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Power tapping in the lathe

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  • Power tapping in the lathe

    When power tapping in the lathe I would put the tap in the drill chuck, add a squirt of oil and with slowest speed get started and let it draw itself in, then reverse out.


    Trouble is the chuck soon runs out of grip. Hard steel against hard steel.

    Then I have to resort to the handle to complete.

    So what do you use to hold your taps when power tapping....up to M12 or 1/2" or even bigger?

    Thanks
    "...do you not think you have enough machines?"

  • #2
    i dont do power tapping on the lathe, i have a little jig i built from one i had seen and it works perfect to get things started so its all lined up on the lathe then once ihave a few threads in i take it out fininsh by hand, , that or i just do it manuley from the start never fails me ,,

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Davidhcnc
      Trouble is the chuck soon runs out of grip. Hard steel against hard steel.
      As you've discovered, drill chucks and taps are not that good of a match.

      I use ER collet holders for taps in both my lathe and mill. You can get ER chucks with MT shanks on them.

      Paul T.
      www.power-t.com

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      • #4
        I have had good luck using albrecht chucks. I power tapped 5/8-11 the other night. Though when you reverse the chuck will come loose. At that point I just use a crescent wrench to pull it out.

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        • #5
          All we use are Bilz tap collets and a holder with a 1" shank. You will ruin your drill chucks from the tap slipping. The Bilz tap collets have a square hole that prevents slipping, that slippage can break the tap.

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          • #6
            When holding a tap in a Jacobs chuck, I always used the "spin factor" as a poor man torque limiter. Now, this is using a ball bearing style Jacobs chuck, tightened about as hard as I can twist the key.

            It seemed to work out about right that when the tap starts spinning in the chuck, I am doing something wrong; pushing too hard, not pushing hard enough, flutes packed full, dull tap, hole too small etc.

            If I really need to twist the tap harder for 1 or 2 holes, I will start the tap with the chuck to establish alignment and then finish with a tap wrench.

            Dave

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            • #7
              I bought some Jacobs collet chucks off ebay (and the first from a local friend). They are intended for tapping machines. They have an appropriate sized Rubber Flex collet to hold the tap coaxial, and a clamp arrangement to hold/drive the square drive of the tap. These work great when held in my 18N (3/4" Super Chuck) and can easily handle large taps. I think the largest I've run is 5/8, which is at the upper range of the largest chuck I have. Larger than that and I generally single point it, too cheap to buy taps.

              Smaller taps I just use my one of my smaller Super Chucks. Gripping taps is where the ball bearing chucks really excel. And I don't allow them to spin, I've rebuilt several that were ruined by allowing it to do so. For actual drilling, I prefer the plain bearing Jacobs (from before Danaher killed the quality) or Albrechts.
              Russ
              Master Floor Sweeper

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              • #8
                Originally posted by becksmachine
                When holding a tap in a Jacobs chuck, I always used the "spin factor" as a poor man torque limiter. Now, this is using a ball bearing style Jacobs chuck, tightened about as hard as I can twist the key.

                It seemed to work out about right that when the tap starts spinning in the chuck, I am doing something wrong; pushing too hard, not pushing hard enough, flutes packed full, dull tap, hole too small etc.

                If I really need to twist the tap harder for 1 or 2 holes, I will start the tap with the chuck to establish alignment and then finish with a tap wrench.

                Dave
                I agree, but what do I know?
                When the tap slips in the chuck, hand turning the chuck in neutral, I know it's time to back out, clean out the chips and go in again with the tap handle.
                Thanks Dave for articulating this. If my chuck grabbed the tap hard enough, it might break. New problem.
                Mike

                My Dad always said, "If you want people to do things for you on the farm, you have to buy a machine they can sit on that does most of the work."

                Comment


                • #9
                  The tap won't break if it is of good quality and the hole is the right size and the material is within the capability of the tap. You need to make some tap holders like this:



                  The hex shaft is just an old screw driver bit driven into a slightly undersize hole in the short piece of mild steel bar. The tap has a small flat ground on it opposite the markings. I wouldn't be without them in the common sizes. Great for freehand drill tapping too.
                  Free software for calculating bolt circles and similar: Click Here

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                  • #10
                    Power Tapping in the lathe

                    Evan, that is a slick tool you made up.
                    I now have a new project this weekend, thanks for showing.
                    Allways things to learn from you!

                    Paul
                    Paul

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                    • #11
                      And thanks for the ideas.

                      I know that collets or adapters like Evans are the solution but I am resisting another set of something.

                      Some kind of tapping chuck is what I had in mind. flea bay shows theese which may be suitable.


                      http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/2-JAW-TAPPING-CHUCK

                      http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Vertex-Tapping-Head-Chuck-M9-M18-3MT

                      BUT...I am enthused by the reports of a good chuck, which mine isn't, doing the business...

                      maybe this is the way to go.

                      I see that Albrecht have a chuck with diamond encrusted jaws for holding the hard stuff....buy I am not buying that!
                      "...do you not think you have enough machines?"

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                      • #12
                        I put a center in the drill chuck. The tap handle has a place for a center and most taps have a place for a center too. I put the tap between the part and the center. I turn the tap my hand and crank in the center at the same time.

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                        • #13
                          I have one of the ones in the second link, works fine, no problems but I do worry at times about it reaching the end of a blind hole.

                          I have one of these air tappers.



                          And i keep thinking about doing a morse taper adaptor to take the tapping chucks of this machine.



                          Each one is for a specific size and carries a clutch inside it that slips at a predetermined rating so even with a M3 thread you can power tap a blind hole and not snap a tap.

                          Just one of those, I need to get roundtoit.
                          .

                          Sir John , Earl of Bligeport & Sudspumpwater. MBE [ Motor Bike Engineer ] Nottingham England.



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                          • #14
                            Sir John's second photo is the Biltz style tapholder. These are available with and without a slip clutch. They are dedicated in size to a particular size square shank.

                            Jacobs makes a tap chuck with a JT taper mount. I have one with a MT#3 arbor which will take #10-1/2" taps. It uses the rubberflex collets. The collets are not for driving the tap, only for centering it and holding straight. The tap is driven by the positive grip of the two jaw clamp in the rear of the chuck.

                            Here is the McMaster Carr listing for the chuck. Mine is Jacobs No 44102 which is JT#2 mount. Scroll to the bottom of the page.

                            http://www.mcmaster.com/#catalog/116/2518/=a7uc93
                            Jim H.

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                            • #15
                              I have a Jet drill press with a built in tapping head, not wanting to screw up the chuck jaws on a hard tap shank, I use a set of tap sockets from Lisle. I got mine a Sears for about $45. They are softer metal that the chuck can grip without slipping and have an internal square to drive the tap and a o-ring that holds the tap into the socket. I do a lot of holes and have had great luck with the use of the tap sockets.


                              jack
                              jack

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