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  • I need a good set of taps dies

    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 please give me advice re these Alistair
    Last edited by Alistair Hosie; 12-03-2010, 05:29 PM.
    Please excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

  • #2
    You have alresdy got the boxes.

    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.

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    • #3
      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.
      Lynn (Huntsville, AL)

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      • #4
        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.
        - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
        Thank you to our families of soldiers, many of whom have given so much more then the rest of us for the Freedom we enjoy.

        It is true, there is nothing free about freedom, don't be so quick to give it away.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Alistair Hosie
          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 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
          I bury my work

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          • #6
            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
            Who do I think you are...?

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            • #7
              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.

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              • #8
                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

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                • #9
                  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.
                  Paul A.
                  SE Texas

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

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                  • #10
                    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

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

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                    • #11
                      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.
                      ----------
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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Paul Alciatore
                        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.

                        Last edited by gnm109; 12-04-2010, 11:17 AM.

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                        • #13
                          If you really need good threads-----

                          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.

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                          • #14
                            Order them from MSC online.

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                            • #15
                              Alistair,
                              Go into my workshop, Leave a Fritz Verner milling machine with Christmas wrapping paper on it Steal my Elliott 00 I will forgive you if you leave me a couple of nice h s s taps & a die
                              Dan.

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