Tips/Techniques Cutting screws down to length

Tips/Techniques

Janger

(John)
Administrator
Premium Member
@Susquatch explains his quick and dirty yet effective screw shortening technique.

 

fixerup

Member
I have a two favorite techniques to cut my screws to length.

SHCS are the easiest. I cut the screw about < 1 mm longer than needed. Then I put the socket part of the screw in my cordless drill chuck and dress the tip of the screw on an angle on my bench grinder. 99% of the time a nut will just screw on without any problem. The belt sander work great to.

For other type of screws heads, the cordless drill chuck will not hold them properly. So I have this screw holder tool I made. It's 1" X 5" long 1/8" thick steel bar with about 20 holes ranging from 1/16" to 1/2".
Again the screw is cut about 1mm longer than needed. The screw is inserted in the closest fitted hole in the screw holder. I then grab the screw holder firmly and used the associated driver to rotate the screw while grinding the tip on the bench grinder or belt sander. For slotted head screw it's a little tricky, the screw driver tip sometimes slips off, but you only need a few rotations to evenly grind the end of the screws to fit a nut over it. If possible I like to rotate the screwdriver stem with my fingers I get more rotation and a better finish that way.

Cheers!
 

Susquatch

Ultra Member
Moderator
Premium Member
You know I think the forum could write a good tips and tricks with machining book.

I agree.

I got old (let's say 65 just to pick a number) without this forum. I never had any formal machining training. But I was practically born fixing things. I got my first lathe 45 years ago or so, converted a drill press to a poor man's mill 35 years ago or so, retired 15 years ago, and bought a much nicer lathe and a big mill/drill 10 years ago.

But it wasn't till I started looking for a bigger knee mill that I found the CHMW Forum. With the forum's help, I bought a really nice used Bridgeport and a Hartford Bridgeport Clone a few weeks later. It's been an amazing ride ever since. There are very few days when I don't learn something new on here. The depth and breadth of the combined knowledge is simply breathtaking.

Even as an old man, I can only begin to imagine what a gold mine such a book would be! Then I think about it's value if I was a young fella just starting out....... Every page would be like learning for another year.
 

Susquatch

Ultra Member
Moderator
Premium Member
Hey @Janger, I wrote that previous reply and then decided to get myself a coffee, relax in a big rocker, and then start reading through all our tips and tricks......

That was a plan gone bad. Apparently we don't really have such a thing (unless I missed it). Yes, we have a tips N tricks flag under shop and shop tools, and we have a welding supplies, techniques, and tips section, but we don't really have a tips N tricks section. They are all over the place. You can't even search on "tip" because the word is too short!

@thestelster sort of started his own a while back, which I really liked.

Do you think such a new section would be worthwhile? If so, it might make a good start on our book!
 
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thestelster

Ultra Member
Premium Member
My god!! That book would be a million pages in length. Divided into volumes of the different machines, and then chapters into each of the processes, for example: levelling, truing, turning, parting, threading, boring, knurling, speeds and feeds, etc.

But you would need a panel of experts to determine the best one or two methods for each of those processes.

Expertly written, with top quality pictures and videos. And...and...and...

What an amazing endeavor!!

Susquatch's Magnum Opus
 

Susquatch

Ultra Member
Moderator
Premium Member
My god!! That book would be a million pages in length.

I dunno about @Janger, but I was only thinking Tips-N-Tricks not a machinists handbook. :p

Stuff like:

To set your Z height, @thestelster suggests using a piece of paper. (Along with a few paragraphs to explain.)

To cut screws down to a desired length, @Susquatch suggests making a custom grinding gauge plate. (Along with a few paragraphs to explain.)

If we had the section for it, I'd prolly just give each tip a title and then link to the thread on the forum just like @Janger did in the thread above. This would make it easy for members to scan the tips for entertainment or information.

Anyway, it's just an idea building on what I think Janger was thinking (always a dangerous thing to ponder.....)
 

Brian26

Active Member
Premium Member
Funny you should mention that... I just made a much heavier plate for my 10x22 lathe and part of that required me to cut down some 8mm bolts to a rather exact length. I am the happy owner of a Milwaukee 12v portable band saw and this tool makes short work of cutting through any sort of metal you can throw at it. I once cut off a piece of 1.5 x 1.5 inch steel bar with it - but I digress... This band saw made short work of shortening the bolts to just over the needed length. I then bored an 8mm hole in a piece of 3/4" steel I had to hand, and then put each bolt through that and held the supported bolt against a moving 1 x 42" belt sander. Bolt was at 90 degrees vertically, and I could see it was roughly square horizontally as well. A few seconds took it down to the correct length. A quick freehand touch up at an angle on the belt and Bob's your father's older brother!
 

fixerup

Member
I liked the threaded hole and the staking washer idea. So I added them to my existing screw cutting jig. I did threads for M3 to M6 and 6-32 to 1/4.
The plus is it can also be used has a screw thread checking tool .
 

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