How to Make Threads on a Steel Rod

Updated July 19, 2017

Metal workers and mechanics sometimes need to fabricate a clamping device to fasten two materials together. A tap and die tool set is a common tool used to create threads with metal. A tap set cuts internal threads so a screw or bolt may thread into a hole, whereas a die set cuts external threads so a nut can be threaded onto a rounded metal object. The tap and die set can be used to cut threads in steel, aluminium and other metals used in the construction or automotive industries.

Clamp the steel rod into the bench vice securely. Use the metal file to create a bevelled surface along the edge of the rounded part of the rod.

Measure the gauge of the threads on the hexagon nut using the thread gauge. Depending on the type of nut you are using the threads may either be course or fine and metric or standard. Record the size of the threads by looking at the marking on the side of the gauge.

Select the correct die from the die set that correlates with your gauge reading from Step 2. Secure the die into the die wrench by tightening the set screws on both sides of the wrench until the die is firmly seated.

Apply cutting fluid to the steel rod. Position the die wrench perpendicular to the steel rod.

Turn the die wrench in a clockwise motion as you apply pressure. For every turn of the wrench back it off one-half turn. Continue to turn the die wrench until the required length of steel rod is threaded.

Clean the threads with the shop towel to remove any metal shavings and excess cutting fluid.

Tighten the hexagon nut onto the new threads of the steel rod. Run the nut the full length of the threads and reverse it back off.


Be certain that you are holding the die perpendicular to the steel rod. If the die is not square with the rod the threads will be cut at a false angle.

Things You'll Need

  • Bench vice
  • Die set and die wrench
  • Metal file
  • Hexagon nut
  • Cutting fluid
  • Thread gauge
  • Shop towel
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About the Author

Jeff Woodward has been writing since 2007, mostly for "Macabre Cadaver" Magazine, conducting interviews and movie and music reviews. Demand Studios has allowed Woodward to enter the nonfiction article writing market. Woodward's experiences as a parts manager in the trucking industry allow him to write articles for eHow.