Thread a Pipe for a Lamp – DIY Tutorial

How to Thread Pipe for a Lamp

It is no secret that I love to refurbish old light fixtures. Sometimes the parts I need for a lamp are not readily available in local home improvement stores and that means that I have to get creative. I wanted to reuse a piece of brass pipe in a light fixture. It had threads on one end but it really needed them on both ends. After a bit of research, I found an easy technique that I could do myself… Let me show you how to thread a pipe for a lamp!

How to Thread Pipe for a Lamp

I knew that I could use a die to cut threads on a pipe but I wasn’t sure what size I would need for a lamp. As I was looking online for a die, I ran across a die that is exactly what I needed from Tx Lamp Parts. They are awesome – they carry everything for lamp building and repair, their shipping rates are reasonable, and they are my newest obsession. I found parts in their store that sent my heart all a-flutter!

Most threaded pipe used in lamp making is hollow and classified as 1/4″ – 27 NPT. What that means is the pipe size is 1/4″ in diameter, there are 27 threads per inch, and NPT stands for National Pipe Taper. A tapered thread pipe will create a tighter seal and is generally used for gas lines, water lines, and apparently on lamps. Also, 1/8″ IPS pipes are used, with IPS standing for Iron Pipe Straight Thread, and the outside diameter of the pipe is 3/8″. IPS pipes are meant to seal with washers. Now you know, ha ha! It is need-to-know information especially when it comes to buying pipe!

So, for the die, a special die stock handle will be used. The die fits in the middle and is held in place with a set screw.

How to Thread Pipe for a Lamp-Die and Handle

The pipe is placed in a vise to hold it steady. Do not crank the vice too tight – the pipe will get smashed! The die and handle will be positioned on the end of the pipe, perpendicular to the pipe, with the die markings facing the pipe. Pipe cutting oil should be used to help the threads cut easier, and also to protect the cutting edge of the die. Start slow turning the handle and die clockwise, keeping the handle and die perfectly perpendicular to the pipe until the threads start to cut. Continue turning the handle and die until the desired length of threads is reached. If the pipe starts turning in the vise, add more oil to the die.

How to Thread Pipe for a Lamp-Pipe in vice

To remove the handle and die, turn in a counter-clockwise manner. This will remove any burrs on the threads so that anything that screws onto it will fit without a problem!

How to Thread Pipe for a Lamp-Die on Pipe

How to Thread Pipe for a Lamp-Back Side of Die

Super-easy, right? This tutorial will apply to any pipe needing threads, not just lamp pipe. This is the first time I’ve ever threaded a pipe and I couldn’t be more pleased with the results! Have you threaded pipe before? Have any questions about how to thread a pipe for a lamp? Contact me at cher {at} designsbystudioc {dot} com!


I mentioned Tx Lamp Parts because they are awesome not because I was paid. 

Originally posted 2014-06-05 08:00:53.