How to Build a Hand Tap for Turned Wooden Lamps




Introduction: How to Build a Hand Tap for Turned Wooden Lamps


A quick instructable on how to build a simple tool to thread turned wooden lamps. This tool makes wiring wooden lamps very easy.

Step 1: Materials and Tools Needed

You will need following materials:

- 1 long screw, about 4 inches long
- 2 nuts that fit the screw
- 1 threaded nipple (snicker), about 4 inches long
- Plasti Dip

You will need the following tools:

- 2 pairs of pliers
- A drill and drill bit, the drill bit should be a little bit bigger than the screw's diameter
- A punch

And you will need a turned wooden lamp base as well.

Step 2: Drill Through the Threaded Nipple and Assemble

Use the punch to make a mark about 1/4 - 1/2 an inch from one end of the threaded nipple. Drill completely through.

Put one nut on the screw, then the threaded nipple, then the other screw. Use the pliers to tighten the two nuts. Try to center the threaded nipple on the screw.

Step 3: Dip the Tool Handles in Rubber

This is an optional step, but makes a big difference.

Dip the screw end into Plasti Dip and let it dry. This adds a comfortable rubber coating to the handles. You may need to dip multiple times to get the desired feel.

Step 4: Using the Tool

A 11/32" hole needs to be drilled completely through the turned wooden lamp base (preferable drilled with a drill press). Widen the top of the through hole with a 3/8" drill bit, about 1/8 inch deep. This will make the threading process easier.

Insert the tool (screw side up of course) into the hole and turn clockwise. The hardness of the wood will determine how easy this step is. Turn the tool to the desired depth and then remove. The tool will most likely be a little hot and covered in saw dust. Let it cool down and brush off the dust. Repeat the last two steps until the tool turns with ease in the lamp base.

Insert a new threaded nipple into the base and you're ready to wire the lamp.



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    11 Discussions

    it may be optional, but the results(how much easier it will be to thread) is off the scale.

    I hate to nag but it does not matter a hoot if the wooden base is turned, carved or whacked to shape with a chain saw. If it is soft material it doesn't even have to be wooden. The point is that you are instructing as to a cheap way to install threads in some lamp bases.

    1 reply

    This is good. I would probably make two or three kerfs in the snicker. They would begin at the cutting end and run parallel to the snicker. For one thing, the kerfs would give the wood dust from the threads a place to go during cutting. I would probably also remove the snicker from the hole periodically to clear away dust.

    5 replies

    It's not as easy as just cutting a kerf. If you simply cut one into a normal screw, then the cross section of each tooth of the thread will just be a flat triangle. That won't cut anything very well; it'll just bash into the wood and jam up. Good, commercially available taps have a kerf and THEN the cross section of each little thread going into the kerf is sharpened, which is pretty much impossible to do on your own. With wood, it might just work anyway, because wood is really easy to tap, even hardwood. But I'd recommend simply going with the pressed threads. The kerf I don't think will help you, and it might encouraging jamming.

    By kerfs do you mean cuts up the length of the tap thread, to let the swarf collect? I was about to suggest that... and the received wisdom on good tapping technique seems to be half a turn backwards for every turn forwards, or a quarter for every half if you are being ultra-careful- corrections welcome.

    Here is a crude graphic to show an outline of your thread tapper. The kerf is the heavy black area. There would be three of them. It is just an idea.


    In the Origional version posted, the threads will end up being PRESSED into the wood... Your version will/should actually CUT the threads. You'll want to use a slightly smaller diameter drillbit to compensate.

    I assumed he was cutting the threads. Pressing threads into a hardwood seems like a difficult thing to do.

    Wow, thats really simple, the dipping really turns it from a bodge job tool, into something rather professional.

    1 reply