View Full Version : How to install a tapping head?

08-21-2006, 11:05 PM

As you can tell I have now experience with tapping heads, but I will soon. I need to know, if I bought a used tapping head with a 1/2" straight arbor, is that intended to be put in the chuck of a drill press. I have a cheap floor standing drill press which accepts MT2, but a straight shank Procunier has come up on eBay. I guess What I need to know is should I wait for a tapping head that has an MT2 arbor installed, or will a straight shank in a drill press chuck work as well?

Thanks for your help,

08-21-2006, 11:31 PM
Doesn't really matter,most tapping heads have some flexabilty built into the unit so they can self center the tap in the hole being threaded.You shouldn't have any trouble using that in a chuck.

You are aware also though that there is a torque arm involved right?It's just a piece of bar stock that sticks out the side of the tap head and rests up agains the column of the drill press.I used a bungie cord to hold mine to the column before I got fancy and made a yoke with a couple bearings to glide on the column pipe.

08-21-2006, 11:33 PM
Generally speaking, the direct mount is the better choice.

The direct mount MT#2 will take up less distance between the drill press head and the table than the chuck mounted unit. It may also have a little less runout and less of a tendency to slip.

Many of the tapping heads have replaceable shanks, and a straight shank can be replaced with an MT shank. Check with the seller if it is an integral or replaceable shank.

08-22-2006, 08:58 AM
I've rebuilt a number of Procunier tapping heads over the years. I worked in a shop that used them almost exclusively and thousands of holes would get tapped each week with one. We had about 10 of them in the shop and they were great. I've tapped from 0-80 threads to 3/4"-10 threads with them in 3 different sizes.

Parts are available out of Florida, but I think they have a minimum. To replace the shank is easy: remove the top cover and either a snap ring or a nut holds the shank (brain fart....it's been a few years) and the ball bearings in place. Actually, the shank may just be press fit into the bearings and the nut just keeps the shank from coming out of the bearings.

I personally would also say to go with a morse taper shank. It will get you up closer to the drill spindle bearings and minimize runout as a previous poster said. I drilled the drilling machine spindle for a setscrew to hold the tapping head securely in place as well. You can file or grind a little notch in the shank to accept the screw. It can get exciting when a tapping head comes out of the spindle! (not to mention dangerous!)

While you're ordering parts for your head; get a clutch for it, too. Check for loose sleeve bearings down in the bottom and replace them, too. A good grade of machine oil will lube everything properly. www.procunier.com is the url...

A piece of Tygon tubing pushed over the stop rod will also minmize the noise of the stop rod vibrating on the column of your drill. And wire it to the column to keep it from swinging back on you.

Yell if you have any other questions....

Andy Pullen

08-22-2006, 03:07 PM
You shouldn't have to "bungie cord" or "wire" the arm to the column at all. I run tapping heads all the time and the arm will just rest against the column. When you pull back up it still swings against the column. If you wire it or cord it, there is a chance of binding the arm in the up and down motion although it won't hurt anything.

08-22-2006, 03:38 PM
Thanks for all of the good advise. Which side of the column should the torque arm be on?

08-22-2006, 04:55 PM
Well, this topic is now moot. I just bought a Rigid Versatapper with a MT2 arbor, and it has a crafty Y attachment which surrounds the drill press column.

Thanks though for all of your help, this is a great forum,

08-22-2006, 04:58 PM
You shouldn't have to "bungie cord" or "wire" the arm to the column at all. I run tapping heads all the time and the arm will just rest against the column. When you pull back up it still swings against the column. If you wire it or cord it, there is a chance of binding the arm in the up and down motion although it won't hurt anything.

The Tapmatic literature specifically says not to ever constrain the torque arm to the column. It's supposed to be able to swing freely. Not sure exactly why.

08-22-2006, 05:08 PM
The original topic was how to mount a tapping head.

How many here have used tapping heads with Morse taper mounts and had the head fall out when withdrawing the tap? If you haven't had the experience I'm guessing you haven't done much tapping.

