a test run, using a geared in the ratio 3 to 2. say
the workpiece threads. Components must for nuts. leadscrew indicator to index 2 (and 4) 45- A- 30, for cutting a lead of 3/1 6
have sufficient rigidity to w ithstand the NOTE: For methods No. 1 to 5, pick-up for starts on a 5t tpi lead of about 1 in. inch. The ratio shows 3 LST to 2 WT
multiple cu tting action. The multi- tool lead may be held by any of the means htngth, the lathe spindle was rotating at minimum, hence, by the stop-and-rack-
approach is therefore more readily applied already described. about 80 rpm, the gear ratio to the lead- reset method, three starts, 1/16 in. pitch,
to the larger diameters on materials of the 6. Start index by use of a leadscrew screw was 16/11, therefore the leadscrew could be auto indexed by re- engaging the
brass type which are easy to t hread to a indicator (LSI). When pick- up can be was rotating at about 1 16 rpm = about ha lf -nuts at any leadscrew position X- Y
good finish. Suitable for both screws and displaced it is sometimes possible to use a 1.9 rev/sec., yet it was frequently except groups of 3 leadscrew threads.
nuts. leadscrew indicator to pick-up alternate necessary to wait whilst the leadscrew From this, it may be thought that if groups
2. The starts may be indexed by means starts by 'cutting in' (re-engaging t he half- Indicator made about 3/4 turn = 12 of 8 LST cou ld be read from a LSI by
of a chuck that can be independently nuts) on 'wrong' LSI indications. revolutions of the leadscrew: about 6 engaging the half-nuts at , say, LSI
rotated relative to its backplate, the For example, for the 5t tpi lead, 2 - teconds. Therefore, assuming each helix readings 1 and 3 (t turn of the LSI dial),
backplate being provided with a series of start, 0.0909 in. pitch threads for which a required 12 cutting passes to complete, three starts would be indexed.
equi-spaced holes. Complete one start of special leadscrew was made (page 1 1 0) a I.e. 24 passes for each 2-start thread, A practical test clearly showed that
any series before commencing the next. leadscrew indicator cou ld have been used there is a potential 2t minutes per screw three starts are obtained, b ut the snag
Suitable for screws, and, with reservations in conjunction with the standard lead- (or nut) completely wasted: about 4 hours was that the helix cut depended entirely
already explained (inability to check for screw of 8 tpi. per 100 off, or, with dextrous operation at upon the number of revolutions made by
size until all starts are completed) may be Pick-up for a single 5t tpi lead from a 160 rpm - twice the test run speed - 2 the workpiece and leadscrew during the
used for nuts. leadscrew of 8 tpi is 16 leadscrew threads hours could still be wasted. There is also non-cutting return passes. As a matter of
3 . For work that can be driven between (or 1 6 leadscrew revolutions) i.e. one the point that waiting for a LSI to register fact, after engaging the half-nuts at LS I
centres, use a driving plate with a series of whole turn of a 2-inch LSI. Consequent ly little different from waiting for a tool to reading 1 (one) the first helix was cut, but
equi-spaced holes for the driving pin. had one cutting pass been made at LSI rse a long adverse Z starting gap for the next pass, after re-engaging the
Complete one helix before commencing reading 1 (one). then one helix would be us ing the stop~and-rack-reset half- nuts at LS I reading 3, all that
the next. Suitable o nly for screws. traversed, then fo r traversing the next happened was that the f irst helix was re-
4 . Arrange for the lathe spindle gear helix it would be necessary to engage the However, when pick-up permits, traced. U ltimately, of course, by chance,
(first gear driver to a. leadscrew gear train) half-nuts at LSI reading 3, i.e. half a turn Indexing starts from a LSI has the advan- all helices were formed, but not in any
to have a number of teeth divisible by the of the LSI dial = 8 leadscrew t hreads, or tage that helices are alternately cut and regular sequences, and indeed, the LSI
number of starts required. Complete one eight leadscrew revolutions, the displace- progressively depthed and are therefore was not performing any useful function at
st art before commencing the next. Index ment figure for two starts. Similarly, re- likely to be completed to identical all: the same haphazard start indexi ng was
the starts by de- gearing, rotating the lathe engaging the half-nuts at 'wrong' LSI sizes: a feature of value for nut threading. achieved by...-re=.engaging the half- nuts at
spindle through the appropriate number of readings 1, 2 , 3 and 4 would i ndex four It is also somewhat easier to disengage any random moment and in any random

114 1 15

position. This was possible because there many standard leads pick up either at SECTION 7
were only three 'wrong' re-engagement unity or at 5 LST intervals, and of course,
positions, so it was not possible to re- 5 cannot be exactly halved.
trace other than any one of the three
helices at any given cutting pass: at least SPECIAL TAPS
it was not possible t o spoil the threads.
Evidently, then, an English leadscrew
indicator cannot be adapted t o the
When any significant number of mult i-
start nut threads have to be p rodu ced,
Single Point
much time can be saved by making a tap
systematic indexing of starts other than 2
and 4 , and in somewhat limited instances.
for rapid finishing after lathe screwcutting
t o w ithin about 90% of final size. I say
Lathe Threading Tools
'making' rather than 'ordering', on the
METRIC LEADSCREW assumption that the reader will be cost-
INDICATOR. conscious. Some firms wil l not make less
With a leadscrew of 6.0 mm pitch and a than six of any one size, and the cost
20-tooth LSI worm whee l , th eory could wipe out all profit from the first
indicates that the metric leadscrew batch order, apart from time lost awaiting
indicator is of no use at all for delivery of specials. The expression "single point" is used to STELUTE
systematically start indexing metric leads: distinguish the types of tools to be
This, I understand, is now obsolete,
discussed from special thread form- tools
although pieces and tipped tools will often
and from the comb-type of chasers which
be found amongst odd lots of lathe t ools.
can be obtained for the more specialised
It is an alloy of the elements cobalt,
branches of lathe threading, and for
chromium and tungsten. It is quite free
threading at higher speeds in purpose
from steel and has a hardness
built machines. When special thread form
approaching that of tungsten carbide. It
tools are felt necessary it is advisable to
does not soften with heat and it can be
consult the makers so that the grade best
ground with ordinary wheels suitable for
suited to the work in hand may be
high speed steel.
obtained, and, of course, the makers'
Although stellite had many important
Instructions for sharpening w ill be
applications for general machi ning, in the
fo llowed.
experience of the writer it will not hold a
Lathe tools can be obtained in a
fine point and was therefore found unsuit-
number of materials and brief notes are
able for screwcutting the finer pitches in
now included to assist in identifying and
the harder steels. The alloy was expensive,
choosing a suitable cutting medium.
and for this reason was often used in the
form of tips mounted on ordinary steel
shanks, although solid round and square
Originally this was a high grade steel sections could be obtained, usually in the
alloyed with tungsten in various propor- ground-all-over finish. These bits can be
tions from about 10 to 20 percent. readily identified as they are rust- proof,
Nowadays, owing to the high cost of non-magnetic and very hard.
tungsten, various other alloying agents
auch as cobalt and vanadium are used
extensively. For short run work on the BLACKALLOY
more commonly used steels, brasses and This is a non-ferrous a lloy of cobalt,
bronze, high speed steel is very popular chromium, tungsten, tantalum-niobium
and should be found quite satisfactory. and a variety of other minerals in minor

116 117

quantities. The composition is such that to formu las especially composed to
the disadvantages of low shear resistance
have been eliminated, and, according to
produce high performance tools for
various purposes. In this way, Veraloy
=J - - - --1·- - ·-·- A·-·- ·-·+
the makers, Blackalloy has outruled high Products specialise in the production of
speed steel on most applications and has
also replaced tungsten carbide where this
could not fully satisfy. They also say that
formed and general purpose threading
Single-point threading tools tipped
- ~- -·-+---·B-·-·-·-+
the most important difference between with tungsten-carbide play an important
8 lackalloy and carbide lies in the entirely part in the toolroom, although not all Fig. 19. Small internal threaqing tools may be
different manufacturing process: carbides lathes are ideally suited . to the use of mode by machining as at A. then cranking as at
are produced by pressing powders in carbides, which calls for rather greater B followed by hardening and grinding to shape.
moulds, and sintering, whereas the raw r igidity of mounting and extra smoothness
materials for Blackalloy are melted and in the working of the lathe slides if the tage of carbon steel lies in the fact that it
cast in centrifuga l casting machines. The best results are to be obtained. Ia so easily spoiled by inadvertent over-
alloy can be ground easily with wheels heating during grinding. Fig 20. An example of a 'solid' Internal thread-
For the finest cutting edges carbide
ing tool initially shaped by eccentrically
suitable for high speed·steel. and although tools should be sharpened on a diamond CUTTING ANGLES chucking the shank and machining to reduce
I have not been able t o carry out extensive impregnated wheel. Ordinary grinding the diameter at A. The lower illustration gives
The chief terms used in describing the
tests I have found that tfireading tools of wheels suitable for high speed steel will an idea of the finished tool.
geometry of threading and other lathe
Blackalloy hold up well. The makers, make no impression on tungsten carbide tools are shown in Fig. 21. It seems unfor- (Underlined figures are approx. mm.)
Messrs Brunner Machine Tools Ltd., of which is of very nearly diamond hardness, From some points of view, the inclusion of
tunate that the word "s.ide" appears both
241-7, High Street, Acton, London, W .3. although special wheels known as "green In designating side rake on top of the tool, only five degrees side rake may seem little
supply interesting leaflets giving full par- grit" are fairly satisfactory when grinding and side relief for the sides of the tool. more than a gesture in the desired direc-
ticulars and technical details. is carried out on the periphery of the One would have thought that it might tion, yet such a tool w ill give very good
wheel. The side grinding called for when a have been preferable to refer to the (top) results, and for finishing cuts, the trailing
thread tool grinding jig (q.v.) is used is aide rake merely as "top rake", and in cutting edge with its negative rake has
TUNGSTEN CARBIDE very slow, and the wheel requires frequent those cases where the cutting edges of a been found to cut quite well.
Basically this may be regarded as a dressing with a diamond to freshen up the tool slope backwa rds and downwards Tools with any marked side rake for
surface. away from the tip (as do parting tools for brass or bronze threading can lead to
special alloy of tungsten and carbon, the
two being furnace-fused together, aher steel) to refer to this as BACK rake. Fig. 21. Illustrating the terms associated with
which a binding element is added CARBON STEEl As is well known, when cutting steels threadino tools.
followed by ball-milling to a fine powder. In the early days this was the only with high speed steel, as the side rake of a 5• POSITIVE SID£ RAKE
Hydraulic compression to moulded forms material used for lathe tools, drills, and so tool (Fig. 21 A) is increased, so does the
and a further semi-sintering complete the on. It may be assumed fo consist of a traverse feeding pressure decrease: a LEADING
process. good quality steel with an average of circumstance favourable to a reduction in EDGE
A whole range of tungsten-carbide about 1 percent of carbon. Although stresses to both machine and component .
alloys fa lls under the general heading h-ardened carbon steel will not withstand For these reasons it is sometimes an
··carbide", an<;l all have a similar anywhere near the high cutting speeds advantage initially to form a thread w ith a
appearance, but as experiments with associated with modern alloys, it is worth tool having a degree of side rake, and then
different binding agents and mixture noting that solid internal threading tools to change the tool to the shape as at Fig.
proportions are continuous, the suitability such as those shown in Figs. 19 and 20 21 8 for finishing cuts.
of "a carbide tip" for lathe screwcurting will sometimes give satisfaction when Of course, whether or not such a NO SIDE AAI(£
~hould not be judged from the results of made from carbon steel or "silver" steel. method is regarded in a favourable light
trying carbide tools of unknown origin. Threading speeds in an o rdinary lathe are must be leh to the discretion of the
Sometimes trade riames such as seldom high·, and carbon steel works quite operator after a consideration of the
requirements of any particular job in hand.
"Wimet", "Ardoloy", "Veraloy" and well for brass and some of the softer
"Cutanit" are given to carbide alloys made grades of phosphor bronze. The disadvan-


discarded. Nevertheless the solid type of tools can be satisfactorily hardened by
Internal threading tool is used extensively, using the flame of an electric carbon arc
especially for the threading of blind bores, to heat the small portion to be treated,
and for this purpose two designs are and quenching in paraffin. The writer used
offered. The first is shown in Fig. 1 9. t in. dia. copper-plated carbon rods at
Black, round section annealed high about 100 volts, 40 amp. AC. The HSS
speed steel bar is used, and a suitable should be heated in the arc until 'sweat
lungth is machined in the lathe to the drops' appear before quenching. Coloured
upproximate shape shown at A. The safety glasses must be used, otherwise
tapered end is then heated and cranked as the brilliance will damage the eyes. Of
at 8, after which the operational end is course this rather crude approach is
hardened. Next a flat is ground to about suitable only for small tools such as those
half diameter, and the required threading used for internal threading or boring,
nngles are formed in the manner to be whereon a modest amount of metal may
described. be left for subsequent grinding to shape. It
Fig 22. Details of a holder or shank for use of Fig. 23. Illustrating the clearances necessary was found that these small tools did not
3/16 in. dia. HSS too/bits. for internal threading.
(Underlined figures are approx. mm.) HARDENING HSS require tempering or 'letting down' after
complications due to a self-feeding action section is wasted, as is much of the time The hardening of high speed steel is rea lly
Bending, or end-cranking for internal
induced by the rake, and it is therefore taken to grind it. best carried out by a firm specialising in
tools, must be done at a good bright heat.
general ly advisable to thread these Offsetting the toolbit in the way this kind of work. Lists of addresses will
'Black' annealed (i.e. softened for
materials with a tool as at 8, (Fig. 21) indicated in Fig. 22 not only allows of be found in 'Machinerys' Buyers' Guide'
machining) round section HSS can be
Carbide tools are customarily used working that much closer to a shoulder, it under 'Heat treatment'. A special ist firm
obtained from Sanderson Kayser Ltd.,
without side rake for all purposes. For also gives a sufficient thickness of metal will give the proper treatment for any par-
Attercliffe Steelworks, PO Box 6, Newhall
B lackal loy tools the manufacturer's for the grubscrews to be effective and at ticular grade. If sending away for harden-
Road, Sheffield S9 2SD. Weight for
instructions should be followed. the same time keeps the shank section to Ing it is as well to make up a worthwhile
weight, the black annealed bar is much
An economy in tool steel can be a satisfactory minimum for use in the batch. Some firms may have a minimum
cheaper than the ready hardened and
achieved by using a bit holder similar to toolposts of the smaller lathes. Toolbits charge.
ground-all-over tool bits.
that shown in Fig. 22 which will take HSS for these holders are ground whilst locked Once hardened, HSS is very difficult to
bits of the ready hardened and ground-all- in the holder, the treatment then being HSS. WORKSHOP soften by any means likely to be available
over type, ~6 inch (4.75 mm) in diameter exactly as described for the grinding of in the average workshop.
and 2t inches (63.5 mm) or more in 'solid' external tools.
length. High speed steels will not give the best
As a matter of fact, round section INTERNAL THREADING TOOLS cutting performance unless, before
toolbits of modest diameters are par- 'Solid' internal threading tools present quenching, heating is taken to near the HARDENING CARBON STEEL
ticularly suited for tools for square and certain problems of economy which do melting point: i.e. a bright white heat with Carbon steel or 'silver steel' (the latter
Acme thread forms when fairly coarse not occur with external tools. Whereas u temperature of about 1 2 50 de g. known as 'drill rod' in America) may be
pitches are required or: the smal ler with a solid external tool the shank may Centigrade, after which tools may be hardened by heating until it just passes
diameters. Ordinarily, if attempts are be progressively encroached upon as fresh quenched in paraffin - best done out of becoming non- magnetic, then quenching
made to grind a larger square section grinding becomes necessary, this of doors for safety. in water. Magnetic testing can of course
toolbit for square and Acme threads it is course is quite impossible for internal Although the necessary temperature be carried out by means of a small perma-
found that the necessary side relief tools, for the reason that the cutting can be reached by use of any oxy- nent magnet such as the 'Eclipse'. (The
clearances required, together with the portion has to be at right-angles to the acetylene flame, it was found that the magnetic test is of no use for HSS). The
thinness of the cutting end, will reduce the shank. Consequently, when an internal gases react in some way with the steel writer found that small tools such as the
underside of the cutting end to a knife tool becomes past regrinding, all the and render it unfit for use. kind under discussion do not require
edge which vanishes at about half tool bother of a fresh forging operation In the absence of any better heating letting down or tempering after hardening.
height, so that in reality a large tool becomes necessary or the tool has to be method such as a blacksmith's forge, HSS Indeed, the subsequent grinding to fina l

