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Power-User

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Square Threaded Rod

05/13/2011 9:47 PM

You guys have been so helpful I think I'm on a roll so here's another question. On some drill presses you find a "Knurled Thumb Wheel" (thanks to you guys for this description) which is used to set the travel limits of the drill press. This setting avoids making holes deeper than you desire. The thumb wheel is threaded on a rectangular shaped shaft with the portions of thread on each corner. This shaft runs in a square hole designed to keep it from turning when the thumwheel is turned. Does anybody know where this square threaded shaft can be obtained.

This problem is again one of nomenclature. I know what I want but lack the right words for the search engine to work. Google or somebody else might want to consider ways to help people when they cannot provide the exact right word. Maybe a picture or sketch identifier system??

Regards

John

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Pathfinder Tags: drill press square threaded shaft thumb wheel
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#1

Re: Square threaded rod

05/13/2011 10:00 PM

I tried Googling "square threaded shaft" and got a suggestion menu that included "square threaded rod"; Bingo--lots of hits and suppliers.

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Power-User

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#3
In reply to #1

Re: Square threaded rod

05/14/2011 6:12 AM

I tried that too but if you said you got results I'll try again. I'm in the Dominican Republic. When I travel to Miami I've noticed that the web seems better. I wonder if it discriminates by country?

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#4
In reply to #1

Re: Square threaded rod

05/14/2011 7:08 AM

I went back and tried again and yes you do get lots of hits but then if you try delving into each hit the picture changes. Before I asked you guys I tried doing my best and after hours of getting red eyes, gave up. It appears that the words "square threaded shaft" can get you hundreds of things except a square shaft with threads on each corner. I think "square thread" gets into play as there are threads which are square instead of pyramid shaped. I'm so exhausted I was even considering contacting a drill press mfgr and ask them where they get the shaft from. I'm surprised somebody didn't suggest grinding down a round threaded rod even though that would be very hard indeed. For now my project is looking for another way to do it.

Thanks for trying.

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#5
In reply to #4

Re: Square threaded rod

05/14/2011 12:45 PM

You could shave down a round threaded rod in a milling machine.

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#23
In reply to #5

Re: Square threaded rod

05/16/2011 11:46 AM

or, conversely, with some difficulty, use a die on a square rod...

(The reason I say "with some difficulty", is that I looked at die images, and they don't look like they remained engaged to a square rod throughout a 360 degree cut)

ah well, I'm a software guy, anyhow....

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#6
In reply to #4

Re: Square threaded rod

05/14/2011 1:21 PM

The thing on a drill or mill is called a depth stop. I don't recall seeing one made of square bar. Here is a link to a few approaches.

I do however recall, seeing such a bar as part of a door handle assembly - but given this, I don't like your chances. (And I wouldn't call it a precision thread)

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#15
In reply to #6

Re: Square threaded rod

05/15/2011 11:27 AM

Funny you should mention the door handle shaft. Yesterday I was searching hardware stores to replace an old style shaft that had threaded holes through it and could only find the square threaded shafts. They are readily available but only in one size.

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#17
In reply to #15

Re: Square threaded rod

05/15/2011 1:36 PM

Fancy that - My memory was from restoring a delilict terrace house built circa 1930. The mystery of where the door funiture was imported from is aparently solved - 4 decades later.

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#14
In reply to #4

Re: Square threaded rod

05/15/2011 10:54 AM

Contacting the manufacturer, or even any drill manufacturer (that manufactures similar sized and types of drilling machines) may be the way to go............if you cannot manufacture one because you do not have the machinery to do so, you may find an engineering "jobbing" shop that could manufacture you one.

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#21
In reply to #4

Re: Square threaded rod

05/15/2011 6:45 PM

The Thread is called a 'Square Buttress' and is used on lathes, milling machines, crane band brakes, even adjusters in your car drum brakes, and many other machines to hold a full or half nuts that finite control lineal movement of carriageways or mounting saddles in the machinery in both directions. I have used this type in sizes from 1/8" to >12" diameter in the 'Mounting stands' for safety under aircraft during undercarriage or wing replacement maintenance.

Another version for single directional adjustment is a standard 'Buttress Thread' and is a square on one direction of the thread and a 45 degree on the back of the thread.

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#2

Re: Square Threaded Rod

05/14/2011 2:06 AM
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#7

Re: Square Threaded Rod

05/14/2011 10:40 PM

If you only need one then I would just file my threaded rod square. There will be enough thread left for the knurled thumb wheel. Try it, nohing to lose except a cheap piece of ready-rod.

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#8

Re: Square Threaded Rod

05/14/2011 10:53 PM

Are you trying to repair a drill press that you need the exact shaft? That part will have other machining for clip ring on the end and perhaps bearing or bushings. All the extra dimensions and requirements will make it almost impossible to find from general suppliers.

If you are in a design /jury rig process, try to tell us what this piece will be used for.

Are you familiar with "Acme threads" ? Acme threads are used on adjusting shafts, and many other places. If that drill press has a vice with X and Y slide adjustments, they probably are driven with shafts that have Acme threads. Google Acme thread to see all the collars, shuttles, etc, with specific solutions to movement problems.

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#9

Re: Square Threaded Rod

05/14/2011 10:58 PM

I found myself in need of a "threaded square bar" or rod some time ago. My solution was to obtain a square bar of the needed size and have a machinist turn down the bar to remove the square corners to a diameter to match the nuts to be used and then thread the now square bar with rounded corners so I could use standard nuts on the threaded square bar.

