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I just wanted to say, tapping heads are

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  • I just wanted to say, tapping heads are

    Awesome.

    I very rarely get out the tapmatic tapping head but when you have a lot of holes to tap they are invaluable. I had to tap 250 M8 threads through 5/8” thick aluminum, so it was time to dust off the tapping head. Sprial point tap and 300 rpm made short work of this task without having to touch the on/off switch on the mill. Around 15 seconds per hole with changing parts in vise.

  • #2
    I absolutely agree! I have a Tapmatic 50X that sits and sits and sits. But when I have a bunch of holes to tap, it's a lifesaver (and hand saver.)

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    • #3
      Originally posted by oxford View Post
      Awesome.

      I very rarely get out the tapmatic tapping head but when you have a lot of holes to tap they are invaluable. I had to tap 250 M8 threads through 5/8” thick aluminum, so it was time to dust off the tapping head. Sprial point tap and 300 rpm made short work of this task without having to touch the on/off switch on the mill. Around 15 seconds per hole with changing parts in vise.
      I have to say I do like tapping heads a lot. Unfortunately I don't have Tapmatic. All I could afford at the time I decided I need them was less expensive imports. Now I do a lot of TC tapping on the CNC mills. Nice thing is I can make a TC tapper for a fraction of the cost of even an import auto reversing tapping head.

      You are right though. Tapping heads are awesome. I still use them just about every day. I'm envious of your Tapmatic.
      Last edited by Bob La Londe; 04-21-2019, 12:22 AM.
      *** I always wanted a welding stinger that looked like the north end of a south bound chicken. Often my welds look like somebody pointed the wrong end of a chicken at the joint and squeezed until something came out. Might as well look the part.

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      • #4
        I ran a Big with 1/2 capacity, mostly on a drill press, sometimes on the mill.
        Built an auto oiler for the drill press, worked well.
        I would set it up on the mill for 25 holes, it only takes a few minutes.
        The clutch is a huge benefit, really need it on small taps..
        The other nice thing about the clutch, it tells you when the tap wears a bit, then dial in a bit more torque and continue..
        Many days I would do 600 holes or more..

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        • #5
          When I started tapping threads (around 50 years ago), the taps were all straight flute carbon steel things. It was 1/4 turn forwards, 1/2 turn backwards and pray the tap didn't snap.

          I now find myself tapping a lot of holes using a battery drill - all the way through without reversing to "break the chips", and then flick it into reverse to get the tap back out. Spiral flute HSS taps. It doesn't always get the thread dead square, but many times, this method is good enough. The limiting factor is the grip the drill chuck gets on the tap, this sort of acts like a clutch. I can't remember the last time I broke a tap.

          Ian
          All of the gear, no idea...

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          • #6
            Oops, now you've done it!!
            West Sussex UK

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            • #7
              An impact driver is the cat's azz for tapping.
              I used to use a 3/8" drive air impact wrench
              with Lisle tap sockets for this. The impact mechanism
              works very well and is surprisingly gentle on taps.
              When cordless electric impact drivers (1/4" hex drive
              or otherwise) came on the market, now those tools
              are my go-to for tapping a large quantity of holes.
              If you like using a cordless drill with the slip clutch
              for tapping, you will love tapping with a cordless impact
              driver. The only time I have broken a tap, is if the tap
              has been used hundreds of times, and it has some fatigue
              setting in. Also, do not use a hand tap for this, if if that
              fact is not obvious by now. Only spiral tip or spiral flute
              and HSS. You guys using hardware store taps are fooling
              yourselves.

              -Doozer
              DZER

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              • #8
                That would be great for the high volume of holes you had. I can't see it for onesey-twosey jobs though. I power tapped two 4-40s on the BP. Most folks make the mistake of thinking 70-75% thread is needed for everything in steel.

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                • #9
                  I have a Procunier tapping head I don't use anymore that needs a new home. I have a VMC with rigid tapping so I can't see any use for this now but I used it before I got that machine and they are handy if you need to tap a bunch of holes manually.

                  Mike

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                  • #10
                    I have never had to tap more than one or two holes at a time, on Thursday, I tapped two 2.5mm in a piece of good steel to hold RCMT0602 inserts. There was very little chance of getting a holder for such rare birds, so I made one by heating brazed carbide lathe tool to remove the carbide, milling the base of the insert seat, and then turning the 7 degree angle for the insert sides to fit using a tiny Picco solid carbide boring tool. The first attempt was a failure, as there was a gap around the insert, hence two lots of tapping. Small sizes like this are not my favourites.

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                    • #11
                      I run parts on three machines that just aren't suitable to tap on. (No torque under 6-8000 rpm.) I still walk those parts over to the drill press for tapping as its faster than dropping them in the vise on one of the other machines and indicating them in to TC tap.
                      *** I always wanted a welding stinger that looked like the north end of a south bound chicken. Often my welds look like somebody pointed the wrong end of a chicken at the joint and squeezed until something came out. Might as well look the part.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by CCWKen View Post
                        That would be great for the high volume of holes you had. I can't see it for onesey-twosey jobs though.
                        100% correct on this, not worth it for a few holes. That’s the main reason that mine mostly sits around collecting dust. Most of the time it is power tapping on the mill.

                        I actually think I have only got the tapping head out twice in the homeshop. Once on this job and one other time when I did these same parts a few years back.
                        Last edited by oxford; 04-21-2019, 02:34 PM.

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                        • #13
                          Like most others here I have a tapping head I rarely use. At work we had an old drill press with a 2 hp motor that was belt drive so we added VFD for fast speed changes. I added a switch and a foot pedal. First position starts the motor running clockwise when you step on the pedal. Off in the center and in the other position the spindle starts running in reverse. Put a tap in a hole and it doesn’t grab just centers up. Step on the pedal and spindle stops and goes forward until you release the pedal and it backs out. A collection of morse taper tab collets drives all the common sizes with no slippage. This really is a game changer even for onesy twosys.

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                          • #14
                            My old firm had two setups like this: https://www.machine-tapping.co.uk/bu...ollet-set.html
                            For large quantities of pre drilled holes, they are hard to beat, but not cheap.

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