120 121

and cranking is not called for. The shank is •bout one third of the hole is faced away. seems to indicate t hat the tool is ready for
eccentrically chucked in a lathe, and At 8 , after flashing brazing metal into the use. By these methods the tool flanks are
portion A is machined with a parting-type hole and around the toolbit, about one most unlikely to be geometrically straight,
tool to form a space for more robust tools third of the bit diameter is ground away at and the tool's Vee angle is even more
which can be used to complete the the leading end. The thread angles are unlikely to be symmetrical ly disposed with
turning. The circu lar operationa l end is then ground in the same way as will be respect to the shank centre line (Fig 26A)
then hardened and ground down t o described for solid i nternal threading with geometric precision, with the result
approximately one half diameter, and the tools. that the tool has to be set in the lathe by
required thread angles attended to. referring to the Vee notched gauge in an
attempt at getting the tool's cutting edges
A SIMPLE JIG FOR GRINDING symmetrically positioned with respect to
Fig. 24. Details of a bit-holder for internal the component. Slight grinding imperfec-
threading or boring. The shank can be of INTERNAL THREADING In many workshops throughout the tions again make this fina l lathe setting a
square section. A pleasing design for internal threading country, lathe threading tools are shaped somewhat doubtful business: one can
shape can produce too much heat if care tools of the inserted bit type is shown in by freehand methods on an offhand, or seldom say for certain whether the shank
is not taken to repeatedly cool the tool. Fig. 24, where you will see the bit is bench type, grinder, and that so much requires swinging slightly to the left or to
The fact that internal threading tools locked by means of a thrust-rod and grub- good work is produced can be a tribute to the right, and in the event the tool is
require rather more clearance than do screw. the skill of the operators. However, the ground and set by a series of com-
external tools should be noted. Generally The thrust rod may be of silver steel, freehand method does call for what may promises.
speaking, the comparative smallness of with each end fa i rly well chamfered. be termed a series of carefully calculated Admitted, threading tools can be
the cutting end will take care of this Contrary to what may be thought, very guesses, especially when endeavouring to accurately shaped on a surface grinder,
aspect simply because the amount of fierce tightening of the grubscrew is grind the thread f lank angles. Repeated but setting up on a magnetic chuck and
metal below t he cutting edges will itself unnecessary. tests with a Vee-notched thread gauge sine table takes considerable time, apart
be small. Fig. 23 illustrates the require - The shank may be of circular or square are ca lled for, withou t any guarantee that from the fact that a surface grinder w ill
ments which should be observed. Some- section. A circular section shank has the the errors thus indicated can be corrected not always be free when needed. Accor-
times an initial check can be made by merit that it can be slightly rotated fo r by a fresh approach to the grinding wheel. d ingly the hand jig about to be described
merely presenti ng the cutting end of the minor adjustments of the bit position Additional facets are likely to be formed is recommended. A lthough it is not to be
tool to the inside of a washer having a within a bore. with each new grinding after inspection. denied that a little extra time is taken to
bore similar in size to that to be threaded: The initia l forming and regrinding of the The tool heats up and burns the fingers, set up the jig, the important aspect is that
it is not then difficult to form, by observa- bits is best carried out by removing from and, in the long run, attempts at the every step taken is a positive one towards
tion, an opinion as to the suitability of the the holder and making use of the auxiliary perfection originally envisaged are aban- the production of accurate threadi ng
tool. bit holder for the grindi ng jig, as will be doned when a not-too-close inspection tools.
The internal threading tool shown in described.
Fig. 20 has the merit that initial heating
Fig. 26. A. A thread-
Fig. 25. A too/bit brazed in position. BRAZING ing tool ground by
When a bore to be threaded is not of too freehand methods is
small a diameter it is sometimes unlikely to have its
A expedient to fix a toolbit by brazing. With cutting edges sym-
this method, the absence of shank metal metrically disposed in
at the leading end makes the tool suitable relation to the shank.
for bl ind bore threading whilst showing
considerable economy in tool steel. A BA jig-ground tool
B will be symmetrical in
tested approach to the brazing method is
all respects and can
illustrated in Fig. 25.
be set with the larger
A t A, a steel shank is cross drilled to references afforded
give a free fit to the bit. After drilling, by a small square. _ _ _ __ _ _ _ _ _____,

122 123

Fl 11 ! ' lrl
shown are of 8 i nch (200 mm) diameter,
and t inch ( 1 6mm) face width. The work
rests are each of 3-t inch (90 mm) length,
and 2-t inch (65 mm) width. and project
• 14
( ' 15 ..
I ----.L-
beyond the front of the wheels by 1 t inch
(32 mm}. The drive is by means of a pulley
outside the left- hand wheel, with a Vee
o/,•• ,,,,, II••
1111' ::1·1 '•ll
. j -----.
I ' I +I --- - t'-1~
/ " 1·1
-r - ·--- .I
belt to a motor mounted underneath.
I ' L [2]4BA -·<¥-·----- - -;~- ~ ~
Some commercially built grinders may I

not allow sufficient space fo r fitting the

inner work-rests, but this will be of no BACKPLA T£ A
consequence for thread tool grinding.
The diagram Fig. 28 shows the general
Fig. 27. A grinding 'unit ' with large area arrangement, and details are given in the
workrests. drawing, Fig. 29. The j ig is constructed
The j ig is used in conjunction with a from three pieces of bright mild steel.
Referring to Fig. 28, the mounting p late B
grinding "unit" similar to that shown in
the photograph, Fig. 27 where each wheel is attached to the backplate A by one
is p rovided with adjustable-angle work- screw D, and the movement of plate 8 is
rests of somewhat greater surface area I imited to 1 0 degrees in either direction by
than is usually offered on the smaller means of stop screws S. Upon plate 8
bench or pedestal offhand grinde rs. there is mounted the toolholder C which is TOOLHOLDE:R C. MOUNTING PLATE B.
However, no difficulty should be secured with screw E. The toolholder can
be swivelled through a fu ll circle. Screws Fig. 29. Details of components for the thread tool sharpening jig.
experienced in carrying out such a simple
modification, which, in any case, w il l be Fare used to lock the tool to be ground. A
trailing side favours the shaping of tools At A. for a 60 deg. threading tool, the
special auxiliary holder is used for grinding
found to offer distinct advantages in the for internal threads where the clearance toolholder is set and locked to the desired
grinding and sharpening of ordinary lathe very small 'bits'.
requi rements become somewhat ex- angle by referring the setting gauge to the
turning tools. The two wheels on the unit The 10 degree angular settings of plate aggerated. With these points in mind the inner side of the backplate and the side of
8 relative to the backplate A determine construction and use of the jig is simplified.
Fig. 28. The thread tool sharpening jig. the tool to be ground. After setting as at
the side relief angle of both leading and
General arrangement. trailing sides of threading tools for EXTERNAL THREADING TOOL Fig. 30. The grinder Fig. 31. Location
workrest W is first set 'strip· L is then
external or internal use and will meet First, the grinder work-rest is set exactly at right angles to the clipped to workrest
every ordinary requirement. Formally, the at right-angles to the side of the grinding side face of the W at rightangles to
side relief angles favoured by the writer wheel - Fig. 30. Next. a piece of straight grinding wheel wheel.
.•. -'--,
--H---l ' -r ~~-·
were 10 deg. leading and 5 deg. trai ling, bright steel, L, Fig. 31, of about fs inch
L-- _ _ _..
but of course these had to be reversed for ( 1. 6 m m} in thickness is temporarily ...--
left-hand threading tools. Further con- c lamped to the work- rest W in such a
sideration led to the conclusion that as the way that the inner edge of the strip is at 1-
£ d trailing side normally has comparatively the exact right- angles to the side face of
little work to do, an increase of the relief the wheel, regardless of whether or not

~ ~
to 10 deg. at that side would have no the wheel has become slightly tapered in
appreciable effect on tool life, and except section through wear at the side. With the
s in those instances where t op rake is grinder prepared in the manner just
desired, the same tool(s) would serve for described we may turn our attention to lrn
both right and left-hand threads.
Moreover, the additional relief at the
the setting of the tool in the jig. The
necessary conditions are shown in Fig. 32.
124 125

The thread angle-setting gauges are that the shank is of the machined or
easily made from p ieces of sheet mild ground-all-over type.
steel of about fs inch ( 1.6 mm) thickness. The small amount of skill required to
The drawing Fig. 33 illustrates the use the jig is soon acquired and no matter
principle of actual grinding or sharpening . how many times the whole is removed
GAUGE although it is assumed here that if a new from the work-rest to inspect the progress
tool is being made it w ill have been of the grinding, relocation in the exact
roughed to approximate shape b y position is always assured. Moreover. if
freehand grinding on the periphery of a the sweeping motion is continued as at A,
A coarse wheel. The j ig is first aligned (Fig. 33) without the application of
against the strip already clamped to the additional in-feeding pressure, grinding
work- rest, and, whilst maintaining this will become progressively lighter and
alignment by careful hand control, the jig lighter, and at the same time, any
is advanced towards the wheel side. A s irregularities in the actual wheel face w ill
soon as grinding commences, the tool is have an ever diminishing effect. That a
I I ' I swept across the side face of the wheel mirror finish is achieved may be demon-
-1__ rL-r-· I I
c - ·- _f--l_ r - L' through a small arc as i ndicated by the strated by holding a ground f ace close to
r -· r -- - ..E'Ii:-
·- --= ~...:.~::3 - arrows A whilst the whole is pivoted
about P. The necessary slight inward
the eye: an undistorted image of the sur-
roundings will be seen.
B pressure required to maintain the cut is When it is necessary to grind the top
easily achieved, and when care is taken to face of a tool, this may be done on the
pivot evenly against the locating strip P, a front periphery of the wheel with the tool
Fig. 32. At A the tool is swivelled to and
locked at the necessary angle, and at 8 the very accu rate tool face will result. A shank held to the work- rest. It is worth
loolholder is lilted to angle C for the necessary photograph of this set- up may be seen at noting that as the shank is raised above Fig. 34. Grinding the leading cutting edge of a
side relief. Fig 34. although it was not possible to the work-rest by the interposition of 60 deg. threading tool.
include the hands, which would have parallel packing, P, (Fig 35) so the side
Fig. 32A, the mounting plat e is tilted obscured some of the more i mportant rake that can be ground will increase in production of any one size, a good
through angle C Fig 32 8 (limited to 10 details. angular value, and w ith this setting an
deg. by stops not shown) for the side relief Fig. 35. Peripherial grinding: showing how the
The direction of grindi ng, being of a angle can of course be exactly repeated. side rake on a tool at 1 can be increased as at
of the tool. tangential nature. not on ly assists in Grinding in the manner just described 2 by the interposition of packing P. Such
Fig. 33. Illustrating the principles of tangential producing a perfectly flat face, it also does. of course, leave the tool with a settings can of course be exactly repeated.
grinding. ensures that the cutting edge is of a sharp point: but this may be broken by
straightness approaching geometrica l means of a slip stone with the tool-shank
truth in addition to holding the correct he ld in a bench vice Fig 36A shows the
angle to close limits. operation. Natural ly, care must be taken
For grinding the trailing, or right hand to hold the stone with the necessary tilt so
cutti ng side, the tool is first t urned upside- as to maintain the front and side relief 2
down and carefully re-located in the jig, angles, but unless the tool is very small,
then clearance angle C (Fig 328) is the apex itself will position the stone, and
changed from positive to negative . the forefinger will readily detect any
whereupon the jig and tool assembly is tendency to deviate or incorrectly tilt.
again presented to the wheel as in Fig. 33. In the opinion of the writer (except
By setting the tool angle on ly once, as when on quantity production) it is prefer-
in Fig. 32, then turning the tool upside- able to hold tip o r apex radi i to a minimum
down for gri nding the trailing side , consistent with their not breaking down
symmetry of the Vee point relative to the under cutting stresses. For quantity
shank is assured, assuming, of course,

126 127

It was convenient to include with Fig. the top face of a side-raked tool.
36 the illustration 8 which shows how ereupon the tool and the round stock
the leading cutting edge of a threading honed together without risk of tilting
tool may be accurately honed when the hone.
tool is in position in the lathe. The piece P
represents an odd length of hard steel or
lathe toolbit, the free end of which has
, or nut, threading tools require
been radiused in the manner shown. and
the jig is used in a position somewhat
which has been ground to the same side
relief angle as that of the threading tool. I t away from the periphery of the
is not difficult to adjust the projection and ing wheel. The extension plate. Fig.
forms a convenient means of achiev-
angle of the piece P so that it forms a
guide for the hone, holding the latter to this object, and, with two locating
the thread tool flank face, after which, of L 1 and L2. the plate serves for both
and external thread tool grinding.
course. both tool and guide are honed
end of plate P is clamped to the
together, with a slight pressure bias in
work-rest, and for internal thread-
favour of the threading tool. Admitted this
hones only the leading cutting edge, but tools, the whole is adjusted so that the
ting strip to be used is at right-angles
usually the trailing edge has much less
work to do. the operationa l side of the grinding
eel in both a vertical and horizontal
Flat-top tools are of course easily
ne. {This plate (Fig. 38) was subse-
honed, but without some guidance it is
Fig. 36. At A a hone is being used to break the provided with an angle bracket on
difficult to hone the (top) side rake
sharp apex of a freshly ground tool. Illustration underside, so that when necessary it
because an inadvertent tilt of the hone
B shows how a tool may be sharpened without be changed for the plain workrest, Fig. 39. The jig in use for the grinding of
can easily change a positive rake into a
removal from the lathe. Piece P may also be us eliminating use of toolmakers' internal threading tools.
positioned to project outwards from the
negative one. To avoid this risk the simple
too/post slot to the right of the tool. Please also set-up shown in Fig. 37 may be used. Fig. 39A shows how a 60 deg. internal
see text. The tool T to be honed is held sideways threading tool is set in the jig, it being
. 38. Details of an extension plate used to
practical approach is to commence with a in a toolmakers' vice with packing P and a the grinding of internal threading tools. assumed that the toolholder slot is at
minimum tip radius, then to continue
depthing until the body of the thread is
properly proportioned (as checked by
"wiring' - see Section 9). This of course
piece of round stock R interposed. By
adjusting the length of P and the diameter
of R it is fairly easy to judge, by observa-
tion, that the hone is in uniform contact r
,- z· l 1!r
exact right-angles to the end face. The
mounting plate S is then tilted 10 deg.
upwards at the left-hand side to set the
side relief, after which the leading cutting
will lead to over-depthing on the one com- side of the tool may be ground by gently

Fig. 37. A simple set-up for accurately honing
ponent (or test piece). The amount of side rake on a tool. sweeping over the side face of the
over-depthing is then read from the
.!" grinding wheel.
graduated in-feed dial and honed away Ll For grinding the inner, or trailing
from the tool apex. Thus for subsequent cutting side, the tool is turned through
screws, the in- feed dial reading (read from I 1 80 deg. so that the cutting end is
a tool - sc r atching zero start) will ·-·"' inverted as shown in Fig. 398. The angle
reasonably agree with the required thread I of tilt of plate S is not altered, but the jig
depth, and no time will be wasted by locating piece, L2 (Fig. 38) should be re-
unnecessary r emoval of metal. This adjusted so that it is at exact right-angles
approach, of course, eliminates call for to the LEFT side of the grinding wheel, or
expensive tool-form checking aids such as as closely as possible at right-angles to
T p R that small portion of that side of the wheel
shadowgraph projectors.
that can be reached by the tool. The jig is

