With the help of a single-point tool, lathes are equipped for the making of screw threads through a process called threading. This is achieved by generating a helical groove, otherwise known as a flute, on a workpiece surface for the purpose of manufacturing external threads.
Maintaining a custodial feed rate and vigilantly monitoring the temperature, the tool is gently pressed into the workpiece to create a flute as deep as its nose radius allows. Excessive heat must be avoided while the process is undertaken.
With a single-point tool, the array of thread pitches available for threading is immense – ranging from barely-there to outrageously robust. This is because the cutting edge of the tool can be moved and adjusted, as opposed to being fixed in a single spot, which is the case with a multi-point tool.
Turning tools have two distinct groups used to shape external threads in a workpiece: form tools and threading chasers. Form tools enact machining and make the grooves in the material, while threading chasers shape the form of each thread.
For forming purposes, tools fashioned for optimal performance are typically composed of high-speed steel (HSS) or carbide. Additionally, the size and form of the tool is contingent on the type of flute that is to be cut.
Threading chasers come hammered from trusted HSS or carbide alloys, mirroring the composition of the form tool. Depending on the desired thread depth, numerous size and pitch selections are available for purchase.
A gang lathe grants endless flexibility with threading, allowing for a range of options from exposed and delicate to bulkier and coarser. This is feasible due to the malleable nature of the cutting edge, unlike that of a steady multi-point tool.
With the help of a gang lathe, you can effortlessly cut even the most twisted of left-handed threads. All it takes is a few easy adjustments and you can have the tool running from both directions.
When compared to a multi-point tool, a gang lathe carries with it a higher cost as well as an increased level of complexity of set up and utilization. It also fails to provide the same degree of versatility that is provided by its multi-point counterpart.