Screw Thread Cutting Machine (1865/2055)

Continuing with his inventions, his next patent submission was on 8th August 1865 when describing himself as a “Hydraulic Engineer[1], on his application for patent No. 1865/2055, entitled “A New Portable Machine or Apparatus for the Cutting of Screw Threads on Pipes or on Solid Materials, and for the Cutting of Pipes Asunder”. Why he should wish to describe himself as a Hydraulic Engineer is unknown unless it was an attempt to add authenticity to the submission.

The following is an extract from the patent:

My machine consists of a frame having a hole on each side, through each of which holes is passed a flanged pipe, its flange being about the centre of the length of the pipes, and it is secured to the framing by screws passing through the flanges into the framing, or the pipes may be screwed into the framing itself. The portion of each pipe which stands within the framing is tapped with a screw thread, and upon these pipes a cylinder is free to turn, tapped at each end to receive the screwed ends of the pipes. This cylinder has two or more chambers at the side, in each of which a cutter or chasing tool is free to slide, the distance between the points of which is regulated by a clamp, which has a right and left handed screw at one end, arranged so as to be turned by a hand lever (or by equivalent contrivance). One of the first mentioned threaded pipes has on its outer end chambered projections, through which pass the stems of a pair of V-clamps, the outer ends of the stems of which are held by a clamp frame in such manner that the clamps may be moved nearer to or farther from each other by means of a screw. These V-clamps are employed for placing and receiving a pipe, rod, or bar, on which a thread is required to be cut in the centre of one of the first—named screwed pipes; the other screwed pipe is provided at its outer end with a cone or its equivalent, which receives the end of the pipe to be operated upon. The chambered cylinder before mentioned is provided at one end with a spur wheel, the teeth of which gear into and slide in a similar wheel, which forms part of or is connected with a bevil wheel, which is moved by another wheel actuated by a hand winch. The machine is provided with legs or with a stand, so that it may be used either upon the ground or upon a bench.

By this machine I am enabled to cut a screw thread perfectly true with the pipe, that is to say, the cutters are always at right angles with the pipe, ] and I can give a perfect thread sharp and deep, and both ·as “plug” and “taper”.

By my machine I can cut a screw thread upon the end of a pipe without conveying it to a fixed lathe or other screw-cutting machine, as my machine or apparatus may be conveniently carried about as required.

Whether this invention had any wider influence other than within his workshop is uncertain. No other reference to this patent is known beyond its application and provisional protection.


  1. The London Gazette 18th August 1865.