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Thread: Small tap users

  1. #11
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    Jul 2007
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    I use a Starrett 93A tap handle for small taps and spring-loaded center that I chuck up in the mill. This tap handle has a center hole in the end. The spring-loaded center applies axial force to the tap to help get it started and doesn't allow any side forces to accidentally break the tap by misalignment or just me being clumsy. I've tapped literally thousands of holes with this set up without breaking a tap. Another overlooked aspect is properly chamfering the hole prior to tapping.

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
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    LA, CA, USA
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    My take on tap holders for small taps...

    http://www.homemadetools.net/forum/tap-holders-26298
    Regards, Marv

    Home Shop Freeware - Tools for People Who Build Things
    http://www.myvirtualnetwork.com/mklotz

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
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    Missouri
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    Those huge taps should be no problem.

    I'd like to know how to deal with the small ones, like 0.25mm or even smaller. The ones where the entire tap is only 10mm long or so.......
    1601

    Keep eye on ball.
    Hashim Khan

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
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    Toronto
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    small taps are the same as big taps - except there is little chance of popping a chest muscle (hand crank a bunch of 7/8 NC holes and see how you feel ). They like the right sized hole, to be feed straight, used with the appropriate lubricant and not have too much torque applied.

    The obvious issue is there is less room for error. THE handiest thing for small taps is something like the UPT which gives a sensitive way to feed them straight it, perpendicular to the work. Here's a thread where i posted my upt, first picture shows a sensitive tap hold. The upt has tons of features (like the barrel the tap handle shaft sits in had little friction springs so it doesn't drop and hit the tap into the work) but you could do something simpler.

    http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net/thr...-photo-warning

    imo thats the direction to go if you easy good results using small taps....that and buy good taps!
    Last edited by Mcgyver; 03-25-2016 at 11:30 AM.
    .

  5. #15
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    Mar 2005
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    Toronto
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    Quote Originally Posted by J Tiers View Post
    Those huge taps should be no problem.

    I'd like to know how to deal with the small ones, like 0.25mm or even smaller. The ones where the entire tap is only 10mm long or so.......
    I've the bergeon set that goes down that small, forget using them.....I'd just like to able to see them. Bill Huxhold with all has incredible work most commonly uses 1mm taps and he mostly seems to work in stainless. Yeah, 1-6, we're tapping wimps.
    .

  6. #16
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    Sep 2011
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    Belgium
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    Quote Originally Posted by boslab View Post
    If tapping Ali in small sizes swarfega hand cleaner is excellent, the green one without bits, it's a kerosene emulsion I think
    Water soluable so washes away, used to be used on aircraft!
    I am going to have to try that, thanks! I love the smell of Swarfega - it reminds me of many happy childhood oily-handed days spent in the garage with my father.

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
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    Kirkland, Washington
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    For use with small taps. For me a #4-40 is small.


    There are a lot of different holding fixtures that go with it. The chuck works quite well for tapping the ends of small tubing.

    For larger parts, I quite often use a stop that keeps the part from turning but does not clamp it in place. The "Piloted tap wrench" is from MSC.

    Pete

  8. #18
    Join Date
    May 2002
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    SE Texas
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    J, I think the main thing is to keep the tap wrench in proportion to the tap. Thus, a tap wrench that is appropriate for a 1/2-20 tap will lead to awkward motions and more tap breakage with a 0-80 tap. That is why I find that the pin vise is good for the smaller sizes. You can not put too much torque on it for a 0-80 and it is a lot easier to hold it straight. I looked at Marv's wrenches and they also look excellent.

    If you are using a tap smaller than 0-80, especially if it is significantly smaller, then the pin vise may become awkward and you may need to find or fabricate a smaller, more delicate tool. Whatcha doing, making watches? Humm, watchmakers may have some nice wrenches for really small taps. Perhaps you should look there.

    I have tried and do not like the idea of using a Jacobs/drill chuck for holding small taps. First, it is harder to turn and the larger outside diameter can allow you to inadvertently apply too much torque. The "Tim the Tool Man" approach.

    A pin vise can be held in the hand and you can use two fingers to turn it. They have a finger spinner at the back and that allows it to spin in your hand. And you do not have to let it go to make the next motion so it goes faster and you can hold the angle easily. With a Jacobs/drill chuck, you must release it every time and that is more awkward. And it is heavier than the pin vise so the feel is not as good. I'm not saying it will not work, just that the pin vise or a shop made tool is better.

    Another tip that I just thought of is to hold both the work and the tap/wrench in your hands if possible. This allows you to more easily feel the forces involved and to adjust to them.



    Quote Originally Posted by J Tiers View Post
    Those huge taps should be no problem.

    I'd like to know how to deal with the small ones, like 0.25mm or even smaller. The ones where the entire tap is only 10mm long or so.......
    Paul A.

    Make it fit.
    You can't win and there is a penalty for trying!

  9. #19
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
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    LA, CA, USA
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    Many pin vises, especially the double-ended ones like the Starrett, have a body that is tubular-bored out to allow long stock to pass through. If you use this style pin vice it's easy to turn a guide rod to fit the bore. With the guide rod in place in the pin vice, grasp the exposed end of the rod in the drill chuck and you'll have a guided, low-torque tap wrench. A great deal of tiny tap breakage is due to accidentally applying side force to the tap in use; the guide rod makes that impossible.
    Regards, Marv

    Home Shop Freeware - Tools for People Who Build Things
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  10. #20
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Vancouver's Island
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    The comments about tap quality are on the money. However, you aren't likely to find el-cheapo taps in sizes under 4-40 or equivalent metric. Still there are significant differences in quality between the high quality manufacturers as well. I have found the European manufacturer's taps to be superior to North American usually. I can't say why but that is my experience. It most likely has something to do with patents. One of the best is Guhring Inc. Dormer is another brand but I think Guhring bought that name, not certain about that. I have a lot of Dormer taps and they cut better than anything else. There is one Japanese brand that I do not recall. I have few of those and they are also truly nice to use. The difference even among the expensive high quality brands can be significant.
    Last edited by Evan; 03-25-2016 at 01:51 PM.
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