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Tapmatic - how does the magic work?

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  • Tapmatic - how does the magic work?

    Okay, I know... "It's magic".

    First, let me make sure I understand how this gizmo works. You put the tapmagic in your drill press (mill) and then connect an arm to a stationary thing off to the side. Then you put the tap in the bottom. You position the hole and start the drill press turning. When the tap engages the hole you take your hands away. When the force gets to be too much, or the distance has been tapped, the thing MAGICALLY starts rotating in the opposite direction.

    Okay, I can understand friction clutches. But it's that "goes backwards" part that has me confuzzled. I've tried finding a good explanation with diagrams or pictures of a disassembly, but I have not found one. Anybody know of a pointer to one?


  • #2
    You don't take your hands away from the downfeed lever. You have to follow the tap into the work with a light touch on the lever and when your ready to back out, you lift the lever up and the reverse clutch will engage. You then follow the tap out of the hole. At least, that's how I do it with smaller taps..........

    Tim in D

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    • #3
      It seems that you are getting Tapmatic and TapMagic mixed up. The Tapmatic works by driving in one direction when pushed down and shifting to a reverse gear when pulled up. There is a neutral area between forward and reverse. TapMagic works by lubricating the cutting tool and workpiece. Both are wonderful additions to any shop.

      I have Tapmatic and Procunier, but I like the Ettco-Emrick ones the best.
      Last edited by Toolguy; 10-24-2019, 09:26 PM.

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      • #4
        Actually I much prefer a Procunier tapping head. Tapmatic engages in both directions with a bang. A procunier has a pair of cone slip clutches that slip so you can safely tap until you touch the bottom of a blind hole and the overall feel is much easier to learn. They are really smooth. The two tapmatics that I have both reverse out at twice the in speed which also takes getting used to.

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        • #5
          Brings back memories. 40 years ago, threaded 1000' of M6 and M8 holes in copper busbars with one of those gizmos
          Helder Ferreira
          Setubal, Portugal

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          • #6
            If the factory smoke remains inside it will always work, if however you let the smoke out it will cease to function.

            You can never put the smoke back in.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Toolguy View Post
              The Tapmatic works by driving in one direction when pushed down and shifting to a reverse gear when pulled up.
              Alternatively you can set a depth stop on you quill and when the quill hits the stop and quits advancing the tap pulls the shaft of the tapping head out enough to engage the revers gear. The tap starts backing out and you follow it up with the feed handle. Every hole comes out the same and no smashing taps into the bottom of a blind hole and breaking them.

              I've never used a Tapmatic but I have an ancient Procunier 2E that I bought at a flea market for twenty bucks over 30 years ago. I don't use it very often but every time I do I'm glad I have it. It makes tapping lots of identical holes so much easier and faster.

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              • #8
                What is the "magic" of a tapmatic tapping head? Direct drive via a position sensitive dog clutch coupled with a friction clutch. Backing out is a second dog clutch that is driven through an epicyclic (planetary) gear arrangement. The 2:1 is obtained via the ratio of the sun gear and the ring gear.

                No magic at all, just a bunch of gears in a box.

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                • #9
                  "connect an arm to a stationary thing off to the side."

                  As I recall they specifically say not to connect the torque arm to anything. It floats free and bangs against the stationary piece as needed.

                  BTW, I hate Tapmatics. Go to any large machine shop and ask to see their box of broken Tapmatics. Procunier is a much better choice IMO. Tapmatics apparent success may be related to their extensive advertising.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by CalM View Post
                    What is the "magic" of a tapmatic tapping head? Direct drive via a position sensitive dog clutch coupled with a friction clutch. Backing out is a second dog clutch that is driven through an epicyclic (planetary) gear arrangement. The 2:1 is obtained via the ratio of the sun gear and the ring gear.

                    No magic at all, just a bunch of gears in a box.
                    Um.... okay.

                    For those of us who are slow, can you find a diagram or something?


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                    • #11
                      The arm moves up and down with the quill feed so it is not/can not be attached firmly. But, to keep it from flying around, it can be attached with a loose connection. I used a cable tie that went around both the arm and the vertical rod but was left VERY loose so there was no resistance to the up-down motion. This was with the Tapmatic. I have not used a Procunier.



                      Originally posted by DR View Post
                      "connect an arm to a stationary thing off to the side."

                      As I recall they specifically say not to connect the torque arm to anything. It floats free and bangs against the stationary piece as needed.

                      BTW, I hate Tapmatics. Go to any large machine shop and ask to see their box of broken Tapmatics. Procunier is a much better choice IMO. Tapmatics apparent success may be related to their extensive advertising.
                      Paul A.

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

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Dan_the_Chemist View Post

                        Um.... okay.

                        For those of us who are slow, can you find a diagram or something?

                        Sure, let me google that for you
                        http://manuals.chudov.com/Tapmatic-3...Parts-List.pdf

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Bented View Post
                          If the factory smoke remains inside it will always work, if however you let the smoke out it will cease to function.

                          You can never put the smoke back in.
                          I learn something new every day, I never knew Tapamatics were made by Lucas!

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Tim in D View Post
                            You don't take your hands away from the downfeed lever. You have to follow the tap into the work with a light touch on the lever and when your ready to back out, you lift the lever up and the reverse clutch will engage. You then follow the tap out of the hole. At least, that's how I do it with smaller taps..........
                            Tim in D
                            The Allendale tapping heads claim to autoreverse when the bottom of the hole is reached OR when the quill is lifted. Here is a video where the claim is made. I've set the start time to go past the part about installing in the drill press and installing the tap.... You can start at 1:25 if that doesn't work. You can also mute the video - it's all bleh elevator music, no words.


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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Dan_the_Chemist View Post

                              The Allendale tapping heads claim to autoreverse when the bottom of the hole is reached OR when the quill is lifted. Here is a video where the claim is made. I've set the start time to go past the part about installing in the drill press and installing the tap.... You can start at 1:25 if that doesn't work. You can also mute the video - it's all bleh elevator music, no words.

                              That feature is part of the Tapmatic tool function as well.

                              Set the quill stop, the tap feeds some distance, auto reverse back to the position of the stop. lift the quill, and the unit continues to reverse.
                              The clutches are position sensitive.

                              You should buy one, it will keep you entertained for hours ;-)
                              They are great for tapping holes for threaded fasteners too!

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