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What do you store your taps and dies in?

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  • What do you store your taps and dies in?

    I know that some people of course, will have bought whole tap and die sets and this makes storage of them easy. But what about the people who have bought second hand or just collected single ones over the years.
    What do you keep them in for easy finding of the correct one? They do become very hard to read after they get some age to them (and your eyes get a few years on them!) I was thinking of routing some channels out of wood and making some drawers to hold them, but the thought crossed my mind that wood be hygroscopic might facilitate rust. I'd like to have some easily accessible storage, that also makes it visually easy through some type of labeling to pick out the correct size tap or die.
    Any suggestions?

  • #2
    Huot cabinets. They are very nice, we have their drill cabinets and tap cabinet.

    http://store.huot-store.com/merchant...y_Code=MDC-TAP

    You can find them other places for better prices (enco, msc, ebay, etc).

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    • #3
      I've taken to keeping mine in the same plastic organizer box that hardware of the same size is in. I'm about ready to throw the appropriate drill for the tap in there as well.

      Best,

      BW
      ---------------------------------------------------

      http://www.cnccookbook.com/index.htm
      Try G-Wizard Machinist's Calculator for free:
      http://www.cnccookbook.com/CCGWizard.html

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      • #4
        For those of us that don't have deep pockets, the router trick works but I didn't even do that. Some stips of wood tacked to 1/4" plywood works. You can frame them and and add handles to retrieve them from drawers. Keep the most common on top. The main idea is to just keep them from banging together.

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        • #5
          I've got a 2X4 with holes drilled - fine bottoming and taper in the back row, coarse bottoming and taper in the front row up until the 1/2" size. After that they are single file and i've only got an odd assortment of styles so there's no real orginization except that it goes in fractional sizes from fine to coarse. I've got a another one with different diameter wooden dowels inserted in holes to keep the few assorted dies i have.

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          • #6
            This thread couldn't have arrived at a better time!

            Today while rust hunting, I made such a deal for two(!) UNUSED sets of 1"-8 to 6-32 Greenfield taps for about a c-note. There are a few extras, in the "mid-sizes" (3/8" to 5/8"), all different "style" and h limits.

            After a few weeks of screw-ups in the shop, the TECHSHOP is again!
            Today I will gladly share my experience and advice, for there no sweeter words than "I told you so."

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            • #7
              I don't have the deep pockets to have a new complete set of taps and dies, so I shop the Yard and Garage sales in the area. I now have a pretty complete set of most taps and dies and this last week end I got a bunch more including a full set of pipe taps that I have not cleaned up yet. I used my little milling machine to route out some pockets in some hardwood 2X4s and made a draw under the lath/mill stand to keep them in. It works for me,
              Mel
              Last edited by lugnut; 10-12-2006, 11:17 PM.
              _____________________________________________

              I would rather have tools that I never use, than not have a tool I need.

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              • #8
                At work I have a length of 2x4 pine 9' long.It is screwed to the shelf edge over our back workbench.I have the taps set shank first into holes I drilled in on a 15* angle arranged coarse on the top,fine on the bottom on the left half of the board.On the right side I have steel tig rod set in on the same angle with the dies stuck over the rod,same as the other side coarse on top,fine on bottom.In the center I have 1/8-1" pipe taps and dies.All in all we have a full set of #4-1-1/2"taps and dies,coarse and fine for easy access.It works well and doesn't take up space in cabinets.We leave the big stuff in the toolroom.I may make a new one thou and add holes for tap drills.

                At home I have several tap cases and two drawers full in various tool boxes.I also have several Hout boxes with the drill and tap setups.I readily admit to being a "Tap and die whore" and pick them up where ever I find them.
                I just need one more tool,just one!

