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• Tuesday, November 22nd, 2016

Thread cutting tools, particularly taps and dies, are used in the manufacture of machined threads. There are two basic types, namely, internal threads and external threads, which are discussed in the following sections.

These threads can also be made using traditional and digital (i.e., CAD software) methods. In most cases, the digital method is used by large-scale manufacturing companies while the traditional methods are for small-scale production. With the advances in technology, however, an increasing number of producers use digital methods.

Internal Threads

When using the traditional taps and dies, internal threads are made with a traditional threading tap. But when machines are used, these are created using a single-lip threading tool. In case of machine threading, a software is used for making internal hole for threading.

You will find many manufacturers that support right-hand threaded holes for UNC and UNF threads, as well as metric threads. The UNC and UNF threads range from #2 to ½- inch while the metric threads range from M2 to M12.

Be sure to give clear specifications about the internal threads. This is because the maximum depths for threads can vary depending on the threading cutting tools.

For example, the #2 threads can have a maximum thread depth of 0.200 inch from the top. The ½ inch threads can have deeper depths of up to 1 inch.

Metric threads vary in depths, too, from 5.088mm to 25.4 mm. The depths will also gradually increase when the threads’ diameter increase.

External Threads

The use of a lathe has improved the capabilities of machinists for external threading work. You, the client, can now get external threads for selected sizes for as long as the parts qualify for turning. You can ask the manufacturer to make a selected number of threads based on depths, sizes, and placements.

If necessary, you may even be able to order external threads on the parts’ centreline, thanks to an advanced turning process. Your choices also include internal holes with threads, thanks to live tooling technology. You can also order threads with on-axis, axial, and radial holes.

When ordering internal and external threads, you have to ensure that these are modelled accordingly. For example, if you’re ordering external threads for milling, you shouldn’t model them for turning – and vice versa.

External milled threads can also be effectively machined. This is true even when these aren’t designed into parts as frequently as their internal counterparts. These can also be produced on the half diameter with the part then rotated 180 degrees.

The thread cutting tools used for the creation of internal and external threads should be handled with care, too. You’re making a substantial investment in these tools so it makes sense to take good care of them. You should clean them regularly and properly, for example, and use cutting oil when using them.

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