Turning Archive 2005

Stopper tops won't come off the mandrel

Joe Pack
>I am turning a bunch (100+) of bottle stoppers for some upcoming shows. The style I am now using has a 3/8" thread that screws into the top. The instructions tell me to drill a 5/16 hole in the blank, then thread the blank onto a 3/8" threaded mandrel, which, theoretically, cuts the requisite threads into the blank. The blank goes on quite tight, but then, during turning and finishing on the lathe, tightens up so much more that it is all but impossible to unscrew it without messing up the finish. Some have been so tight that I have had to use channel locks around a pad to remove the blank.

I see on one web page that some folks use a 3/8" tap to manually thread the blank before mounting the blank on the 3/8" mandrel. This might make the threading on easier, but will it eliminate the overtightening while being turned and finished?

Any ideas on how to eliminate this problem of overtightening?

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