3/8 - 16 dowels

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Forum topic by vejesse posted 10-10-2011 07:35 PM 2115 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1 post in 2690 days

10-10-2011 07:35 PM

Hi guys, I’m new to the forum. I work as a luthier in Wisconsin and I’m looking to produce a small wooden part that incorporates a small threaded wooden spindle..

I was searching the internet for what I’m looking for and ran into a related thread on Lumberjocks. Someone with the handle TedS. mentioned he had found a supplier of wooden dowels threaded 3/8 -16. I was going to give him a message directly but I guess I can’t do that yet so I figured I would post something here.

I realize 3/8 – 16 is pretty small for wooden threads but I’m looking for a supplier in the U.S. that can produce this size thread in dowels made of a tough wood such as boxwood. Ebony would be even better. The length of the final part would be 1 1/2”, but I could use a longer dowel and cut lengths. The O.D. of the dowel before threading would be 0.370” (0.005” less than a full 3/8”) for less binding up.

I guy I used to work for had some luck doing this with a metal lathe. He would attach a Dremel tool to the tool post, chuck a small 60 degree cutter in the Dremel and feed it with the lead screw of the lathe. The dowels were boxwood first turned on a wood lathe and about 6 inches long. I guess the results were ok but it’s slow going and I want some parts in larger number and I don’t have the patience to mess with this. No problem tapping boxwood as it seems very tough but outside threads are a different story.

The Josef Teller company in Germany makes a part similar to what I’m interested in. The threads are M10 – 1.5, cut in ebony and the machined threads are very clean. I believe they use diamond or CBN tooling. I actually emailed them about making a version in 3/8 – 16 but they declined.

So, any ideas out there? I talked to about a half dozen specialty shops and nobody had a clue.

5 replies so far

View crank49's profile


4032 posts in 3240 days

#1 posted 10-10-2011 08:28 PM

Since 3/8-16 is the standard coarse thread for steel, why not just get a tap and die set for cutting steel threads and thread a piece of dowel

Does it have to be wood?

McMaster Carr has threaded rod in nylon, brass, bronze, aluminum, titanium, and of course half a dozed grades of steel.

View John Ormsby's profile

John Ormsby

1288 posts in 4006 days

#2 posted 10-10-2011 08:44 PM

Here is the link to TedS search for threaded dowels. It seems like he found a source but never posted it.

You might try emailing him.

-- Oldworld, Fair Oaks, Ca

View John Ormsby's profile

John Ormsby

1288 posts in 4006 days

#3 posted 10-10-2011 08:51 PM

You might have good luck with a metal lathe with threading capabilities. This way the dowel blank would be able to be milled rather than being subjected to the twisting force of a die.

-- Oldworld, Fair Oaks, Ca

View WayneC's profile


14043 posts in 4367 days

#4 posted 10-10-2011 11:41 PM

Related to sending him a PM. You need to have 5 forum posts. Post a bit more and then you will be able to send him a message. This was done to keep the level of spam down on the site.

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View sparks44pay's profile


24 posts in 2803 days

#5 posted 10-11-2011 04:19 AM

There is a company called Chicago dowel that I believe sells threaded dowels. I don’t know if they have the size you want though. I use a Beall wood threader to make threaded dowels with my router. Here’s a link I don’t think they have a setup to do a bolt that small or with that fine of thread though.

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