Metalworking (rec.crafts.metalworking) Discuss various aspects of working with metal, such as machining, welding, metal joining, screwing, casting, hardening/tempering, blacksmithing/forging, spinning and hammer work, sheet metal work.

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Old February 20th 08, 09:29 PM posted to rec.crafts.metalworking
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Default Buying thread cutting taps dies and best type of tool steel touse????

Can anyone advise about what type of taps to get, pros cons of types
of tool steel in different materials etc.

I see many different taps, cheap chinese to top name brand, many
different prices. I know people say buy top of the range name brand as
you get what you pay for. But as a poor hobbiest my budget does not
strech to that.

I wonder what would be regarded as best all round material for a tap
and die set?

I have seen tungsten, hss (in various Cobalt%), carbon steel, tin
coated, and others.

I wonder what is best for taps and dies.

Is it more important to have a toolsteel that holds a very sharp edge,
is very hard, or is very tough. Taps cut very slow so heating is not a
problem. Are there any tests to see what the quality is of the taps I
buy is?.

What is most important thing to consider when buying a tap?

Does anyone have any references to books or web pages on the subject?

How do I know when my tap of die has become blunt and how can it be
sharpened?

I really know nothing about tapping other than it is important to
drill the right size hole, use plenty of cutting oil or tallow, and to
make sure the tap is centered and parallel in the hole.

I am initially wanting to tap mild steel but would be interested in
tips on tapping in all metals (stainless, high tensile, brass,
aluminum, etc..).




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Old February 20th 08, 11:03 PM posted to rec.crafts.metalworking
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Default Buying thread cutting taps dies and best type of tool steel to use????


"Robert Swinney" wrote in message
...
You are not going to get any visibility to the type of steel used in taps

and dies. Unless you were
a metallurgist, knowing the exact formulation would be over your head

anyway. Don't go "cheep" when
buying cutting tools of any kind.

Bob Swinney


I have to agree with Bob, but it's a little like going out to eat with a
friend of mine . He derides many of my
favorites as "peasants' food," while I maintain he'll eat fried weeds if
the price is high enough.

Junk is junk, but you can get some fairly good tools at rather attractive
prices and pay a lot more for tools
that aren't nearly as good. And the interesting thing is that they may all
be fairly priced! The problem is
what constitutes "good." "Good" means good for your application.
Especially when you buy on the
Internet (MSC, etc.), you need to know exactly what you need.

There's an old adage that, if you don't know your jewels, you'd better know
your jeweler. If you have the
luxury of being able to buy from a "real" tool store, one that's been around
for a long time supplying machine
shops of all descriptions, they will know what they sell to shops that do
the sorts of things you want to do.

Many very high quality (and expensive) tools (taps, dies, drills, endmills,
etc., etc., etc...) are designed to be
used in tightly controlled production machines working a particular material
under very specific conditions.
Used as such, they do a supurb job and last a long time. They are well
worth their price. But, for the HSM
(or even the general machine shop) where they will be mis-applied, they
don't last and are a waste of money.

OK, this is a long winded way of saying there is no real easy answer. It is
true that you get what you pay
for, but it is very easy to spend a lot more money than you need to.

It also makes little sense to spend a lot for taps and dies that will lay in
the drawer for years being rarely, if
ever, used.

I would, therefore, suggest you buy a reasonable set (maybe a step up from
hardware store stuff, but not
much more...), identify a better grade of tool that is apropos to your
application (talk to a friendly experienced
machinist, vocational school instructor or a long-term salesman at a
reputable tool store) and replace your
cheaper tools with the better ones as they wear out. That way, you'll end
up with a set of tools that meets
your needs, still have the sizes you need for the rare, oddball, job and
keep your wallet from getting
completely drained...

Jerry


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Old February 21st 08, 01:08 AM posted to rec.crafts.metalworking
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Default Buying thread cutting taps dies and best type of tool steel touse????

On Feb 20, 4:29*pm, wrote:
Can anyone advise about what type of taps to get, pros cons of types
of tool steel in different materials etc......