128 129

photograph Fig. 43 shows the leading
r------- 3~ ----------~ L c utting face being ground.
2 BA --..
Acme or trapezoidal form internal th read-
ing tools of the solid- with-shank type may
be ground o r sharpened in exactly the
sam e way as 60 deg. solid-with- shank
t ools, but Acme or trapezoidal form tools
of the inserted bit type require a different
grinding approach. Although the auxi liary
Fig. 40. Showing the trailing or inner cutting side of an
internal threading tool being ground. (Left). holder may be used to hold a short bit for
Fig. 41. Details of an auxiliary holder useg for grinding grinding a flat on the top, as in Fig. 42, the
small round too/bits. The reamed bore should be carefully Included t hread angle of only 2 9 deg.
aligned with the shank. (Some corners get ground away Acme (or 30 deg. trapezoidal) is too acute
with first use of the holder). to permit use of the auxiliary bit holder for
grinding the thread angles, so grinding has
difficult to grind the seconda ry relief to be carried out with the bit locked in its
without encroaching on the first precision own shank. Fig. 44 shows the require-
then carefully aligned against the locating 10 deg. ang le. ments. At A, side 1 is ground in the same
piece (L2) whilst the tool is offered to the way as for solid- with-shank 60 deg. tools,
side of the wheel as shown in the SMALl BIT GRINDING Fig. 39B, except of course t hat the angle
photograph, Fig. 40, whereupon a gentle of approach is modified to Acme (or trap.)
The grinding of very small toolbits of, f o r
standards. For side 2 , the bit is
movement to the right, combined with the example, ~6 in. (4.75 mm) diameter and 6 t temporarily rotated through 180 deg. and ·
limited sweeping motion permitted will in. ( 11.0 mm) length, such as would be
grind the trailing cutting face. Admitted the shank inverted as at Fig. 44 B, then
used in the boring bit holder shown in Fig.
for this operation the corner of the wheel grinding is carried out as in Fig. 45 where
24, calls for the auxiliary holder shown in
side D of the swivelling plat form is ti lted
m ust be sharp and square, but this Fig. 41. This is made from a 3i in. (80
10 deg. downwards.
requirement holds regardless of whether mm) length of 1 in. (25 mm) by f in. (9 .5
or not a jig is used. mm) bright st eel. The toolbit to be ground
With tools for internally threading very is held in the bore H by means of the TOOLS FOR SQUARE FORM
small bores it is sometimes necessary: hexagon- socket cap screw L. THREADS Fig. 43. Grinding a small threading too/bit for
( 1) to back off the body of the tool just Aher locking the toolbit in position, the The jig cannot be used for grinding tools subsequent use in a shank such as that
below the apex of the Vee, and first operation is to form a f lat to a depth illustrated in Fig. 24.
with para lle l cutting sides for threads of
(2) to grind a secondary side relief of of approximately one-half bit diameter: square form. However, these tools can be
25 to 30 degrees at the leading t his is done on the periphery of the wheel
cutting side, but leaving the as shown in the photograph, Fig. 42. Note
shaped accurately by temporarily using a
high- speed drill press as a miniature
I] A
original 10 degrees relief of about the orientation of the holder in relation t o surface grinder. Fig. 46 illustrates the
30 thou. in. (about mm) height. the bit to be ground. For grinding the principle. A small grinding wheel G of the
Operations 1 and 2 are generally more leading and trailing cutting sides, the integral- with- shank type (sometimes
easily carried out by a freehand approach, auxiliary holder with the bit undisturbed is known as 'mount ed grinding points') and
and for operation No. 2, with the precision t ransferred to the main jig, aher which the of about 1 in. diameter is chucked and I] B
outline as a guide, and by watching and sequences are exactly the same as those rotated at the highest available speed. The Fig.44. Above, illustrating the sequence
maintaining a gap between the leading described for grinding ordinary solid- with- tool, of the 'inserted bit' type (~6 in. dia. associated with grinding an Acme form too/bit
edge and the grinding wheel, it is not at all shank threading tools for externa l use. The HSS toolbit, e.g.) is temporarily rotated for internal threading. Please see text.

130 131

The cutting end can of course be pre- holder that could be found on the market
roughed on an offhand bench grinder, and at that t ime.
for easier control during surface grinding, When screwcutting, considerable time
the shankS is best held in a machine vice. Is lost by the necessary repeated retrac-
tion and resetting of the in-feed, and
mistakes are easily made. The situation is
1 G
Tools of the inserted-bit type for square
thread f orm cutting can of course also be
oven worse when internally threading,
because before progress can be gauged,
the t ool has to be first cleared from the
I ground by use of a drill press, but at the thread, then retracted sufficiently to
D I 75·5· time of writing, and because of obstruc- permit entry of a screw gauge, either by
tion by a shank, there seems to be no reversal of the cross slide, or by a lengthy
ready means for the production of very right traverse of the carriage. Also wit h
accurate paralle l cutting sides on internal many toolholders the setting of a t ool at
square form thread ing too ls of the the correct height can be a troublesome
Fig. 45. Grinding an inserted too/bit for Acme integra l- w ith- shank type, at least without t ask, taking time that would be better
form internal threading. the aid of a conventional surface grinder. devoted to cutting the thread. Moreover,
and locked in its shank S to bring the t op w ith conventional toolholders, any minor Fig. 47. The author's general purpose, retract-
of one cutting side face level, as at A height adjustment it may be felt desirable able, height-adjustable and swing clear lathe
whereupon the grinding wheel is gently
to make after a tool has commenced
fed down until sparks appear, while the SWING LATHE TOOLHOLDER threading generally has to be postponed patenting of the toolholder about to be
shank S is held to the drill worktable W As there are already ample descriptions of because of the virtual impossibility of described.
and gently swept about to imitate surface- the various devices and ways in which exactly repositioning a tool relative to the The toolholder is illustrated in the
grinder table movements. c utting tools may be held in a lathe it is helix already formed. photograph, Fig. 4 7, where it is shown in
On completion of side A , the shank is fe lt that no useful purpose can be served These numerous disadvantages the tool- retracted position. Turning or
inverted and the bit again rotated to bring by repeating the details here. However, in therefore led to the development and threading tools are mounted in the left-
side 8 level for surface grinding, after the cou rse of making t he many screwcut-
which, of course, the bit is restored to its t ing experiments necessary for the com-
operational position with cutting edge T pletion of these notes, a need was fe lt f or
level. something much more versatile than any

T ,- - - - - -


Fig. 46. Illustrating

the use of a high J
speed drill press and
small grinding wheel
A or 'grinding point' for Fig. 48. General
the production of dsrails of the
parallel sides on tools too/holder shown in
w for threads of square thfJ photograph, Fig.
form. 47.

132 133

hand s lot. and boring or internal threading of up to 8 tpi or 3.5 mm pitch. The retrac- 50. The general purpose
tools are held in the front slot, generally tion stop L is however extended to limi t rt~ trac tab/e and swing
a ligned with the lathe axis. When movement when threading very small too/holder swung clear for
necessary the holder may be swivelled bores, otherwise when a tool is advanced ttJsting the progress of an
about its fixing bolt. lfllernal thread.
to clear an internal thread, the shank w ill
The construction of the toolholder is set contact the rear wall of a bore.
out diagrammatically in Fig. 48 where it
will be seen that the tool slots J are HEIGHT ADJUSTMENT
carried on arms at each side of a central The operationa l height of a tool i s
body-block 8 which is fixed to the top- adjusted by means of the knurled head
slide T by means of a bolt or stud. The screw H which passes through a threaded
arms are pivoted on bearers eccentrically bore behind the junction of the front and
disposed on centre-lineS at each end of a side tool slot s and bears upon the surface
main pivot pin P, the lat ter being rotatable of the lathe slide. The screw of course
about its centre line M. A ball hand- lever offers immediate micro- adjustment f o r
is screwed radia lly into the centre of the tool height and eliminates call for the
ma in pivot pin. Partial rotation of the main adjustment of packing. Further, when
pivot pin by means of the hand-lever screwcutting, one frequently entert ains a
therefore operates the eccentric means, notion that a tool might cut a little more that a shank may slope slightly upwards next component, thus no time is lost by
and advances or retracts the tool carrier, sweetly if raised or lowered by a minute or downwards. t he ordinary requirement of having to find
the two positions being shown as A and amount, and the height adjusting screw The height adjusting screw also acts as a new slide set ting for each individua l
R. The main pivot-pin bore is split for allows of such adjustments being mad e a swing return stop to exactly reposition a bore. Ordinarily, a boring tool, or internal
adjustment by closure to a friction tight- between cutting passes, or, if a cut is light tool after swinging clear for gauging. The threading tool is " always in the way" .
ness by means o·f screws not shown. enough, then the height can be adjusted photograph Fig. 50 shows the toolholder
The forward or advanced position of whilst a tool is actually cutting. swung clear to test the fit of a screw TIME SAVED
the tool carrier is determined by the hand- The operational height of an internal gauge: an operation that can be repeated A series of carefully timed experiments
lever abutting the termination of its slot or threading or boring tool is fairly easily at any time without disturbing the slide made ( 1) with the retractable swing
clearance recess. The degree of retraction judged by mere observation. A quick settings last used. toolholder and (2) wit h the customary
can be determined by adjustment of method for setting external tools to centre
rigid tool, clearly showed that the time
screw L which, with the tool carrier in the height is shown in Fig. 49. This approach GENERAL USE OF saved by the independent retraction
retracted position, abuts the back face of does of course assume that a tool shank is TOOLHOLDER facility averaged 6 seconds for each
the front tool s lot. In this example a full horizontally disposed: with the type of tool For turning and threading with a die, the threading pass. This may sound
retraction of about ~2 in. (4.0 mm) is height adjustment provided on the swing-clear feature allows of turning to insignificant, but in the course of lathe
provided, but a movement of about 95 Retractable and Swing Toolholder some stop length, swinging clear for die screwcutting over 700 feet of various
thou. in. (2.4 mm) is sufficient for threads allowance should be made for the fact running, and parting from the rear. In this threads requiring a total of about 80,000
Fig. 49. Setting a way, screw or bolt heads are sized for cutting passes, the total time saved equals
tool to lathe centre height with only one L.H. carriage stop about 133 hours, or about three and one
height. position, and screws may be threaded up third working weeks of 40 hours
When a tool is to the head without call for excessive slide (assuming anyone can work 8 hours a day
correctly set, a thin retraction to bring a turning tool clear of a for five days without stopping for
metal strip S
die. anything). Moreover, the 133 hours saved
interposed bet ween
When two or more bores are to be do not include additional time saved by ( 1)
the tool and a
workpiece and held machined to the same size, the cross-feed avoidance of resetting mistakes, (2) the
by slight cross feed dial reading for the first sized bore may be ability to instantly swing clear for gauging
pressure, w!YI stand noted, and the holder swung clear for rear and (3) the quick tool height setting
vertical. tool facing, centring and pre-drilling t he facility.

134 135

Fig. 52. If setting up
SECTION 8 to lathe screwcut
with the top-slide set
parallel to the lathe
bed-ways and the
workpiece requires
t ai/stock support,

Practical Aspects of Lathe make sure that on

reaching full thread
depth the top-slide

Screwcutting will not foul the

tal/stock body at C.

method is that it may lead to chip METHOD2A

wedging and flank tearing in practically all This is a refinement of method (2). but
metals except brass. Further, if the tip here the top-slide is set round to one
radius or flat is not of the exact dimen- degree less than one half the included
sions for the pitch being cut, depthing to
SCREWS included angle of the thread. the prescribed amount with an over-sized
Before each cutting pass is made, a (2A). As (2), but with the top-slide set tip will result in an undesirable thinning oi
threading tool is advanced by a certain to one degree less than one half the body of the thread. as at Fig. 53 8.
amount to progressively deepen the the included thread angle, as and if the tool tip is undersca led, the body
thread groove. There are three chief ways shown in the diagram, Fig. 51. of the thread will take the form shown at
of adding these successive depthings: (3) By depthing the too l with a Fig. 53 A, unless the depth i ng is
( 1) By advancing the cross slide only, so combined advancement of the cross increased.
that the tool is depthed at right- slide and the top-slide, the top-slide
angles to the axis of the work. being set parallel to the axis of the METHOD2
(2) By advancing the top-slide only, this thread, as shown i n Fig. 52. This is the more generally recommended
being set round to one half the Let us now examine these methods in depthing arrangement. With the top- sl ide
more detail. set round to one half t he included thread
angle, and assuming that the tool angle is
METHOD 1 correct and properly set, the trailing side
When depthing by direct right-angula r of the tool will follow a path parallel to the
advancements of the cross slide, the tool trailing thread flank with the result that
cuts equal amounts from both leading and the leading side of the tool cuts the full
trailing thread fl anks. The objection to this depthing increment from the whole of the
leading f lank, and the trailing side of the
Fig. 51. The direct tangential or oblique
method for in-feeding a threading tool. The tool cuts only the amount of the depthing
top-slide is set so that angle A = one deg.less increment from the trailing flank. Thus, Fig. 53. Showing the importance of pitch
than half the included angle of the thread to be diameter (See also Section 9).
with the main chip flow from the leading
cut. For 60 deg. threads, angle A would Screws A , 8 and C all have identical major
flank there is a reduced likelihood of chip and minor diameters D and d, yet only C is
therefore = 29 deg. wedging. Nevertheless. ultimate sizing at
The tool is progressively depthed by advance- correctly formed. At A the thread grooves
the proper depth depends upon a correct require widening, and the thread at 8 is ruined
ments of the top-slide. With a forward stop for
the cross-slide this may be used to retract the tool tip radius or t ip width for reasons by being depthed to the correct amount with a
tool for non-cutting return passes. detailed for method ( 1 ). tool with an over-wide tip.


tool. Methods 1, 2 and 2A also have the ascertain top- slide depthing readings nuts and the leadscrew threads, top-slide
disadvantage that an inadvertent w itness when working to the oblique top-slide retractions will not necessarily take effect
mark or nick on one flank cannot be setting methods. until this p lay has been taken up: whereas
el i minated w i thout simultaneously When threading by methods 2 or 2A w ith the top-slide advanced to cut a left-
machining both f lanks and at the same without the aid of an independently hand flank, t he carriage and tool are
time increasing the depth. retractable toolholder, it is an advantage pulled along in a positive manner, when
When the top-slide is swivelled out of to provide the cross-slide with a forward attempts are made to shave the right-
parallel with the cross slide, the top-slide dead- stop so that the cross-slide can be hand flanks, the leadscrew merely 'allows'
dial readings will not give a true indication used for tool retraction and repositioning a tool to traverse the thread -assuming
of the depthing advancements. Carried to without interfering with the settings the carriage is reasonably free to slide on
the extreme, if the top-slide is set at right applied by the top- slide. the bed. However. with the foregoing
angles to the cross slide, then a top-slide process a fina l sizing of a thread is carried
Fig. 54. When 1 (C - 0) is the thread depth advancement merely moves a tool parallel METH OD3 out with the least possibility of chip-
and the path of the tool is along the to a workpiece. However, with the top- This is the method invariably used by the wedging, and flank blemishes may be
hypotenuse 8 - 0, the depthing reading from slide swivelled as in Fig. 51 we are, in writer. With the top-slide set parallel to removed without over-depthing, and
the top-slide must be increased to compensate effect, advancing or depthing along the the axis of a thread, we have at a ll times a w ithout being obliged to cut both leading
for the longer path. Please also see text. hypotenuse B - 0 of a right-angle triangle, complete control over the way in which and trailing flanks to clean up only one. As
thread angle: 29 deg. for 60 deg. threads, as indicated in Fig. 54, and the successive depthings are added. wi ll be seen, many of these time-
and 26.5 deg. for 55 deg. threads. The hypotenuse holds a longer path than the In theory, of course, if we wish to ease consuming processes are not required for
effect of the one degree less is to ensure direct C - 0 feed. Accordingly, to achieve a the trailing cuts, for each advancement of quantity production. The way in which
that although with each advancement the depthing equal to C - 0, the top-slide has the cross slide, the top- slide must be screw threads are 'wired' to gauge a
main cutting will be done by the leading to be advanced by C-0 multiplied by the advanced by a certain amount, so that the correct proportioning and sizing is
edge of the tool, the trailing edge will secant of the angle to which the top-slide trailing side of a cutting tool can be made described in Section 9.
lightly shave the whole of the depth- is slewed : C-0-B. For an angle of 29 to fo llow a depthing path pa rallel to the Referring to Fig. 55, the amount 8 by
length of the trailing flank: in theory, at degrees the secant = 1.1433 so if the trailing thread flank, as indicated by the which t he top-slide should be advanced
least, because such niceties assume the depth of a 3.0 mm pitch ISO form t hread diagram, Fig. 55 at A. The net result is for a given advancement A of the cross
perfect setti ng of a geometrically correct is 1.8402 mm. the top-slide must be then s imilar to the oblique depthing slide to ensure that the trailing flank of the
advanced by 1.8402 x 1. 1433 = 2.1039 methods 2 or 2A (Fig. 51) but with the threading tool fo llows a path C parallel to
mm. distinct advantage that on reaching a fu ll the trailing thread fl ank is found by mul-
The accompanying Table T12 sets out depthing by cross-slide advance, a series tiplying the cross-slide in-feed units by the
the secant factors by which standard of cutting passes may be taken at that tangent of one half the included angle of
thread depths should be multiplied to depthing, first with the top-slide retracted the thread being cut. Thus, for a 60 deg.
TABLET12 to clean up the trailing thread f lanks as at thread form, the tangent of 30 degrees is
D Fig. 4, Section 2 (if they need it) and 0.57735, accordingly if the cross slide is
THREAD THREAD ANGLE OF TOP- FACTOR advanced by one unit, the top slide shou ld
SLIDE SETTING then, as necessary, with the top-slide
ANGLE be advanced by 0.57735 of that unit: just
deg. deg. progressively advanced as at E Fig. 4,
Section 2, not only to clean up the left- over one half. For 55 deg. thread angles,
'A \ Whitworth
1.1 274
1.1 174
hand or leading thread flanks, but to 'thin' the tangent of 27t deg. is 0.52056,
the thread-form to bring it to the required somewhat nearer to one half than tan. for
Fig. 55. Thread tool depthing with the top- ISO metr!c 30.0 1.1 547 pitch diameter - assuming of course that 30 degress. However, in practice every
slide set parallel to the lathe centre line. 60 29.0 1.1433 satisfaction is given by taking both tan.
& UN the threading tool-t i p is held to a
When, with each depthing advancement of figures as one half, and for 55 deg. and 60
the cross- slide in direction A, the top-slide 15.0 1.0353 minimum w idth as recommended in the
30 1.0306 section on tool grinding. The top- slide deg. threads the top-slide may be
is advanced bv a certain proportion 8 of the Metrir. 14.0
cross-slide movement, the R.H. side of the tool - - --- may be advanced or retracted in steps of advanced by exactly one half the depthing
will follow a path C parallel to the trailing 14.5 1.0329 0.001 in. (0.025 mm), although because increment added by the cross slide. For
ACME 29 13.5 1.0284
thread flank. of the effect of end-play between the half- Acme and trapezoidal threads an


