PDA

View Full Version : miniture taps and dies



Bmyers
08-23-2008, 07:57 AM
I want to buy a set of tap and dies from 0-80 to 4-40. where can i buy a set and not have to buy individual taps and dies

hitandmissman
08-23-2008, 08:26 AM
www.micromark.com has a set for about $80.

Bmyers
08-23-2008, 12:32 PM
have you used this set ?

Frank Ford
08-23-2008, 04:47 PM
It's my impression that high speed steel taps aren't sold in sets. Once I discovered how much better they are than carbon steel, I literally gave away all my carbon steel taps.

Spiral point high speed taps were a major discovery (well, I read about them here, I think) for me, and my tap breakage is probably 10% of what it was with the old carbon steel ones.

Bill Pace
08-23-2008, 05:54 PM
Spiral point high speed taps were a major discovery (well, I read about them here, I think) for me, and my tap breakage is probably 10% of what it was with the old carbon steel ones.

Amen to that, Frank!! There is just NO comparison ... I think my breakage is less than 10%!

If those taps from Micro are carbon steels I'd run from them --- in those small sizes would be asking for breakage. Like Frank, I dont recall seeing sets of the good taps.

Just Bob Again
08-23-2008, 06:10 PM
I extensively use taps and dies from 00-96 on up. Don't skimp. Cheap carbon steel taps are OK for plastic and possibly brass if you're careful. Cheap HSS taps are OK in hard aluminum, maybe. In softer material, they can gall and stick and break. Steel, forget it. Good ground HSS 2-flute gun taps run around $12 or $15. OSG, Cleveland. I don't care for the 3-flute taps. The 2-flute seem to last longer. They're hard to remove when they break and the cheap ones just aren't worth spit. Buy the good stuff. Always use tapping fluid, not oil.

Some jewelers supply places sell metric watchmakers sets. A die plate with a dozen small metric dies, from about .5mm on up around 2mm and matching taps. Around a dozen sizes for $10. It's the cheapest way to go for very small sizes but they're REALLY cheezy.

SGW
08-23-2008, 06:31 PM
A set may be appealing for convenience but, as others have said, you'll probably do better to buy GOOD taps and dies as you need them. Personally, I'm partial to the Hansen taps sold by www.travers.com but there are plenty of other good ones. The good stuff tends to be expensive, but worth it. If you buy them only as you need them, the financial pain can be spread out a bit.

Of course, there are valid reasons for buying a set, too. What's your motivation?

CCWKen
08-23-2008, 07:11 PM
Victor Machinery has them. Not sets but good USA taps and dies cheaper than you can buy a set.

http://www.victornet.com/cgi-bin/victor/index.html

lazlo
08-23-2008, 07:34 PM
I'm partial to the Hansen taps sold by www.travers.com

Ditton on the Hasen. They do sells set of HSS dies, but you have to read the fine print very carefully. Most of their sets are carbon steel, a lot of their sets are HSS taps and carbon dies, and there are 2 sets (SKU numbers) that are HSS taps and dies.

For some reason that I've never understood, taps are often on sale, but HSS dies are almost never on sale. The best deal I've found is to buy the OSG (Japanese) HSS dies at J&L Inudstrial during their bi-weekly 25% off sale.

wierdscience
08-23-2008, 09:55 PM
OSG ROCKS!

But Grandtool has sales featuring Guring and a few other quality brands.

http://www.grandtool.com/

Bmyers
08-23-2008, 10:21 PM
thanks for the reply's. I think I will buy individual HSS.

Mcgyver
08-23-2008, 11:46 PM
you guys trashing the carbon taps are doing so for the wrong reason imo - you might be right to trash them but its because they are garbage, poorly made taps not because they are carbon. there's such a thing as, or was, really good carbon taps, Point being, don't assume because its carbon that it's bad; you made end up an bunch one day from an estate sale etc that are excellent. Second point is, garbage hss isn't going to do you much better. Quality shows up in the heat treat, accuracy and the grind. As a practical matter, yes, buy HSS because i don't know of quality ones made in carbon, but just going form carbon to hss won't do it - the hss product still has to be quality.

