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ZAMM Fanatic
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2,730 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I found myself needing an 8mm x 1.25 tap the other day.

Realized I have virtually NO metric taps. At least 2 full sets of SAE plus "extras."

Went looking on Ebuy and Amazon.

Could pick up a new Snap-On TDM117 kit, 25 pieces, for around 180 clams.

But the guys on the automotive forum warned me off these, said they're carbon steel and very brittle.

Suggested the MACHINISTS would only buy "high speed steel" taps, followed by a long discussion of how and why noobs break taps.

McMaster Carr has a 25 piece metric HSS tap/die kit for $189.
 

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Shaper Of All Things Metal
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2,802 Posts
Have to say I'm surprised that Snap-On would have carbon steel sets. That said, the intended use would be the determining factor. If you are only going to be working with cast iron, mild steel or aluminum, the carbon steel will be fine. Rule of thumb is the cutting tool must be harder than the material being cut. Duh... pretty logical, huh?

Keep in mind, HSS can be brittle, too. That's the difference in the cheap sets vs. quality sets... it's in the tempering process. Cheapy's chip more easily... and break more easily, and we know removing broken taps is not a fun job.
 

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American Legion Rider
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20,086 Posts
Buy cheap and then replace each one after one use. That's about all they are good for.
 

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Shaper Of All Things Metal
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2,802 Posts
I'd have a seriously big pile of used taps if that were the case! Over the years I've literally tapped thousands of holes for local mfg's and it's not unusual to have a tap last for a hundred holes or more. (And I've also broken a tap or two on the first use.)
 

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American Legion Rider
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20,086 Posts
I'd have a seriously big pile of used taps if that were the case! Over the years I've literally tapped thousands of holes for local mfg's and it's not unusual to have a tap last for a hundred holes or more. (And I've also broken a tap or two on the first use.)
I've not had very good luck with the cheap Chinese sets but it got me started ~50 years ago and now have a pretty good set by doing just that, replace each one, one at a time. Of course, some good ones have been replaced as well with usage and darn breakage. My metric set still isn't completely replaced but my standard is now much much larger than the original. I'd really hate to have to replace that set now.
 

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Gone.
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17,871 Posts
A few months ago I lucked into finding a plastic container of mostly metric taps at a pawn shop. Since I didn't have hardly any metrics I snatched this thing up. 5 bucks got me about 40 different taps. Some repeats but that's okay, and several different types: Bottoming, Taper, plug, spiral. Mostly Greenlee but a few other brands too. Made in Germany and Guhrig maybe? Most seem to be a decent quality and in good, sharp condition.
 

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ZAMM Fanatic
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2,730 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
...I lucked into finding a plastic container of mostly metric taps at a pawn shop. [$5] Mostly Greenlee but a few other brands too. Made in Germany and Guhrig maybe? Most seem to be a decent quality and in good, sharp condition.
I've been out-pawned! Congratulations!

I went to three shops looking for taps. Nothing but dirty, rusty junk that had been rattling around the bottom of people's toolboxes for years.


 

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Shaper Of All Things Metal
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2,802 Posts
A few months ago I lucked into finding a plastic container of mostly metric taps at a pawn shop. Since I didn't have hardly any metrics I snatched this thing up. 5 bucks got me about 40 different taps. Some repeats but that's okay, and several different types: Bottoming, Taper, plug, spiral. Mostly Greenlee but a few other brands too. Made in Germany and Guhrig maybe? Most seem to be a decent quality and in good, sharp condition.
Well, you can certainly expect to tap more than one hole with them! ;)

Nice find! :thumbsup:
 

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Registered
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1,668 Posts
I seldom use Tap and Dies, Sooo.. I went to Harbor Freight and bought SAE and Metric sets, admittedly, they are "Crap" tools, Machinist wouldnt be caught Dead with them, BUT, I have used the SAE once and the Metric twice and they worked OK, Harbor Freight actually sells 2 levels of quality of Tap sets,, I confess I bought the cheaper sets. LOL
Ed
 

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ZAMM Fanatic
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2,730 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Tutorial on Tapping...