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                • #9
                  Another Kind of "Bullet"

                  Polyethelene Rifle and Pistol Ammo Boxes in various sizes. They are dirt cheap - especially mailorder in quantity, readily available, immensly rugged, easy to mark and store and hold 20-50 "Rounds" with very little possibility of damaging flutes. Depending on size they also work very well for center drills, stub drills, sets of drills and taps in a specific size, small lathe tools, etc. For instance I have a "6-32" box that has taps, tap drills, clearance drills, countersinks for flat, fillester and socket heads, spot facer, a reamer or two, etc. all in one well protected spot ready for anything I might want to do to or for the next 6-32 fastener that happens my way.

                  I find that dies are best stored on flat trays, with or without separators and dividers. Local surplus house had a deal on nearly new and unused rectangular fiberglass cafeteria trays. $0.15 a piece or ten for a dollar. I bought 50 and made several racks for them. I also keep a few around as "Project Trays" for use in disassembly and cleaning mechanisms I need to tinker with. Line 'em with some paper towls and they keep all the freshly oiled small parts drained, neat ,clean, and off the floor.

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                  • #10
                    Some great ideas! I think I will go the DIY route with timber draws. The other possibilty is the MTM caseguard route, what caliber would you say? A large rifle caliber .308 etc to fit taps?

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                    • #11
                      Have two metal "SK" green boxes (about 3 X 6 X 1 1/4"), one for dies and the other for taps. Holds all sizes up to 1/2". They are only transported from a stand up tool box to bench, so there has never been a problem with them getting knocked together and damaged. This has been my compact storage solution for a long time now. Have thought about making those routed out flat box types, but for me they take up too much space and besides, the present solution works just fine.

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                      • #12
                        2 x10 bye one foot long wooden blocks lots of holes drilled in them for end mills taps c-cinks counter bores . Ammo boxes for smaller taps . All on the shelf so you can easily see whats there.

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                        • #13
                          I've got a 60-drawer plastic storage cabinet I got at K-Mart for about 15 bucks (this was a while ago). It's enough drawers so I can allocate drawers for NC, NF, NS, for everything from I think #0 to 1/2". Some of the drawers aren't filled yet (I don't have all the NS sizes, for instance) but if/when I do there will be a place for them.

                          It's worked really well for loose taps and dies, but lately I've been having second thoughts as I've bought a few Hansen tap sets. They come in really nice plastic snap-open boxes, and except in the very small sizes the boxes are too large to go in the drawers. What I'd like, ideally, is the same type of cabinet but with slightly larger drawers that can accommodate the plastic Hansen tap boxes.
                          ----------
                          Try to make a living, not a killing. -- Utah Phillips
                          Don't believe everything you know. -- Bumper sticker
                          Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects. -- Will Rogers
                          There are lots of people who mistake their imagination for their memory. - Josh Billings
                          Law of Logical Argument - Anything is possible if you don't know what you are talking about.
                          Don't own anything you have to feed or paint. - Hood River Blackie

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                          • #14
                            I used several 2x12x18 long and drilled it in rows to hold my end mills upright so I can find the one I want. I have my back up stock in cigar boxes.

                            For the taps I routed slots in 2x12's with endmills of the correct size to lay the taps in and marked the slots at the end with the size in each slot. Then I sprayed the wood with a 50/50 mix of oil and kerosene. They are a little hard to get out of the slots and I have been thinking about standing them up like I have the endmills. I could store more in less area that way as well. Space is valuable to me.
                            Last edited by Carld; 10-13-2006, 10:56 AM.
                            It's only ink and paper

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                            • #15
                              I used an insert for a shallow box. I made it from some white primed medium density fiberboard shelving from Lowes. I used a router bit in the drill press at 3600 rpm to route rows of grooves with lengths appropriate to the taps. The box has a sheet of 1/2 foam rubber in the top to keep things in place. A good thing about the MDF is the white surface that allows you to write the tap size next to each tap. Also, the MDF has a very uniform texture that makes it easy to machine or cut without splintering, etc. I haven't had any rust problems, but the taps usually have a light coat of oil from just being blown off to clean them after use.
                              Lynn S.

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