TECHNIQUE     ALL LEVELS | METAL                                      Microfasteners are                                  ...
To prevent taps and                                                                                            threading d...
Terminology                                                                                             NutsThreaded conne...
The assembled pendant is          E-Z Tap and Die                            21 ⁄4 x 11 ⁄2 in. (57 x 38 mm).          Hold...
E-Z Tap and                                               Allen wrench          Die Holder                                ...
5                                           6                                             7Assembling componentsUse bolts ...
E-Z Tap and Die                                                                                         2                 ...
■ contacts & suppliers | where to find itcontactsWhen contacting artists via e-mail, pleaseput “Art Jewelry” in the subjec...
Make itNo matter what kind of jewelry you’d liketo make — or what technique you’d like tomaster — you’ll get all the inspi...
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Art jewelry-tap-and-die-jill-erickson

  1. 1. TECHNIQUE ALL LEVELS | METAL Microfasteners are manufactured in various metals and sizes. The Nuts & Bolts of Threaded Connections Learn how to use tap and die tools to make cold connections in jewelry. by Jill L. EricksonT here are times when you want to connect two convenient for you to switch out design elements in a components but not necessarily permanently. piece of jewelry, make repairs, and add moveable parts. Or, maybe you want to attach a somewhat fragile And, of course, they look cool.component that wouldn’t withstand the pressure of How do you achieve the nut-and-bolt connection?a rivet. What you need in these scenarios is a more With tap and die tools. Yes, there’s a learning curve.forgiving cold connection: the nut-and-bolt connection. You’ll have to master the art of using miniature tap andThink of the versatility: Threaded connections allow you die tools and reading measurement charts. But it’s worthto disassemble components, giving you easy access to the effort. There’s nothing quite like the oomph andthem for cleaning. Threaded connections also make it options that nuts and bolts bring to jewelry designs. © 2010 Kalmbach Publishing Co. This material may not be reproduced in any form64 Art Jewelry ■ May 2010 without permission from the publisher.
  2. 2. To prevent taps and threading dies fromMeet the tools binding or breaking as you use them toIn this section, we’ll introduce you to typical tap and die tools and walk you cut threads, you mustthrough three basic things you can do with these tools: make a hole without keep them lubricated.threads, “tap” a hole (make a hole with threads), and “thread” a rod (use a die tomake threads on a wire/rod). For more terminology, check out the “ThreadedConnections At-A-Glance Glossary,” page 66. Threadless holes You don’t always have to thread a hole in order to connect pieces with nuts and bolts. The hole just + + = needs to be the proper diameter, and you’ll need to add a washer to each side of the assembly to make sure the connec- tion is secure. Clearance drill bit Flex shaft Nut driver or Tapped holes (threaded holes) Threaded holes engage the threads of a bolt. Tap wrench and tap You can secure this kind + or = of connection with just a nut at the back of your assembly. T-handle tap holder and tapFlex shaft andtap drill bit E-Z Tap and Die Holder and tap Threaded rods E-Z Tap and Die Making your own Holder and threaded rods (bolts) threading die is optional. You can + or = buy premachined bolts (and corresponding nuts). If you make your own Die stock and threaded rod for bolts, threading die you can customize the diameter and length to Wire/ fit your design. rod 65