Cant say that I have Wade, I am usually very, very carefull to avoid that, Been Lucky so far.
:icon_cool:;)
I got "schooled" on another forum....

0) Make sure it's the RIGHT SIZE hole, and you're using the RIGHT TAP
1) By hand, turn a half turn, then back 1/4 to clear the chips.
2) Only apply a twisting force, not downforce. Do not OVERTORQUE!
3) Don't EVER use air or impact tools to turn a tap at high speed..
4) Use sufficient cutting fluid / oil. Cutting oil. WD-40 ONLY for aluminum.
5. Throw dull/rusty taps in the trash
6. Use a guide or tap block to start the tap straight
whenever possible
7. Don't use a tap to remove remnants of a drilled out
fastener...the pieces will not create chips like the tap
creates cutting its own threads, and will be more likely to
jam and break the tap. If you can't pick all the fastener
remnants out of the hole before using a tap (or chaser) to
chase the threads, drill it oversize and use an
insert/heli-coil
8) If you want better taps and dies, find High Speed
Steel.
9) Speed is your enemy. Decaf only for holes < 1/4"

Powerpoint Tutorial on Taps & Tapping:

http://www.slideshare.net/DiksPanchani/threading-mmm
 

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Registered
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1,668 Posts
I got "schooled" on another forum....

0) Make sure it's the RIGHT SIZE hole, and you're using the RIGHT TAP
1) By hand, turn a half turn, then back 1/4 to clear the chips.
2) Only apply a twisting force, not downforce. Do not OVERTORQUE!
3) Don't EVER use air or impact tools to turn a tap at high speed..
4) Use sufficient cutting fluid / oil. Cutting oil. WD-40 ONLY for aluminum.
5. Throw dull/rusty taps in the trash
6. Use a guide or tap block to start the tap straight
whenever possible
7. Don't use a tap to remove remnants of a drilled out
fastener...the pieces will not create chips like the tap
creates cutting its own threads, and will be more likely to
jam and break the tap. If you can't pick all the fastener
remnants out of the hole before using a tap (or chaser) to
chase the threads, drill it oversize and use an
insert/heli-coil
8) If you want better taps and dies, find High Speed
Steel.
9) Speed is your enemy. Decaf only for holes < 1/4"

Powerpoint Tutorial on Taps & Tapping:

http://www.slideshare.net/DiksPanchani/threading-mmm
Yep, I already follow that advice, I have been using Taps and Dies on occassion for more than 50 years, I have been very fortunate to never have to remove a Broken one. I was showed most of the things you mention, probably 50 years ago by an Old Machinist I worked for part time back in the day. Thanks
 

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Registered
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943 Posts
I have a well equipped shop but it is all Imperial. Since getting into older Hondas (1960s) a few years ago, I find I am having to accumulate more and more Metric fasteners. Just to complicate matters, Honda was using J.I.S. (Japanese Industrial Standard) fasteners back then and they are different thread pitches so that will be TWO sets of Metric taps & dies! :frown:
 

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ZAMM Fanatic
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2,730 Posts
Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
SAE, Metric, Imperial, Whitworth.... Having to buy multiple sets of tools is annoying and expensive, but it's a real luxury when you need one to just reach into the tool box and get it, isn't it.

Here's another tapping tip someone threw out; if you DO break a tap off, if possible torch what's sticking out red hot. It will take the temper off and once cooled at least give you a chance of drilling or grinding out the remains.

On Craigslist I saw an electronic "disintegrator" used on jet airplanes and such that ate away at broken taps & such with little lightning bolts, kind of how points and spark plugs electrodes gradually get eaten away.

http://www.motorcycleforum.com/showthread.php?t=174098&highlight=disintegrator
 

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Visionary
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3,393 Posts
Way off topic but it's friday :)
You just brought back a memory from the distant past for me, about 30 years ago I was working for a government contractor building all sorts of high tech top secret toys for the military, and we had a near disaster averted with one of those machines.

