A hand die is used to put bold thread on a piece of rod stock.
A hand die looks like a hexigontal disk with a center hole shaped like a four leaf cloverthat has threads on it. The outside hexigontal fits into a handle to ease the turning of the die when cutting the thread on a rod stock. The threads are tapered thus a smaller diameter on one end and a larger diameter on the other end.
There are diffferent die sizes for different stock rod sizes. If the rod is soft material the counterclockwise cut off steps, as described below, may be elliminated.
First oil both the die and the rod stock and keep it well lubricated. More and often is better then not enough. Then find the larger diameter threaded side of the die. This will be marked on some dies. This larger diamter is the side the fits over the rod stock first. Start to turn the die clockwise (for standard bolt threads) until it starts to bite into the rod stock while keeping the die perpendicular to the rod stock. Once the die has started to bite into the rod stock, turn the die another 1/4 turn clockwise. Then turn the die 1/4 turn counterclockwise. This cuts away the material from the die and you can feel pressure give to ease of turning. Continue to turn the die 1/2 turn clockwise then 1/4 turn counter clockwise until the length of threading needed is complete. Once complete, unthread the die (counterclockwise) off the threaded rod stock.