  3. 3. Terminology NutsThreaded connections are all about the functional beauty of the ascending spiral.When a spiral is cut into a metal hole (tapping) or cut around a piece of rod (thread-ing), you’ve got the makings of nuts and bolts. First, though, it’s helpful to getacquainted with the vocabulary and tools associated with these cold connections. Washersthreaded connectionsat-a-glance glossaryBack off To turn a tap Kerf Slit or notch made Pilot hole Drilledor threading die counter- by a saw blade; some bolt opening made to helpclockwise to allow for the heads have a slit to accom- guide a tap as it cuts Boltsremoval of swarf and to modate a screwdriver threads into the metal;prevent overstressing or pilot holes are smaller Lubricant Oil used tobreaking the tool than the tap help prevent taps andBench vise Tool that threading dies from Strip To damage or tearclamps to a workbench binding as they cut metal the threads of a nut, bolt, Hex-head Roundand has two adjustable or threading die Machinist’s squarejaws for gripping objects Tool used to measure Swarf Metal fragmentsBolt Threaded rod with a a 90° angle created when metal is cuthead on one end; paired or ground Fillister National Coarse (N/C)with a nut Flat U.S. measurement system Tap Tool used to cutClearance drill bit Cuts for thread sizes used in threads into the wall ofa hole that is just large general-purpose applica- a holeenough for a bolt to pass tions. The “N” relates tothrough without the bolt’s the diameter of the bolt or Tap drill bit Cuts a pilot hole that is proportionate ordering toolsthreads touching the walls screw; “C” identifies theof the hole number of threads per in size to your selected tap and supplies inch. For example, N/C Tap drill chart Identifies When you’re ordering tools andCountersink To set the 10/24 is the same diameter the measurements ofhead of a bolt or screw supplies, make sure to match sizes of as N/C 10/32, but the compatible taps, threadingflush with or below the tap drill bits, which make pilot holes, 10/24 has fewer threads dies, tap drill bits, and wire/surface of a pilot hole; to the taps that cut threads into than the 10/32. rod stockslightly enlarging the the inside walls of pilot holes. Also,outer edge of a pilot hole National Fine Series (N/F) Tap wrench/T-handle threading dies, which cut threads onwith a ball or bud bur U.S. measurement system tap Devices that hold a tap securely, acting as a the outside of rod or wire, will needallows you to countersink for thread sizes used inthe bolt or screw precision applications like handle during tapping to fit the gauge of your rod or wire. jewelry making. The “N” Suppliers that sell taps, dies, tapDie see threading die Tapping Cutting threads number can be a relative drill bits, and clearance drill bits can into the walls of a pilot holeDie stock Tool that holds number like “0” or “00.” help you select matching sets ofa threading die, acting as a N/F sizes have more Threaded rod Rod that’s tools. Most suppliers have tap andhandle as you cut threads threads per inch than had threads cut into it, but drill charts to take the guessworkon wire/rod N/C sizes. A typical N/F does not have a bolt head out of selecting compatible tools forE-Z Tap and Die Holder size is N/F 0/80. Fasteners Threading Using a die to your specific project. It’s also helpfulDual-use tool that secures with these high thread cut threads on wire/rod to have a B&S wire gauge and a drillminiature taps and counts provide solid Threading die Tool used bit gauge. Ready-to-use machinedthreading dies in sizes holding power. to cut threads on wire/rod nuts and bolts are available fromN/F 00/90, 0/80, 1/72, and Nut Fastener with an Washer Flat, thin ring some suppliers.size N/C 2/56 internal thread that screws used in a nut-and-boltGauge Unit of measure onto a bolt to tighten or assembly to ensure athat describes the thick- hold something tight connectionness of wire or metal; a Nut driver (or socket online extratool used in measurement, Wire/rod Metal stock that wrench) Holds a hex- Download a free PDF of thesuch as a B&S gauge is cut with a threading die head bolt and/or nut to to make bolts “Threaded Connections At-A-Glance permit tightening Glossary” at www.artjewelry Art Jewelry ■ May 2010
