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Question: After reading your latest article on the joinery bench, my son and I have agreed to build one for each of us to use in a room in the house away from the elements of an unheated or air conditioned garage work shop. 

I also have a couple of other “hobbies” that I would hope to use the same bench for. To be sure we do it right I am purchasing your book “Workbenches,” hopefully to glean information on the proper construction of a wooden vise with wood screws.  Does your book in fact contain that information?  If not can you point me in the correct direction?
– B. R. Clifton

Answer: Nope. I don’t cover making your own wooden screws. It’s a simple enough process with a Beall tap and die making kit.

Or you can buy premade wooden screws, which is what I normally do because the Beall threader doesn’t cover the big sizes, like 2-1/2″ and 3″.

Taps of that size price out at $1,200 from Germany.

The other option is to go to town and make them with a chisel. But I’ve never been man enough.

Sorry to disappoint.

– Christopher Schwarz

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Showing 5 comments
  • Doug F.


    Check out and if you’re looking for bench vise size screws.


  • Dan Miller

    St Roy has done a couple of shows over the years on Screw threads. There is also the method of chasing the threads on a lathe. Takes a little practice but it can be done. Also there are some methods shown in Landis Workbench book (if memory serves) as well as the old Fine woodworking book on the Small Workshop.


  • Paul Stine

    Roy Underhill had an episode entitled "Screw Box for Wooden Threads". He covers making the cutter out of an old triangular file.

    You can view the episode at UNC-TV online:

    Might not hurt to kick a couple bucks toward PBS.

  • Jonas

    I have seen an article in an old popular mechanics workshop special issue from the 50’ies or 69’ies where they show you how to make you own tap and die set.
    I made the tap for a 1" thread, but I never got around to finish the die.
    The tap was made on a screw cutting metal lathe, and the die was a wood job with a piece of tool steel inside.
    But the problem is if you want to spend the time making it, if you only make a spindle once after that.

  • Tim Shumaker

    In an earlier edition of Fine Woodworking there was a long article on how to make you own wooden screw tap. Part of it involved laying out and making the original screw which holds the cutter which cuts the internal threads.

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