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Dimensioning practice

Threaded fasteners

Fastening is a method of connecting or joining two or more parts together, using processes or devices.
o Processes: welding, gluing, soldering;
o Devices: bolts, screws, anchors, etc.
Fasteners are used in nearly every engineered product and structure.
One of the most common methods used for fastening is mechanical fastening, a process that uses manufactured
devices such as screws, pins, or rivets to hold parts of an assembly together.

A threaded fastener is a mechanical fastener used to join together two or more parts.

Thread specifications: English system

To specify a thread using the English system, you must provide a minimum of five pieces of information:
Thread form
Thread series
Major diameter
Class of fit
Threads per inch

Thread form is the shape or profile of a screw thread. Many types of thread forms have been developed.
o The sharp-V thread was originally developed by William Sellers.
o The American National thread replaced the sharp-V thread and is stronger than the sharp-V thread.
o The Unified thread is the current standard used in the United States, Canada, and England.
o A variation on the Unified thread is the Unified National Round thread, abbreviated UNR.

o The metric thread is the international standard thread, similar in shape to the American National thread.
o The square, Acme , and buttress threads are used to transmit power in gearing and other types of machines.
o The knuckle thread is usually rolled from sheet metal or cast, and it is used for lightbulb bases, bottle caps,
and glass jars.

The thread series refers to the standard number of threads per inch, and there are four classes: coarse (C), fine (F),
extra fine (EF), and constant pitch. When used with the Unified thread, they are abbreviated UNC, UNF, and UNEF.
The constant pitch series is specified by writing the number before the form designation (4, 6, 8, 12, 16, 20, 28, 32).
o Coarse series fasteners are used for quick assembly or disassembly of cast iron, soft metals, and plastic, and
are designated NC or UNC.
o Fine series fasteners are used when a great deal of force is necessary for assembly, and are designated NF or
UNF. These fasteners are used extensively in the aerospace and automotive industries.
o Extra fine series fasteners are used when the length of engagement is short and the application calls for high
degrees of stress.
o Constant pitch series threads are for special purposes, such as large-diameter or high-pressure

There are three classes of fit established by ANSI for general use.
o Class 1 - a loose fit where quick assembly is required and looseness or play between parts is acceptable.

o Class 2 - a high-quality, general purpose, commercial class of fit for bolts, nuts, and screws widely used in mass

o Class 3 - a very high-quality threaded fastener with a close fit, used for precision tools and for high stress and

vibration applications.

Threads are only symbolically represented on drawings; therefore, thread notes are needed to provide the required
information. A thread note must be included on all threaded parts, with a leader line to the external thread or to an
internal thread in the circular view.

External thread notes are given in the longtitudinal view.

Internal thread notes are given on the end view, with a pointer to the solid circle.

A thread note should contain the following information:

1. Major diameter in three place decimal form.

2. Number of threads per inch, followed by a space.
3. Thread form designation.
4. Thread series designation, followed by a dash.
5. Thread class designation (1,2, or 3).
6. Internal or external symbol (A is for external threads, B is for internal threads), followed by a space.
7. Qualifying information, such as:
• LH for left hand threads. If the thread is right-hand, RH is omitted.
• DOUBLE or TRIPLE for multiple threads.
• Thread length.
• Material.

Thread specifications: Metric system

Metric thread specifications are based on ISO recommendations and are similar to the Unified standard. The basic
designation for a metric thread is shown in the following figure:

Here, the note specifies that the thread is metric (M), the diameter of the thread is 24 millimeters, followed by the
multiplication sign ‘x’, and the pitch is 2 millimeters.

Generally, a complete metric thread note should contain the following information:

• Thread form symbol. The letter M is

used to designate the metric profile. The J
profile class is a modified M profile.

• Nominal size (basic major diameter) in

millimeters, followed by an ‘x’.

• Pitch in millimeters, followed by a

dash. The pitch can be eliminated for
coarse threads, but it is preferred in the
American use of the standards.

• General purpose tolerance. The

tolerance class designation includes:
o Pitch diameter tolerance: grade,
o Minor diameter tolerance: grade,

For external threads tolerance lowercase letters are used, for internal threads – uppercase letters.

Two types of conventions are in general use for screw thread representation, conventional and alternative
(pictorial) representation.
Conventional Representation should be used whenever it communicates the required information without
confusion, as it requires the least amount of drafting effort.

This method is independent of the type of screw thread. The type of screw thread and its dimensions have to
be indicated.

