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Alistair Hosie
12-03-2010, 05:22 PM
Hi I am looking for someone to point me in the direction, (UK only) of a set of taps and dies metric hss or tungsten. Where can I get a reasonable set 40 piece or thereabouts. I have lots of cheap sets and want a bit better but not the best as I don't use them a lot I just want a bit better reliability especially with the el cheapo holders that constantly slip and the taps which end up leaving barely a mark on the metal.I don't want a cheap yellow screwdriver and lots of drills to match just taps dies and goodish holders are they to be had without a mortgage being applied for:D please give me advice re these Alistair

David Powell
12-03-2010, 06:00 PM
Now it is the time to forget you belong in Scotland. Make yourself a list of all the taps and dies you have actually used out of those sets. Drive to a good tool dealers in a decent town or city and buy three taps of each size( Taper second and bottoming) and one die. Buy only known quality names( maybe different for you than me over here, other folks please help ) Then find the best restaurant in town and take Bronwen out for lunch or supper. Spend as much , if not more on the meal as you spend on tools. Then every time you use any you will remember your wonderful day out and not think about the hole in your bank account. Regards , and hoping you are doing well, David Powell.

lynnl
12-03-2010, 06:47 PM
Personally for infrequent, home use, I'd skip the taper one, and get just the plug and bottoming taps.
And if I had supply place around handy, I'd just buy them as I need them, especially for sizes other than those I
absolutely knew I would need.

Your Old Dog
12-03-2010, 07:14 PM
No you don't. I think you got a few years on me and I'm at that magical age wherein I know longer have to spend extra money expensive tools or stainless hardware. I'm hoping to outlast cheap Harbor Freight tools but if I don't, I won't have wasted any money. :D :D

recoilless
12-03-2010, 07:57 PM
Hi I am looking for someone to point me in the direction, (UK only) of a set of taps and dies metric hss or tungsten. Where can I get a reasonable set 40 piece or thereabouts. I have lots of cheap sets and want a bit better but not the best as I don't use them a lot I just want a bit better reliability especially with the el cheapo holders that constantly slip and the taps which end up leaving barely a mark on the metal.I don't want a cheap yellow screwdriver and lots of drills to match just taps dies and goodish holders are they to be had without a mortgage being applied for:D please give me advice re these Alistair

1.Take a permanent marker and write "Bridgeport" on this set.
2. Wait until Sir John is at the pub (probably now, wait you are 7 hrs ahead of me), slip into his shop stealthily.
3. Switch them with his.
4. Go to pub.
5. Buy John a pair of doubles.
6. Done

HAP
12-03-2010, 10:38 PM
I too have recently decided to buy only good quality of the sizes I use. I was turned on to the the spiral point taps by the Fastenal sales rep and wow, what a difirence! I had to actually try pulling on the tap to make sure it was actually threading into the work as there was none of that 1/8 th turn-jamb, back-out, clear behavior. It was super smooth and a joy to use. My opinion; go for best quality you can get. Big box store taps = junk!
Regards,
HAP

whitis
12-03-2010, 11:05 PM
Good tap and die sets are manufactured by the Unobtainium Corporation.

Good taps. Set. Pick one. Rarely, if ever, found together today at any price. That seems to be more or less the consensus view on the machining forums.

You could order, for example, an individual good quality spiral flute, spiral point, spiral point bottoming tap, and die in each size you commonly use and drill some holes in a block of wood to store them in. It will be expensive.

gnm109
12-04-2010, 01:15 AM
I really don't want a set. I have all of the usual hardware store ones now. After many years, I discovered that a lathe is the way to cut threads, inside and outside.

The hardware taps with four flutes, even good ones, are prone to breakage. I now buy the spiral type with two or three flutes in the smaller sizes. The hardware ones are of limited use and I've gradually replaced them with good ones from a local jobber, one or two at a time. .

As to dies, as above, I use the lathe. My old dies are OK for chasing threads or using for checking threads on the lathe once I've cut them. The adjustable ones with a split in the body can do a thread in a pinch but they can be very hard to keep straight. .

Buying a whole set is expensive and many of them will never get used. JMO

Paul Alciatore
12-04-2010, 01:39 AM
Well, a lathe may be "the way" to cut threads, but

1. Let me see you cut a 4-40 or a M2 female thread on a lathe. I want to watch. Never mind a 0-80. Heck, even a 1/4-20 or an M6 would be a challenge single pointing on a lathe.

2. When cutting external threads, I like to do it to within a few thousanths and then use a die to finish. An adjustable die can be set for the class of fit you want and there is no chance of cutting too deep. I don't even try to use a die to cut a thread from the full OD.