  4. 4. The assembled pendant is E-Z Tap and Die 21 ⁄4 x 11 ⁄2 in. (57 x 38 mm). Holder and tapPart 1: Tapping materialsPlanning your design ■ Copper sheet: 18-gauge (1.0 mm),I sketched out a design for a pendant with 2 x 2 in. (51 x 51 mm)interchangeable enamel copper disks. To ■ N/F 0/80 bolts (choose from): hex,make the disks interchangeable, I planned round, flat, or fillisterto use nuts and bolts to attach them to a ■ N/F 0/80 nutsbackplate. I chose 18-gauge (1.0 mm) ■ Washers (optional)copper sheet for the backplate, because toolboxes, page 75it’s an appropriate gauge to use for making ■ Rivetingthreaded holes to fit N/F 0/80 ready-made ■ Sawing/piercingnuts and bolts. additional tools & supplies TIP: To make sure that you buy selected a #52 clearance drill bit to make ■ Drill-bit gauge (optional) bolts that are long enough to fit holes in the center of my domed copper ■ Clearance drill bit: #52 through all the layers of your disks. After drilling the clearance holes in ■ Scribe finished jewelry piece, measure the disks, I cleaned them and fused layers ■ Tap drill bit first. Stack your finished compo- of bright enamels on the concave side of ■ Tap: 0/80 nents, any sheet stock that you’ll the disks . ■ Tap holder (to fit 0/80 tap) make into components, and any ■ Anchor lube washers and nuts you plan to use. NOTE: You don’t need to make tapped ■ Machinist’s square or level ■ Sandpaper: various grits Then, use a brass gauge to (threaded) holes if you plan to use washers ■ 2 nut drivers (for 0/80 hex bolts measure the total thickness of the with your microbolts and nuts. You can and nuts) stack, and order bolts that are simply use a clearance bit and bolts in the ■ Jeweler’s screwdriver longer than that. appropriate size and assemble your components with nuts and washers. optional materials,Making clearance holes tools & supplies(no threads) ■ Brass rod: 14-gauge (1.6 mm),I decided to use a clearance drill bit for online tutorials 6 in. (15.2 cm)making holes in the center of my domed To learn the basic skills required to ■ Threading die: 0/80copper disks, because I would not be make the enameled disks for this ■ Die stock or die holdercutting threads in the disks due to my plan project, go to www.artjewelry (for 0/80 die)to fuse enamel on the metal. (Tapping a to watch ■ Ring clamphole before I enameled the disk made little demonstrations of the following ■ Riveting block techniques: using a disk cutter, ■ Pin visesense because stray grains of powdered doming disks with a dapping ■ Loctite or cyanoacrylate glueenamel could easily fuse to the inside of a ■ Soldering penthreaded hole. And trying to tap a hole block and punches, using athat’s surrounded by fragile fused enamel center punch, drilling metal, Find out where to buy supplies,didn’t seem too logical either.) and enameling basics. page 79 Referencing my supplier’s charts, I See Safety Basics, page 74 67
  5. 5. E-Z Tap and Allen wrench Die Holder 1 Set screw 4 Bushing Prepare the tap. Secure a tap in a tap holder. I used an E-Z Tap and Die Holder [3], because it provides a sensitive touch for tapping very small holes. Apply a drop of lubricant to the tap. Using a machinist’s square, position the tap perpendicular to Tap the sheet, above one of the pilot holes [Figure 2] [4]. 2 3 Tap the holes. Gently rotate the tap clockwise one rotation or until you feelTapping (threading) holes Drill pilot holes in the backplate. resistance. Back off by rotating the tapIf your design requires you to tap match- Place the sheet on a bench block, and use counterclockwise one-half rotation; thising holes through a front and back panel, a center punch to make a dimple at each removes swarf and prevents the tap fromsee “Stacked Tapping,” opposite, for a mark. Insert the sheet marked-side up in becoming overstressed. Keeping the tapquick tutorial. a vise; make sure that the sheet is level. lubricated, repeat these clockwise/ I decided to tap holes in my backplate counterclockwise rotations until the tapso I could use bolts to secure my enameled NOTE: Securing the metal sheet in a vise emerges from the bottom of the hole.disks to the backplate. before you drill it is a safety precaution Carefully back out the tap. that prevents the metal from becomingMark the position of the pilot holes for a dangerous spinning projectile. NOTE: Taps are brittle. Using forcethe backplate. Use a fine-tip marker or will result in a snapped tap. Be patient,scribe to mark the desired location of the Insert a tap drill bit of the appropriate use lubricant, and back off when youpilot holes on 18-gauge (1.0 mm) metal size into your flex shaft. I used a #55 tap feel resistance.sheet [1]. drill bit because it’s the size specified for 0/80 taps. Lubricate the bit. Keeping the Repeat the process to tap the remain-NOTE: Mark pilot holes on a rectangular or bit perpendicular to the sheet [Figure 1], ing holes.square piece of sheet; later you’ll need to drill a pilot hole through one of thesecure the sheet in a bench vise, and dimpled marks [2]. Repeat to drill pilot Prepare the sheet for assembly. Using airregular shapes are hard to secure. holes through the remaining marks. jeweler’s saw and a 2/0 blade B , cut the sheet to your desired backplate shape. Add your chosen findings. Then file and sand B the backplate. suggested reading Machinist’s One Good Turn: A Natural History of the square Screwdriver and the Screw by Witold Tap Rybczynski 90° 90° Figure 1 Figure 268 Art Jewelry ■ May 2010
