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I want to make a height adjustable stool, like a piano stool, of the simple screw/rotate type, but I don't have a lathe (or anything like enough skill) to turn a thread in wood myself.

Is there anywhere I could obtain a length of threaded wood of a large enough diameter ready made? Alternatively, if Wood is too hard to obtain (I've only seen a few examples with wooden screws) a metal equivalent would be OK.

Also, what should I be searching for? (Name), typing "wood screw" into Google obviously isn't going to work).

I'm in the UK, but a USA source would be OK too (I have relatives who could accept a delivery stateside)

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If you have a router, you can use the Beall Wood Threader. A kit to thread one-inch dowels is US$85. They have kits to do smaller sizes or multi-size kits. Parts are included to do both inside and outside threading.

Beall Wood Threader

You can find a hand tool on eBay.

Wood Threader

Here's a source for ready-to-use threaded dowels in half-inch and three-quarter-inch diameters up to three feet in length.

Threaded Dowel

Here is a source for metal hardware: Lee Valley Tools.

Piano Stool Hardware

Additional information can be found by searching for "threaded dowel" or "piano stool threaded".

  • Thanks for the awesome answer. Do you know if three-quarter-inch would be sturdy enough for a stool? – Andrew M Nov 29 '10 at 11:23
  • @Andrew M: It depends upon the stool's geometry. For example, leg angle from the vertical, how many legs (3 or 4?) and where the legs are braced. In any case, I think 3/4" is pushing it. I'd be tempted to go with something a bit sturdier. – Doresoom Nov 29 '10 at 15:40
  • @Andrew: In addition to the factors listed by Doresoom, the manner in which the threaded dowel is attached to the seat and the length of the "nut" through which the dowel turns will have an effect. Also, the "target audience" should be taken into consideration. A child's stool won't need as much capacity, for example. I would recommend (as I always do ;) ) over-engineering. See my edited answer for additional information. – Dennis Williamson Nov 29 '10 at 16:03
  • Well I was thinking for the central rotating adjustable bit - so I think it would be on the narrow side. The metal mechanisms on the other hand look spot on, and there's a cheaper one on Amazon amazon.com/Restorers-Affiliate-Piano-Adjustment-Hardware/dp/… – Andrew M Nov 29 '10 at 16:21
  • I get it - I was thinking the treaded dowels for the stool legs. You definitely want to go with a metal central support for an adjustable stool. Wood will bind and also won't be strong enough. – Doresoom Nov 29 '10 at 16:50
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My local steel manufacturer sells threaded metal rod up to 1 1/4". They also sell nuts that fit it, but not threaded sleeves like Lee Valley provides. Still, you could easily fit a a nut in at the top of the stool and another at the bottom.

The price that was quoted to me today (steel prices fluctuate regularly) was $60 for a 6' rod, but you can probably have them cut you a ~12" section for $12-20.

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