The above situation is one of the reasons I hate Morse tapers in small drill presses. Get a decent drill press with a 1/2" capacity chuck with the locking collar, no more problems with things falling out of the spindle. I believe the Jacob's chuck number is something like 34-33C. "C" referring to the locking collar.

Unfortunately, most of the import junk come with Morse taper in the spindle. Never could figure out the reasoning behind that, although if you look at some of those dp's it makes you wonder if there ever was any reasoning behind the design.

08-22-2006, 05:18 PM
Now you have me worried. This is an imported junky drill press, Mach1? Is there any way to keep it from coming out?

08-22-2006, 06:01 PM
Per Andy Pullen's advice, drill & tap the spindle for a setscrew and grind a flat on the MT arbor for it. This is the standard fix.

08-22-2006, 06:03 PM
Weld the holy POOP out of it.

08-22-2006, 06:41 PM
Per Andy Pullen's advice, drill & tap the spindle for a setscrew and grind a flat on the MT arbor for it. This is the standard fix.

Yep, been there, done that. It's a pain don't you think? They use a spindle that's supposed to be self locking and you have to modify it to hold the tool?

Do they tell you to do the drilling modification in the operating manual of the dp? Most likely, not. How many spindles are damaged because tools slipped out?

Some of the spindles I've seen on junk dp's have the Morse tape way up inside as opposed being the more common extension down from the main spindle. Can you drill them?

Can anybody come up with a good reason for the Morse's in smallish (15"+/- throat) dirll presses.

08-22-2006, 07:10 PM
[[How many spindles are damaged because tools slipped out?]] Bunches! I never had a slip using the large radial drills; even using up to a 4" CORE DRILL, BUT SLIP OUT ON THE SMALL dp'S. tHAT'S A COMMON FIX, BUT NOT IN A MANUAL. Caps lock? Tears the hell out of one's hands also.

08-22-2006, 07:45 PM
Ok, how do you go about drilling & tapping the spindle? Is this a tear apart the drill press project?

08-22-2006, 08:30 PM
Now you have me worried. This is an imported junky drill press, Mach1? Is there any way to keep it from coming out?

Ya,lap the spindle taper in on that junker.Get your self an MT shank and trim the tang off,smear on some fine valve grinding compound and lap it in.Idealy you want it to contact at each end of the taper and not so much in the middle.You might want to plug the drift hole in the spindle with something to keep the compound from working into the bearings later.

08-23-2006, 08:42 AM
In reply to drilling the morse taper spindle for a setscrew; no they're not hardened. At least the Clausings and Buffalos aren't.

I lightly centerpunched the nose and then used a hand drill to drill the hole with a #7 drill. I then ran a 1/4"-20 tap into it. A triangular scraper took care of any burr raised inside the bore. (But, then again we had drills set up with just the tapping head, so they were not removed unless they got sloppy. Like I said; we used them in a production environment and would tap thousands of holes each week.) I would then put the tapping head into the spindle and snug down the screw. Remove the tapping head and file or grind your notch in the shank where the screw mark is.

I've had the torque rod swing back with considerable force and smack me in the stomach when a large tap broke. That's my reasoning for wiring it to the machine column. I never made it so tight that it wouldn't "float" though.

Andy Pullen

08-23-2006, 12:46 PM
Which side of the column should the torque arm be on?

Facing the drill press the arm will be to the left of the column.

08-23-2006, 03:50 PM
Wrap the taper in one layer of thin paper. Or, clean the taper socket and taper with acetone and dry them and put a thin coat of RTV on the taper and use a soft mallet to tap it in place and let dry a few hours. Be sure to clean the socket when you remove the tool. Or, clean taper and socket with acetone and use removeable bolt retainer locktite. You may have to heat the spindle to remove the tool if you use locktite and I don't recomend using locktite or heating the spindle.