I always wondered about the fixation with hss taps - different case with cnc and high speed tappers but in our home shops you must be going at a different pace than i to require hss's superior performance at elevated temps. :D. I tap by hand or slowly in the lathe and mill so hss has no functional advantage. I speculate that manufactures almost make them from hss now because of the buyer expectation rather than its function requiring it - and carbon can take a better edge than hss.

this comes up all the time - in general, you'll get better quality with individual pieces, although you can be individual piece of junk as well. my theory is industry buys the good stuff that performs and tool rooms buy what they need not sets. Sets get sold at your auto parts or hardware store and is often/usually junk (this a generality, there are expense sets available)

wierdscience
08-24-2008, 10:20 AM
you guys trashing the carbon taps are doing so for the wrong reason imo - you might be right to trash them but its because they are garbage, poorly made taps not because they are carbon. there's such a thing as, or was, really good carbon taps, Point being, don't assume because its carbon that it's bad; you made end up an bunch one day from an estate sale etc that are excellent. Second point is, garbage hss isn't going to do you much better. Quality shows up in the heat treat, accuracy and the grind. As a practical matter, yes, buy HSS because i don't know of quality ones made in carbon, but just going form carbon to hss won't do it - the hss product still has to be quality.

I always wondered about the fixation with hss taps - different case with cnc and high speed tappers but in our home shops you must be going at a different pace than i to require hss's superior performance at elevated temps. :D. I tap by hand or slowly in the lathe and mill so hss has no functional advantage. I speculate that manufactures almost make them from hss now because of the buyer expectation rather than its function requiring it - and carbon can take a better edge than hss.

this comes up all the time - in general, you'll get better quality with individual pieces, although you can be individual piece of junk as well. my theory is industry buys the good stuff that performs and tool rooms buy what they need not sets. Sets get sold at your auto parts or hardware store and is often/usually junk (this a generality, there are expense sets available)

Hold on a minute,back up the truck:)

HSS or CS both are technically still "carbon steel" and both can be ground to equal quality.
The difference comes in the strength of the tap and the longevity of the material.In the longevity case the HSS wins hands down.

The biggest problem with CS taps as you have pointed out is fining a quality one.R&N make them still,but the price is on a par with HSS so why bother.

The only time I will use a CS tap anymore is if it's one I made or it's in a critical part were breakage might occur and the only removal method would be drilling.

All that said in daily use the most bang for the buck are the EM series spiral flute taps.Cost like hell,but last nearly forever and they eject their own swarf.

http://www.cutting-tool-supply.com/Greenfield/Taps/HighPerformance/EM-SS/SpiralFlute/Home.htm

Next best are the spiral point version-

http://kennametal.com/e-catalog/ProductDisplay.jhtml?XMLArg=10997.xml&id=10997&level=&pid=8020987&navAction=push&item=category%3A10997

Yes they are intended for machine use,but work very well as hand taps also.

Only drawback is the price,last 1/4-20 I bought in the EM series was $11.00,still worth it in terms of life and breakage.

lazlo
08-24-2008, 11:03 AM
HSS or CS both are technically still "carbon steel" and both can be ground to equal quality.
The difference comes in the strength of the tap and the longevity of the material.In the longevity case the HSS wins hands down.

Perhaps I'm misunderstanding the term, but I thought carbon steel meant that there are no other alloying elements -- it's just carbon, iron, and impurities.

Tool steel (like O-1, A-2, W-2, ...) and HSS (M-2, M-42) have alloying elements such as chromium, vanadium, molybdenum, cobalt et al, that make them way more wear and shock resistant, and much tougher, than carbon steel. I'd love to see a Katana made from S-7 -- throw 2,000 years of carbon steel tradition out the window! :D

So any tool steel or HSS tap or die should be vastly more durable than a carbon steel die. But like McGyver says, the cutting performance of the tap and die is from the geometry -- like good quality drills, the best taps and dies are heat treated and then ground. So in theory a good quality heat-treated and ground carbon steel tap or die should cut just as well as a tool steel or HSS tap or die, but it will dull a lot more quickly.

The primary difference between high-speed steels and tool steels is added cobalt to increase the red hardness. That really shouldn't make a difference with a tap or die unless you're power tapping, but I've never seen a tool steel tap or die for sale, only HSS.

