Pat, This is actually quite simple. Most of my work involves using a
"tap" and/or a “die” A tap is used to make threads inside something,
like a tube or some sheet metal. A die is used to make threads on the
outside of something, such as a piece of wire. If you are using wire
that is 13 gauge or smaller you won’t be able to find small enough
taps and dies at the local hardware store, or at least I have never
found them there. The best place to purchase them is through a model
train catalog, a place called Micro-Mark (www.micromark.com), Reactive
Metals (www.reactivemetals.com) or my favorite (but most expensive :()
Small Parts (www.small-parts.com). Sounds like all you need is the
First determine the gauge of your wire and look at the tap and die
chart on this page: www.reactivemetals.com/rmsref.htm, match it up
with the correct die and purchase it from your source of choice and
don’t forget the die stock (the thing that holds the die) although if
I’m using a 0-80 or 00-90 die I don’t use the die stock. Pick up some
cutting oil as well, a small can will last forever.
I’ve found you need at least 3 or 4 threads to make a good
connection, consider this when designing. Cut a piece of wire longer
than you need and put it in a vice with an inch or so sticking out.
If you look at the die one end will have a taper that goes from wider
to thinner, basically you want to screw this on to the wire. But, you
can’t just screw it on, this is especially true with taps, taps like
to break. So turn with the wire sticking up, apply the wide end of
the die and turn it counter clockwise slowly for a turn or so and then
take half a turn back and apply a bit of cutting oil. You can
continue like this down the whole length of wire or just a few turns.
I always thread more than I need and cut it to fit. Also rounding the
end will make it easier to thread, just look at the end of any screw
and you will see what I mean.