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View Full Version : ever heard of air drill + tapping head?



DaHui
08-14-2010, 12:36 PM
I've been toying with the idea of a tapping arm for a while. I know some people are using inline impactors and such but I have a small tapmatic head and it got me thinking. Could I use an air drill with a 1/2" chuck (for the 1/2" shaft on the tapping head) and make that work at the end of a tapping arm? Anyone ever tried that?

squirrel
08-14-2010, 02:42 PM
I've been toying with the idea of a tapping arm for a while. I know some people are using inline impactors and such but I have a small tapmatic head and it got me thinking. Could I use an air drill with a 1/2" chuck (for the 1/2" shaft on the tapping head) and make that work at the end of a tapping arm? Anyone ever tried that?
For really small diameter holes it might work, tapping takes alot of low rpm torque. If you had a gear reduction air drill that might work very well but would be rather bulky.

j king
08-14-2010, 02:55 PM
old job had a air powered tap gun.worked like tap head but dont think it had a clutch.Cant remember but I used it a few times on 1/4 taps and it was sweet. Push in and it ran forward and pull back and it would instant reverse..

Black_Moons
08-14-2010, 03:52 PM
At princess auto, they have some awsome air over hydrolic (???) screwdrivers that look like they have enough torque to tap..

lazlo
08-14-2010, 04:44 PM
I have a German (can't remember the brand) pneumatic air drill -- it has a planetary and spring loaded clutch, and it's got way more torque than a battery-powered drill. I'm pretty sure it would have no problem tapping.

I think that's what the professional pneumatic tapping machines use.

oldtiffie
08-14-2010, 10:03 PM
John Stevenson has a very good air-powered tapping-head on a partial pantograph linkage fixed to his work bench.

John was pretty pleased with it as it really did get through some work.

I don't have a link to the post/s but others may have.

CCWKen
08-15-2010, 01:13 AM
I have a 3/8" air drill that will dang near break your wrist if the bit hangs up and you don't let go. Without some type of clutch, it would snap taps in a second.

oldtiffie
08-15-2010, 02:12 AM
John Stevenson has a very good air-powered tapping-head on a partial pantograph linkage fixed to his work bench.

John was pretty pleased with it as it really did get through some work.

I don't have a link to the post/s but others may have.

Found 'em.

Here ya go.

I hope it helps.

If someone can post the link/s to John S's tapping head the text will assist a fair bit as well:

http://homepage.ntlworld.com/stevenson.engineers/lsteve/files/tapping1.jpg

http://homepage.ntlworld.com/stevenson.engineers/lsteve/files/tapping2.jpg

http://homepage.ntlworld.com/stevenson.engineers/lsteve/files/tapping3.jpg

DaHui
08-15-2010, 01:41 PM
Yeah I saw John's a long while back and that planted the seed in my mind. I know Bob Warfield has also done some musing on a similar design. Unfortunately I don't want to drop the crazy amount of money it costs for one of those air tapping heads...especially since I have a tapmatic 30x lying around.

If I could use a 1/2" air drill I could just chuck up the tapmatic and go for it. It seems like 1/2" air drills have relatively low rpm (500-700ish) and that is great for the tapping head. It says it can go up to 2000 rpm but the idea makes me a little jumpy :)

Any idea how easy it is to remove the 1/2" chuck? I would be nice to shorten the overall length of the drill + tapping head but my 30X has a 1/2" shaft on it so maybe it isn't worth the bother.

Good to know there should be plenty of torque so I might try to find a good deal on an air drill.

Milacron of PM
08-15-2010, 01:56 PM
FWIW, I used to manuf these machines...

You need an air drill with reverse button. 400 rpm will get you aprox 1/2 NC capacity in mild steel, 600 RPM=3/8 NC cap and 1,000 RPM= 1/4 NC capacity.

Ideally you want Bilz no. 1 tap chuck for the driver, but you can configure a typical flex collet chuck if doing it on the cheap....you just won't have the quick change capability and overload clutch of the Bilz holder system.

The professional systems use a tapered shank on the air drill to affix the tap chuck, but you can get by with the typical threaded shank if you are careful to thread the tap chuck pretty tight. You will also need to have a small tapped hole in the side of the chuck so you can apply a set screw into the air drill shank to keep the chuck from unthreading in reverse.

oldtiffie
08-15-2010, 07:33 PM
Following on from Millacrom's post.

David, here is an idea of the taps and speeds required:
http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa294/oldtiffie/Black_book/Black_book2_P20-21_1.jpg

I use the "gun point" taps and as my tapping heads have an adjustable clutch and as I am retired and all of my work is a "low number off" on an occasional basis, they do the job just fine. Mine have MT3 tapers for use in my mills. I keep to pretty low speeds but the low speed torque is handled by the clutch in the tapping head.

A good drill on a good portable stand should see you right as you can take the machine to the work or leave it on the bench:
http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa294/oldtiffie/Med_Speed_Spindles/Metabo_drill1.jpg

http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa294/oldtiffie/Med_Speed_Spindles/Metabo_drill2.jpg

http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa294/oldtiffie/Med_Speed_Spindles/Metabo_drill3.jpg