advancement of one quarter that applied batch of the same thread is to be lathe Non- cutting return passes are made by necessary with a fair regularity it may
to the cross slide will serve. screw- cut, one cannot commence the pull of a spring up to a right- hand indicate that the tool has commenced to
When screwcutting the harder metals immediately at the highest speeds, one carriage dead- stop, as shown in the lose its keenness.
by method (3). it is advisable to make the has to work up to these, judging from an photograph, Fig. 55A, and, for the longer With the present more common type of
appropriate top-slide advancements for observed behaviour of the cutting passes. screws, depthing increments and top-slide lathe, one would be prevented from
each cross slide depthing increment fairly Once satisfactory speed, depthing incre- adjustments are made whilst the carriage working at these speeds because of the
carefully until the thread is nearly com- ments and top- slide adjustments have is being pulled back to its right-hand stop. difficulty of having to manually arrest
pleted, after which it is permissible to been found, it is as well to make a note of (For screws of greater length, a cord, carriage traverse on completion of each
make final depthing increments of not them for future use. But even with the aid pulley and weight would offer a more cutting pass, and the tendency to 'snatch'
more than 0.001 in. (0.025 mm) with the of these figures, for a new batch it is uniform pull for carriage return.) For the when attempting to re-engage the half-
tool cutting both flanks, chiefly to c lean up generally necessary to complete ten or so 'spring return' fairly thick oil is smeared nuts on to a fast-revolving leadscrew.
the trailing flanks. (A too-pedantic follow- threads with frequent cross feed dial over the lathe bed: this slows the return A lso. in the case of the 13 and 14 tpi
ing of top-slide advancements can leave a adjustments before t he thread s traverse and prevents the carriage from threads. one would have to wait for the
ragged trailing thread flank). Then, if the commence to finish to gauge size at the slamming into the right stop. Soluble oil leadscrew indicator to register favourable
thread is still oversize to gauge, and the dial settings previously noted. It is virtuall y and water is applied with a brush, and the half-nut engagement moments for every
depth is known to be correct within the impossible to reproduce previous condi- excess is absorbed by a piece of sponge cutting pass. However, there is no reason
limits laid down (as read from the cross tions exactly. For example, if a previou s positioned on a travelling chip tray. When why the depthing increments themselves
sl ide feed dial previously set at zero with a batch of threads proved to be on size at the sponge is saturated, the excess is shou ld not be used as a guide for thread-
'tool scratching' start) the body of the cross feed dial reading 44, and, because squeezed back into the coolant pot. This ing free-cutting steel at a slower and more
thread may be 'thinned' by taking passes of tool sharpening or whatever, it was procedure ensures that the lathe carriage manageable rotational sped. For harder
with the top slide progressively advanced found that from a zero tool-scratching slides exclusively on oil as distinct from oil steels, of course, the magnitude of each
thou. by thou. until a gauge fits, or a 'wire' start, depthing had to be continued to say and water. The times given in the follow- depthing increment should be reduced. It
measurement (q.v.) shows the thread is 4 7, then on completion of that thread I Ing examples are the times AFTER sometimes pays to take an additional
properly proportioned. would reset the cross feed dial to read 44, satisfactory settings have been 'found', threading pass at the setting used for the
We should also note that when on ly then carry on working to the settings and include loading, gauging and unload- previous pass so as to check whether or
one or two components require a lathe noted for the previous batch. In the event ing. not an excessive strain is building up.
screwcut thread - components that have of it being thought that this approach
perhaps already had a lot of other work might lead to over- depthing, then a slip- ( 1 ). 1/ 2 in. x 13 tpi UNC, 1 in. lengths. Speed 325 rpm 55- 70 seconds.
carried out on them -there is nothing to stone would be used in situ to remove a Cross-slide 20 30 40 42 45 47 48
be gained with attempt s at threading at few thou. in. from the apex of the tool. Of Top-slide 0 5 10
the highest speeds: one should proceed course, by the time the ninth or tenth (2 ). 7/ 16 in. x 14 tpi UNC 1 3/8 in. lengths. Speed 420 rpm 90-1 10 seconds
with circumspection. thread is finished to size, one will have Cross-slide 20 30 35 40 42 43 43.5 44
With soft or 'crisp' metals such as brass again memorised both cross and top-slide Top-slide 0 5 7t 10 11
which will not easily tear, top- slide set tings.
advancements seldom make any (3). 3/ 8 x 16 tpi UNC. 3/8 in. lengths. Speed 325 rpm 35-50 seconds
difference to the finish or sweetness of the Cross-slide 20 30 35 37 38
cuts, and a tool may be directly depthed PRACTICAL EXAMPLES. Top-slide
by the cross slide. Some examples from the author's practice (4). 5/8 in. x tpi Acme form. 1 5/8 in. lengths. Speed 325 rpm. 120-1 50 seconds
will now be given. The threads are Cross-slide 25 35 45 53 60 64 67 70- 7 1- 72- 73
required in batches of 1 00- 1 50 each. All Top-slide 0 2 2 2 1 1
QUANTITY PRODUCTION are in free- cutting mild steel, screwcut
Meticu l ous attention to top-s l ide with ordinary HSS tools, jig- ground with These threads are sized to a hardened and Please see also the notes on page 145.
advancements, however, can often be flat tops (no rake). The independently ground-thread ring gauge, one for each Ideally a thread gauge should fit with a
dispensed with when on quantity produc- ret ractable toolholder is used. and the size. Occasionally a gauge will not fit until slight 'drag' although some latitude is per-
tion in free- cutting or 'leaded' steels. lat he is fitted with the single-tooth dog- another cutting pass has been made at missible. If for any reason a gauge is
There is the point, though, that when a clutch control for the leadscrew drive. the same 'last' setting. If this becomes thought to fit too freely, then the

140 141

Fig. 55A. Showing a r o ots, consequently it presented a ahead of proportionate depthing incre-
spring- return (an d somewhat strange and unconventional ments, then to continue to add small
R.H. carriage dead- appearance. However, after much depthing increments until the depthing
stop) for fast carriage deliberation with an eye-glass and a caught up, so to speak, and the tool again
repositioning during metric rule, the pitch was found to be shaved the trailing thread flanks. Without
screwcutting. nearer to that of 2.7 mm. than any other this precaution there were distinct signs
(English or metric). and with this pitch, that a dig-in would result in spoiled work.
und had the root of the thread been fully Signs of adverse cutting action are ( 1) A
sharp, the thread depth (by trig.)wou ld- visible lifting of the component as it tries
have been 3.259 mm. (0.1283 in.). As the to 'ride up' the tool, and (2) if a workshop
tap had five flutes, the only way of is otherwise qu iet, additional noise wi ll be
measuring the major diameter was to bore heard: sometimes an extra 'growl' from
1l collar, bit by bit, until the tap pushed in, the change gears.
then measure the bore. By these means As a result of the test run it was fe lt
the major diameter was found to be prudent to thread the three components
2.0.57 mm. (0.810 in.). at 95 rpm with a series of fairly smal l
For the Holtz. thread of 2. 7 mm. pitch, a depttiing increments, consequently each
leadscrew of 8 tpi was geared: took 30 minutes to complete although of
40- A - 35 only 19.0 mm. (3/4 in.) length, and
32 - 43 despite the aid of an independently
Before cutting the threads on the retractable toolholder and single- tooth
workpiece is rejected. One per- cent may turns, then smartly withdrawing the tool. workpiece upon which a lot of work had dog- clutch to eliminat e p ick- up problems.
be rejected for this or other reasons. An over-depthing of 0.002 in. (0.05mm.) already been carried out, including the Admitted, this time does not contrast at
Sometimes a workpiece will slip in the is usually sufficient. internal threading 1 in. X 12 tpi, a thread all favourab ly with times for the four
chuck - with disastrous results to the Batches of similar metric threads are ring gauge was made with a bore of examples of quantity production, but on
thread. This, of course, is entirely the fault also called for: 12.0 mm. dia. X 20.0 mm. 15.69 mm . (0.618 in.) which was the other hand, all three threads were
of the operator in not adequately tighten- pitch, 11.0 mm. dia. X 1.75 mm. pitch , screwcut progressively until the tap could CO!'DPieted to a b lemish-free finish and
ing the chuck. 10.0 mm. dia. X 1.5 mm. pitch, and 16.0 be felt to enter under modest torque, after nice fit t o gauge, which for only one or a
NOTE: When lathe screwcutting there is mm. dia. X 4.0 mm. pitch, all except the which the embryo gauge was removed few th reads is really all that matters.
always some tendency for the workpiece last being of ISO f orm 60 deg. The 4.0 from the lathe and finish tapped with the NOTE: A soft steel 'nut' should never be
to be pushed away by the cutting stresses mm. pitch is trapezoidal (similar to Acme, Holtz. t ap. used as a gauge for quantity production.
at the commencement of each cutting but with a 30 deg. included thread angle.) Next, with the aid of the Holtz. thread Ordinary commercial nuts are almost
pass (even with fairly large lathes I am The trapezoida I thread is somewhat gauge, a practice Holtz. thread was cut on invariably grossly oversize, and any
told) although of course this action is deeper than the 8 tpi Acme, therefore an odd piece of stock of the same kind as 'special' nut or gauge, even if threaded
greatest during the heavier roughing cuts, more cutting passes are required. that used for the components proper: free- w ith a 'good' ground- thread tap, will be
but quite often the first few turns of a cutting mild steel. From the facts avail- worn oversize after very little testing on
thread will remain oversize, even after A SPECIAL THREAD . able, a major dia. of 20.32 mm. (0.800 in.) nearly finished tight screws. In any case,
many fine f inishing passes. Often if this is On one occasion it was necessary to cut seemed appropriate, with a thread depth ground thread taps have to be made
not taken into account, and threading is Holtzappfel threads on three adaptors for of 2.54 mm. (0.1 00 i n.), and having slightly oversize to permit entry of any
continued in a straightforward manner fitting Holtzappfel face-plates and similar reached that depth, the thread pitch dia. screws that may be threaded to a full
until a gauge fits nicely over the f irst few to the nose of a Myford wood-turning was b rought down in stages by top-sl ide basic size.
turns, the gauge will spin freely over the lathe. advancements until the gauge screwed on
remainder of the thread. This effect can be Fortunately a Holtz. tap was provided for nicely. This dummy run c learly showed
countered when a thread is finished (or is use as a pattern. The thread angle was that because the thread was so deep, and THREAD CREST BURRS.
thought to be finished) by deliberately found to be 45 deg. included, and the tap the ang les so steep, it was necessary to Returning to quantity production. With
over depthing the f irst two or so thread had very nearly sharp thread crests and keep top-slide advancements fairly well the smaller screw threads, sometimes the

142 143

Fig. 5 6. It is some-
tool will leave noglible crest burrs, and SQUARE THREAD CUTTING. times an advantage
sometimes a touch with a fine file is That the customary text- book approach to initially rough a
required. With the coarser threads such as to the cutting of square thread forms is to square thread with a
the 8 tpi Acme form and the 4.0 mm. use a parallel sided tool having a width of Vee threading tool
pitch trapezoidal, quite pronounced burrs one-half pitch, and to depth by direct better able to with-
are almost invariably thrown up. par- stand heavier cutting
increments of the cross-slide, seems to than a comparatively
ticularly during the fairly severe initial indicate that the method will give slender square thread
depthing cuts, and these burrs can be of a satisfactory results despite the fact that tool.
nature that a fine file makes little impres- the necessarily slender nature of the tool
sion. Accordingly, to remove these crest renders it easily prone to breakage from
burrs, a wide flat-nose (with flat top, no chip wedging. However, apart from that
rake) tool is positioned in a rear toolpost, consideration, when a tool is of full half-
and just before the last two or three pit ch width there is no possibility of giving
finishing cuts. this rear tool is brought the thread flanks a final shaving without
forwa rd to a previously noted dial reading © @
thinning or undersizing the thread body.
and passed o ver the crests by one single Accordingly, if a square form t hread is to
screw cut ting traverse movement (f rom be cut to a good finish with a m inimum
the leadscrew , at screwcutting speed) risk of tool breakage it is w orth consider- It will be understood, then, that t he If more than a few square thread nuts
t hus removing t he burrs and leaving a fine ing the steps outlined in Fig. 56 which square thread form can be somewhat are to be processed, then of course it pays
bright fin ish over the in lengths in about shows, at A , an initial and partial depthing troublesome to produce with the certainty to make or buy a tap for quickly sizing
2.4 seconds, after the initial setting. wit h a Vee f orm t hreading tool followed at o f a blemish- free fini sh. Fort unately threads nearly finished in a lat he.
B by a final depthing with a parallel sided however, a corresponding nut thread w ill
USE OF TRAVELLING STEADY. tool with a wid th of less than one-h alf probably be cut in a material such as cast ACME THREADS.
As with ordinary turning, a component of pitch, and without top rake, the tool being iron w hich is less prone to flank tear ing .. The Acme (and trapezoidal) form thread-
any significant length or projection from a used as at C and 0 for alternate flank although direct depthing with a narrow ing tool is marginally more robust than a
chuck should be given tailstock support shaving and final proportioning. With the tool and bringing the thread form to square thread form tool of corresponding
when screwcutting. Sometimes for longer superior strength of the Vee tool, the correct width by alternate flank shaving pitch, and, as we have seen, the Acme
screws the use of a travelling steady is operation at A should be completed w ith top- slide adjustments is recommen- form can be cut w ithout a change of tool.
called for. although this should be avoided without trouble, although care must be ded. However, for the harder steels it is advis-
whenever possible because of the taken to hold the crests to just above half- If a square form nut thread has to be cut able to use a tool having a tip-width
inconvenience caused by the burrs that pitch in width. in steel, then it is an advantage to use a TABLET13
are often raised above the work surface, It is sometimes an advantage to shave narrow tool and to alternately advance
especially when threading steels. When a the f lanks, in turn, with separate miniature and retract the top-slide (this being
Threads/inch Root width
travelling steady is used, one has no knife-type tools, with each cutting side set parallel to the lathe bedways) at each (max.) Inch.
option but to file off the burrs between at right-angles to the thread axis by depthing increment. Then. on reaching full
each cutting pass. (Although many writers means of a small square observed through depth, to shave the whole of each flank in 16 0 .023168
apparently feel it would be demeaning to a watchmaker's glass. With individual left turn by further top-slide adjustments. Of 14 0 .026478
say so). Sometimes, how ever, after a and right handed f lank-finishing tools it is course, w ith this method one has to keep 12 0.030891
thread has been fairly well shaped, t he possible to take advantage of the superior very careful t rack of the top- slide move- 10 0.037070
tendency to burr form ation from subse- cutting qualities afforded by top rake ments, the total being just short of the 8 0 .046337
quent lighter cuts is minim al. Th e when cut ting steels. difference between the thread groove 6 0.061782
possibility of Incorporating a flat-ended The foregoing w as the method adopted width and the widt h of the (narrow) tool. 5 0.074140
cutt ing tool with a tra velling steady with by the writer when making his square One must also of course take Into account 4 0.092672
th e i dea of r emoving c r est burrs thread-form leadscrew s which w ere cut in any end-play betw een the leadscrew 3 0.123566
immediately after formation has been ENS - a carbon steel nearly as hard as thread and half-nuts. 2 0.185350
considered but not tried by the w ri ter. silver steel 'as bought'.