I looked through the tap drawers downstairs and found a wide range
from Morse, Greenfield and TRW (good) through Hanson, Bay State and
Anser (adequate) to Anonymous and Made In India (still sharp,
somehow). A mirror-like ground finish on the shank and threads is
often a good sign of quality, though that may not help much with mail-
order selection. Be suspicious of taps with the finish and grey color
of a nail.

For light home shop use you could buy plastic-cased metric, USS and
SAE sets and replace them as they dull. Then you will automatically
have good taps in the sizes you use most and at least something to
clean up odd damaged threads on the kids' bicycles, plus safe
organized storage so they don't bang together and dull each other.

I have used these sets in small company shops and most of the taps
were reasonably sharp. They came from MSC or McMaster-Carr, though,
not Harbor Freight or the local Dollar Store.

Spiral point taps which curl the chips forward are a good choice as
long as you can dig the chips out of blind holes. They are excellent
for through holes, cut noticeably easier and if you're careful can be
sharpened by grinding the flute groove with a Dremel or round
whetstone. Someone with a tool and cutter grinding setup (I'm not
volunteering) can relief-grind the conical point to salvage large,
expensive taps that sell very cheap when dull. I've tried to sharpen
them that way by hand but it never worked well.

Jim Wilkins
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Old February 21st 08, 06:51 AM posted to rec.crafts.metalworking
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Default Buying thread cutting taps dies and best type of tool steel to use????

I've had a set from Sears for about 20 years. Small-ish set, all SAE. I've
used them hundreds and hundreds of times and they're still sharp. I haven't
broken one yet, either. Craftsman still makes them I believe.
http://www.sears.com/shc/s/p_10153_1...P?keyword=taps looks
about the same as the one I have (different case). Worth a trip to
Sears...see if they're still made in the USA. I would NEVER buy an "import"
tap set. Tapping is usually one of the last operations when fabricating a
part and you DO NOT want to bust a tap off in a hole after all that work, do
you? BTW, invest in some tapping fluid, too.
Nok

wrote in message
...
Can anyone advise about what type of taps to get, pros cons of types
of tool steel in different materials etc.

I see many different taps, cheap chinese to top name brand, many
different prices. I know people say buy top of the range name brand as
you get what you pay for. But as a poor hobbiest my budget does not
strech to that.

I wonder what would be regarded as best all round material for a tap
and die set?

I have seen tungsten, hss (in various Cobalt%), carbon steel, tin
coated, and others.

I wonder what is best for taps and dies.

Is it more important to have a toolsteel that holds a very sharp edge,
is very hard, or is very tough. Taps cut very slow so heating is not a
problem. Are there any tests to see what the quality is of the taps I
buy is?.

What is most important thing to consider when buying a tap?

Does anyone have any references to books or web pages on the subject?

How do I know when my tap of die has become blunt and how can it be
sharpened?

I really know nothing about tapping other than it is important to
drill the right size hole, use plenty of cutting oil or tallow, and to
make sure the tap is centered and parallel in the hole.

I am initially wanting to tap mild steel but would be interested in
tips on tapping in all metals (stainless, high tensile, brass,
aluminum, etc..).





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Old February 21st 08, 04:49 PM posted to rec.crafts.metalworking
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First recorded activity by DIYBanter: Aug 2007
Posts: 157
Default Buying thread cutting taps dies and best type of tool steel to use????

On Wed, 20 Feb 2008 13:29:16 -0800 (PST),
wrote:

Can anyone advise about what type of taps to get, pros cons of types
of tool steel in different materials etc.

I see many different taps, cheap chinese to top name brand, many
different prices. I know people say buy top of the range name brand as
you get what you pay for. But as a poor hobbiest my budget does not
strech to that.

I wonder what would be regarded as best all round material for a tap
and die set?

I have seen tungsten, hss (in various Cobalt%), carbon steel, tin
coated, and others.

I wonder what is best for taps and dies.

Is it more important to have a toolsteel that holds a very sharp edge,
is very hard, or is very tough. Taps cut very slow so heating is not a
problem. Are there any tests to see what the quality is of the taps I
buy is?.

What is most important thing to consider when buying a tap?

Does anyone have any references to books or web pages on the subject?

How do I know when my tap of die has become blunt and how can it be
sharpened?

I really know nothing about tapping other than it is important to
drill the right size hole, use plenty of cutting oil or tallow, and to
make sure the tap is centered and parallel in the hole.

