Having trouble putting threads on end of brass rod


Have some 1/4 brass rod that needs some threads on the end. Making decorative connections on a wooden model.
Having a dickens of a time making sure they are true. I've tried flattening the end; beveling the end and changing the die to a new one. Can't use my drill press to get it started correctly as it will tear up the brass rod.
About 1/2 of the attempts result in the threads off center on the rod...that is, the threads, when done appear to be on a bent end of the rod.
Trying to make about 7/8 of an inch of 20 threads.
Any suggestions?
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fossil wrote:

Slide the brass rod inside a slightly larger tube. When you press down with the die, press up against it with the tube. It will provide a square face for the die to ride against and should make it much easier to start the threading.
It doesn't have to be a tube. If you have a drill press, drill a 1/4" hole square into the end of a block of wood. That will give a broader face for the die to ride on.
R
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fossil wrote:

Wrap some masking tape or something around it and then put it in the drill press, perhaps?
Are you holding the rod by hand, or clamping it? Even clamping it in a bench vise might help, if you're trying to hold it by hand while threading it.
- Brooks
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As mentioned, providing a flat surface, for your die to be guided by, is a good idea for stability while threading. Also, try tapering the end of your rod, about 1/4", before trying to thread it. Thread 1" or so, then cut off the taper for the thread length you need.
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I'm not sure I understand where a drill press comes in here. My experience has been that these will self center once you pass through the die. In other words, everything that passes through the die is good. As another poster suggested, run your threads long and then trim to the length you need. Once you get going it will be easier and things should even out. Remember - lube plus keep your die square to the stock in all directions. make sure you have the proper die and rod stock. Stock should be in a vice so you can work with two hands. -B
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On Wed, 22 Feb 2006 13:37:06 +0100, No opined:

OP's problem is, the brass is so soft that the die cheerfully cuts down a different axis than the rod's.
This might be naive, but is the diameter of the rod _really_ the exact diameter that the die expects to see? Wood dowels are frequently out of spec, perhaps brass rod has the same problem?
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I have tapped and threaded a bunch of stuff over the years. I have a few really nice sets that once belonged to a WWII Rear Admiral who started his Navy career as an engineer. I have never experienced any problems. Never did brass. Aluminum went fine once.
Tecnhique? Dunno, it always just worked for me. The threads on the inside of the die are large on one side and small on other. This forces things to be centered.
Rod too small? Dunno, if its bigger than the small end and smaller than the big end of the die it should be fine. Did ya get that?
To the OP - send me a piece of brass I would be glad to give it a whirl. E-mail briktoo at gmail dot com and I'll send you my mailing address. Couldn't cost too much to mail a little piece of brass.
-B
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Try using a jig so the rod and die are aligned. Some people have the item in a lathe, and the die centered by the tailstock. Or use a drill press for alignment.
Maybe you can get a piece of plywood with a dowel/rod drilled into it - like a T. Fasten the die to this piece of wood and clamp the dowel/rod in a drill press.
They make devices to do this, but they cost $50 and up. :-(
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Getting dies to cut evenly and square is a common problem. When I need to do this I bevel the end of the rod and then chuck it in my drill press beveled edge down. I then clamp the die in a wooden fixture that I've made and place it on the drill press table. I don't run the drill press. I just use it to hold the rod straight. I then turn the chuck of the drill press with one hand and feed the rod into the die using the feed handles of the drill press with the other hand. This manual turning and feeding method allows total control of the threading process and keeps the threads square to the rod. When threading brass I've found that WD-40 makes a good cutting lubricant.
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Charley

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Not to sound smart but are you using the die the right way?? On the handle there is an adjustable slider to fit the size of the rod and guide it on strait.....Brian

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You didn't say how you are holding the rods to thread them, but assuming that you have a method...
Make a fixture using a block of scrap wood. Drill a hole that roughly matches the rod O.D. Counterbore (and perhaps chisel) a hole for the thread die into the opposite side of the block, carefully aligned to be square and concentric with the rod hole. Then feed the rod thru the block and into the die. If you made the fixture carefully, the rods should be threaded squarely.
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