Duffy
08-24-2008, 11:10 AM
I bought some CS taps recently from Tracy tools in the UK. The reasons were simple and sort of follow Mcgyver's logic: HSS was TRIPLE the price, I was only tapping gunmetal or brass, and I was prepared to take my time when I occasionally use them. I think CS has a place, but if I have my druthers, I opt for a recognized brand of HSS. On the subject of Chinese junk, (not a boat,) I watched an episode of How its Made where a company in Montreal manufactured milling cutters for the aviation industry. In Canada that spells Bombardier- there isnt much else. Why would anyone think that a country that can launch a missile that successfully shoots down its own satelite cant turn out a good quality HSS tap or just about anything else for that matter? We buy "Chinese junk" because THAT is what our suppliers order for us. Hell, they were drilling deep wells with cable tools about the time the Gauls were boasting about soap, (which the Romans LOVED,) and iron tires on wheels. Duffy

wierdscience
08-24-2008, 11:23 AM
Perhaps I'm misunderstanding the term, but I thought carbon steel meant that there are no other alloying elements -- it's just carbon, iron, and impurities.

Tool steel (like O-1, A-2, W-2, ...) and HSS (M-2, M-42) have alloying elements such as chromium, vanadium, molybdenum, cobalt et al, that make them way more wear and shock resistant, and much tougher, than carbon steel. I'd love to see a Katana made from S-7 -- throw 2,000 years of carbon steel tradition out the window! :D

So any tool steel or HSS tap or die should be vastly more durable than a carbon steel die. But like McGyver says, the cutting performance of the tap and die is from the geometry -- like good quality drills, the best taps and dies are heat treated and then ground. So in theory a good quality heat-treated and ground carbon steel tap or die should cut just as well as a tool steel or HSS tap or die, but it will dull a lot more quickly.

The primary difference between high-speed steels and tool steels is added cobalt to increase the red hardness. That really shouldn't make a difference with a tap or die unless you're power tapping, but I've never seen a tool steel tap or die for sale, only HSS.

Well this statement he made confused me-"and carbon can take a better edge than hss."

Huhh?HSS can take a better edge than carbide ,but certainly not HSS.

I won't even consider CS taps of any quality unless it's like I stated before and there was a good reason.I tap too many holes in a days time.

I also don't follow the because they are cheaper reasoning either.Taps are like reamers,buying the best pays off in the long run.

SGW
08-24-2008, 12:22 PM
I think your definition of "carbon steel" is far too restrictive. O-1, W-1, etc. are carbon steels. They are not high-speed steel. The thing that distinguishes HSS is the presence of alloying elements that give high red hardness -- it can get pretty hot and not lose its hardness. There are tradeoffs for that, one being, as Mcgyver said, it won't take as keen an edge as non-HSS.

For a tap, high red hardness seems pretty much pointless.

lazlo
08-24-2008, 12:36 PM
I think your definition of "carbon steel" is far too restrictive. O-1, W-1, etc. are carbon steels. They are not high-speed steel.

The definition of carbon steel is steel where carbon is the only alloying element.

O-1, W-2, A-2 et all are tool steels.

HSS is tool steel plus cobalt for high red hardness:


Tool steel (like O-1, A-2, W-2, ...) and HSS (M-2, M-42) have alloying elements such as chromium, vanadium, molybdenum, cobalt et al, that make them way more wear and shock resistant, and much tougher, than carbon steel.

The primary difference between high-speed steels and tool steels is added cobalt to increase the red hardness. That really shouldn't make a difference with a tap or die unless you're power tapping, but I've never seen a tool steel tap or die for sale, only HSS.

Mcgyver
08-24-2008, 12:45 PM
I'm using 'carbon' colloquially as frequently done and likely incorrectly, to mean a high carbon or tool steel that can hardened and heat treated. You're right, they are all carbon steels..... so let me refine as saying whatever high carbon or tool steel the manufacture of quality non hss tap chose to use :D



Huhh?HSS can take a better edge than carbide ,but certainly not HSS.
.

why you are you certain? I can't site a reference of hand, but there's lots out there on how high carbon/tool steel will take an initial edge better than hss.