Our small group ( advance production, we built the 'special' stuff) were working double shifts getting a new "sonar fish" ready to go, there was literally a ship waiting to leave port and go chase Soviet submarines and they needed this 4 ton giant fishing lure.
One of the last jobs was to drill and tap on location, by hand a big ( maybe 1.5 inch), deep ( 4 inches?), fine threaded hole in the 2000 pound stainless casting that made up the top of a 'fish'. This was done from a scaffold and something slipped and the mechanic managed to break off the tap in that hole!!! ( no , NOT me, I was wiring the transducers), panic ensued, but they took it down to one of the machine shops and they used some sort of high tech lightning machine to disintegrate that tap and save the day.

I found a few links to the sonar fish if anyone is really bored...
http://fas.org/man/dod-101/sys/ship/weaps/an-sqs-35.htm
http://www.ussbrewton.com/gallery1/ff108658.jpg



I saw an electronic "disintegrator" used on jet airplanes and such that ate away at broken taps & such with little lightning bolts, kind of how points and spark plugs electrodes gradually get eaten away.
 

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ZAMM Fanatic
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2,730 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
Even further off topic, you remember the "One Ping" in "Hunt for Red October?"

I always thought the USN should come up with a sonar that put out simulated whalesound. "One squeal."

Or one dolphin "click"

With the right receiver/operator you might be able to detect a threat with it... and unlike "One ping" not immediately give away your own presence.

Either it's a genius idea, and has already been done, or I'm dumber than dirt. Probably the latter.
 

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Visionary
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3,393 Posts
It's a good idea, good thing we were ahead of that 30 years ago :)

Passive sonar was where it was all headed, everything makes noise, and even if it doesn't the ocean is full of noises that reflect off everything, it just takes really good listening devices and lots of computer power to virtually see what's down there. Back in the 80s we were building hydrophone arrays (some of them 500 feet long, slowly towed behind a ship, some fixed in positions, these things were big and complex) that could hear fish farts from miles away, and I'm only sort of joking :)

Active sonar was for playing tag with the subs, letting them know your there, you know they are there, and herding them where you wanted them to go.

When that didn't work to get them to move along the next step was a little 'love tap' with one of the sonar fish, I overhauled one that was run into a sub at high speed, supposedly this was always an 'accident', since officially it would be an act of aggression to ring their bell that way by putting a big dent in their sub. Of course, what were the odds of 'accidentally' hitting the target you've been watching with the highest tech device in existence at the time for tracking just what they were doing?

Expensive games we play...


Even further off topic, you remember the "One Ping" in "Hunt for Red October?"

I always thought the USN should come up with a sonar that put out simulated whalesound. "One squeal."

Or one dolphin "click"

With the right receiver/operator you might be able to detect a threat with it... and unlike "One ping" not immediately give away your own presence.

Either it's a genius idea, and has already been done, or I'm dumber than dirt. Probably the latter.
 

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Retired twice: Navy and as a govt contractor
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12,348 Posts
The sqeeky 32 was used on the Avenger Class Minesweepers. I was on an older class MSO when the Avenger came out. We had Sqeeky 14 sonar for search and Identify mines. pig tails, beavers and 6Bitches to get rid of the.

Even that old sonar painted a great picture of the bottom making the job of staying alive easier. It was a hull stored towed array.

Damn that brought back some old memories. Raytheon?
 

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Visionary
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3,393 Posts
No, I worked for EDO Corp, government systems division, we built all sorts of fun stuff, lots of different sonar systems, Arial spray tanks used for agent orange, bomb racks and drop tank mechanisms for fighter jets, and we made those famous $400 hammers. :).
My favorite though that I worked on was the high speed, turbine powered, helicopter towed, hydrofoil riding electromagnetic mine sweeping system, the MK-105. We called it the sea sled.


https://www.google.com/search?q=mk+105+minesweeping+hydrofoil+sleds&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&hl=en-us&client=safari#imgdii=RNbWzpG7ycfLZM:;TqWRkfhTgEGmJM:;TqWRkfhTgEGmJM:&imgrc=TqWRkfhTgEGmJM:

https://www.wunderground.com/wximage/pmh4353/48

Damn that brought back some old memories. Raytheon?





Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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