More Than I Ever Wanted To Know About Threads - and a really cool book.

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We've all bought bolts and nuts.
If you are like me, you don't think much about them.
You just want them to be long enough and thick enough to fasten whatever needs to be fastened.
If you are like me you know about the common types of bolts and what they are for - and you get by.
If you are like me, you probably never gave much consideration to the threads on the bolts. They just came along with the bolts. You order 1/4-20's or 8-32's, or 3/8-16's but still don't think much about what it all means.
I never did - until last Friday.
Last Friday I found out that we had a little bolt problem at work - more accurately, we had a little thread problem.
The company that I work for, like many companies, orders stuff from China.
We buy metal parts from them.
This particular part has a weldnut on it that is intended to receive a 3/8-16 stem threaded stem for a caster.
If you are like me, you think that the guy on the other end, who is to punch and tap the hole for this common caster stem, won't really need much more of a description than that.
Damn - assumptions are wild and terrible things.
By the time I was done I had spent three hours searching on the internet, resulting in going to Borders to buy Machinery's Handbook (27th edition) ($85.00) (Type smaller than the Book Of The Month Club version of the OED) and then reading for hours over the weekend, simply to understand the most basic terminology.
"It ain't rocket science"
Damned near is.
By the time I got done trying to understand major and minor diameters, pitch diameter, thread pitch, thread engagement, fit classes, the negotiation between the British Standard and the American Standard to resolve the argument over flat bottoms v. rounded, helical degree standards, grade bolts and the effect on relief, why square section threads are more efficient but don't work, why Acme is not somewhere to buy food, how metric bolts vary from lesser standards, etc., etc., etc. - I was plumb wore out.
I finally did learn enough to be able to write to the Chinese engineer guy in language that I hope is acceptable to him, which quoted a bunch of standards, engineering tables, accepted tolerances, etc., etc., etc., - which ultimately came down to the fact that, "Your friggin' hole is too big and your threads fit sloppy".
But I got a cool book out of the deal.
If you work with metal, take a look at the Machinery's Handbook.
You can sit that sucker by the can for the next twelve years and not get through it all.
And it has some great stuff in it.
(watson - who thinks he now has a handle on why the engineering boys at college didn't go out much on the weekends.)
Tom Watson - WoodDorker tjwatson1ATcomcastDOTnet (email) http://home.comcast.net/~tjwatson1/ (website)
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snipe.......

snipe...
What...? Ya mean ya just don't slam dunk those spiraled lookin suckers home with the big 'ammer and be done with it? Geeeeezuuus Tom, yer getting pretty picky in your old age and now resorting to books fer learnin too. Hell, and here I thought you was a wondrous wooddorker all along........
;-)
Bob S.
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I've had that book on my night stand for about a year, I just open just about any page and there good reading. I have another one from about 1950, it also has a wealth of information.

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Amazing stuff some of the things we take for granted or consider just plain boring.
... snip

... snip

I have two signs up at my cubicle at work:
"Assumptions are the mother of all screwups" and
"When looking for a reason as to why things went wrong, never rule out sheer stupidity"
... more snip

Nothing is as simple as it looks. Stuff we take for granted or think of as simple, usually isn't.
... snip

Lots o' work for a short summary, eh. But that's the best, most elegant solutions: Lots of initial investigation allowing one to boil it all down to a simple, succinct result.
... snip

... ayup, it wasn't because we weren't interested -- just always finishing that homework assignment (engineering profs always believed that because it was a weekend, there was that much more time to do more work), getting ready for the next exam (which never bore even the remotest resemblance to the material we had studied), or getting ready for finals (which never bore any resemblence to either any of the previous course material nor the previous exams). Lots o' fun it was.
... and then went and signed on to get a Master's degree.
+--------------------------------------------------------------------------------+ If you're gonna be dumb, you better be tough +--------------------------------------------------------------------------------+
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Like drill bits ;-)
--
Dr. Juergen Hannappel http://lisa2.physik.uni-bonn.de/~hannappe
mailto: snipped-for-privacy@physik.uni-bonn.de Phone: +49 228 73 2447 FAX ... 7869
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Yeah, but are you going to remember enough of it to help you with anything? Stuff like that might be interesting if you need to find out details for something in particular, but the rest of it would put me to sleep. And since it wouldn't be the first time I'm fallen asleep on the can and woken up sometime later with a really sore butt, I think I'd rather leave it out on the bookshelf in a noticeable location so I can use it to impress my friends, most of whom know more than I do.
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Joanne calls that, "Camping out". And the head ". . .is NOT your dammed library !!".
Unfortunately {or 'fortunately' as the case may be} she is a Study Coordinator for the Gastrointerology Department . . . and arranged her 'revenge'.
Just something to keep in mind next time you 'doze off' .
Regards & Good Luck, Ron Magen Backyard Boatshop

