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Tapping Fixtures

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  • Tapping Fixtures

    I do a lot of tapping by hand and was wondering what people use for fixtures and tapping tables?

    I do want to get a tapmatic one of these days, but can afford it raight now.


  • #2
    I have used a milwaukee drill for 20 or so years. The chuck is now wore out.

    I am about $3500 ahead.

    I used to fabricate electrical panels. You put components on the board, mark, center punch, drill, tap with the drill. A vsr drill makes it easy.


    [This message has been edited by ibewgypsie (edited 11-17-2005).]


    • #3
      I picked up one of these bench mounted hand tappers a few years ago, and it's been a really handy tool to have around.


      Frank Ford


      • #4
        Jerry --

        I'm not sure that I understand exactly what you're asking, but I do most of my tapping using a "tap block".

        A tap block is simply a block of material (most people use metal, but one of my favorite tap blocks is Plexiglas) with a family of square-to-the-surface holes sized to just clear the major diameters of the taps.

        Simply poke the tap through its hole in the tap block, put the point of the tap into the hole to be tapped, and slide the tap block against the surface of the to-be-tapped workpiece. The tip of the tap will center itself in the hole to be tapped and the tap block will hold the tap square to the surface.

        For onesey-twosey holes I'll usually tap by hand, but as ibewgypsie points out, a variable-speed reversing electric drill motor works like a charm if you use spiral-point taps.



        • #5
          I have the KBC Tapping Fixture their number is 1-393-000. ( I was think about something like Frank got from Enco. I also will try the Dave's drill method before spending bunches of cash on a Tapmatics.

          As that my work is from tap sizes No 2 taps thru 1/2 inch and some times large, it can be difficult to have all of the right tools, holders, fixtures, etc on hand and be purchased all at the same time. So I am doing this slowly, buying good taps, good dies and the right handles.

          BTW for the flash surpressor crowd with the new freedom in the states, 1/2 by 28 is the standard thread for barrels (AR-15, 10/22, Mini 14, etc). The dies are not that expensive, under ten dollars.


          [This message has been edited by jfsmith (edited 09-15-2004).]


          • #6
            I did the tap block thing after it was suggested in another thread. Works great.

            I do most taping in steel or CI by hand. I just don't trust a powered tap not to break. If I have a lot of holes in a softer metal like aluminum or copper I will use the battery powered drill. Slow speed and set the ratchet as light as possible.

            Paul A.
            Paul A.
            SE Texas

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


            • #7
              I do probably 90% of my tapping under power in the milling machine or drill press. Many people do not realize that it is not the force that breaks the tap but the unequal application of the force. A powered tap is much less likely to break than a hand driven one simply because the force is applied uniformly.


              • #8
                I've got a Walton piloted spindle tap wrench. Basically, a regular T-handle tap wrench but with a short straight spindle coming out of the top of it, that can be held (loosely) in your drill chuck jaws after you've drilled the tapping hole, to keep the tap wrench truly vertical and to prevent any side force on thee tap. Works great. A little pricey, but it's worth getting the Walton. I tried an import copy, but the pilot spindle wasn't concentric to the tap held in the wrench jaws so it was useless. Brownell's sells their own version of it, which I haven't tried, but their stuff tends to be high quality.
                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


                • #9
                  If i were to make a tapping block what is a good size to make it, and what taps can i put on the same block? (i'll assume you can't put a 1/2'' tap and a 4-40 tap on the same block unless you mill a step in it as the 4-40 tap won't reach through the same depth a 1/2'' can?


                  • #10
                    Whatever size feels right to you will be fine. About the size of a 1-2-3 block works ok. Make one thicker for big taps, and a smaller one for machine taps, a step might be in the way of your tap wrench.

                    You can put as many holes per block as you like. A shallow vee notch on one corner, and a deeper one on the opposite one, is a handy 'catch all'. The blocks are also great for drilling straight holes with a hand drill.
                    Location: North Central Texas


                    • #11
                      When I made my small tapping block I made it to take a round insert turned from a bit of bar stock and drilled for the tap.
                      Made a few inserts with different size tap holes in,usually leave the insert hanging on the tap so I've got it handy.



                      • #12
                        Also how big should the clearance holes be? Will the drill that clears the tap major dia. be ok? or will that be too sloppy in some cases?