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Old 02-06-2008, 05:30 AM   #1
Don Huseman
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Default double depth of thread

I have a gage that is used to set up your threading tool bit and on it it has double depth of the thread pitches . What the hell is it. I have asked the smartest machinist I know and he doesn't know. I thought it was how much you wind in on your compound to go to max depth for your thread. But it does not work.
If you don't help me then I will turn over on the shaper table and you will be machining my butt.

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Old 02-06-2008, 06:08 AM   #2
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Default Re: double depth of thread

Hi Don, if you are looking at what I call a 'fishtail', or thread gage, the double depth is a theoretical depth on Diameter of various threads. That is perpendicular to the thread, to a Sharp V. Don't get too hung up on the exact number, it will get you close, but it's not what matters. for instance, IIRC, 12 threads per inch (i must'a cut a million), double depth is .108 that means .054 per side. Need to correct for compound at 29-12 degrees. Need to allow for tool nose radius (I hone it with a stone.) Also need to allow for variation in OD of the shaft at the start. If you start with a correct sized turn, and a correctly ground tool, then you should be able to see when you are getting close, use your mating part for a gage, or measure with wires or a thread mic if you have them avalilable. Again, don't get hung up on the exact number, it will only get you close.

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Old 02-06-2008, 06:17 AM   #3
Don Huseman
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Default Re: double depth of thread

Thank. I use thread mikes.
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Old 02-06-2008, 04:22 PM   #4
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Default Re: double depth of thread


If you read the articles on our club web page, you would have encountered this one that I wrote on that very subject.

Like most folks who thread on the lathe, I have a fishtail gauge (also called a
center gauge) which I use to ensure that the thread cutting tool is
perpendicular to the work.

On said gauge (and most others that I've seen) is a set of numbers labeled
"double depth of sharp thread". Specifically, the numbers on mine are those
given in columns A (tpi) and B (double depth of sharp thread) in the chart
below. I've always guessed that these numbers were somehow useful in deciding
how much to feed in when cutting a thread but I never took the time to sort out
how to use them. (For me, it's always been easier to draw a picture of the
thread and derive the depth I need using mathematics.)

A couple of questions at the meeting made me decide to puzzle out, once and for
all, what those numbers really are and how to make use of them.

Mathematically, the height of a thread, measured perpendicular to the thread
axis from sharp root to sharp crest is given by the following equation.

h = .5*pitch/tan(30)


h = height of thread
pitch = 1/tpi

The little program I wrote prints out two times 'h' in column C in the table
below. As you can see, 2*h agrees perfectly with the numbers printed on the
fishtail gauge.

So the numbers on the gauge are indeed as described - the "double depth of
sharp thread".

So now the question becomes, "Why are those numbers on the fishtail gauge?"
Those numbers aren't particularly useful when cutting the thread. Most of the
time the question is, "How much do I need to feed in the compound when it is
set to angle 'ca' (compound angle)?" Mathematically, the answer to that
question is:

cin = h/cos(ca)


cin = compound infeed

I've printed out cin for ca=30 deg in column D. For this case, we have:

cin = .5*pitch/[tan(30)*cos(30)] = .5*pitch/sin(30) = .5*pitch/.5 = pitch

and you'll note that the numbers in column D are exactly equal to the pitch of
the thread with tpi as given in column A.

So, the bottom line here is that I still don't know why those numbers are
there. Perhaps an old school machinist can explain how to use them but I
don't see any immediate value to them. (I can't imagine a machinist
multiplying the number in column B by .5/cos(ca) to get the compound feed
depth he needs.) If you didn't angle the compound at all when cutting threads
(i.e., feed straight in with the cross feed) and your crossfeed was calibrated
in diameter reduction (a .001 feed reduces diameter by .001), then the numbers
in column B would be your infeed to cut that thread. But what competent
machinist wouldn't angle the compound?

I don't know the answer but I do know this...I'm going to continue to ignore
the numbers on my fishtail gauge and base my calculations on what I understand.


4 0.433 0.433 0.250
5 0.346 0.346 0.200
6 0.289 0.289 0.167
7 0.247 0.247 0.143
8 0.217 0.217 0.125
9 0.192 0.192 0.111
10 0.173 0.173 0.100
11 0.157 0.157 0.091
12 0.144 0.144 0.083
14 0.124 0.124 0.071
16 0.108 0.108 0.062
18 0.096 0.096 0.056
20 0.087 0.087 0.050
22 0.079 0.079 0.045
24 0.072 0.072 0.042
26 0.067 0.067 0.038

Regards, Marv

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Old 02-06-2008, 08:06 PM   #5
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Default Re: double depth of thread

The direct crossfeed numbers are probably a holdover from when lathes didn't have a compound.

That reminds me of a question that came up during the Korean War. Someone questioned the purpose of one man on the gun crew who appeared to do nothing. Research showed that his job was to hold the horses.

Stan in Leduc, Alberta, Canada. 53.40NĀ* 113.5W
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