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  1. #21
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    I am guessing the gauges would be close to $10,000 USD each, not sure what they were 40 years ago. That shop is closed and the machines and inventory are scattered now so there is no one I can ask. Ken may know since he is still in the industry. Google might be able to help. Kind of specialized industry, rentals could be available word of mouth without a Google presence.
    Inserts and tool holders are readily available here so a better quality gauge could be constructed than what we used. Look at toolflo.com I think they have API inserts.

    I thought I was just telling a funny story, hope it helps after all.

    Added thought back then there were companies that rented "subs" and tool extractors. Things would break off in a well and specialized tools were made to try to retrieve them to salvage the well. Subs were adapters from one thread size to another, that company I worked for did build subs. Maybe the same companies rented gauges? If not they might know who does.
    Last edited by FredC; 05-16-2019 at 11:19 AM. Reason: added thought

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    FredC, I know API gauges are very expensive but don't know just how expensive. Your "guess" is probably close to being right. Got a feeling Ken would know.

    My customer, and who got me started with this thread, was only making a 1 off, so paying that kind of money for a gauge would have been mad. Suffice to say the person that sold that 1 off didn't know what he was selling. To him it was just a threaded item.

    API threads have, in comparison to all other threads I know, have a very small pitch diameter tolerance. I believe around 0.002".

    Anyway, thanks for your "history"

    Ken, if or when you read this, are there any other thread types I can ask you about if need be?

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    I doubt we could hold .002" inches on those old lathes. I forgot how close the shoulder was supposed to be from touching when screwed up by hand. It has been too many years. Whatever that stand off was the drilling rig had plenty of power to fully tighten to the shoulder. I watched a rig working next door a few years ago. It sounded like they had some kind of air ratchet to torque the joints together. The sound said that ratchet was very powerful. We make small parts for one for one customer in the oil field. I sent him a link to this thread to see if he has any insight.
    Funny thing I tried looking the company up online, no web site. A few mentions of the principals and that was it. Oilfield businesses still work on word of mouth and reputation.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FredC View Post
    I doubt we could hold .002" inches on those old lathes. I forgot how close the shoulder was supposed to be from touching when screwed up by hand. It has been too many years. Whatever that stand off was the drilling rig had plenty of power to fully tighten to the shoulder. I watched a rig working next door a few years ago. It sounded like they had some kind of air ratchet to torque the joints together. The sound said that ratchet was very powerful. We make small parts for one for one customer in the oil field. I sent him a link to this thread to see if he has any insight.
    Funny thing I tried looking the company up online, no web site. A few mentions of the principals and that was it. Oilfield businesses still work on word of mouth and reputation.
    Power tongs....the one I saw ran off a wet line.

    The top drive drill rigs had a number IIRC 45,000 ft lbs for 15 second
    duration rating, I inquired what for ?

    For making up and breaking down the joints.

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    Watching that rig across the fence was an education. I made some parts back in the day for some power tongs also. I even have some left over angle iron from a Kelly drive. Too long ago, forgotten all the details like the desired gap on making up a joint.
    My point to Gordon was I do not think the PD tolerance was .002" and if he is to find a gauge rental company it may be searching word of mouth references not a google search.

    I have a guess that the top drive is used to tighten the joints and that ratchet with power tongs was involved in loosening the top joint to add a new string in. Insurance being what it is I did not even ask to be on the platform to watch, just did a little watching from my side of the fence. Climbed over the fence once and a while to talk with the company man to check on progress. It was interesting to see how much automation and computer monitoring they were doing in there. They kept the 1 1/2 mile long horizontal bore in a shale formation that was less than 50 feet top to bottom and this 8000 feet below the surface.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FredC View Post
    I doubt we could hold .002" inches on those old lathes. I forgot how close the shoulder was supposed to be from touching when screwed up by hand. It has been too many years. Whatever that stand off was the drilling rig had plenty of power to fully tighten to the shoulder. I watched a rig working next door a few years ago. It sounded like they had some kind of air ratchet to torque the joints together. The sound said that ratchet was very powerful. We make small parts for one for one customer in the oil field. I sent him a link to this thread to see if he has any insight.
    Funny thing I tried looking the company up online, no web site. A few mentions of the principals and that was it. Oilfield businesses still work on word of mouth and reputation.
    There was no need to actually hold .002 on the old engine lathes. The thread was/is cut to gage ( topping inserts formed the typically+/-.002 depth tolerance along with the radii on the crest etc ) then if you missed the gage standoff you pushed back the face/shoulder to gage. Depending on thread and whether its a box or pin the standoff is typically flush to -.01 on a box and .620/.635 on a pin. ( .015" ). Of course there taper and lead tolerances etc.