I won't even consider CS taps of any quality unless it's like I stated before and there was a good reason.I tap too many holes in a days time.

so you are saying the CS taps wear to fast for you compared to hss? I'm not sure why, hss's wear advantages occur at high temps (if you machine tapping, as i said, my remarks are not applicable). maybe its because the CS taps weren't good quality they didn't last? I think because at any machine tool operation we're quickly at speeds that dull CS, we're conditioned to think it wears faster than hss - and it does at temps when machining, but i don't think hss has the wear advantage over CS for bench tools/hand tools like a tap does it?

99% of mine are hss too, but I've some great BA carbon T&D's that are anything but junk



I also don't follow the because they are cheaper reasoning either.Taps are like reamers,buying the best pays off in the long run.

complete agree, my comment had nothing to do with economics - i do NOT advocate buying hardware store crap - in HSS or CS. i buy quality hss as well - its all that is available in name brand quality stuff. The point was simply if you arrive at the right conclusion for the wrong reasons, one day a curve ball will mess you up (like tossing a drawer of quality CS taps cuz you erroneously think that because they're carbon they're junk) :D

lazlo
08-24-2008, 12:51 PM
I'm using 'carbon' colloquially as frequently done and likely incorrectly, to mean a high carbon or tool steel that can hardened and heat treated.

It's not just pedantry -- the carbon steel used in taps and dies have no alloying elements -- they're just case-hardened mild steel.



Huhh?HSS can take a better edge than carbide ,but certainly not HSS.
why you are you certain? I can't site a reference of hand, but there's lots out there on how high carbon/tool steel will take an initial edge better than hss.

I've heard that once or twice before too -- that carbon steel tools can take a sharper edge than tool steel or HSS, but I've never seen it quoted in a machinery text, and I have most of the machinery texts that guys here and on PM recommend.

I don't disbelieve it, but it doesn't make sense to me from a metallurgical standpoint: why would the alloying elements create a less sharp edge?

JCHannum
08-24-2008, 02:05 PM
[QUOTE=lazlo]It's not just pedantry -- the carbon steel used in taps and dies have no alloying elements -- they're just case-hardened mild steel./QUOTE]

Not so, they can be any of the high carbon steels, the drill rod steels are common, as are others. Case hardening is not commonly used in CS taps & dies.

The hardware tap & die sets can be of anything, but are probably not case hardened. They are likely not ground and are usually not much use except on soft materials or for thread restoring. Good ground carbon steel taps are preferred by gunsmiths as described, if they break in an expensive part, they are easily removed. They are not recommended for multiple use applications.

Dies can be a bit more forgiving, I have many old CS dies that still give good service, but they are by quality manufacturers such as Card and Greenfield.

lazlo
08-24-2008, 02:35 PM
It's not just pedantry -- the carbon steel used in taps and dies have no alloying elements -- they're just case-hardened mild steel.

Not so, they can be any of the high carbon steels, the drill rod steels are common, as are others. Case hardening is not commonly used in CS taps & dies.

Drill rod is tool steel Jim: O-1, A-2, D-2, S7, et al. A-2 and D-2 (drill rod) are chromium alloy steels. O-1 (oil hardening drill rod) is maganese alloy steel. S-7 is a witches brew of chromium, maganese, molybedenum, and silicon:

http://i164.photobucket.com/albums/u15/rtgeorge_album/ToolSteel.gif

The hardware store tap and dies are definitely case-hardened mild steel -- they state as much on the box, and if you break one of the taps (which I've done more often than I'd like to admit), you can see that there's a thin case. If you really, really want me to show you, I'll break one of the Sears taps and take a picture to show you...

Vermont, Hanson et al (i.e., the "good" brands) do have high carbon steel tap and dies. I have some of those as well. They're also ground, but they definitely don't stay as sharp as long as the tool steel or HSS tap and dies.

JCHannum
08-24-2008, 02:58 PM
I am not familiar with the current available hardware taps, having quit buying them years ago. They quite possibly are case hardened, but a good rule of thumb is if it is in a blister pack, don't buy it.

Machinery's Handbook 17th Edition calls for a steel with carbon content of 1.15-1.25% carbon, some use Vanadium at 0.25% for added toughness.

Mcgyver
08-24-2008, 04:29 PM
It's not just pedantry -- the carbon steel used in taps and dies have no alloying elements -- they're just case-hardened mild steel.


it may be so (i don't know one way or the other) for the vast majority of junk made today but that's a really broad statement encompassing all made now or in the past. The junk I'm not concerned with, the well made stuff from high carbon or tool steel is i think not an inferior product - it either has been or is being made somewhere - ie not every carbon tap made is case hardened mild steel?