If the socket is clean and smooth and the taper is clean and smooth the tap head should not fall out. When you use a tap head you should let the quill spring back the tap out with a very light hand pressure upward on the handle. The tap is being screwed out of the work and just enough up pressure to keep the head in reverse is all that is needed. Yes, I have had a head fall out but only in machines with a buggered up socket and or a buggered up taper on the tap head. If the tap head is so heavy that the quill will not retract with the tap head in place then you have to apply just enough pressure to keep the tap in reverse and backing out. For safety's sake you should make the return spring tension strong enough to retract the tap head. If your hand should slip off the drill press handle the tap will feed back in and if you don't have a slip clutch in the tap head it will snap the tap when it bottoms out. The reason you don't secure the torque arm is that it has to move up and down the column. As long as it can slide freely up and down any method of securement will work. And yes that torque arm is dangerous and can hurt you.

08-23-2006, 04:00 PM
andypullen, the shop I worked at had a radial arm drill press that had the tang area drilled through the spindle and taped on both sides and a set screw on both sides of the tang. We could put the tap head or a drill in and tighten the set screws on both sides and it would not come out. Yep, the torque arm is like a blackjack when it hits you.

08-23-2006, 04:22 PM
Hi Carld,

I never ran one in a radial drill. The toolroom that I worked in had a pair of 15" Clausing floor drills and one had a #2 Procunier in it. There was a #1 in the drawer for smaller stuff and it worked well with 0-80 taps in through holes. The other machine had a diamond jawed Albrecht drill chuck. I ran a carbide drill in it on one of the jobs, btw... I modified elevator guides for dust covers most of the time and needed to drill and tap 2 holes in each guide for that. The production shop had 2 banks of drill presses and both had at least one tapping head in it.

I learned pretty fast that you need something to keep that torque arm from getting you in the gut when a tap breaks....Not that I broke many. The tygon tubing was a good "muffler" for the vibration and we had rolls of the stuff in stock for the air filtration division.

I never thought of using RTV to hold a worn taper in. If done properly; it would be difficult to remove. I'll keep that in mind...I do have a #1 Procunier that I picked up on ebay and I now need to get a machine to run it in.

Andy Pullen

08-23-2006, 06:14 PM
Oops wrong post

08-23-2006, 07:30 PM
good evening.

i don't mean to be butting in your thread here, but i have a 'jarvis' tapping head that i cannot find any information on. i am the first to admit that my google-foo is weak.

what i am interested in knowing is does the shank come off the jarvis head? mine is a mt2 and i would like to cut it off and turn it down to a straight shank. i have a toolmaster mill and it will not accept a drawbar. my shank has a tang on it too. the problem is that to use this head on my mill i would have to put the shank in a mt2-3 sleeve and then put that in the cincinnati collet that has a 3 mt on the inside. that seems to be a lot of room for 'tolerance stacking' and if i could rework the shank i could use the head in my drill press and mill both.

i would be grateful for any information that anyone can provide.


08-24-2006, 12:02 AM
andy, I worked in a job shop and our machines were well used. I had to repair them from time to time. We had some Morse taper reamers and I cleaned the tapers when a drill spun in them. Some of the radial drills had a slot to hold the taper from turning and some didn't. I seldom used a tap head because it took to long to set up for a one off job that we did. Most time I power taped using a chuck and tap. For the bigger taps I used a cut off 3/8 ext. with three flats and a square drive socket that fit the tap as close as posible. What ever it took to get the job done. The tool and die guys would probably scream and run with some of the things I did to do a job.

08-24-2006, 08:31 AM
Hi again, Carl,

Machinery maintenance was part of my job in that shop. I never had much trouble with the tapping heads aside from the occasional new bearings and clutch cleaning. We did what was needed to do the job and get things running again. I learned alot doing that job.

I've done power tapping on a radial drill, too. It's much more convenient. Especially, when you only have a couple of holes.


We had 1 Jarvis tapping head in that same shop. It was a bigger one than the one you have, and I believe parts were available. I'll ask my replacement if he has any info about it in the files. It was a robust unit.

Andy Pullen