Working with pipes can require the use of specific pipe threading tools for the creation of internal and external threads. Several types of tools are available, tailored to the demands of each distinct kind of pipe.
The world of pipe threading tools is split neatly into two distinct classes of tools- hand-held and machine-powered. Those that are held in hand are typically used for pipes of smaller diameter, while the larger pipes better respond to the swift power of machine-run tools.
A ratchet pipe threader is the most frequent kind of hand-held pipe threading tool. This contraption consists of a handle, a ratchet head, and the die head – which is affixed to the end of the handle, equipped with the cutting dies that will manufacture the threads into the pipe.
To start threading a pipe with a ratchet pipe threader, you’ll need to choose the appropriate size die head for your project. Attach the die head to your handle and then slide the ratchet head into the die head.
Positioning the ratchet pipe threader over the end of the pipe to be threaded, a clockwise turn of the handle sets off a series of events: the ratchet head rotates the cutting dies housed inside the die head and threads are cut into the pipe.
When creating internal threads, the ratchet pipe threader should be placed atop the pipe’s end and the handle is rotated in a clockwise rotation. For external threads, the device must be installed beneath the end of the pipe and handle diverted in a direction that is anti-clockwise.
Upon reaching the intended thread count, the ratchet pipe threader is detached from the pipe, and its handle is turned counterclockwise to disengage the cutting dies from the die head.
Cutting threads into larger diameter pipes can be achieved through machine-powered pipe threading tools – most notably, the lathe. This device is equipped with turning power which ensures a workpiece is set in rotation, as specialized cutting tools are used to irrevocably etch grooves into the surface.
Cranking the lathe by hand is the traditional technique when it comes to operating manual lathes, with an electric motor taking charge of automatic lathes.
The chuck of the lathe firmly grasps the pipe, prepping it for threading. Then, the cutting tool is carefully aligned over its surface before the spinning of the lathe starts. Soon enough, threads are etched into its surface.
As the lathe whirrs, the pipe rotates beneath the cutting tool, which gradually carves threads into the surface of the pipe. To vary the depth of these threads, the cutting tool can be repositioned and readjusted accordingly.
Once the ideal thread amount has been attained, the lathe’s operation comes to an end and the tube is extracted from it’s hold in the chuck.
When creating threads on a pipe, a variety of methods can be employed. Hand tools such as taps and dies can be used for smaller pipes, while a lathe can be used with larger pipes. The choice of tool will depend upon the size and type of pipe to be threaded.