3. Lets assume the internal thread is big enough for single pointing. You have a lathe that swings X inches and a workpiece that measures X + 1 inches. And it is off center. Again, I want to watch.

I have to agree with the comments about just buying the sizes you need and get top quality, brand names. And the spiral point tap is great. If you only have one tap of a size, get a spiral point.

mike os
12-04-2010, 05:47 AM
Presto....but you are looking 30-40 a set (3piece) for taps
don't think you will find a "set" from any of the decent makes (at east not at anything like approaching a sensible sum

Holders, eclipse make decent holders still, ebay is your friend here:D

Unless you use a lot of odd sizes I wuold just get teh ones you want/need & add to them as you need to.

SGW
12-04-2010, 07:55 AM
I agree with the others. Buy what size you need, when you need it, and buy top quality. Spread out over time, the cost for top quality becomes manageable.

The only downside is that you have to come up with an organize storage system, instead of having the taps and dies already in a purpose-built box, but that is certainly not an insurmountable problem.

I've described before the storage system I use. I bought one of those plastic multi-drawer organizers with 60 drawers, 6 across and 10 high. It was fairly inexpensive. I assigned each set of 3 drawers across to a thread pitch, the drawers being for National Coarse, National Fine, and National Special. For example, for 3/8" dia. they would 3/8-16, 3/8-24, and 3/8-32. That gives me an assigned place for 20 thread diameters and multiple tpi for each diameter. Of course, you could assign Athe drawers any way you want to.

gnm109
12-04-2010, 10:08 AM
Well, a lathe may be "the way" to cut threads, but

1. Let me see you cut a 4-40 or a M2 female thread on a lathe. I want to watch. Never mind a 0-80. Heck, even a 1/4-20 or an M6 would be a challenge single pointing on a lathe.

2. When cutting external threads, I like to do it to within a few thousanths and then use a die to finish. An adjustable die can be set for the class of fit you want and there is no chance of cutting too deep. I don't even try to use a die to cut a thread from the full OD.

3. Lets assume the internal thread is big enough for single pointing. You have a lathe that swings X inches and a workpiece that measures X + 1 inches. And it is off center. Again, I want to watch.

I have to agree with the comments about just buying the sizes you need and get top quality, brand names. And the spiral point tap is great. If you only have one tap of a size, get a spiral point.


If you pay the travel, I'll let you watch.

Actually, I have taps all the way down to 0-80. I was spealking of sizes 1/4-20 on up. Anything larger than that will be done on the lathe.

Dies are OK for some things. By the way, I'd like to watch you thread a piece of 314 SS with a hand die and a handle. The thread? How about a 75% 3/4-10? That will show me what kind of a machihist you are. I'll even provide some tapping fluid.

:D

David Powell
12-04-2010, 10:23 AM
For example for the screw type glands in many model steam engine designs, you cannot use your taps and dies in hand held holders and expect useful results. Taps must be held in good tailstock chucks and dies must be held in holders that are concentric with the tailstock. Even if you have not the skill or tools to fully screw cut the threads by single pointing it can help if you cut about a half depth of thread and then use the taps and dies to finally get proper thread form. Doing so helps with concentricity. Incidentally, old taps make good single point tools for internal threads by grinding away all but one tooth. This advice is specifically for those who meet my definition of Home Shop Machinists, not the experts who can cut a thread on a pin while the rest of us look on in awe! regards David Powell.

gary350
12-04-2010, 10:27 AM
Order them from MSC online.

oil mac
12-04-2010, 10:34 AM
Alistair,
Go into my workshop, Leave a Fritz Verner milling machine with Christmas wrapping paper on it Steal my Elliott 00 :eek: I will forgive you if you leave me a couple of nice h s s taps & a die
Dan. :D

SDL
12-04-2010, 01:40 PM
How about these Alistair

http://onecall.farnell.com/dormer/l12012m/tap-die-set-2mm-12mm-hss-gt/dp/1477486

Dormer were tops.

Steve Larner

small.planes
12-04-2010, 05:14 PM
The taps Arc Euro Trade sell are good quality HSS.
http://www.arceurotrade.co.uk/Catalogue/Cutting-Tools/Taps
I have M4,5,6,8,10 and 12, all bought as I needed them.
They are serial type, where the taps start smaller than finish size, and the third tap is the finished size.
seem to give good threads, and I regularly use them with a cordless drill tapping all sorts of metal, from light alloys to gage plate.
I even had to put some M8 threads into MDF the other day (long story...)

As usual, no connection other than satisfied customer.

Dave