fractionally less in width than the· root of machining- burrs and the root of the runout clearance, a majority of today's Bore of nut (minor diameter) equals:
the pitch being cut, then, on reaching full mating screw or gauge. However, it is lathes call for the pre-machining of a
depthing, the thread form may be brought Major screw dia. (inch) minus Pitch (mm .)
now recognised that 100 percent nu t runout recess, (Fig 57) and when this is
X 0.0426
to correct pitch diameter by top-slide threads are unnecessary, and that the per- not shown on the drawing, and the work
advancements. (Top-slide set parallel to centage reduction in nut thread strength is is by sub-contract, it is necessary to tele- So bore = 1 .063 min us 0. 12 78
bedways). very much less than proportionate to a phone for permission to form one. This = 0.9352 inch (say 0.936 inch, minus 0)
As a guide, the accompanying Table T13 corresponding percentage reduction in the could be avoided by always drawing a Depth of nut thread (minimum)
gives maximum root widths for a selection thread depth. Modern practice therefore is dimensioned recess, and, if it is optional.
of Acme thread pitches.
= Pitch (mm.) x 0.0213 = 0.0639 inch.
to recommend minimum minor diameters adding a note to that effect. In this way all
NUT THREADS. which offer a reasonable working possibilities would be covered.
clearance between nut thread crests and Internal threads carry the same nominal The ca lculated basic depth of a nut
It appears that in the early days of screw thread roots. In the smaller screws, size designations as the corresponding thread shows the minimum depth which
Whitworth threads it was common screws: the apprentice should therefore will bring the nut thread roots to major
these clearances are also more suited to
practice to size a nut bore (minor direct tapping, there being less tendency remember that the minor diameter (bore screw radius when the depth figure is read
diameter) by deducting twice the screw for taps to clog and break. size) will be unlikely to appear on the from the inner surface of a recommended
depth f rom the nominal or major diameter From the foregoing it will be understood drawing. Unti l one has become minimum nut bore. Slight additional
of the screw with the object of obtaining a that the design dimension of a nut thread accustomed to this it is fairly easy to make depthing is therefore called for to ensure
near 100 percent fit between screw and depth is now less than that for a a mistake by boring the nut blank to major that the nut thread roots will clear the
nut threads: an approach from which con- corresponding screw thread because the screw diameter, with unfortunate results. thread crests of a corresponding fully
siderable trouble must have arisen from basic nut thread depth is taken from the In this respect, too, it would be an advan- sized screw.
interference between nut thread crest tage if draughtsmen always stated the Example 2. What is the minimum minor
surface of the enlarged minor diameter to
the design radius of the corresponding permitted minor diameter and offered diameter of a nut for a Unified thread of 8
screw. limits instead of leaving it to the turner to T.P.I. and 1.0 inch diameter !'
Except with special machines, direct calculate. The draughtsman is in the best Minor dia.
tapping without a previous roughing in the
lathe is seldom possible on work of any
position to know what he wants, and will
have all the necessary references to hand
-= M ajor d' . 1.0825
screw ta. mmus "'T:'PT
significant size. For example, to tap a in a quiet office, whereas the turner will be = 1.0000- 0.1353 i
thread of about 2 inches (50.0 mm.) working in a noisy and comparatively dirty
diameter and 10 T.P.I. (2.5 mm. pitch) in place where he would be glad to keep = 0.864 7 inch.
steel requires about 3-! horse power, reference hunting and calculating to a And (2A) the same nut working by
which at 50 R.P.M . shows a torque of minimum. millimetres:
rough ly 4400 inch- pounds. On the other Simple formulae for calculating screw Minordia ..
hand, such a thread could be cut easily by and nut thread depths, nut minor . screw d'ta. (mm. ) m .tnus T.P.I.
a number of passes with a single-point diameters (bores and tapping sizes) are = M ajar
tool in a small lathe driven by a motor of given in Section 1. Let us now see how = 25.4- 3.4375
only H.P. these thread sizing formulae will serve in
= 21 .9625 mm.
Despite the foregoing circumstances, it practice. We will assume that an ISO
a lso appears that many draughtsmen Metric screw and nut is required, the The metric minor diameter here agrees
Fig. 57. When internally threading a blind bore assume that all internal threads will be screw being of 27.0 mm. d iameter, 3.0 with the inch figure above by p l us
on a lathe without an automatic disengaging directly tapped: a detail to be inferred mm. pitch, to be machined on a lathe with 0.00088 mm. (about 34 millionths of an
device to arrest carriage traverse it is con- inch).
from drawings which often show a nut English feed dials.
venient to set a stop-rod S to give visible It will be interesting to note here that the
indication of the permissible limit of travel. Of thread terminating abruptly at the base of Dia. of bolt in inches = 27.0 x 0.03937
a blind bore. Although a lathe with a dog- = 1.06299 inch (say 1.063 inch, plus 0.) basic thread depth for a Unified SCREW
course the carriage must not be allowed to
clutch leadscrew control will thread to of 8 T.P.I. is 0.0766 inch (1.947 mm.), a
actually contact a rigid stop. (See also Fig. 16
for details of a spring buffer-type 'stop within a very small distance of a base, and Depth of bolt t hread one hundred percent nut thread would
indicator/. it is not necessary to especially form a = Pitch (mm) x 0.0241 = 0.0723 inch. therefore require a bore of 1.0000 inch

146 147

www.EngineeringBooksPdf.com I
minus (2 x 0.0766) = 0.8468 inch nut-crest to screw-thread-root clearance flanks are in full contact, thus preventing a bed so that depthing may be made by
(21.508 mm.). The formula above gives a of 0. 12 mm., (0.0047 inch). tendency to flank wedging, which, advancements of the cross slide
minor diameter of 0.8647 inch which The standard recommended min or because of the sloping flanks in the Acme together with top slide advance-
exceeds the 100 percent thread bore by diameter is 30.67 mm. which would give form. can sometimes give trouble. ments to ease the trailing cut as with
0.0179 inch (0.45466 mm.) Accordingly an annular clearance o f 0.2886 mm .. Method (2).
with a centralised mating screw of basic (0.01136 inch): approximately twice that SQUARE THREAD NUTS. Methods ( 1) and (4) have the objection
size the recommended minimum minor given by the 95 percent calculation. The minor diameter of a square-thread nut that the tool cuts equal amounts from
nut diameter offers an annular clearance As a further example: to what size varies with the pitch, and the major both leading and trailing thread flanks,
of 0.0179/2 = 0 .00895 inch, say 0.009 should a nut blank be bored to give 95 diameter of a nut (depth to which thread although this is not such a serious con-
inch (0.2286 mm.) and nut crest burrs percent for 6 T.P.I., 1.500 inch diameter? is cut) may exceed the major diameter of sideration when cutting non-ferrous
raised during machining would be unlikely the screw by any amount felt reasonable metals.
to interfere seriously with size testing. . (2 x 0.1022 x 95) to allow the screw to revolve without bind Method (3) has the advantage that only
Bore = 1.500 mmus 1 OO and with a lubrication clearance. one slide setting is required in a positive
PERCENTAGE APPROACH . = 1 . 500 - 0.1 942 NUTTHREAD DEPTHING direction for each depthing, and trailing
Although minor diameters for nuts have cutting relief is assured.
= 1.3058 inch. There are five possible arrangements for Methods (2) or (5) offer the greatest
been standardised to a recommended progressively depthing a nut thread and control over depthing and final sizing.
minimum, a closer matching of nut thread ACME NUTS. these are here presented in descending
crests to screw thread roots may be made However, Method (5) cannot be adopted
Minor dia. = Major dia. minus pitch. order of popular usage: if the author's Independently Retractable
by the percentage approach if a more For example: What is the minor diameter
refined fit is felt desirable. The formula ( 1). The tool is mounted for working in Swing Clear Tool Holder is being used
of a nut to suit an Acme screw of 0.87 5 the conventional way with the because the holder requires a downward
giving nut minor diameters in terms of the inch diameter, B.T.P.I.?
percentage of full screw thread engage- cutting edges uppermost, and pressure on the tool. On the other hand,
Minor dia. 0.875 - 0.125 depthing increments are applied by depthing by cross slide retractions with
ment reads:
Minor (bore) dia. successive retractions of the cross independent tool retraction practically
0.650 inch. eliminates all possibility of error because
. . . {2d x% req.) slide, Fig. 57.
- Ma1or screw d1a. mmus The standard recommended major (2). The tool is mounted as in ( 1), but the tool is cleared for non-cutting return
diameter of an Acme nut is, for all sizes, with the top slide set parallel to the passes without loss of the slide dial
where d = the standard basic thread
equal to: lathe bed. Depthing is by successive
depth of the screw, and % req. = per-
Major screw dia. plus 0.020 inch. cross slide retractions, and the
centage of thread engagement required.
However, in the absence of specific trailing cutting side of the tool is
As an example of the use of this formula,
instructions, satisfaction would no doubt made to follow a path parallel to the
let us suppose that we require to thread a
be achieved by depthing the nut thread to trailing thread flank by appropriate
lathe backplate to fit a spindle nose
somewhat less than the additional 0.01 0 top-slide advancements (similar to
having a diameter of 35.0 mm, and a pitch
inch and then widening the thread groove Method 3 for external threads).
of 4.0 mm. (ISO Metric) and that 95%
by degrees until the screw enters with a (3). The tool is inverted so that It cuts at
thread engagement was felt desirable: to
reasonably satisfactory feel. the rear of the nut, and depthing is
what diameter should the backplate be
For some applications a white metal nut made by advancing the top-slide
initially bored?
is cast around the screw: a method which, which is set round to one half the
Bore = 35.0 mm. mmus (2 x 2.4536x 95) of course, is capable of giving an excellent included thread angle, A , Fig. 58 (or
100 all-over fit. to one degree less than one half the
= 35.0 mm. - 4.662 mm. included thread angle).
CENTRALISING ACME (4). The tool is inverted as in (3), but
= 30.338 mm. THREADS. depthing is made by direct advance- Fig. 58. Internal threading with diagonal
The figure 30.338 mm. is larger tlian the Briefly, this thread form is such that screw ments of the cross slide. depthing. The workpiece is rotated in the
bore required for 100 percent thread by and nut thread crests contact screw and (5). The tool is inverted as in (3), but held normal direction, but the tool is inverted and
0.2452 mm., so there will be an annular nut thread roots before the mating thread with the top-slide parallel to the lathe cuts at the rear side of a bore.

148 149

reading. Accordingly, Method (5) could be the dial reading may be noted for the first Fig 59. A rear swing boring too/holder in use
recommended when a rigid toolholding satisfactory depth ing, after which the for removing nut thread crest burrs.
device is being used, and Method (2) has remainder of the components can be Its axis, it is not unusual to fina lly size the
distinct advantages with the Retractable depthed to that reading. A ttempts at thread with a tap after lathe screwcutting
Swing holder because progress testing directly depthing a nut thread by reading to within about 10 percent of full thread.
can be made at any time without a ltering the feed dial are not always satisfactory A tap, of course. sizes the thread at one
the slide settings. (for Methods (2) or (5)) because of uncer- single pass and thus saves a considerable
When directly depthing by Methods ( 1 ), tainties introduced by tool- spring and per- amount of time otherwise needed to
(3) or (4), care must be taken to see that m itted variations in minor (bore) achieve a satisfactory fit by successive
the tool tip radius is either correct or does diameters, and if for any reason it is found passes with a single-point tool.
not exceed the root dimension for the necessary to change a tool when a thread Specia l taps fo r internal thread
pitch being cut, otherwise when the nut has been partly depthed, then subsequent finishing are sometimes made in the
thread has been depthed to a sufficient attempts at depthing from the feed dial toolroom to avoid lengthy delivery times.
degree to admit the major screw are little better than guesswork. If a nut In these instances it is common procedure
diameter, the body of the thread will be thread is inadvertently underdepthed, then to thread the tap as a copy of the
undersized. On the other hand there of course no amount of subsequent flank corresponding lathe-cut screw, ensuring
seems to be no objection to using a too l shaving by top- slide adjustments will only that all basic maximum dimensions
with a minimum tip radius consistent w ith permit entry of the screw or gauge. are fractionally larger than the correspon-
its not breaking down, and to continue It is generally preferable to use a plug ding screw dimensions. For example t he
depthing increments until the major and gauge to size nut blank bores if only for major diameter and pitch diameter (see
pitch diameters of the nut are of a size to the reason that subsequent tests with the Section 9) of a tap thread may be
permit comfortable entry of the screw. gauge will leave no doubt as to whether o r machined to plus one or two thousandths
With Methods (2) and (5), and using a not thread crest burrs are interfering with of an inch (plus 0 .25 mm. to plus 0.05
minimum tip radius tool, a rath er more entry of a screw gauge. mm.) with the thread depthed from the
carefu l approach to depthing is called for Crest burrs can be removed with a surface of the enlarged diameter.
and it is as well to pre-machine a very hand scraper, although if an arrangement When the call for tap making is infre-
short bore having a d iameter fractionally similar to that shown in the photograph, quent, and regular tap-fl uting milling- OBSERVATIONS
larger than the major screw diameter: Fig. 59, can be adopted, then the original cutters are not available, quite good
depthing is then continued until the tool boring tool can be swung back into results can be obtained with a plain Thread Crest Radii
commences to scratch the surface. Then, position and used whilst the threading milling cutter which will flute a tap in the The writer's own views on the matter of
with this assurance that the major nut tool is temporarily swung clear. And, of way shown in Fig. 60. After hardening, the crest radii for the Whitworth form thread
d i ameter is satisfactory, the p itch course, both holders can be swung clear exposed thread profiles can be d ressed are that far too much emphasis is placed
d iameter of the nut may be attended to by to permit entry of a gauge: a useful and sharpened on the side of a grinding upon this feature: far more so, inci-
flank shaving with top slide adjustments feature, especially if the testing screw is wheel. The writer has a lso fluted taps with dentally, by amateurs than by general
in the same way as for external threading integral with a long shaft. a suitably end- radiused f ly-cutter. engineers. Personally, if a drawing calls
with a parallel top slide. On completion of A stiff toothbrush is usefu l for the
the thread, the w itness bore may be removal of debris prior to testing.
chamfered away. This approa ch is par-
ticu larly satisfactory for square and Acme TAP FINISHING
threaded nuts, and for Vee threads in the When a fairly large number of compo-
coarser pitches. nents are to be internally threaded, and
Admitted there are objections to pre- the design of the component is such that
machining a witness bore to indicate is could not be gripped with sufficient
Fig. 60. A tap for
thread depth, because it calls for an security for direct threading with a tap,
finish sizing lathe
additional operation. On the other hand, if and where it is important that the thread screwcut internal
a number of parts are to be threaded, then should be symmetrically disposed about threads.

