The strain hardening and the formation of the residual stresses at the roots of threaded joints produced by machining according to American Petroleum Institute (API) standards was investigated. Initially the problem is defined and then an experimental technique was developed for measuring the residual stresses at the roots of fine screw threads. The screw thread was cut on a tubular bar from chromium-nickel based alloyed steel. Residual stresses were measured by the electro-chemical layer removal technique. Experimental work showed that, sever strain hardening and the concentration of residual stresses at the roots of the screw threads took place depending on the machining conditions. Strain hardening in the range of 320-430 HV were found on the screw thread surfaces as compared to the base hardness of 260 HV. Residual stress ranging from 600 to 1450 MPa was developed as compared to the material tensile strength of 850 MPa. The depth for maximum residual stress is around 20 mu m. (C) 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.