WARNING: The Society for Reverence and Decency in Woodworking Writing has ruled that this particular entry violates several of the organization’s rules. You are warned that this video refers to the musical sub-genre of “wife-swapping music,” and at one point someone says, “Come on ladies, tap that hole.” Please do not let children or sensitive adults watch this video.
Man I %^&$#@* hate thread cutters.
This class at the Connecticut Valley School of Woodworking almost went off the rails on the first day because of the thread-cutter malfunctions. Yes, plural.
We are building a lot of appliances this week for hand-tool woodworking, including a sweet Moxon double-screw vise. Bob Van Dyke, who runs the school, has carefully prepared some beautiful material. The posts for the screws were prepped on a CNC lathe. They are perfect.
So I thread a post for the vise. It won’t fit in its tapped hole. Hmmm.
I take the cutter apart and increase its depth of cut. The post still won’t fit. Hmmm. I go to increase the depth of cut again, and the brass clamp that holds the cutter in place snaps under finger pressure.
We go to the Woodcraft store and get another thread cutter and scavenge it for parts.
I re-set the whole tool and thread another post. Still too tight. I take the thread-cutting tool apart and nudge the cutter forward. The tip of the cutter breaks off. GRRRRRR.
I replace the cutter and thread another post. It is almost perfect. One more adjustment…. and… uh…. yes, it’s perfect now. Whew.
One of the students turns to me and says: “I love to see you mess up. It makes my heart glad.”
OK, let’s cut some threads! We start cutting threads, and after 10 seconds the threaded inserts that hold the entire thread-cutting tool come loose. The tool falls into two pieces while in use.
Gun please. What, this is New England? You don’t all have guns? OK, I’ll fix the ^%$@#&* thread cutter.
Ninety minutes later the stupid little tool is threading everyone’s posts like nothing was ever wrong. I hate that tool.
One student said: “Wow! This is so easy!”
— Christopher Schwarz
• You can find plans for the Moxon Double-screw vise in the December 2010 issue of Popular Woodworking.