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Thread: How I made a giant nut for the giant screw.

  1. #1
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    How I made a giant nut for the giant screw.

    The tricky part of the whole job was in threading the hole. Also,not having the nut shrink up and bind the screw. You'd NEVER get the giant screw out of the hole if it became stuck.

    I needed a log that was gnarly looking,like the original in the photographs,which I do not have to show you. I also needed a log that was much drier than the green wooded screw. In a country sawmill,I found my log. It was about 40" in diameter,and old and gray. The bark had all fallen off,it was so old. Sure enough,later on I discovered it had barbed wire in it,which is why the lumber mill had never sawn it up!!

    It was sold to me as oak,but without the bark it was hard to identify. It turned out to be half dry hickory,and as tough as nails to cut.

    You can see me slabbing one side of the log down with a chainsaw,which was very hard on my back,as I've had severe back trouble since I hurt it at age 21. The log was just too large to get into a saw mill that had been found to cut the other 2 sides. The front side was left un cut,looking very crude and gnarly,much like the original press in the pictures.

    After I had slabbed the log's side,we took it to a sawmill where the other 2 sides were squared up with a very large circular saw blade with inserted teeth. Most sawmills use bandsaws these days.

    After the nut was complete,I went over the 3 surfaces with an adze and got rid of the saw cuts on the surfaces.

    We took off the cross slide on the old lathe,and got the log up onto the lathe with a forklift. The log must have weighed a ton,even trimmed down.

    We chained the log down tightly. You can see a 4" drill making the initial cut. Then,the hole was bored out to 8" diameter. It was JUST possible to pass a router at a 45 angle through that hole(while making the first threading cut 1" deep). I got lucky on that one!

    A jig was welded up to hold the router at the angle,and it had a slide with set screws so that we could make successively deeper cuts. What about the cord? The router's jig was welded onto the end of a 4" pipe about 2 feet or more in length. I had the router on an extension cord,and just let it wrap around the pipe,keeping it clear of the 4 jaw chuck. The lathe was going about 6 RPM the whole time,so it wasn't dangerous keeping the line free if the chuck.

    After these 2 things were done,I hauled them back to Williamsburg. The housewrights and I made the big frame and assembled the cider press.

    The cider press can be seen in the FAQ section. It is about 8 feet wide and 10 feet tall.

    I also had to make an apple grinder to go with it,but that is another subject to be added another time.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  2. #2
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    So you clamped the block to the crosslide and mounted the router in the 4 jaw?
    The Plane Anarchist

  3. #3
    Wow, George. That's just amazing. I can't imagine doing something that large.

    Mike
    Go into the world and do well. But more importantly, go into the world and do good.

  4. #4
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    Leigh,that is correct. The 4"pipe was clamped in the 4 jaw.

    Mike,they had specialists in the 18th.C. for making screws,especially large ones. It would take a team of men,and horses to handle the weight of these screws and nuts. They probably threaded the holes with a special jig,like you may have seen on the Woodwright's Show,only much larger,with 1 or more thread shaped blades to scrape out the threads.

  5. #5
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    Clamping a router to a compound to cut external threads is not so far out but, clamping a router in a 4 jaw?? I don't think I could have thought of that one! I guess it is kind of an extension of the line boring in a lathe thought process (I've never done that either).
    The odder the better!
    The Plane Anarchist

  6. #6
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    The process is described in the text,Leigh. The 4" pipe was held in the chuck. Re read it.

  7. #7
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    Yeah, I can figure it out when I read how you did it but I was trying to comment that I'd have never figured how to make this without reading about it first. When I worked in a job shop we'd get some odd stuff to do but nothing like this.
    The Plane Anarchist

  8. #8
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    George, fascinating! One question that I have is if the router was mounted to the chuck, and the cross slide removed, how did you control the feed rate for making the threads?

  9. #9
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    I read this post first, and didn't get it. Then I read the NUT post, and coming back here, I now understand how you cut the internal threads. That must have been an awesome sight to have a router coming at you (looking through the hole from behind), screaming, with a cutter spinning 10K+ RPM, and the router all wobbly / screwy turning around! I would have loved to have seen this. I would have happily swept the shavings to be around this type of project.

    Todd

  10. #10
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    I went looking for the press on the Williamsburg site. Didn't find it yet, but did find this:

    http://www.history.org/Foundation/jo...ay06/tools.cfm

    Todd

  11. #11
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    That is some damn fine problem solving, there George.

  12. #12
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    Scott,the text does explain how the router was adjusted. It was mounted on a 45 slideway on the end of the 4" pipe. No adjustment of the chuck was necessary.

    Glad all of you are enjoying this.

  13. #13
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    Speechless.

  14. #14
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    You may have already answered this, but does this screw and nut work with just wood against wood, or is it greased?
    Veni Vidi Vendi Vente! I came, I saw, I bought a large coffee!

  15. #15
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    I did take a large torch,a barn brush and a big pan of beeswax and thoroughly paint the screw while it was still in the lathe,heating the wood some to get the wax to sink in,so it wouldn't just wipe off.

    My other motive was to get the screw to dry from the inside,via the 2" hole bored through its center.

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