View Full Version : Pipe threading via H.F. power threading machine

03-18-2007, 12:50 PM
So, I was planning some pipe projects and had previously used a Rigid power hand threader.


This thing is the cats a**. It worked so well. When we were plumbing air pipe out at a plant & this thing made the work go so much easier. Not quite as nice as a horse type, but if the pipe was up hanging somewhere, you could get this thing up there and thread it without much effort.

Well, I saw a sale on the Harbor Freight pipe threading machine and decided to try it out.


I asked the manager if it didnt work, could I bring it back. I also included that I was going to take it home and use it that same day. He told me to just let him know if there was something wrong within a day or so and he would take care of me without the extra waranty.

So I took it home and tried the 1/2" and 3/4" dies. They worked fairly well. Not as smooth or as clean as the rigid model, but its HF and maybe a quarter of the cost. So I didnt complain.

Now I would have tried the other 2 dies but I didnt have the pipe laying around. Now I wished that I had run over to the hardware store and bought some short pipe lengths and tried it out.

SO........ I needed the 1" die yesterday for a home project. Out came the case, which btw, needed new latches after a few uses. As I worked I found that I had everything that I needed and didnt thread anything untill......

Right at the end, I needed a 9" pipe and a 31" part. So I cut the 9" with the HF machine. I had to stand on the pipe to force it into the dies as the machine cut. The threads were ok but not fantastic. But when I got to the 31" part, standing on the end was not an option. So I went out to the lathe and chucked up the pipe in the 3 jaw, and put pressure on the die with the tail stock. The lathe was only used as a fixture.

This time the dies looked like they were threading, but the pipe thread looked terrible. So, off to the hardware store about 5 till 9:00pm and got a new pipe and had them thread it with the horse at the store.

The project is done. Now I'm thinking that something needs looked at, ie the dies.

I'm wondering if this die is somehow set wrong. Not enough lead in maybe. Or, the chasers are just junk.

With that in mind, does anyone have a Rigid style threader that they could sanp a photo of the chasers? I'm thinking if they are the same style, I might be able to either check mine against them, or go to the local dealer and compair them there. Maybe even buy a set and see how they work out.


Now, with the standard "I told you so" comment on the quality of the Harbor Freight tool out of the way, what could be wrong with the chaser inserts?

I'm going to try taking some measurements tonight when things calm down. I remember that Geometric (Cleveland twist) had a sheet that covered the angles which these chasers sould be ground for different things. I might dig that out and look over it as well.


John Stevenson
03-18-2007, 01:35 PM
I bought a cheap import hand set a while ago when on of the big box stores had them on offer.
One just chewed the thread up and on inspection the dies looked OK.
I offered a already threaded pipe up to the dies and even though the dies were numbered and in the right order it was obvious that two were out of pitch, Tried swapping them and that put one in pitch but left an odd one.

As this was a fixed head, wind on, wind off I shimmed the die out and locked it into place and that worked OK.
May be worth checking against a ready threaded pipe?


Mike Burdick
03-18-2007, 01:39 PM

Just a note here. To make nice threads on pipe use PLENTY of dark thread cutting oil! This means soaking the threads at least once for every turn of the die - if not more often.

03-18-2007, 07:06 PM
Thanks gents. The items noted are on the list.

As for cutting oil, I had some stuff that I had used before to cut threads. But, I bought some stuff at the local hardware store for the next try. It says that it is formulated for threads.