Vintage Greenfield-Little Giant- dies screw plate?
Just bought two vintage sets of dies -- Greenfield Little Giant Dies and Wells Bros. dies. Is there a specifice "wrench" to tighten and loosen the screw plate which holds the "inserts" in place?
The Greenfield screw plate has a raised round shoulder that can be tightened by hand but I cannot convince myself that will be tight enough to hold the die when cutting threads and the Wells Bros. screw plate fits flush with the back and has a cross pattern slit with the ends being rounded for - what I thhink - is a tool to tighten and loosen.
I am in the process of cleaning them up and cannot get three of the twenty apart.
If you have experience in these dies thanks for help and suggestions.
I have a set of Little Giants. The dies are dovetailed loosely to the die stock. I just tighten the guide plate by hand. They seem to tighten up during use. When I need to take a tight one apart, I find a pice of wood that fits and hold the wood in a vise and turn the handles. I dont think they need to be torqued too tight.
"cannot get three of the twenty apart." Buy a gallon of Kroil from www.kanolabs.com. Kroil is good for all "stuck" metal items. It performed well in a recent comparative test of penetrating oils. (No relationship beyond being a satisfied customer.)
If it is really rusty, try simple electrolysis (instructions posted in many places) However, be sure to gently bake out the hydrogen afterward, as electrolysis can cause hydrogen embrittlement.
Are Little Giant sets still in production? The design concept is appealing to people who work with "old stuff" - you could "back off" the die to make a bolt a little bit oversized to fit in a worn thread.
I am rather fond of the Little Giant dies. I have many. I have found them to be the best dies for hand threading. They have a very large range of adjustment. I don't think I have ever cut a crooked thread with one. Here is the procedure I use. To cut a thread open the die up all the way and cut a shallow thread. Then close up the die and take a finish pass.
Here is a neat trick if the end of a thread is buggered. Open up the die and thread it down past the bad part and then close the die and thread it off the part.
As far as removing the bottom guide. One of my old sets has this suggestion. Get a flat piece of metal that fits between the holes in the "cross pattern" of the guide. Put the piece of metal in a vise and use the die stock as a wrench to unscrew the guide.
J. Henricksen is right the guides don't need to be very tight.
The later dies have octagonal guides that you can use a wrench or a vise to turn.
As far as I know there is no special tool to do this. However, the smallest Little Giant dies 1 1/4" dia do need a special spanner wrench to remove the guides.
McMaster-Carr and MSC still carry Little Giant dies and replacement parts. Although they aren't cheap.
page 2497 mcm
''McMaster-Carr and MSC still carry Little Giant dies and replacement parts. Although they aren't cheap.''
Oh poo, I scrapped my little giants (an ex lend lease prezzy from uncle sam) a couple of years back because the dies were shot and unobtainable over here.
I live about 40 miles west of Nashville, TN - where Kroil is made. I have a supply on its way as I write. I have the three, difficult dies, soaking in penetrating oil but not Kroil. I figured I could use the Kroil--even if they came lose before it arrived.
To the others, thanks for the suggestions on putting a piece of metal or wood in a vise and breaking them lose that way. I will do that tomorrow if the penetrating oil does not do the trick. I had several that were "stuck" and when I got them opened--all kinds of metal chips were in there--it seems the previous owner didn't clean them very often.