Tailstock Die Holder

One thing I've been doing a lot of lately on the lathe is cutting threads. One trouble with cutting threads with a handheld die holder is keeping the die precisely perpendicular to the work - even something that looks perfect to the eyeball might be a degree or two off, which can be pretty noticeable when the surfaces don't make perfect contact when you screw them together. And it isn't like with wood, where you can force the joint a bit and crush everything together slightly to hide a slightly-off joint. So one solution to this problem is make a die holder that rides on the tailstock, to keep it both perfectly aligned with the axis of the lathe and perpendicular to the shaft being threaded. Over the past couple of weekends I've been making my old tailstock die holder, as you can see below. The tapered shaft on the left mounts in the tailstock, and the die holder (on the right) rides on the narrower half of the shaft (which isn't tapered). The narrow bar in the middle can be screwed into the body of the die holder if a little more torque is required. The recess at the end of the die holder is where the round dies are mounted when in use. The die holder was made from aluminum (to keep it light), and the rest of the parts are made of steel. This was my first experience turning steel. It went better than I expected, but I've got some reading to do to learn what cutting tool edge geometry works best for steel.

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