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Threading and tapping wood by hand can be frustrating, even when you know what you are doing. Today, 11 students and I at the Center for Furniture Craftsmanship built Moxon-style vises to prepare for a week of dovetailing and more dovetailing.

Of course, almost all of the students had some sort of problem with the tap or the thread box. I’ve done a few thousand rounds with these cursed beasts, so here are some things I do to make my life easier.

1. Buy the Benchcrafted hardware instead. OK, I’m kind of kidding. But I’m kind of not. I’ll let you decide.

2. Turn the posts that you hope to thread a wee bit undersized. If you are going to make 1-1/2”-diameter posts, turn them down to 1-7/16”. Life will be so much easier because the major diameter of the post won’t hit the bottom of the threaded hole. I know that people will line up to take a shot at me about this, but I’m not listening to you.


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