The alternative representation requires more drafting time, but is sometimes necessary to avoid
confusion with other parallel lines, or to more clearly portray particular aspects of the thread.
This is a close approximation to the actual appearance of the screw thread:

It is simplified, so that crest and roots for full threads are shown sharp, with single straight lines instead of the
double curved lines that would be required for the flat crests and roots.
Alternative representation should be used only for enlarged detail and other special applications.

Threaded Assemblies
For general use, the conventional representation for assemblies of threaded parts is recommended.

In sectional views, the externally threaded part is

always shown covering the internally threaded part
(Bolt thread is shown, hole thread is not shown).

If it is desirable for clarity, e.g., on certain assembly

drawings, the alternative method may be used.

Both methods can be used simultaneously on the same drawing:

All this, what we were talking about, relate to the cut threads.

External threads may be cut using a Die. A Tap is used to cut smaller diameter internal threads.

However, there is also a type of threads which is not being cut, but rather being rolled.

Rolled threaded products are often made with a reduced body diameter, approximately equal to the pitch diameter.
When it is necessary to show this, the feature may be drawn as shown:

As you can see the thread is depicted bigger than the diameter of the part (both, in conventional and in alternative

Detailed drawing of nut and bolt assembly
A hexagon head bolt and nut are shown in a typical application, clamping parts together:

Notice that there must be a clearance hole drilled slightly larger than the bolt nominal size. Add about 1/32 inch (0.8
mm) to the nominal size to determine the clearance hole size.

Head bolts can be hexagon and square.

Hexagon head bolts are preferred.

When drawing hexagon head bolts and nuts, use the “across corners” form shown at “A”, since the hexagon bolt at
“B” and the square bolt at “C” are easily confused.
If you need square head bolts – use the square bolt at “C” – also with the “across corners” technique.

Fillets & edges
When the intersections of surfaces are rounded, and are such that they would not normally be viewed as a line,
it is usually desirable to draw a line corresponding to the theoretical point of intersection:

For simplification, rounded edges and fillets may be drawn sharp, with a radius indicated by a local note:

or by a general note, such as:


Cylindrical Intersections

The intersection of rectangular and circular contours

may be simplified as shown in figures.

Alternatively, the intersection of two cylindrical

contours may be shown by a circular arc, as in left

Foreshortened Projections. When the true projection of a piece would result in a confusing foreshortening,
parts such as ribs or arms should be rotated until parallel to the plane of projection, as in the aligned view in
the next figure:

Not true projection, but true distance!

Similarly, drilled flanges in elevation or section should show the holes at their true distance from the centre,
rather than the true projection:

Repetitive parts & repetitive features and their dimensioning
Repetitive Parts. Repetitive parts or intricate features may be shown by drawing one in detail and the others
in simple outline only, with a covering note.

Repetitive Holes. A series of similar holes may be indicated by drawing only one hole and showing the
centre only for the others. Positions of holes should be clearly defined (diameter of the circle,
distances between the holes, etc.)

Repetitive features and dimensions may be
specified by the use of an “X” in conjunction
with the numeral to indicate the “number of
times” or “places” they are required. A full
space is left between the “X” and the feature

An “X” is sometimes used to indicate “BY”

between coordinate dimensions specified in
note form. A half space is left in this case
between the “X” and the dimensions.

To avoid repeating the same dimension or to avoid long leader lines, we may use reference letters in
conjunction with an explanatory table or note.

Identification of Similar Sized Holes

A gear is a toothed-wheel mechanical device used to transit power and motion between machine parts. Typically a
shaft is used to both apply and receive power from the gears.

When two gears of different sizes mesh, the larger is called the gear and the smaller is the pinion.

Normally, gear drawings include a table of information, called cutting data, for manufacturing. A detail drawing of a
gear would also include other dimensions not found in the table (root diameter, bore diameter, keyway dimensions).

Gears also have repetitive features.

Repetitive features, such as gear and spline teeth, as well as spring coils, may be indicated by drawing a partial
view, showing two or three of the features, with a phantom line or lines to indicate the extent of the remaining
features, as in the figures (a), (b), and (c):

Repetitive features may also be indicated by using the abbreviation TYP for "typical", as shown on figure (d).

Alternatively, gears and splines may be shown with a solid line representing the basic outline of the part, and a lighter
line representing the root of the teeth:

This is the same convention as for screw threads. The pitch line may be added using the standard centre line.