150 151

thread crest radii with a multiple-tooth to make it slack. Again, if a thread of any
X chaser after sizing with a single-point significant length is finished with a button
threading tool lies in the virtual die there is a risk that the die will zig-zag
impossibility of so fixing the chaser in the Its way along. cutting more deeply first at
lathe toolpost that it will be in exactly the one side, then at the other, and the
correct position under operating condi- anticipated perfection will not be
tions when gearing backlash and cutting achieved.
Fig. 61. Illustrating the practical implications stresses have been taken up. Also any In general therefore, it is wise to quote
of omitting the crest radius of a thread. thread to be so treated must either be free only for what can be done efficiently as
For a Vee thread of 10 tpi, dimension X is of shoulders, or must have a runou t distinct from hopefully.
about 0.002 inch. For 2.5 mm. pitch, X = groove of sufficient width to allow the Admitted with sufficient runout
about 0.05 mm. Please also see text. whole length of the chaser to traverse clearance, soft metals such as brass can
for a thread of Whitworth form. and it is to fully clear of the thread. be lathe screwcut throughout with a Fig. 62. Form of screw thread root and crest
be lathe screwcut, I always put the Some text books advocate thread chaser held in the toolpost. For this obtained from screwcutting by method 3.
question: 'Will flat crests be accepted?' An finishing by use of a hand-held chaser and approach, a chaser is sometimes We should note, however, that when a
answer in the negative has yet to be simple tool-rest: a method whereby the borrowed from a die-head. However, the stud or bolt is highly stressed as in certain
given. but at any suggestion that this chaser teeth automatically fall into the ISO metric and American Unified threads parts of aircraft and transport vehicles, the
feature was of importance, a request correct position on a nearly finished were designed with the limitations of advisability of having thread root profiles
would be made to be excused from thread, although personally the writer lathe screwcutting taken into account, free from abrupt changes of contour
quoting for that particular job. There are would class the use of chasers as and crest radii on these forms is optional. should not be disregarded: sharp thread
many establishments where the produc- 'messing about'. Moreover such fiddling Indeed, so also is a root radius optional, root corners can promote stress cracks
tion of accurate thread forms is a could add greatly to the cost of threading, but if this Is entirely omitted it calls for a that spread and lead to failure. For this
speciality, so why not let one of those even assuming hand chasers are available cutting tool with sharp corners, prone to reason the writer avoids making screws or
firms do the work 7 today: and what of the corresponding nut breakdown. However, when we use a tool other parts of transport vehicles wherein
First impressions are that omission of thread, is one to fiddle with that too? with a minimum tip radius, and depth with failure of a component could lead to
the radius would result in loss of meta l There is the odd occasion w.hen one the cross-slide and bring the pitch accident and costly legal action.
down to line C, as shown in Fig. 61 at A. might allow oneself to be persuaded to try diameter to the desired value by top-slide
whereas in fact omission of the radius to put in crest radii against one's better advancements (top-slide parallel to TAPERED THREADS.
merely leaves the additional blackened- in judgement, and on the basis of a kind of bedways) we produce a very short flat When cu tting tapered screw threads,
metal shown at 8, where dimension X, for loose assertion that although crest radii root with a minute radius at each corner the cutting sides of the tool should be
a thread of 10 tpi for example, equals only are desirable, they are not really impor- as shown in the diagram Fig.62. symmetrically disposed about a right-
about 0.002 inch, or approximately Pitch tant. In business such an approach could angle relative to the axis of the screw, and
X 0.02 - which some turners like to try to prove costly. One might fiddle about and Fig. 63. Illustrating a
method for cutting
remove with a strip of carborundum cloth produce two or three threads that satisfy a short and unimpor-
or a fine square section file when a thread customer - who may then order a batch of tant taper threads
is not too coarse. However, a screw will 100 off; whereupon one is committed to when a taper turning
be unlikely to be (indeed need not be) of seemingly endless fiddling with no attachment is not
full basic major design diameter, and with guarantee that all will be accepted, or available.
each 0.001 in. reduction of radius o f a indeed that in the finishing operations one The tool is set with
screw, the effect of crest radius omission will not be obliged to reject some of one's angle A = 90 deg.
becomes less pronounced. Also there own work. During each cutting
appears to be no standa rd specifying that pass in the direction
Sometimes a nearly completed lathe
C the depth of cut is
crest radii should follow a thread form screwcut thread is finished with a button maintained by in-
down to its lowest permissible major die. The disadvantage here is that a die feeding with the
diameter limits. can remove more metal when backing off, cross-slide in direc-
The objection to attempting to produce sometimes even after opening out the die tion F.

152 153

not at right-angles to the surface of the high speed threading up to a shoulder is Fig. 64. The HLV-H
cone upon which the threads are to be impossible. Super Precision high-
cut. When an accurate taper is requi red it The rotational speed at which brass can speed Toolroom
is necessary to use a taper turning attach- be turned is notoriously high. A special Lathe. This lathe
ment and for vee form threads to depth machine such as the Hardinge Hob and screwcuts with
instant repeat pick-up
with the top-slide set round to half the Drag, for example, will thread 20 tpi in a for ALL threads
thread angle because, of course, the cross t
blind bore of 1 in. diameter at 3000 rpm together with
slide cannot be moved independently of with a single-point tool. The sample automatic thread
the taper motion. witnessed had about seven turns of runout stop. The top-
For cutting short experimental or thread, so the time for each cutting pass slide is itself indepen-
unimportant tapered threads it is some- was about fourteen hundredths of a dently retractable for
times possible to adopt the approach second, and the thread was fully formed in screwcutting.
similar to that shown in Fig.63, when t he about 7 passes of the tool. Photo by courtesy
thread is right- handed. Arrangements are The Hardinge HLV-H High- Precision Harding e Machine
Tools Limited,
made to cut the thread in such a way that Lathe illustrated in Fig. 64 is provided Feltham, Middlesex.
the largest diameter is at the right , then with auto-runout stop and a reversibl e
during the cutting pass in the direction C dog-clutch giving repeat pickup for all
the cross slide feed is hand advanced in thread pitches and will thread brass at up
direction F at the appropriate rate to to 1000 rpm. The H ardinge lathe will also
maintain the depth of cut. By operating in machine the ha rdest sta inless steels w ith
this way, wit h the diameter reducing artistic ease. and to a micro-finish which
during t raverse, the tendency is for the freq uently eliminates call for finish
depth of cut to ease rather than to grinding to size. Moreover, the same hard
increase, and after a few passes the steels can be threaded at much higher
correct rate at which to turn the cross feed speeds and reduced overall times inch length of 26 tpi on 1 in. dia. brass at run of centre lathes). If more than one
handle is readily found. compared with the general run of lathes: 500 rpm. giving cutting passes each of workpiece is to be threaded, then speeds
an inch length of 7/ 8 in. diameter X 18 tpi about three seconds duration. the controls can be increased somewhat as experience
SCREWCUTTI NG SPEEDS can be threaded in about one minute at offered by the average centre lathe simply is gained.
The rotational speed at which screwcut- 350 rpm with a carbide tool. The writer will not allow these speeds. and broadly
ting can be carried out depends to a much attempted to thread a sample of this same speaking, brass threading usually has to LUBRICATION
greater extent than ordinary turning upon hard stainless in his own lathe, but found be carried out at speeds suitable for Although for the initial stages of threading
the material being threaded, the rigidity of no way in which this could be done : steels. steels the usual soluble-oil-and-water
the lathe and the means provided for indeed it was hardly possible to scratch Free-cutting steel, as its name implies. serves well enough, you may notice that
stopping at the termination of the thread- the material. It knocked the tip straight is easily cu t, and will turn and thread to a when the tool has lost its initial razor
ing passes. In addition there is the off a carbide tool. and quickly blunted an good finish at much higher speeds than keenness. a depthing increment of 0.0005
question of the feasibility of engaging the HSS tool. The secret of the Hardinge lies will ordinary ·good commercial quality' inch ('half a 'thou!) (0.0127 mm.) will fail
half-nuts on to a fast-revolving leadscrew in its vastly greater rigidity which forces a mild steel. to remove any metal at all: that this is
at the correct moment shown by reading a tool to 'hold to a cut', whereas with a As a very rough guide, when threading possibly due to the interposition of a
leadscrew indicator when this has to be more lightly constructed lathe a tool is ordinary mild steel, initially form the water surface skin seems to be indicated
used. There is little point in taking high fairly easily 'pushed away' from very hard threads at a speed of about one quarter of by the fact that if the work is brushed
speed t hreading passes if the machine has st eels. those used to turn the diameter, then clean and treated w ith neat cutting oil,
to be stopped or slow ed to re-engage the Although the Myford lathe illustrated in reduce to about one sixth for finishing cuts then half 't hou. depthing increments w ill
half-nuts. Again, threading speeds are Fig. 10. (Section 3) after modification w ith - assum i ng high speed steel tools are again take effect. For the most blemish-
limited by circumstances rather than by the special screwcutting dog- cl utch being used as distinct from carbide. free results when threading commercial
the tool or the material being threaded. control , auto-runout stop and independent (Carbide does not automatically give the mild steel. tool steels and alloy steels it is
With lathes of the more customary type, tool retraction, will, for example, thread an best results for threading in the general therefore advisable to take light finishing

154 155

passes with neat soluble o il at rotational 'ride up' the tool and to tear rather half-nuts, and as was afterwards strange in view of the great amount of
speeds that cou ld well be classed as than cut the flanks. found, would sometimes adopt a expensive cosmetics and refinements
"painful ly slow", even though the initial (2). The tool may be above centre and planetary motion within the half- nuts, I avished upon other details of lathe con-
thread fo rming can be carried out at rather therefore unable to take a light cut. rising into full engagement w ith the struction. There is however a hint that the
more satisfying speeds. Then, when under the mistaken upper half- nut, then wedging therein Acme- form leadscrew will be replaced by
A disadvantage of using neat cutting oil impression that the cut was of and rolling round into full engagement a similar thread with a flank slope of 5
for thread finishing is that it clings to the insufficient depth, a greater depthing with the lower half-nut, and again deg., i.e. a 1 0 deg. included- angle thread-
work and fills the thread grooves, at the is tried, the workpiece springs wedging and rolling, with disastrous form which has properties more nearly
same time retaining minute swarf par- upwards and the tool then cuts too effect upon the thread being cut. approaching those of the square form.
ticles. all of which have to cleaned away deeply. The Acme thread has flanks sloping at an
every time it is necessary to take a wire (3). The workpiece may slip in the chuck angle of 14t deg. and deflection of an POOR FINISH
sizing measurement. On the other hand, or driving carrier. thus great ly Acme leadscrew therefore advances or General note: when threading steels,
although a tool will generally cut after increasing the amount of metal retards a lathe carriage by tan. 14t deg.: thread crest burrs, until c leaned off. can
very small depthing increments in mild removed by the leading cutting edge 0.25862, i.e. f thou. in. for each thou. in. often give the whole a very ragged and
steel when the component is 'dry', the of the tool. of leadscrew deflection, and this dull appearance. Otherwise, poor finish
surface finish of the flanks will more likely (4) .The half-nuts may be partially movement was being superimposed upon may result from any of the following:
be matt than bright. disengaging under the stress from the norm~! leadscrew lead and ren·dering ._j1) The tool may be below centre, and
traverse loading. With the more screwcuttmg totally unreliable. therefore cutting badly.
customary Acme form of leadscrew To check ha lf - nuts for ali gnment, (2) A minute piece may have broken
SCREWCUTTING with its sloping thread flanks. a remove the half - nuts. and leadscrew. away from the apex of the threading
partial disengagement ot the half- Engage the half-nuts w1th the leadscrew, tool. Examine the tip with a watch-
TROUBLES. and use a straigl:it- edge to check for align- makers' glass.
nuts will introduce a lag in tool
' Digging-In' traverse. and sometimes a cutting ment of the .half- nu·t· slideways. If (3) If the leading flanks are bright and the
A trouble sometimes experienced during action will cease. Then, on recom- necessary, re-align by f11ing the ways, or trailing flanks are dull (as viewed in
lathe screwcutting is a sudden 'digging-in' mencing with an increased depth of shears as they are sometimes called. oblique light) a possible cause is that
of the tool. This may produce a single cut, and under the mistaken impres- It i~ worth noting that none of the the trailing side of the threading tool
'nick', or the tool may remain in i ts sion that the p revious depthing was forego mg bother could have occurred had has had insufficient metal to remove:
unfavourable position and tear or 'rip' insufficient, a cut much in excess of th.e leads.crew been of square-thread form probably from a too pedantic fo llow-
along the whole of a nearly finished the anticipated amount may be With wh1ch the nuts would either have ing of top-slide advancements for
thread: a circumstance that can be unfor- taken, again resulting in flank tearing. e~g~g.ed, or if out of alignment by any each cross slide depthing increment
tunate if insufficient metal is left to clean (5) .The cutting speed may be too high. s1gmhcant amount, would not have (top- slide set parallel to bedways). Or
up the resulting ragged helix. We may (6) The half- nuts may be out of align- entered the leadscrew threads at all, and if working with the top- slide set at
note however that digging-in is less likely ment. The writer once encountered a of course, with thread fla~ks at right- half the thread angle, the trailing
when cutting interna l threads, because lathe with non-matching half-nuts: a angles to the leadscrew ax1s, leadscrew cutting side of the threading tool may
the natural spring or 'give' in the tool- particularly d ifficult fault to t race defl~ct ion ~~uld have no effect upon not have been ground or set to the
shank will not allow the cutting end when one does not normally b lame carnage pos1t1on. precise angle needed to take advan-
to'hold' to an adverse or extra heavy cut. tools for poor work. In this instance . As a matter of fact, having experienced tage of the oblique setting method.
Digging-in can arise from a number of the leadscrew was of the Acme form, th1s profound inconvenience from the (4). It is possible to rough a thread too
circumstances, although it is more likely and as attempts at full engagement of Acme form leadscrew and half- nuts, I slowly. When a workpiece is rotated
to occur when threading steels. Here are the half- nuts resulted i n severe replaced my leadscrews with threads of too slowly, the cutting action appears
six possible causes: seizure of the leadscrew, a stop was square form. to be somewhat less smooth or
( 1 ). The tool may be trying to remove too fitted to limit the depth of engage- M a.nufacturers a re aware of the uniform than at the 'higher' speeds,
much metal simultaneously from ment and to thus reduce the friction. undesirable element present in the Acme especially when roughing cuts are
both leading and trailing thread However, with the limiting stop pre- form leadscrew. but nevertheless prefer placing any significant loading on a
flanks, thus introducing a wedging venting full nut engagement, the lead- the Acme form as being cheaper and tool. At the moment a tool com-
action causing the workpiece to try to screw was free to deflect within the easier to produce, which seems rather m ences to cut, gear backlash and

156 157

general stresses are taken up, then , in pushing, and not p u llin g the
a lmost at the same instant, t he actua l carri age alo ng the lathe bed, and if SECTION 9
cut sl ight ly relieves the i nitial stress, the leadscrew is not of substantial
and there is a mo mentary lag, on ly t o diameter there may be a t endency for
be at once taken up again, with the it to whip o r buckle under stress of
result that the thread is formed by a
k ind of repeated snipping actio n
carri age traverse agai n st the
resistance of t hreading passes. To Practical Thread Sizing
instead of by a continuous cut. This counter t h is undesirable desi gn
can leave t hread fla nks t oo rough or
chatter marked for subsequent light
element the writ er modified his lead-
screw thrust by fitting a special collar Measurement
fi nish ing cuts to take effect w ithout at t he left -hand end. Th us, when
undersizing. c utti ng right hand threads t he lead-
(5). Some lathes are so designed that screws operat e in tension and, of
when cutti ng right- hand threads the course, when cutting L. H. t hreads the
leadscrew is under compressio n. That leadscrews are. also in t ension, w ith When cutting a screw th read we have to gauge, and ap art from the use of special
is to say that leadscrew thrust is the original ri ght hand collar abutting check from time t o time that it is 'screw-thread m icrometers· there is no
being absorbed or resisted by t he the out er end of the R. H. leadscrew approaching the correct proportions, or, at other way of checking before removal
right- hand leadsc rew bracket or bearer. worst , is n ot oversize. As al ready from a lat he.
bearer so that i n effect the leadscrew mentioned, unless a screw is for one's
ow n use and has to f it a specific nut, then THE WIRING FORMULAS
gauging with a sta ndard soft commercial Although a profusion of decimal places
nut, or with a nut 'carefully tapped with a can make the necessary formulas appear
ground-thread tap' cannot be relied upon. rather f ormidable, in practice they are
In the event of dispute, one must be able qu ite simple, and contrary to an impres-
to demonstrate that the thread size was sion sometimes given by reference books
checked by recogn ised methods that can t hat 'wiring' is on ly applicable to the
be repeated elsewhere without reference checking of precision h arden ed and
to 'a nut'. It is for these reaso ns that, with g ro und-t hrea d ga uges with t he aid of
the whole of t he precedi ng eight Sections specia l 'rigs' and wires sized to very close
on lathe screwcutt ing, th is, Section 9, is lim its. the method is readily adaptable to
the one to w hich the writer has to the shop floor, and special wires are not
repeat edly ref er - simply beca use the necessary for run- of-the-m ill checking.
formu las are not easy to commit to However, before we can have a
memory. complete u nderstanding of wire-gauge, it
Somet imes, f o r sub-contract work, a will be an advantage to have some
hardened and ground-thread gauge will knowledge of the theory upon which
be supplied, but when only one or a few thread f orms are based, together with the
'special' screws are required, such as for m eaning of the vario us terms associated
example, a 3 i n. dia. X 16 tpi, or 75.0 m m. w ith t hreads, and these details are now
dia. X 1.5 mm. pitch, and w ell out side offered.
what we may term 'everyday sizes', then it
wou ld be unreasonable to expect to be DEFINITIONS O F SCREW
supplied with a st anda rd gauge wh ich THREAD TERMS.
could cost £100 or so. According ly, any The chief terms used in discussing t he
such special t hreads have to be checked features of a screw thread are illustrated
by 'w iring': indeed, wit hout a special in Fig. 65 and a re more fully defined by