  6. 6. 5 6 7Assembling componentsUse bolts and nuts to attach components.If you’re using a hex-head bolt to attach stacked tappingcomponents, use a nut driver to turn thebolt through the threaded hole [5]. Adda nut to the end of the bolt [6]. Whileholding the nut driver on the bolt head, If you want to use bolts to connect ause another nut driver to tighten the nut piece that has front and back panels, you’ll need to keep the panels alignedat the back of the assembly. and stacked as you tap (thread) them. Use a jeweler’s screwdriver to drivebolts that have a slot in the head [7]. [1] Make a metal sheet “sandwich.” Stack two metal For tips on how to cut down the sheets of identical size, and tape them together withlength of a bolt, see “Cutting a Bolt painter’s tape to make a “sandwich.”Down to Size,” below. [2] Mark and center punch the top sheet. Mark the location for holes in the top metal sheet. Use a center punch to dimple the marks. Secure the taped, Videos & Basics marked, and dimpled sandwich in a bench vise with Check out these bonus tutorials the marks facing up. for fundamental techniques used [3] Drill pilot holes. Starting at one dimple, drill in this project: through both layers of sheet metal. Insert a piece of snug-fitting wire or tubing into the hole; this will • Drilling through metal keep the two sheets aligned. • Sawing B • Sanding B Repeat to drill and fit wire or tubing into the next hole. Repeat until all the pilot • Setting wire rivets B holes are drilled through both layers of sheet. B Basics, page 73 [4] Tap the holes. Remove the wire or tubing from one hole. Lubricate your Videos, www.artjewelrymag. tap, and tap through both layers of sheet. Thread a bolt through the tapped com/videos hole to maintain alignment of the two sheets. Repeat on the remaining holes. cutting a bolt down to size When you’re using premade bolts, you might [2] Use an extra-fine marker to mark the bolt have to purchase a longer bolt than your where you want to cut it. assembly requires. Here’s one way to cut the [3] Disassemble the components. bolt to the correct size. [4] Screw the nut back in place on the bolt, using the mark as a guide. NOTE: Do not use wire cutters to trim a bolt; [5] Secure the head of the bolt in a ring clamp. they will deform the bolt and strip the threads. [6] Use a jeweler’s saw and blade to cut off the end of the bolt [Photo]. [1] Assemble your components, including [7] Unscrew the nut; this helps to maintain the the nut. integrity of the threads at the end of the bolt. 69
  7. 7. E-Z Tap and Die 2 Holder and 1 threading diePart 2: Threading a rod making threadedSo, now you’re a threaded-connections This particular threading die has a ring that connectionsdiehard and you want to make your ownbolts. You’ll need a tool called a “threading slides up and down the shank, allowing you to adjust the size of the cutting moredie” and a device called a “die stock,”which holds the threading die (see opening. This feature makes it easier to fit the die to the rod you are threading. permanent Maybe you have no intention of“Threaded Connections At-A-Glance disassembling threaded connec-Glossary,” page 66). Cut threads into the rod. Add a drop of tions because you used them for lubricant to the jaws of the die. Keeping purely aesthetic reasons. To makeSelect the rod and die. Referencing your the die directly over the rod, turn the die these connections permanent, yousupplier’s charts, buy a die that corre- holder or die stock clockwise one rotation have a couple of options.sponds to the gauge of rod you want to or until you feel resistance. Back off, andcut threads into. I used 14-gauge (1.6 mm) turn the die counterclockwise one half- 1. Use a riveting hammer to tapbrass rod, which