No announcement yet.

How do I go about making a tap

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • How do I go about making a tap

    I have the need for a 1.0625" 18tpi tap to put threads in the end of an aluminum shaft I am making. The shaft is bigger (2") than the spindle bore on either of my lathes or I would single point it. I don't have a steady rest but making one may be my next option. I really dont' want to spend $hundreds$ for a custom tap

    How hard is making a tap? What material would you use? It only needs to do a few parts so can I use some 4340 I have laying around and harden it?

    Seems like I could turn threads on a steel shaft. Use a ball end mill to make flutes I would copy the profile of another tap to get the cutting angle right or close. Taper for a clean start and progressive cut. Then harden like Dad tought me to do when making blades for hand planes.

    Any help is appreciated.

  • #2
    I made a tap last year using the method that you described. I was trying to tap brass and found that I didn't even need to hardened the steel. I only needed to tap one hole. Make sure that you have a good amount of rake angle by milling the flutes with the work offset in an angle. I just used a regular endmill.
    Last edited by rotate; 06-26-2008, 06:56 PM.


    • #3
      The tap you need is listed in tool catalog for $46.60 . Better than 100s of $. JIM


      • #4
        Originally posted by jimmstruk
        The tap you need is listed in tool catalog for $46.60 . Better than 100s of $. JIM

        I would buy that one, do you have a link? I am not familiar with the tool catalog you are refering to.



        • #5
          Izzy, the tool catalog I quoted is Victor Machinery Exchange. I looked them up on internet (you have it ) Their site is easy to navigate, just lookup thread taps, special thread, 1&1/16 x 18. JIM


          • #6
            Originally posted by zukIzzy
            I would buy that one, do you have a link? I am not familiar with the tool catalog you are refering to.

            Here's a link;
            Mike Green


            • #7
              I've made a couple of taps, pretty much as you describe. They worked, sorta. Good enough, anyway.

              A couple of things: when you mill the flutes, see if you can contrive to get any burrs to end up on the trailing edges of the threads, so the cutting edges are clean. I debated the possibility of milling the flutes first, then cutting the threads, to eliminate the burr problem, but I eventually decided interrupted-cut threading probably wasn't a good idea. I don't think I ever actually tried it though.

              Keep the lands as narrow as you can, consistent with strength, to reduce cutting friction (e.g. have more, not fewer, flutes).
              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


              • #8
                i`LL GO YOU ONE BETTER TRAVERS Tool / 1 1/16 - 18 thread $37. 27 .
                Every Mans Work Is A Portrait of Him Self


                • #9
                  A home made tap might chase a hole fine but tapping new holes is tricky, I find most of my homemade taps needed a whole bunch more horsepower to cut and do an OK job.

                  1 1/16" - 18 thread is not that rare, you might be able to borrow one local from a shop if you ask and have never been a pain in thier ass.


                  • #10
                    I’ve made them and had them work well. Position the ball cutter such that it puts a bit of a hook on, that’s the positive rake. I used drill rod. The secret, that i learned here, is you have to mill away a lot the thread profile - there should be way more flute that threaded area, else they are darn near impossible to turn. makes senses as its a cutting tool without relief.


                    • #11
                      Hey all thanks for the help. I ordered a tap this morning from one of the links posted above so that helps a bunch.

                      Last night I had a quick thread clean up to do in a existing shaft with the same size threads. (which was 1 1/8" x 16tpi so good thing I waited to double check before ordering ) These were in a 1 1/4" od steel shaft so I had planned on just single pointing it since I could fit it in my lathe. Turns out the end of the shaft was crushed a bit but the threads were fine. I did not want to just cut away material since it is a fairly important connection. (bottom eye on a fox air shock in a competition crawler) So with taps and threads being on my mind the last few days I grabed an old 4340 stub shaft which was close to the Dia I wanted, turned it to the proper diameter. single point treaded it with a nice 16tpi and then tapered the first 1/2" of it. I didn't cut any flutes cause I was just wanted it to reform the threads. Worked like a charm I had to use a little leverage to bend the crushed area back to round but the threads chased fine and a new eye could be threaded by hand.

                      I will finish cutting flutes and harden it just cause it will be fun and let you all know how it goes. Plus a package should arive soon with a new tap just in case I screw it up.

                      thanks for the help



                      • #12
                        Here's how I made a tap:


                        Frank Ford