I realize its technically incorrect to mix up naming carbon, high carbon, alloy and tool steels, and i stand corrected, but seems quite common to refer to carbon steel, in the context of heat treated tool, to mean a high carbon or tool steel as opposed to hss or carbide etc - sorry if it led to confusion


I've heard that once or twice before too -- that carbon steel tools can take a sharper edge than tool steel or HSS, but I've never seen it quoted in a machinery text, and I have most of the machinery texts that guys here and on PM recommend.

I don't disbelieve it, but it doesn't make sense to me from a metallurgical standpoint: why would the alloying elements create a less sharp edge?

i can't help you there, I've just heard it enough times that I'm repeating it - so i haven't evidence at the molecular levet that its not an old wives tale...still where there's smoke there's fire. It is tough to find info on carbon tools as for probably everything but manual tapping, speed of the machine tool has made high carbon tool steel all but obsolete as a cutting tool. I've tried to find stuff in the ASM books - there is little about high carbon tool steel in the machining volume and nothing in the context of edges or tool wear. In the volume on machining of metals, its not even listed as a cutting tool material. Mostly where you hear this claim is woodworking irrc

lazlo
08-24-2008, 05:00 PM
it may be so (i don't know one way or the other) for the vast majority of junk made today but that's a really broad statement encompassing all made now or in the past.

My appologies -- after re-reading that I wasn't very clear. I was trying to say that dies run the complete gamut from case-hardened mild steel (the taps and dies at Sear and Ace Hardware, for example), high carbon steel (I mentioned earlier in the thread that I have some Vermont and Hanson high carbon steel dies -- they're nice), tool steel dies (W-2, O-2), and HSS dies (OSG, Greenfield, ...).

The nicest, most durable dies I've used are HSS dies, but like several of us said, the added cobalt for high red hardness in HSS shouldn't matter a lick if your hand-tapping, but man the HSS OSG's I have last a long, long time..


Mostly where you hear this claim is woodworking irrc

I think that's where I heard it too. Like I said earlier, it wouldn't surprise me if it were true, but I can't get my head around why the alloying elements in tool steel would result in a duller edge...

I'd be interested in hearing from a knife-maker. Those guys have these elaborate cutting tests, and they make blades from everything from carbon steel to Stellite, so if anyone would know...

wierdscience
08-24-2008, 08:54 PM
I'm using 'carbon' colloquially as frequently done and likely incorrectly, to mean a high carbon or tool steel that can hardened and heat treated. You're right, they are all carbon steels..... so let me refine as saying whatever high carbon or tool steel the manufacture of quality non hss tap chose to use :D



why you are you certain? I can't site a reference of hand, but there's lots out there on how high carbon/tool steel will take an initial edge better than hss.



so you are saying the CS taps wear to fast for you compared to hss? I'm not sure why, hss's wear advantages occur at high temps (if you machine tapping, as i said, my remarks are not applicable). maybe its because the CS taps weren't good quality they didn't last? I think because at any machine tool operation we're quickly at speeds that dull CS, we're conditioned to think it wears faster than hss - and it does at temps when machining, but i don't think hss has the wear advantage over CS for bench tools/hand tools like a tap does it?

99% of mine are hss too, but I've some great BA carbon T&D's that are anything but junk




complete agree, my comment had nothing to do with economics - i do NOT advocate buying hardware store crap - in HSS or CS. i buy quality hss as well - its all that is available in name brand quality stuff. The point was simply if you arrive at the right conclusion for the wrong reasons, one day a curve ball will mess you up (like tossing a drawer of quality CS taps cuz you erroneously think that because they're carbon they're junk) :D

I never said that all CS taps and dies are junk,just 90% of them since they mostly appear in the form of home&garden supply blister packs or discount autoparts racks.Reif&Nestor make some very good quality CS stuff so do some of the others,but once the price is within %20 of HSS the decision of which to buy becomes easy.

I have quite a few old CS taps and dies mostly specials.Even the old ones though don't hold an edge nearly as long as a quality HSS tap.When they are new they also require more driving torque a feature not desirable in a tap.The amount of torque increases as they dull further as with any tap.

