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tap buying help please

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  • tap buying help please

    So I've gotten frustrated enough with buying the local crap to buy some good quality taps. I have went to MSC and am buying individual taps for the most common sizes I need. So I selected HSS, then USA made, then thread limit?? what the heck is this?? O.K. I'll need some edjumacation apparently

    I know what the number of flutes mean, but does it make a difference when hand tapping?? Using 416 stainless if it matters...

    Thanks

    Brock in Arkansas

  • #2
    I would say get "gun" tapes if possible..... and it nearly always is possible.

    They have various names, "spiral point" being anotehr.... the bottom line is that they have a grind on the nose that "shoots" the swarf ahead of the tap... Even works in blind holes, but works really well in through holes.

    No nee to keep advancing and turning back and advancing and turning back, the way you do with standard taps... as if that ever really worked anyway.

    The "H" numbers or thread limit are for what the oversize, or clearance between OD threaded part and ID threaded part will be.
    1601

    Keep eye on ball.
    Hashim Khan

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    • #3
      Originally posted by J Tiers
      No nee to keep advancing and turning back and advancing and turning back, the way you do with standard taps... as if that ever really worked anyway.
      Works just fine, the trick is after every 5 or so rotations you need to take the whole dang tap out and wipe the chips off (And clean the hole if you can!) Enough chips to jam the flutes = seized tap = a whole day of 'fun' guarenteed
      Play Brutal Nature, Black Moons free to play highly realistic voxel sandbox game.

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      • #4
        Standard ...imperial taps H3/ GH3 is a fairly standard fit...
        I think metric taps go with a D limit instead of H.....
        H11 we use at work for items that are going into heat treat and we expect some shrinkage... for each H # represents a plus .0005" over size

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        • #5
          Don't people tend to use roll/form taps for stainless?

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          • #6
            I'll second the spiral point recommendation. I love 'em. Only way I'd buy a "regular" tap would be for a blind hole with insufficient space at the bottom for the chips.

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            • #7
              I use spiral point taps even in most blind holes just to get most of the way down. Then I remove that tap, clean out the chips that it pushed forward down into the hole, and finish the last few threads with a bottoming tap.

              The spiral point taps tend to be so much stronger than other designs,

              BTW, a 400 series stainless steel should always be cut with the same tools that are used for carbon steels. Form taps are good for great many materials, including steels, austenitic stainless steels and non-ferrous metals. You do have to be more precise with the pre-tap hole size, and it is NOT the same size as is used for cutting taps.

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