corresponds to my rotation. Add lubricant and repeat these the end of the bolt to turn it intosupplier’s 0/80 threading die. forward and backward rotations until a rivet. you’ve threaded the length of the rod. 2. Apply a tiny drop of Loctite orRound the end of the rod. Secure the cyanoacrylate glue to the bolt threads just before you assemblerod in a ring clamp. Use a flex shaft and Make a head on the bolt. Insert the your piece.a cup bur to round the end of the rod [1]. threaded rod into a riveting block, leavingOr, use a needle file to slightly round and about 1 mm of the rod exposed. Use a NOTE: If you later decide totaper the end of the rod. riveting hammer to spread the end of the disassemble the piece, and if it rod [2], as you would when setting a wire can safely withstand the heat ofPrepare the rod for threading. Secure rivet B . Using the flat head of a ball-peen a soldering pen, you can heatthe rod in a bench vise. Make sure the rod hammer, strike the spread edges of the the glue with the pen to breakis perpendicular to the vise [Figure 3]. rod, creating a slightly domed head. the glue’s bond.Prepare the die. Secure the threading die Cut a slit into the head. Secure the non- 3. If your assembly can withstand[Figure 4] in the die stock or die holder. hammered end of the rod in a ring clamp the heat of a torch, solder the nut- and-bolt connections with a or a pin vise. Support the clamp against pallion of easy solder. your bench pin. Using a jeweler’s saw and a 1/0 blade, cut a slit into the head. Check Threading die that your jeweler’s screwdriver fits into the slit. If necessary, use the saw and blade to widen the slit. Remove the rod from the acknowledgements clamp. A sincere thank you to Frankie Wire/rod 90° Flood, assistant professor and director of foundations in the jewelry/metalsmithing department Jaws at the University of Wisconsin– Milwaukee, for his technical advice during the writing of this article. Adjustable ring Thanks also to Bill Seeley at Threading wire/rod with a die (opens/closes jaws) Reactive Metals for his expert tips. Figure 3 Figure 470 Art Jewelry ■ May 2010
  8. 8. ■ contacts & suppliers | where to find itcontactsWhen contacting artists via e-mail, pleaseput “Art Jewelry” in the subject line.Artist Profilepage 41■ Amy Roper Lyons, www.amyroperlyons.comGAllerypage 45■ Colleen Baran, 50■ Kristin Beeler, Breeze throuGh A wire■ Maggie Bergman, dAisy ChAin page 50■ Michelle Dickman, ■ Razor flush cutters (Tronex Technology■ Cheryl Eve, Inc.,■ Mary Filapek & Lou Ann Townsend, ■ Silver-plated ParaWire (Paramount Wire Company,■ Mark Lasater, ■ Silver-plated copper wire (Artistic Wire,■ Marina Marioni,; Beadalon,■ Tim O’Neill, ■ Gold craft wire (WalMart,■ So Young Park,■ Marthe Roberts/Shea, try intArsiA: Jan Smith, Puzzle 60 stone■ into A PAttern 45 page 60 ■ Hot Stuff glue, Super-T Medium (Satellite City Inc., ■ Genie Gem Maker combination machine (Diamond Pacific, Jewelrypage 82 the nuts And Bolts of■ Lynette Andreasen, threAded ConneCtions page 64 ■ EZ Tap and Die Holder, taps, dies, microsuppliers bolts, nuts, drill bits, cup burs, socket wrench, threaded rod (Reactive Metals,For contact information for project authors, 800.876.3434, Contributors, page 8. ■ T-handle tap holder, die stock, taps, dies (Micro-Mark, 800.225.1066,Coreless ConstruCtion: the MetAl ClAy ■ Stainless steel bolts, threaded rod, nutshollow forM (Small Parts Inc., 800.220.4242,page 34■ Metal clay, tools (Rio Grande, ■ Nuts, bolts, washers (Micro Fasteners, 800.545.6566,; 800.892.6917, Whole Lotta Whimsy, www.wholelotta 34 64 79
  9. 9. Make itNo matter what kind of jewelry you’d liketo make — or what technique you’d like tomaster — you’ll get all the inspiration and adviceyou need from leading jewelry artisans in everyissue of Art Jewelry magazine.Plus, subscribers gain exclusive online access!Post photos of your work in the SubscriberGallery, read reviews of products tested by theeditors, and download free projects.Art Jewelry covers: ■ Metals ■ Chain mail ■ Metal clay ■ Polymer clay ■ Stones and gems ■ Enamel ■ Wire ■ And more!Subscribe today tolearn new techniques!Order online promotional code: IK87ZOr call 1-800-533-6644Monday – Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Central Time.Outside the U.S. and Canada, call 262-796-8776, ext. 661. magazineCIR-ADH-09X1597RH