A Simple Machine for making large (2 1/2″) diameter wooden screws
Alright! I should have been cleaning up this hell hole that I call a shop. I should’a just bought the damned things. But wait a minute…
After forty hours or so of scratching my head and puttering around in the shop, I’ve managed to build two simple machines that will allow me to manufacture all of the big wood screws I want, in short order. So if I figure my time at $35/hour, I’ll be in the black after I’ve made a dozen or so. So, guess what everyone’s getting for Christmas this year.
Well okay. If you only need a couple of big wooden screws, buy ’em. However, it seems that a number of wooden screw manufacturers have come and gone in recent times. So, it might be a valuable skill to have in your “toolkit”.
Here’s what did:
First, I laid out my spiral on the cylinder that would ultimately become the “lead screw”. Then I sawed down to the root depth.
Then I built a “box beam” and eight (or so) “stantions” that will be used during the screw making process.
Followers of this blog will immediately note that there is a router involved. I’m sorry!! But the machine is built in such a way that a manual cutter could be used. But, you know, I’m getting older, I don’t know how much time I have left, I’m not as strong as I used to be…. So live with it!! I used a router!!
Then I used one of the stantions to mount two “lunettes”. The lunettes are actually made from a .025″ x 12″ feeler gauge. See Roy Underhill’s book, “The Woodwrights Workbook” for an excellent explanation of how this will work and remember that the lunettes must be offset by half of the pitch (you’ll figure it out immediately). The “ramps” are set at an average angle of the pitch taken from the minor and major diameters.
Well, I’ll finish this up tomorrow. It’s been a full day and, alas, it’s time to retire.