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Free Metalworking Project Plans: Machinist’s Screw Jack (Lathe)

100_0072

Material: Steel
Units: (in)

After the Spring Center and the Soft Faced Hammer, the next lathe project I tackled was a set of  Screw Jacks. Why? Well, to create my jacks I had to build on my tapping and single point threading skills, both of which needed some work.

The project took several tries because during the threading process I kept setting the cross slide at 29.5 degrees from the centerline of the part, rather than 29.5 degrees from perpendicular to the centerline of the part. My threads kept coming out looking like buttress threads. I was so frustrated!

But once I figured out what I was doing wrong, my project progressed nicely. I don’t have a set of plans available for you to build my own, but I did find a set of plans by James Appleby for making a much simpler version of the ones I made. I’ve attached the plans below. Be sure to visit the Home Metal Shop Club for this project and other great project ideas.

If you’d like a set of plans for my jacks, leave a comment. If there’s enough interest maybe I’ll create a set of plans for them.

  Machinists_Screw_Jack.pdf (331.8 KiB, 7,268 downloads)
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About Tyler

Tyler is a hobby machinist and 3D printing aficionado. He teaches computer programming and web development at Highline near Seattle. Tyler founded Projects In Metal in 2008 because he was frustrated by the lack of free plans available for hobby machinists.

15 comments

  1. Tyler said
    100_0072

    Material: Steel Units: (in)

    After the Spring Center and the Soft Faced Hammer, the next lathe project I tackled was a set of  Screw Jacks. Why? Well, to create my jacks I had to build on my tapping and single point threading skills, both of which needed some work. The project took several tries because during the threading process I kept setting the cross slide at 29.5 degrees from the centerline of the part, rather than 29.5 degrees from perpendicular to the centerline of the part. My threads kept coming out looking like buttress threads. I was so frustrated! But once I figured out what I was doing wrong, my project progressed nicely.

    I don’t have a set of plans available for you to build my own, but I did find a set of plans by James Appleby for making a much simpler version of the ones I made. I’ve attached the plans below. Be sure to visit the Home Metal Shop Club for this project and other great project ideas. If you’d like a set of plans for my jacks, leave a comment. If there’s enough interest maybe I’ll create a set of plans for them.

      Machinists_Screw_Jack.pdf (331.8 KiB, 4,200 hits)

    Hey T, could you explain for us beginners just what you’re talking about
    here. :)   I get the 29.5º for the threads but you lost me on the other
    stuff. :)  Thanks.

  2. Hi Tony, no problem. I’d be happy to explain. What part has you puzzled? For me the difficult part proved to be figuring out how to set the compound to the proper angle for cutting threads because this was my first (or maybe second) project where I used the lathe to cut threads (rather than a die). I even used the lathe to cut the internal threads (instead of a tap) so it took a bit for me to wrap my head around the process. It’s a bit difficult to explain … but if you let me know what you’re puzzled about I’ll give it a shot.

  3. I really like what you have done.  I would appreciate some rough dimensions.

    The attached .pdf used a 1″ hex bar and 5/16 x 25 bolt.  Is the the same material you used?  

    Can you post some dimensions:  e.g. size of hex bar stock, diameter of threaded portion, and diameter of knurled portion.

     

  4. Hello Omni, Tyler is bogged down a bit with a cross country move and hasn’t been on the site in a while. The size of the hex stock and threads can be tailored to what you need or have on hand. There really is no hard rule to it. Unless you have an immediate need for it, it is more of an exercise in threading and knurling. Let me know if I can be of any help and post some pictures as you go along.

    Sammy

  5. I agree with Tyler about the frequency of use for jacks, but, when you do need them they are the cat’s meow.  I made four jacks two years ago and only needed them once, but they were the perfect solution for a leveling problem.  Very simple to make so it is up to you how complex you want to make them.

    Regards, Al