158 1 59

Fig. 66. Section of Fig. 66. Showing
screw thread how the pitch line P /\
showing the chief fells at half basic I \

terms used when triangle height H, but

discussing the not necessarily at half
various features. A = thread depth D. In a
the thread engle, perfect thread. space
sometimes known as A exactly equals
the 'included engle'. dimension 8 on the B
I \ \
pitch line. I \ I \
I \ I \
.,; \

design forms of both the external and symmetrical thread form) space A will
internal threads are based. exactly equal the thickness B of the body
PITCH : The distance from a point on a of the thread. In a symmetrica l thread
screw thread to a corresponding point on form such as the Whitworth, the pitch line
the next thread measured parallel to the will fall at exactly one half thread depth,
axis. but with a non- symmetrical thread such
--J. PITCH 1- LEAD : The d istance a screw thread as the ISO Metric and American Unified
advances axially in one turn. On a single- which have a root w idth greater than crest
the followi ng 15 definitions extracted point where the widths of the thread and thread screw the lead and p i tch are width, although the pitch line falls at half
from 'Machinery's Handbook' 1 Bth groove are equal. identical; on a double- thread screw, the fundamental triangle height. it will not fall
Edition by permission of the Editor: On a taper thread, the pitch diameter at lead is twice the pitch; on a triple- thread at half screw thread depth. It follows,
MAJOR DIAMETER : The largest a given position on the thread axis i~ .the screw, the lead is three times the pitch, therefore, that although a screw thread
diameter of a straight screw thread. The diameter of the pitch cone at that pos1t1on. etc. may have been machined to the correct
term major diameter applies to both NOMINAL S IZE: The nominal size is the ANGLE OF THRE AD : the angle included major diameter and thread depth, it will
internal and external threads and replaces designation which is used for the purpose between the sides of the thread measured not necessarily be correctly proportioned.
the term "outside diameter" as applied to the of general identification. For example, the in an axial plane. This is illustrated by the three diagrams,
thread of a screw and also the term "full nominal size of tinch - 20 thread is tinch, LEAD A NGLE : The lead angle of a Fig. 53. Section 8, where all three threads
diameter" as applied to the thread of a but its actual size (major diameter) for straight thread is the angle made by the are drawn with the same major diameters
nut. Class 2A limits of size range from 0.4987 helix of the thread at the pitch diameter D , and minor diameters, d, but at A the
MI NO R DI AME TER : The smallest to 0.4906 inch. with a plane perpendicular to the axis. tool had a sharp point and at B a blunt
diameter of a straight screw thread. The ACTUAL S IZE : An actual size is a C REST: The top surface joining adjacent point, whilst at C, we may assume that
term minor diameter applies to both measured size. sides or flanks of a thread. the tool had a minimum honed tip radius
internal and external threads and replaces BAS I C SIZE : The basic size is the ROOT : The bottom surface joining and that after depthing to the prescribed
the terms "core diameter" and "root theoretical size from which the size limits adjacent sides or flanks of a thread. amount, the leading and trailing flanks
diameter" as applied to the thread of a are derived by the application of the FLANK : The flank (or side) of a thread is were shaved by the appropriate top- slide
screw and also the term "inside diameter" allowance and tolerance. the surface connecting crests and roots. adjustments, as described in Section B,
as applied to the thread of a nut. D ESIGN S IZE: The design size is that until the thickness of the body o f the
size from which the limits of size are CONSTRUCTION OF THREAD
PITC H DIAMETER : (Simple Effective thread did not exceed, or was exactly
Diameter) On a straight thread, the pitch derived by the application of tolerances. A Vee form screw thread is constructed equal to the width of the Vee space·
diameter is the diameter of an imaginary When there is no allowance the design nbout a fundamental triangle (Fig. 66) the measured on the pitch li ne.
co-axia l cylinder, the surface of which size is the same as the basic size. height H of which varies with the angle of
BASI C FORM O F THREAD : The basic the thread. In any screw thread, the pitch PRINCIPLE OF WIRING
would pass through the thread profiles at
such points as to make the width of the form of thread is the theoretical profile of line P always falls at exactly one half the That the thickness of the body o f the
groove equal to one half of the basic pitch. a thread for a length of one pitch in the height of the fundamental triangle, and at thread does not exceed the width of the
On a perfect thread this occurs at the axial plane. It is the form on which the that height, with a perfect thread (i.e. a space as measured on the pitch line may


be gauged by ascertaining the degree to when applied in the Inspection Depart- is advisable, even for lathe work, because calculated from the formulas given and
which a rod or wire of suitable diameter ment. Fig. 68 illustrates the principle. "wire" diameter errors become magnified equally well applicable to ISO Metric,
will sink into a thread groove, for which Wires W of appropriate diameter are in the formulas. Measurement to a tenth American Unified, and Acme threads.
purposes measurements may be made in positioned in the thread grooves. one at thou. inch or to 0.002 mm. should, Examples of 3-wire checking will lead
the manner shown in the photograph, Fig. one side and two at the opposite side for however, give every satisfaction. to an understanding of the simplified
67. When the micrometer reading agrees symmetrica l abutment to the anvil of a single-wire method and the associated
with or does not exceed the calcu lated micrometer, the spindle of which takes a formulas for the latter. Let us therefore
figure and the thread is not drunken, and reading from the single wire, so that the WIRE DIAMETER AND find what value the M reading should
the thread angle and pitch are f ree from value of dimension M can be ascertained. THREAD DEPTH. have over three wires when a 30.0 mm.
errors, then the basic maximum pitch When a measured d imension M agrees dia. X 2.5 mm . pitch ISO Metric thread is
The ideal or "best" diameter for any wire
diameter and satisfactory thread with a calculated figure, a thread will be correctly proportioned.
is that which will contact the thread flanks
proportioning may be assumed. correctly proportioned with a maximum The 3-wire formula used for 60 deg.
at the point of intersection of the pitch
pitch diameter. If the actual value of the Vee threads reads:
line, but in practice there is considerable
THREE-WIRE METHOD. pitch diameter is required it can be
latitude. For example. for checking
M = D-(1.5155 X P) plus (3 x W)
Measuring the increment brought about by calculated, although for thread proportion-
Whitworth threads the smallest where D = major screw diameter
one wire positioned in a thread groove is a ing purposes it is not necessary to know
satisfactory wire = 0.54 X pitch (or 0.54/ '\:...... · (design size)
modifiqation of what is known as 'The the value. T.P.I.) and the largest diameter = 0.76 X P = pitch of thread.
Three-Wire Method for Effective or Pitch In an Inspection Department, the pitch (or 0.76/LP.I). In this respect it is W = diameter of wires.
Diameter Measurement," a method special steel wires used are ca librated to worth noting that the depth of a standard As previously mentioned, wire diameters
capable of giving very accurate results size within one hundred thousandth of an Whitworth screw thread is 0.64/tpi and can approximately equal thread depth.
inch (254 milliont hs of a mm.) and with that 0.64 falls so comfortably between The depth of thread for 2.5 mm. pitch ISO
these wires held in a special rig, pitch 0.54 and 0.76 as to permit of suitable Metric = 2.5 X 0.6134 = 1.5335 mm.
diameter checking can be made to an wire diameters being taken as Accordingly we may select three 1.5 m ..
accuracy of a tenth of a thousandth of an approximately equal to the depth of the twist drills and assume for our purposes
inch (0.00254 mm.). However, it is hardly thread: figures easily remembered or here that the measured shank diameters
necessary to aim at such a high degree of
accuracy when c hecking work in the lathe
because the lightest cut a lathe is capable
of taking from a thread flank will probably
not be less than half a thou. inch (0.012 7
mm.) In other words, if an attempt is
made to remove less, a tool will often cut
rather more than that amount or will
remove nothing at all. Accordingly and
Fig. 68. Principle of
with but slight accuracy loss we may use the three-wire pitch
twist drill shanks or domestic sewing diameter checking
needles instead of the more accurate steel method. Note: D M
wires, although a careful measuring of the Measurement M over
actual diameters of drill shanks or needles wires W ignores both

major diameter D and
minor diameter C.
Fig. 67. Checking a thread for sizing by ascer- Neverth eless, this
~,!)..., . taining to what degree a wire - twist drill wire checking would
t-!~~IA shank or needle - sinks into a thread groove. easily reveal the
!~%1 When an actual reading agrees with a faults in a screw at A
calculated reading, the thread will be correctly or 8 Fig. 53 (Section
proportioned. 8).

162 163

have a value of 1.492 mm. , each being t hread spaces and body thickness at t h e following formula with built- in conver-
0.008 mm. under nominal size. pitch line will be equal.
sions may be used with M, D and W in
Substit ut ing the known figures we millimetres: CHECKING
have: THREE WIRE FORMULA 40.66) From a practical point of view we may
Example {1)
FOR 55 deg. SCREWS. M = D- ( T.P.I. plus (3.1657 x W) note that in t aking an M reading over
M = 30 - ( 1.51 55 X 2.5) plus (3 X 1 .492) So t hat we may compare the metric M three wires, the measured or actua l major
The 55 deg. t hread· ang le of the
figure with the inch M figure in Example diameter of t he screw is ignored, and t he
M = 30-3 .78875 plus 4.476 Whitwort h form requires the use of diffe-
(3) let us calculate the M reading for a readings are not therefore affect ed by
rent figures in the formula because the
M = 26.21125 plus 4.476 more acute thread angle w ill not allow a thread of 10 T.P.I. on a diameter of 50.8 t hread crest burrs raised during machin-
mm. using for W the same No. 52 drills ing. However, taking three w i re measure-
M = 30.68725 mm. wire to enter quite so deeply as it wou ld in ments in a lathe can be awkward,
An ordi nary vernier reading metric t he corresponding 60 deg. thread Vee. with measured shank diameters converted
into m illimetres. W will therefo re equal although it is worth noting that in certain
micrometer will show only three decima l The three-wire formula for 55 deg.
0.0632 x 25.4 = 1.60528 mm., and sub- instances it is sometimes possible to use a
p laces, accordingly we may take M as t hreads sized by inch measure reads:
st ituting the known figures, we have : vice to grip three needles temporarily in
30.687 mm. M = 0 - (1 .6008 X P) plus (3.1657 X W) position on a finished or nearly finished
Let us now suppose that we have to
but to avoid the inconvenience of having M = 50.8 - ( 40.660)
- -- plus thread, and then to force the sharp need le
gauge the same metric thread entirely by 10 ends into a piece of cork, for example,
inch measure. The major screw diameter to calculate or look up the pitch figure (3.1657 X 1.60528)
thus facilitating repeated use.
when threads are given in terms of
w ill equal 30X 0.03937 = 1 .1811 inch,
threads per inch, we may use 1.6008/
M = 50.8 - 4.066 plus 5.081834896 Occasionally wires or similar can be held
and with M, D and Win inches the 3 -wire in position with thick grease. When three
formula (with conversions written in T.P.I. in place of 1.6008 x P and the M = 51.816mm.
wires are to be used, all should be of
where necessary) reads: formula will read: Converting to inches for comparison with ident ical diameter t o very close limits. as
M = D- (0.0596 X P(mm)) plus {3 x W) M = D- (
;.~~~) plus (3.1657 x W) the M reading in Example (3) we have
51 .816 x 0 .03937 = 2.03999592 inch, a
measured with a good micrometer.
However, if we examine the question in
Again selecting the diameter of the Let us now calculate the M readin g discrepancy of plus 3.68 m illionths of an a different way, we can devise a more
wires W as being approximately equal to over the t hree wires for a 10 T.P.I. thread inch, or 93.472 millionths of a millimetre. straightforward approach to thread
thread depth, we may not e that the depth with a major diameter of 2 inches. Taking
of an ISO Metric screw thread in inches = Was equal to thread depth: 0.64/T.P.I., W
P (mm) x 0.0241, so the depth of the 2.5 may equal 0.064 inch, say No. 52 drill N
mm. pitch thread = 0.06025 inch, say No.
with a nominal diameter 0.0635 inch, and
53 drills with a nomina l shank diameter of
let the measured shank diameters equal
0.0595 inch. Assuming the shanks are 0.0632 inch. Substituting the known
undersized by 0.0003 inch, we will use a figures we have:
figure of 0.0592 inch for the value of W.
Substituting the known figures w e have: Example (3)
M = 2.0 - 0 . 16008 plus 0.20007224
Example (2) Fig. 69. Illustrating
M = 1. 1811 - (0.0596 x 2.5) plus M = 2.03999224, say the principle of a
(3 X 0.0592) 'one-wire' method for D D+N
M = 2 .0400 inch. checking that a
M = 1.1811 - 0.1490 plus 0 . 1776 thread is correctly
M = 1.0321 plus 0.1776 WHITWORTH BY METRIC This method is par-
M = 1.2097 inch. MEASURE. ticularly suitable for
Accordingly we may assume that when When a Whitworth thread is given in checking a thread
during lathe
the actual reading over the drills is equal terms of tpi and it is required to machine screwcutting. Please
to or does not exceed 1.2097 inch, the and gauge by millimetre measure, the also see text.

