8L Thumbscrew Showroom Demo

Hey everyone,

I hope you’re all doing well! I wanted to share a step-by-step guide on how to make a thumbscrew using a CNC lathe. Thumbscrews are incredibly handy for various applications, and making one on a lathe can be a rewarding project. Let’s get started:

Thumbscrew on a CNC Lathe - (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JArt6SM7rJc&t=1s)

Materials and Tools:

  • Material: You’ll need a rod of the desired thumbscrew material (e.g., aluminum, steel, brass).

Turning Tools

Threading Tools

Knurling Tool

Part Off Tool


  1. Design the Thumbscrew: For this one we are using PathPilot’s Conversational option to actually design and program the part. If you have a specific design in mind, create a CAD model. Ensure you have the dimensions, thread pitch, and any other details you need.
  2. Material Preparation: Cut the rod to the desired length. It should be longer than the final thumbscrew length. This is required to have something to hold while making the final part off cut.
  3. Setup on the CNC Lathe: Secure the material properly in the collet with enough sticking out for the length needed to run the desired program.
  4. Setting up tools: Make sure you have accurate offsets for all the tools you plan to run. This can be done with a sample piece of material.

Running the Program:

  1. Facing: The first operation performed will “face” the front of the part. This will become our Z “Zero”. The amount sticking out should be set to where this cut is only taking a minimal amount.
  2. Turning: This operation will use the numbers from the conversational phase of the setup. It takes multiple passes until it reaches the finished dimensions programmed.
  3. Thread Cutting: This operation adds threads to the part. The information for this operation was also done in the conversational functions of PathPilot
  4. Knurling This operation will add a diamond pattern to the material that will work as a finger-grip on the screw. It is programmed with the simple profile function in PathPilot.
  5. Part Off The Final operation will come in and part off the screw we made from the extra material that will still remain in the collet.

Thumbscrew on a CNC Lathe - (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JArt6SM7rJc&t=1s)