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#10

Re: Square Threaded Rod

05/14/2011 11:43 PM

Is this what you are talking about?

http://www.carrlane.com/catalog/index.cfm/27825071F0B221118070C1C513E111D081B0006280B1713050245221E0107070F1A3C3B2853524754

Be sure to copy the entire URL into your browser if all of it does not highlight.

This is not actually "square threaded rod" but it is often mistaken for such. Although the rod is square, the grooves are actually parallel. It is designed to work in a square hole that has matching grooves. When turned 1/8 turn it engages the piece with the square hole with OD threads. When reversed the squares line up and the rod slips easily through the hole, thus allowing a quick adjustment before reclamping. It comes in 3/8, 1/2, and 5/8 inch square sizes, and between 4 and 12 inches in length. If all you need is the rod, simply remove and discard the other parts.

I used to work for the company that sells these, and I do not think that the grooved square rod can be purchased by itself except in very large quantities, more than you would want to buy to fix your drill press.

If this is not it, it would help if you could post a photo of what you have.

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#11

Re: Square Threaded Rod

05/14/2011 11:44 PM

Why not just thread your own?

I did a door knob a year or two ago that way.

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Power-User

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#12

Re: Square Threaded Rod

05/15/2011 1:42 AM
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#13

Re: Square Threaded Rod

05/15/2011 7:37 AM

I had all kinds of hits on Google with " Stop Rod" and "Depth Stop". Perhaps you don't even need it threaded, there are arrangements you can make with plain rod and sliding collars that adjust to set the depth.

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#16

Re: Square Threaded Rod

05/15/2011 1:07 PM

Again thank you all for your great input. I followed up on all your suggestions. I am still at the designing stage but after checking out all the options plus reviewing my junk pile/stock of raw materials I've come up with a final plan. To conclude let me explain what I'm doing. I have a SOKKISHA surveyors transit and about a month ago I suffered an injury to my left hand. When adjusting my transit on the tripod I loosen the leg clamps and adjust the lengths during rough set up. With one hand this is nearly impossible so I started making sketches of a fine leg adjuster. At one point in the design the knurled thumb nuts, one on each leg, were to turn and raise or lower the leg adjustment so the shaft had to run in a square hole which would not allow it to turn. Now, several designs later I think I have it. Each leg will have a normal (not square) bronze threaded rod 1/4-20TPI (non magnetic) with a clevis at the top end which fits on the existing short axle used for each leg. The clevis is threaded for 1/4-20 and a lock nut will keep the rod from turning. The clevis can be quickly released for easy removal of the adjuster rod. The other end of the rod will have the 1/4-20 knurled thumb wheel adjuster with a simple thrust bearing underneath. The solid top plug found in the lower legs of the tripod will be drilled for a loose fit of the 1/4-20 rod. The rod is first fitted (a bit long for safety) inside this hole then connected at the top with the clevis. For fine adjusting the main leg clamp is loosened and the threaded rod and thumbwheel become the main support and of course are fully adjustable.

I ordered the knurled thumbwheels, thrust bearings and bronze rod from McMaster as you suggested. I had the clevis's from my old sailing days never throw away pile, you know, the one the wife hates. They are NORSE wire rope fittings which just happened to have 8mm holes in the clevis (the same diameter as the tripod upper leg axle). Then I very carefully tapped the tapered part where the wire is gripped for 1/4-20 and this is where the threaded rod upper end goes. the SS was hard to tap!

I hope all this is clear, hehe

I may have built the only fine adjustable survey transit tripod in the world. I searched for one before doing all this but nothing. patents?? one armed surveyors??

regards

john

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#18
In reply to #16

Re: Square Threaded Rod

05/15/2011 1:43 PM

Nice one John.

You might want to loctite the brass and stainless, to avoid undoing if the wheel gets sticky or stiff for some reason.

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Power-User

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#20
In reply to #18

Re: Square Threaded Rod

05/15/2011 5:28 PM

I will have a 1/4-20 nut at that point and jam it lightly up against the norse fitting which is also going to be my release for folding up point. I'm hoping that the thumbwheel will turn sweet with the little thrust bearing. keep ya posted.

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#22
In reply to #18

Re: Square Threaded Rod

05/16/2011 7:36 AM

here's a picture of the top end showing the Norse fitting threaded to 1/4-20 with temporary steel rod and jamb nut.

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#19

Re: Square Threaded Rod

05/15/2011 2:05 PM

If you have access to a mill you can simply mill off two edges of a round threaded rod and you have your square threaded rod.

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#24

Re: Square Threaded Rod

05/16/2011 6:23 PM

Well wouldn't you know it, after all these exchanges of ideas, final re-engineering of my plan and placing the order for what I need I get another surprise. McMaster Carr just cancelled my order. They don't like the fact that I live in the Dominican Republic. I guess some upper management person considers knurled thumbnuts and threaded rods a National Security threat.

Man o man, just when you figure you've finally completed your plan something comes along to screw it up.

What a bummer.

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Power-User

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#25
In reply to #24

Re: Square Threaded Rod

05/16/2011 8:19 PM

Yes, you might somehow build a knurled nut atomic weapon , we must stop such things you know

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#26
In reply to #24

Re: Square Threaded Rod

05/16/2011 11:20 PM
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Power-User

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#27
In reply to #26

Re: Square Threaded Rod

05/17/2011 6:15 AM

Hey, thanks for the info. I didn't know about them and Santiago is just an hour 15 mins from me. It looks like they operate in a free zone which means export only but I'll find out. Gracias

Meanwhile a friend of mine in Miami ordered the life threatening thumb screws and he will be coming down on the 28th.

John

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