    Deterco sells Gagemaker, Allen etc along with the hard gages ( or at least they did a few years ago ). Last time I bought hard gages ( as an employee ) it seems like a 3-1/2 IF ring was like $1600 but my memory is admittedly poor.

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    I am no expert, but have cut many, many of them as an employee of Baker Hughes, and several job shops for many customers. And every single one required hard gages to be used. ( along with dimensional inlection of course )

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    I dont know if they can be rented. I have borrowed from customers and several shops I have worked at routinely borrowed from each other. Some of the big boys require use of their own gages when running their threads. They maintained and calibrated them, and the gage SN had to be noted on the router.

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    You can buy a set of 6 5/8 API Reg Pin and Box Gauges for about 7K hardened and ground.
    My customer always gave us the Gauges.Back in 80's we cut 1000's of Cast Hole openers
    12'to 36" with a 6 5/8" Box on each end.Then we made a sub with a 6 5/8" Pin on each end
    and they would weld one in the Box so the Hole opener would have a Pin Down.We also made 100's
    of Subs any configuration from 2 3/8" to 7 5/8" also we turned and Threaded 1000"s of Cable Tools
    with a lot of different size Pins.
    The tapered Pin Thread is cut so that the Box Gauge has a 5/8" +/- .005 stand off from shoulder
    of the part. The Tapered Box Thread is cut till The Pin Gauge is flush .I would thread till Gauge was about .005-.010 deep then use a .002 feeler and face for a flush fit.
    The API tapered threads are calibrated so that a Box and Pin make up On the threads at same time it hits the shoulder not with a 5/8" stand off.If you put the Pin and Box Gauges together the box will stand off
    the Pin Gauge 5/8".

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    If you check post number one you will see that the OP has been banned from the site.
    You are giving free information to a "Black sheep".

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    Quote Originally Posted by CarbideBob View Post
    If you check post number one you will see that the OP has been banned from the site.
    "API gauges are very expensive so I'm wondering if it's possible to buy one in the USA, not use it, and return it (after copying it as good as possible) saying the purchase was a mistake? The flaw in that thought is I doubt if it's possible to cheat the same gauge supplier more than once."

    Said Gordo.

    Now would you want to have any dealings with such a vendor ?

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  14. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by CarbideBob View Post
    If you check post number one you will see that the OP has been banned from the site.
    You are giving free information to a "Black sheep".
    Quote Originally Posted by digger doug View Post
    "API gauges are very expensive so I'm wondering if it's possible to buy one in the USA, not use it, and return it (after copying it as good as possible) saying the purchase was a mistake? The flaw in that thought is I doubt if it's possible to cheat the same gauge supplier more than once."

    Said Gordo.

    Now would you want to have any dealings with such a vendor ?
    I realized that before I posted. I typically post with the thought in mind that the info may be helpful for many others down the line. Often I search for answers to issues and PM threads come up, some 10+yrs old.

  15. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by digger doug View Post
    "API gauges are very expensive so I'm wondering if it's possible to buy one in the USA, not use it, and return it (after copying it as good as possible) saying the purchase was a mistake? The flaw in that thought is I doubt if it's possible to cheat the same gauge supplier more than once."

    Said Gordo.

    Now would you want to have any dealings with such a vendor ?
    I took that part of his comment as a joke. The next part he expressed surprise that such gauges could be rented, how a fellow building thread measuring equipment in Denmark can connect with a company in Texas that will rent them is will be a trick.
    Looks like some others with a lot more experience with oil tool threads have come into the discussion.
    I saw another shop owner here that made a few of them with a lathe with no taper attachment. He used a piece of tool steel on the tool post set at the correct angle with a dial indicator to generate the angle. These threads come very close to the shoulder, can you imagine watching the indicator keeping it on zero and threading up to a shoulder at the same time?! The things you have to do in a small shop to make a big boy's thread.


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