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Thread Measuring Wires

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Nick Hacking

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If this is a daft question, I apologize in advance.

I've seen a couple of machinists talking about thread measuring wires on YouTube and I thought that I'd look into buying a set. From my research (Google!) they don't seem to be very common here, in the UK, and those that are for sale appear to be very expensive.

I could order them from the US, where they seem to be commonplace, but the postage and import fees tend to be more than the sets of wires themselves.

I wonder: are these things really unusual in the UK? If so, why? And what do British engineers prefer to use in their place?

I'm simply curious. Can anyone enlighten me, please?

Kind wishes,

Nick
 

catsparadise

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Hi Nick,

They're available here in the UK. I got my set from arceurotrade.co.uk (no connection, just a satisfied customer). Price is under £10, so not expensive. Look under the measurement > thread gauges and wires section.

Rob
 

ericc

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I use music wire that I measure myself. If you go on the internet, you can find a thread wire calculator that works for non-standard wire sizes. When in doubt, use the ghetto solution.
 

benmychree

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I had a friend, a competent machinist, who needed to make a special part to fit something that could not be brought to my shop; he used baling wire for the wires, I made a plug gage to his measurement, and used it to make a nut to fit his threaded part. The best thing is to have thread micrometers; they read directly in pitch diameter, used ones are affordable on E Bay and imports can also be had for reasonable sums.
 

mikey

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Nick, listen to John and look into thread micrometers instead of thread wires. Why? Imagine that you're cutting a precision thread and have to hit a narrow tolerance range. You cut, measure, cut, measure until you hit your mark. Now think about the hassle of wresting three wires in place and holding them there while you maneuver a mic over those wires every time you need to check the pitch, then think about doing this who knows how many times until you get the thread cut. A thread mic is direct reading, fast and accurate. Listen to John.
 

benmychree

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For most jobs using a thread mike in the 0-1 range, two thread mikes are necessary, I'd not worry about the fine pitch mike, of course there is the possibility that a mike with interchangeable anvils would cover the whole range. At my shop, I bought three sets of Polish thread mikes of the interchangeable anvil type, 0-3", they were quite nice, but I had to leave them behind when I sold the business, but I took about 5 non interchangeable ones home, and they preform most all the tasks that I need them for, they all were used, off E Bay. Bottom line, thread wires are a PITA at best.
 

mikey

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I have used thread wires (B&S) for several decades, a Fowler (Chinese) thread mic and I now own a Tesa 0-1 and 1-2 sets with anvils. There is no doubt that a thread mic is faster and easier to use vs wires. I think the current crop of Chinese thread mics with anvil sets are good enough for hobby shop use and this is the way I would go. If you are really well heeled or lucky on ebay, Mitutoyo also makes high quality thread mics.
 

benmychree

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There is also a device known as thread triangles, only two things to hold onto, but really not much better than wires, and they do not read directly at the pitch diameter.
 
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