SNIP
SNIP
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wrote in message

anything?
Yes. It's my job to know that stuff.
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You mean there's finally some guy in CHINA who can't read something that WE wrote because it was written by someone who barely knows what he's talking about???? (no offense, Tom).
FINALLY!
Retribution for all those years of crappy instruction sheets.
You've done your country proud, Tom.
jc
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(snip)

Hi Tom -
Now you just need a set of Audel's Carpenter and Builders Guides, and a CRC physics and chemistry handbook..... :)
Cheers -
Rob
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On Tue, 13 Dec 2005 08:11:01 -0500, with neither quill nor qualm,

Don't forget Audel's Steam & Pipefitter guides, and their Hydraulics, Pumps & Compressors volumes. Audel is TOPS!
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wrote:

Robin Lee keeps a Rubber Bible in the bog!
I always knew Lee Valley were Our Kind Of People 8-)
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On Mon, 12 Dec 2005 21:42:45 -0500, with neither quill nor qualm, Tom

I found an older copy on eBay for $4. It was worth every cent and ten times more.

I'd like to see a show of hands here for anyone who does not work with metal on at least a seasonal basis. I'll bet the number fits on one hand.

Ayup. It'll either tell you why you effed up or how not to, all depending upon -when- you consult it. DAMHIKT.

When you're done with that, go find a CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics. Its heft is nearly identical to that of Machinery's Handbook. I got mine during my junior year in HS when taking Chemistry (49th edition, '68-69) and still haven't finished it. ;)
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quickly quoth:> I found an older copy on eBay for $4. It was worth every cent and

Older ones are better in my opinion - they have info on things like taper taps (by which I mean taps for threading tapered holes, not starting taps, which folk now-a-days miscall as taper taps).

Never have found a need to look in the Chemical Rubber book since college, myself. I wouldn't call it as useful as the Machinery's Handbook.
John
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quickly quoth:

I have no occupational need for that kind of information, but it's surprising how many times I look up stuff just 'cause I'm interested. The internet just about killed me because my appetite for factoids is (was) insatiable. When I started forgetting how to spell I figured I was full (never thought that could happen 'till it did). I wish I'd known; I would have left it in the books and just focussed on what I needed to know for whatever I was doing. Now I'm wondering what I have to forget in order to make room for the woodworking skills I have yet to develop.
My wife shakes her head that I find something like the CRC Handbook entertaining.
- Owen -
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quickly quoth:

I sometimes think it should spill over. I wish all the stuff floating around in my head were useful.
I just bid on an old version of MH on, of course, Ebay. I knew I couldn't afford the new edition, but until someone here mentioned getting one on Ebay, the penny just hung in the slot without dropping. Idiotic. I've been buying books on various subjects from Ebay for a considerable time.
Like you, I think maybe my personal HD needs a few more gigabytes.
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On Wed, 14 Dec 2005 10:05:56 GMT, with neither quill nor qualm,
Owen Lawrence said:

What do women know? ;)

I hear that. If I had a penny for each tidbit of info in my gray matter, useful or not, I'd be a very rich man.

Other sources for inexpensive copies of good books are www.half.com (now ebay subsidiary), www.edwardrhamilton.com , & www.abebooks.com. I never pay over half the retail, and usually nab 'em for 20-25%.
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On Tue, 13 Dec 2005 22:10:05 +0000 (UTC), John McCoy

Particularly with the advent of calculators and various math programs, particularly Maple and Mathematica -- the need for the logarithmic and integral tables diminished considerably.
I still have my CRC handbook, a 1976 version purchased at a steep discount in 1977. Cool stuff in it, just not something one needs to reach for very often.
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On Tue, 13 Dec 2005 22:10:05 +0000 (UTC), with neither quill nor

I picked up a post-WWII copy ('53, my year of birth) which had all the newest info after our gearup for the war. Woiks for me!

I've needed mine for calculations, metric conversion formulae, etc. It's not as handy as my new/used MH.
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I bought the 2630pp 6th large print edition, which is normal sized text after getting an honours CAD/CAM diploma. It was a special order. You can get it &/or a CD so you can search keywords. I read it cover to cover, and took a thousand pages of notes. Just threw them out, about 3 feet of them. It is amazing what I can recall, from any page. When someone says you can't weld plastic I say you can seven ways, give exact radio frequencies or types of magnetic flux, etc., I can tell you there are 22 types of plastics, and what variations to standard physics in analysis there is. I love those symbols of the bottom of rubbermade containers.
And cabinetmakers wouldn't believe the power of AutoCAD to make their work simpler.
I may just take my $5G back in trade for the book and my diploma.
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