164 165

proportion checking by using only one wire method, it is also advisable to wire- reading over three wires as a final check does not give the actual or directly
wire, drill-shank, o r needle. brush the thread grooves. after a series of more readily made single measured value: to find this from the wire
Referring to Fig. 69, if we can calculate On Example (5), had the 2.5 mm. p itch wire measurements when a screw is method we need an actual M reading over
the magnitude of N, the amount by which been cut on a major diameter of 30.0 mm., approaching completion. the three wires, and another formula.
one wire of known size will protrude measurement D plus N would read Although the allowances on wire The effective diameter can be
above the crests of a perfect screw thread 30.344 mm .. when the body of the thread diameters are high enough to permit of measured directly only with special
when the major diameter D equals t he had been machined to the correct propor- any one size being used for more than one micrometers having conical ended
design diameter, we would need only one tions. Had the measured major diameter thread pitch, in the workshop we are really spindles and Vee shaped anvils. A con-
calculation for each pitch, regardless of been machined undersize by, say, 0.05 only concerned with one pitch at a time: it siderable number of micrometers is
the design diameter upon which that pitch mm. (approx. 0.002 inch) through normal therefore seems a more straightforward required to cover a range of screws, and
is cut: at least for the general run of allowances, then, when the thread is approach to adhere to the fact that wire the number is still further increased by the
engineering requirements. properly proportioned the micrometer diameter may approximately equal the necessity for having whole sets to suit
The formula for ascertaining the value would read half that amount (0.025 mm.) depth of the thread to be checked, and to various thread angles, therefore screw
of the increment N by millimetres for a 60 less than the calculated N reading: choose a wire, drill shank or needle for thread micrometers are not likely to be
deg. metric screw thread with N , P and W each pitch, at least in the early stages. found in any but the most lavishly
in millimetres reads: (D plus N)- (
2d) Once a chosen wire has been measured equipped workshops. On the other hand,
_ (3 X W l=._(1.5155 x P) as nearly as possible to a tenth of a thou- for lathe screwcutti ng it is not often that a
N- where 0 = the design diameter, and d the inch, or to 0.002 mm. and the N calcula- knowledge of the actual pitch diameter is
2 measured diameter, accordingly:
Taking our previous Example (1) we
may now rephrase and simplify the
30.344 - eo.o- 229.95)
tion made for the pitch to be cut, the wire
may be slipped into a card folder together
with a note of the pitch, or threads/inch
of an.y help: pitch diameter w ill be at a
maximum value when the measured M or
N reading agrees with a ca lcu lated
question: "Find the value of N for an ISO and the N reading, ready for repeated use, reading, and if it is necessary to increase
Metric screw thread of 2.5 mm. pitch": 30.344- ·~ 5 for example. the pitch diameter, as perhaps for a tap.
(Let W = 1.492 mm., as in Example ( 1)) this can be done by machining until the
( 1) No. 54 drill shank - measured dia.
Substituting the known figures we have: 30.344 - 0.025 measu red M rea ding is the desired
0.0547 inch.
Example (5) amount larger than the calcul ated
= 30.319 mm. to show satisfactory 12 T.P.I. 55 deg. Vee thread N = 0.0199 in. amount. In this respect it should be noted
_ (3 X 1.492) - (3. 7887 5) proportioning.
N - 2 12 T.P.I. 60 deg. Unified N 0.0189 in. that if N readings are being taken over
The practical operator will, of course, only one wire, they are radius readings:
N _ 4.476 - 3.78875 interpret the foregoing major diameter (2) Needle. Measured dia. 0.0183 inch. 0.0005 inch (0.0127 mm.) above the
- 2 adjustment formula as " Deduct from D ISO Metric 0.75 mm. pitch N = 0 .005 in. calcula ted figure will give an effective
plus N one- half the difference between pitch diameter increase of 0.001 inch
It is interesting to note that if a wire or (0.0254 mm.).
N -- 0.68725
2 the major design diameter and the actual
turned diameter; amount U Fig 69, or, in needle of too small a diameter is chosen If it is desired to ascertain the actual or
workshop language: "knock off half the for any given pitch the fact will become "measured" pitch diameter of a screw
N = 0.343625 mm., say 0 .344 mm.
difference." evident from an inability to obtain a being cut. this can be done after an M
The advantage of this approach lies in the We may now also note that twice the positive value from the subtraction reading has been taken over three wires,
fact that the N value of 0.344 mm. holds required by the formulas. then, when M , W and pitch (or T.P.I) are
calculated N figure gives the increment
for all 2.5 mm. pitch ISO Metric or other for three wires, for exampl e 2 X known, the actual pitch diameter for 60
60 deg. screw threads regardless of the 0.343625 = 0.687250 mm. giving the deg. Vee threads can be found from:
diameter upon which that pitch is cut, and
figures we would obtain by deducting the
it is not at all difficult to take the D plus N 30 mm. major diameter from the M reading TIONS. E = M p lus (0.86603 x P) - (3 X W)
reading whilst the work is mounted in the calculated in Example (1 ). Accordingly, if As will have been seen, although the
or, if the thread is in terms of tpi:
lathe, although, of course, crest machining the N figure for any single pitch is known, three-wire measurement is referred to as
burrs must be removed by a light filing then 2 X N plus the major (design) the wire method for measuring effective 0.86603)
or pitch diameter of a screw thread, it E = M p lus ( TPI - (3 x W)
before measuring, and, as with the three- diameter will give a figure for the M

166 167

Let us calculate the p itch d iameter for _ (3 X W) - ( 1 .51 55 X P) (7 ). In the Acme N formulas I have t aken the
N- 2
Example ( 1) (page 1 64) when M over liberty of rounding off 4.9939292 to 4.994
ACME fo rm thread, sized by inches.
three wires reads 30.687 mm. for 2.5 (2). for the W multiplier, and in formula (8)
Pitch in terms of T.P.l.
mm. pitch ISO Metric 30.0 mm. dia., a nd 61.81257 is derived f rom
60 deg. Vee thread, sized by inches. (N and Win inches)
wire diameter = 1 .492 mm. 2.433566 X 25.4
Pitch i n millimetres.
E = 30.687 plus (0.86603 x 2.5) (N and Win inches) (4.994 X W)- (2.433566) to convert to mm.
- (3 X 1.492) N= T.P. I
_ (3 X W) - (0.0596 X P)
. 2 In formu la ( 10) 0.0958 is derived from
E = 30.687 plus 2.16507 5- 4.4 76 N- 2 2.433566 X 0.03937
(8). to convert to inch measure.
E = 28.376075 mm.
(3). ACME form thread, sized by millimetres.
Similarly t he pitch diameter for 55 deg. Pitch in terms ofT.P.I. HELIX ANGLE OF A
threads can be found from : 60 deg. V ee thread , sized by inches.
Pitch in terms ofT.P.I.
(Nand Win millimetres) SCREW THREAD
0.9605) (N and Win inc hes)
E = M plus ( ---=rPI"" - (3.1657 x W) (4 _994 X W) _ (61 .81257) The helix angle of a thread is also
N- J.P. I. known as the lead angle, and is illustrated
- 2
(9). All the foregoing M , E and N formulas
In the past some concern was felt that
are suitable for the general run of screw
because of t he steeper slope of the Acme ACME form thread, sized by m ill imetres.
(4). Pitch in m illimetres. threads having helix angles insufficiently
thread flanks the measuring pressure on a
60 deg. V ee thread, sized by millimetres. p ronounced to affect the wire position t o
wire would f o rce it too deeply into the (N, Wand Pin millimetres)
Pitch in t erms ofT.P.I. any degree capable of being corrected
t hread groove to give a correct reading.
(N and Win mm.) N _ (4.994 x W)- (2.433566 x P) d uring lathe screwcutting, t he erro rs
However, this point seems recently to - 2 seldom reaching 0.0001 inch (0.00254
have been resolved because 'Machinery's
(3 X W) _ (38.4937) mm.)
Screw Thread Book' now gives a form ula _ T.P.I. ( 10).
N - The effect of a pronounced helix angle
for M readings over three wires: 2 ACME fo rm thread, sized by inches, on a wire used for taking pitch diameter
M = D- (2.433566 x P) plus pitch in millimetres. readings is to prevent the w ire ent erin g
(4.9939292 X W) (5). (N and Win inch es) t he thread groove so deeply as it wou ld
As with the other 3-wire M formulas I 55 deg. V ee thread (Whitworth & B.S.F.). w ith a less severe helix angle, unless, p re-
N _ (4.994 X W) - (0.0958 x P)
have re- arranged it fo r calculating the N sized by inches. - 2 sumably, the wire is of a small gauge that
increment values for one wire so that the Pitch in t erms ofT.P.I. can be wound aro und the t hread groove in
fo rmulas can be used o n any diameter. For (Nand Win inches) The necessary built- in conversion figures t he fo rm of a helix. So if a helix ang le is
sizing by inches o~ millimetres, four were obtained as f o llows: not taken into account for threads of high
1 6008 lead, and the thread is sized to an
formulas are required, with built in conver- (3.1657 X W)- ( · )
N= T.P.I. In formula (2) 0.0596 is derived from ordinary M or N reading, the body of the
sions where necessary: these will be 2
found at the end of the following summary 1.5155 x 0.03937 (= 0.059665235) to thread would be undesirably thinned
of formulas for ascertaining N values convert to inches. bef ore the measured M reading agreed
under various language conditions. (6). with the calc ulated M reading. Those
In formu la (4):
55 deg. Vee thread, sized by millimetres. interested in this aspect will find it fu lly
SUMMARY OF N VALUE FORMULAS Pitch in terms ofT.P. I. 38.4937 = 1. 5 1 55 x 25.4 to convert to dealt w ith in 'Machinery's Screw Thread
(Nand Win mm.) millimetres. Book,' Section J.
( 1 ). The helix angle of a thread ta ken from a
In formula (6):
60 deg. Vee t h read, sized by millimetres. (3.1657 X W)- (40.66032) p lane at right-angles to the axis may be
Pitch in millimetres. N= T.P.I. 40.66032 = 1.6008 x 25.4 to convert to fo und from a formu la which first gives the
(N, Wand Pin mm.) 2 millimetres. tangent of t he angle. The angle itself is

168 169

accordingly: pleasing fit without bind or shake. When a ISO METRIC SCREW THREAD
nut or nuts only are required and there a re MEDIUM FIT CLASS 6g.
Tangent of 3.0 no instructions to make corresponding
Helix angle = 3.1416 x 28.05 screws, and the number required would Nominal diameter 30.0 mm.
not warrant purchase of a screw gauge or Pitch 3.5 mm.
= 88.12188 tap for finish sizing, then one has no Major diameter
option but to first cut a screw for use as a Nominal Turn o/ d to nominal dia.
Tangent of angle = 0.03404 gauge, sizing the screw by wiring. Idea lly 30.0 mm. minus 0.053 mm. (0.002 1 inch)
such a gauge should be hardened. (1.1811 inch) minus 0.4 78 mm. (0.0 188 inch)
The table of tan. figures shows that 2 Tolerance 0.425 mm. (0.0167 inch)
deg. has a value of 0.03492.
For the helix angle of a thread to show Basic Pitch dia.
a more significant number of degrees it is
THREAD CLASSES. 27.727 mm. minus0.053 mm. (0.0021 inch)
necessary to turn to threads in the (1.0916 inch) minus 0.265 mm (0.0104 inch)
multiple- start rang e on fairly small A lthough we cannot here go into lengthy
detail on the various thread classes, one Tolerance 0.212 mm. (0.0083 inch)
diameters. For example, let us find the
helix angle for a 6 - start thread of 4.0 mm. example will show the kind of tolerances ("Drop" the calculated M reading over
pitch on a major diameter of 25.0mm. allowed. But let us first set out the three wires by, say, 0.05mm. to 0.25 mm.
tole rance classes for the ISO Metric (0.002 to 0.010 inch))
The lead of a multiple- start thread
equals the number of starts multiplied by thread as shown in ' Machinery's Screw Minor diameter
Thread Book': (From nominal maj or d ia.
the pitch, accordingly:
minus 2 x t hread depth)
Lead of screw = 6 x4= 24.0 mm. Type ot NUT BOLT 25.7062 mm minus0.053 mm. (0.0021 inch)
Fit. Tolerance class Tolerance class (1.0120 inch) minus 0.517 mm. (0.0203 inch)
Pitch diameter= 22.4 mm., thus: CLOSE 5H 4h Tolerance 0:468 mr:n. (0.0182 inch)
T angentof 24 FREE 7H From the point of view of thread
Helix angle = 3.1416 x 22.4 depthing, the basic depth from major
24 nominal diameter is 2.1469 mm. (0.08436
Fig. 70. As the diameter of a thread of any = 70.37184 inch). If the minor diameter is taken to the
The type of fit is. of course, self full low limit, then the thread depth from
given pitch decreases, so the helix angle A
increases. The helix angle is also known as the = 0.3410455 explanatory, but from the example to full major diameter m inus 0.053 mm. is
'lead angle'. follow ·for the medium class nut and bolt extended by approximately 0.203 mm.
A table of tan. figures shows that a we may infer that except in the smaller (0.008 inch).
then taken from a trigonometrical t able of
tangent values for degrees. value of 0.341 07 corresponds to an angle diameters and pitches, threads carefu lly
o f 1 8 deg. 50'. cut in the lathe will tend to ·f all much For the corresponding NUT:
Tangent of Lead of scre.:.:w:____ Medium fit, Class 6H:
nearer to the close fit range than to the
Helix angle = Pi x Pitch diameter of screw
NUT SIZING. medium. The MINIMUM major diameter (the
The diagram. Fig. 70 shows how the
(All internal threads are termed 'nut So that the figures in the fol lowing diameter to the thread roots) is the same
helix angle increases with a decrease in
threads'). example shall have a ready meaning as the nominal major diameter of the
the diameter of a t hread of given pitch.
As explained in more detail in Section without further calculations by the reader screw, and no tolerance is given for exten-
As an example, let us find the helix I have set them out from a turner's point
8, when cutting an internal thread with a ding the thread depth to increase the
angle for an ISO Metric thread of 3.0 mm. of view by giving, for the screw, basic or
single-point lathe tool it is customary to major nut diameter above the minimum;
pitch on a nominal 30.0 mm . major
gauge the progress with either the nominal size minus so much to give so for lathe threading we may depth until
diameter: maximum permitted size, and minus so
corresponding lathe cut screw, or with a a properly sized screw will enter the nut -
Lead of screw = 3.0 mm. special thread gauge, or to finish size with much again to show tolerance. The nut if we wish to work in that way.
Pitch dia. = Major dia. - 0.65 x P a tap provided or made in the workshop. allowances are best revealed by the The pitch diameter of the nut rises to
=28.05 mm. The more usual requirement is to obtain a written word. 0.280 mm. (0.011 0 inc) above the basic

170 171

maximum for the screw, and with a m inor from an 8 T.P.I. leadscrew with gearing in
d iameter of: the ratio 30:38, the pitch actua lly given
Basic Major d ia. minus (Pitch X (assuming a perfect leadscrew) will be
1.0 825) = 26.2 11 mm. m inimum. There 2.5065787 mm .. and strictly speaking
is a tolerance of 0.560 mm. (0.0220 inch) this figure should be multiplied by 1.5155
showing that the minimum bore diameter in the 3 or 1- wire formula.
may be increased by that amount.
To the apprentice beginning to Appendix 1 LIST OF TABLES
associate ordinary qualit y lathe turning
w ith limits of plus o r m inus 0.025 mm. General conversion formulas
(0.001 inch) or less on pla in d iameters
and bores, the high permitted tolerances CLASS. Quick reference thread information summary 12
on the sample screw and nut will no doubt In those instances where a d rawing does
Table T1 - Gearing for threads/inch from a leadscrew of 8 T.P. I. 28
help to inspire confidence when screwcut- refer to a thread by c lass, then of course,
ti ng is called for. especia lly with the added the limit figures have to be taken from the Table T2 -Gearing for threads/inch from a leadscrew of 10 T.P.I. 29
knowledge that for the vast majority of appropriate reference book or chart. In Table T3 - List of approximations for Pi
this respect we may note that a complete 33
lathe screwcutting the only requirement is
that a screw sha ll hold well up to, but be designation of a screw thread gives deta ils Table T3A- Gearing for worm threads sized by diametral pitch 35
sized within its basic or nominal dimen- of the t hread system. the size and pitch of Table T3B- A selection of close ratios factorised into two or
sions, and that the corresponding nut shall the thread, and the tolerances applicable three element ratios
to the thread. An example is given below 37
offer a comfortable fit to the screw.
At this juncture it will be appropriate to (from 'Machinery's Screw Thread Book'): Table T4 - Gearing an 8 T.P.I. leadscrew for metric thread pitches 45
Table T5 - List of approximations for 50/12 7 48
Designation for an internal thread (nut): M6 x 1- 6H
Table T6 - Metric pit ches from a leadscrew of 8 T.P.I. gears
Designation for an external thread (bolt): M8 x 1.25- g
Th"'d <y<tom "Ymbolfoc ISO Motclo
(general purpose)
II 20-20-7 5 by fives (plus one 38)
Table T7 - Approximations for Pi x 50/127
Table TB -Gearing for threads/inch from a leadscrew of 3mm pitch.
Nominal diameter of thread in mm. gears 20-20-75 (plus one 38) 62
Pitch in mm.
Table T9 - In-line metric/imperia l conversion for leadscrews of
Tolerance c lass designation.------- -----' from 3.0 to 7.0 mm pitch or lead 67
Table T1 0 - Basic gear ratios for metric pitches from a leadscrew of
mention that despite there being carefully It is, however, worth noting that a 4 threads/inch 94
worked tolerances on diameters, thread major screw diameter often forms an
depths. and so on, no one has seen fit to extension to a shaft or turned step, and Table T11 -Basic gear ratios for threads/inch from a leadscrew of
treat pitch and thread angle similarly. the shaft diameter l imits are frequently 6.0 mm pitch 98
Errors in angle arid pitch would, of shown as applicable also to the major Table T12 - Secant factors for oblique top-slide depthing 138
course, affect wire readings, but w ith jig- screw diameter on the assumption that
ground tools one can reasonably assume screw- blank and shaft will be f inish turned Table T13- Maximum root widths, Acme threads 145
that thread angles will be correct. at one pass. A subsequent remova l of any
Regarding pitch. this also may be thread c rest burrs will then ensure that
assumed correct when lathe gearing is whatever has to fit the plain portion will
exact and not an approximation. If. not be prevented from passing over the
however, one is cutting say 2.5 mm. pitch thread.

172 173