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Ever use a thread file? Do you have one? here's a how to.

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by gggGary, Mar 9, 2014.

  1. I have one and use it.

  2. now I know how to use my thread file

  3. I'm going to pick up one for the tool box.

  4. I never screw up and always buy new stuff instead of repare.

  5. Why? Just use a bigger wrench, that nut's going ON damn it.

Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. gggGary

    gggGary Stop that! XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor



    I have a metric and SAE thread file in addition to tap and die sets and have used them both many times.
    Rear axles, foot peg studs, swing arm bolts, engine mount bolts, steering stems. It's a long list. Hammer marks, oops i dropped it. road rash, cross threads, and of course the dreaded PO, there are many reasons to grab one.
    tyke61 likes this.
  2. thelowlife

    thelowlife XS650 Addict

    I never heard of them then the mechanic at work bought a bunch of them from the MAC tool guy and we tried them out... needless to say I now have a full stock of them.
    gggGary likes this.
  3. Sparky

    Sparky XS650 Addict

    my dad has one, and ive used it plenty of times. often a tap and die set will do the same work, but i can see times where this is the best answer.
    gggGary likes this.
  4. arcticXS

    arcticXS XS650 Guru Top Contributor

    Some thread files can even fix damaged INTERNAL thread. On these thread files, the outer 20-25 mm are cut at 90 degrees to the rest of the file, and one can "scrape" away damage in nuts and caps. But only for larger diameters, I would say M12 and upwards.
    gggGary likes this.
  5. 5twins

    5twins XS650 Guru Top Contributor

    I had my metric thread file for several years before even trying it. Now I use it all the time. It's a wonderful tool.
    gggGary likes this.
  6. I use them all the time they work great on bigger stuff like lug studs and axle's
    you can fix threads then use a die. make's it ezer on the die.
    gggGary likes this.
  7. Downeaster

    Downeaster Everything in XS Top Contributor

    Have used them before, but don't currently have one in my toolbox.

    I should probably fix that oversight.
    gggGary likes this.
  8. arcticXS

    arcticXS XS650 Guru Top Contributor

    I also learned another handy trick when I was an apprentice fitter in a shipyard in the 80's.
    If you have a nut and bolt assembly, and the threads are stiff and do not turn freely. Obviously any dirt and rust must be removed first, then oil the threads lightly, and screw the nut on BY HAND until it stops. Then tap all 6 sides of the nut on a vice or anvil, this will flatten any irregularity. Then tighten the nut further BY HAND, tap all sides of the nut, and just carry on like this until the nut easily can be screwed on all the way, and off again. This method is actually much better than using taps and dies on lightly damaged threads. Perfect for motorcycle wheel axles and swing arm pivot axles.
    Raymondo and gggGary like this.
  9. I like that tip :)
    gggGary likes this.
  10. gggGary

    gggGary Stop that! XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    That's funny, I had just PM'd this to member who had a some bad threads on a wheel truing stand yesterday, kinda what got me to start this thread. He had greased the threads and got the axle centering bolt in the stand but it was too "tight" to turn by hand.

    "just an idea maybe with the bolt in the threads tap it around sideways in a bunch of directions rotate and repeat see if that helps at all. I like a thread chasing file, a worthwhile addition to the tool box."
    arcticXS likes this.
  11. 650Skull

    650Skull Dinosaur Lives Top Contributor

    Never used one or knew there was one.

    Always had a fine small triangle file and chased the threads with it when needed
    gggGary likes this.
  12. Brian902

    Brian902 XS650 Junkie

    Got mine in the early 80's and use it infrequently but when it's used it's a life saver.
    gggGary likes this.
  13. Dusty

    Dusty Dusty

    I have thread files that have been in my box for 20 yrs. I have also used a 3 corner file in a pinch.
    gggGary and Greyandridin like this.
  14. racerdave

    racerdave ^ Gone not forgotten ^

    Used them for 30+ years.
    gggGary likes this.
  15. gggGary

    gggGary Stop that! XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    RD how was the snowmobiling this year? Heck you didn't even need to leave home?
  16. racerdave

    racerdave ^ Gone not forgotten ^

    Got back from the Northwoods Sunday. I beat the meltdown. I was hoping to go back on St Paddy's day but it is not sounding good. Hoping for another big dump north of you. 44 days so far up north, one less than all of last season, but................

    Riding here? Have not been on Illinois snow since 2008.
    gggGary likes this.
  17. yamimoto

    yamimoto All torque no action!

    Until now did not know they exist. Will be investigating further, sounds like something good to know about. Only ever used the small triangular file. Glad I read the forum.
    gggGary likes this.
  18. 3Deuces

    3Deuces XS650 Addict

    I have to use them from time to time at work thanks to some very hamfisted co-workers who chew up fixtures and put them back on the shelf for the next guy. I'm guessing 90% of the "technicians" I work with wouldn't know what a thread file was anyway.
    gggGary likes this.
  19. FrkyMnky

    FrkyMnky XS650 Junkie

    Pretty funny this came up. I buggered up my gas cap bung getting welding spatter on it. Called every supply house in town and no one knew what I was talking about. Pretty surprised. Anyways, if you do get one, its worth it spending a little extra getting the internal/external ones. The ends look different and its pretty obvious spotting the internal/external files.
    gggGary likes this.
  20. yamimoto

    yamimoto All torque no action!

    Watched the video and was hunting them today, saw only individuals, no sets but will keep looking. Completely understand why they should be in every toolbox.
    gggGary likes this.

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