When tapping mild steel,aluminum and brass the only real difference shows in grind quality.CS tap mfg apparently hasn't kept up with technology as they don't have variable relief most times.CS requires more backing up and sometimes centers poorly.

When tapping cast iron and bronze they don't last anywhere near as long as HSS,maybe due to the silica present.

IMHO CS taps,dies,reamers and drills are from an era long past.They went the way of the dinosaur and were replaced with better more durable tools.They still are around,but they are vastly outnumbered by their cheap dimestore cousins.

I tend to steer anyone new to the trade away from CS mainly for the vast assortment of cheap CS taps and dies.They can be a frustrating disappointing lesson for someone just starting out.

The general public or the guy just starting out may not know that there are taps for cleaning threads and taps for cutting threads HSS tends to nearly always be generally better quality than the CS that can be found on the local shelves.

As always YMMV,but if I have two taps on the shelf the HSS will see the most work.

If throw out some CS taps don't worry I'll send they to you:D

ckelloug
08-24-2008, 09:05 PM
The truly hard tool steels may not have the right edge for woodworking because some woodworking tools like a cabinet scraper have a drawn burr as their edge rather than a lapped sharp edge.

The burr is formed by filing the end square and then burnishing it with a piece of smooth hard steel. I've used the shank of an HSS endmill for the burnishing in a pinch. This raises a burr a few thousandths in size which does the actual cutting.

I doubt that you could make a traditional cabinet scraper from HSS because HSS doesn't form a burr when filed. It also doesn't file. That's not to say you might not be able to make a cabinet scraper by creating a tiny sharp backwards burr-like edge on HSS with an unobtainium precision grinder in the wood shop but the average woodworker ain't likely to have it.

Regards all,

Cameron

wierdscience
08-24-2008, 09:12 PM
My appologies -- after re-reading that I wasn't very clear. I was trying to say that dies run the complete gamut from case-hardened mild steel (the taps and dies at Sear and Ace Hardware, for example), high carbon steel (I mentioned earlier in the thread that I have some Vermont and Hanson high carbon steel dies -- they're nice), tool steel dies (W-2, O-2), and HSS dies (OSG, Greenfield, ...).

The nicest, most durable dies I've used are HSS dies, but like several of us said, the added cobalt for high red hardness in HSS shouldn't matter a lick if your hand-tapping, but man the HSS OSG's I have last a long, long time..



I think that's where I heard it too. Like I said earlier, it wouldn't surprise me if it were true, but I can't get my head around why the alloying elements in tool steel would result in a duller edge...

I'd be interested in hearing from a knife-maker. Those guys have these elaborate cutting tests, and they make blades from everything from carbon steel to Stellite, so if anyone would know...

The graph on this page may shed some light-

http://www.arwarnerco.com/warner_materials.html

I've never heard of carbon steel taking a finer edge than HSS.I have heard that HSS carbon steel taking a better edge than CARBIDE which is true.From having sold drills and taps to the general public for years the two terms (carbide and carbon)do get mixed.

wierdscience
08-24-2008, 09:20 PM
The truly hard tool steels may not have the right edge for woodworking because some woodworking tools like a cabinet scraper have a drawn burr as their edge rather than a lapped sharp edge.

The burr is formed by filing the end square and then burnishing it with a piece of smooth hard steel. I've used the shank of an HSS endmill for the burnishing in a pinch. This raises a burr a few thousandths in size which does the actual cutting.

I doubt that you could make a traditional cabinet scraper from HSS because HSS doesn't form a burr when filed. It also doesn't file. That's not to say you might not be able to make a cabinet scraper by creating a tiny sharp backwards burr-like edge on HSS with an unobtainium precision grinder in the wood shop but the average woodworker ain't likely to have it.

Regards all,

Cameron

The hardness of HSS depends on it's heat treat.It can be 68rc or it can be 30rc or even dead soft.

A lot of the quality wood working tool mfgs use A-2,it's fairly inexpensive,heat treats well and holds an edge due to it's high abrasion resistance.

Lie-Neilson uses A-2 for their plane blades-

http://www.lie-nielsen.com/catalog.php?cat=512

MFolks
08-24-2008, 11:12 PM
A company called micro mark www.micromark.com sells metric and imperial(american) taps and dies individually and as sets.