I am initially wanting to tap mild steel but would be interested in
tips on tapping in all metals (stainless, high tensile, brass,
aluminum, etc..).


If you think you may be likely to break taps the first few times, and that
you will break them in expensive or hard-to-find or much-time-to-make
parts, get carbon-steel taps. When you do break them, you can heat the
part and soften the tap so you can drill it out.

Worked for me....


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Old February 23rd 08, 02:47 AM posted to rec.crafts.metalworking
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Posts: 1,067
Default Buying thread cutting taps dies and best type of tool steel to use????

The really cheap Chiwanese black high carbon taps are VERY
brittle and easy to break. Smearing Tn on them doesn't make them
any better. They work and, as someone else pointed out , you can
shatter out the broken stuff some times. These are the least
expensive. Only you can judge whether they are a good value.

I would suggest a set that has the taps and dies for everyday
stuff. I have one decent set that has tapered taps in 1/4 , 5/16,
3/8, 7/16, and 1/2 both coarse and fine. A set will have a tap
handle and die driver. As you need smaller taps than 1/4", buy
them 2 or more at a time as they break easily. You may need a
smaller tap handle. You will probably not need dies in other
sizes. As you buy individual taps, buy quality. Don't throw out
broken taps, they can make poor man's bottoming taps.

Heat is a major factor in both taps and dies. Don't plan on being
able to re sharpen a tap or die. Make sure you know about turning
a tap backwards to break the chip free before you break the tap.
Your hand needs to be robot-like when driving a tap, keeping all
the pressures in line with the tap direction, twisting to one
side or the other breaks taps.

If you have a scrap piece of aluminum or brass about a quarter
inch thick, it would make an excellent learning tool. They are
both so soft, you hopefully won't break a tap and you can get a
feel for what you are doing. You can probably drive the tap
without ever having to turn the tap backwards, but you should
certainly get in the habit. Steel will not give you that luxury
when hand tapping.

There are exotic names and types, but there are plenty of good
brand names that make serviceable stuff like: Greenlee, Magnum,
Hanson, Craftsman, and many others.

--
______________________________
Keep the whole world singing . . . .
DanG (remove the sevens)




wrote in message
...
Can anyone advise about what type of taps to get, pros cons of
types
of tool steel in different materials etc.

I see many different taps, cheap chinese to top name brand, many
different prices. I know people say buy top of the range name
brand as
you get what you pay for. But as a poor hobbiest my budget does
not
strech to that.

I wonder what would be regarded as best all round material for a
tap
and die set?

I have seen tungsten, hss (in various Cobalt%), carbon steel,
tin
coated, and others.

I wonder what is best for taps and dies.

Is it more important to have a toolsteel that holds a very sharp
edge,
is very hard, or is very tough. Taps cut very slow so heating is
not a
problem. Are there any tests to see what the quality is of the
taps I
buy is?.

What is most important thing to consider when buying a tap?

Does anyone have any references to books or web pages on the
subject?

How do I know when my tap of die has become blunt and how can it
be
sharpened?

I really know nothing about tapping other than it is important
to
drill the right size hole, use plenty of cutting oil or tallow,
and to
make sure the tap is centered and parallel in the hole.

I am initially wanting to tap mild steel but would be interested
in
tips on tapping in all metals (stainless, high tensile, brass,
aluminum, etc..).





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Old February 23rd 08, 05:22 AM posted to rec.crafts.metalworking
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Posts: 2,600
Default Buying thread cutting taps dies and best type of tool steel to use????

On 2008-02-20, wrote:
Can anyone advise about what type of taps to get, pros cons of types
of tool steel in different materials etc.

I see many different taps, cheap chinese to top name brand, many
different prices. I know people say buy top of the range name brand as
you get what you pay for. But as a poor hobbiest my budget does not
strech to that.

I wonder what would be regarded as best all round material for a tap
and die set?


Don't *get* a set -- get individual taps as you need them, so
you can spend more on a given tap and get good quality. Granted, I have
a set of TRW taps and dies -- everything from 0-80 to 1"x8 with
starting, plug, and finishing taps and matching single dies. But I got
that from an eBay auction without a photo, and took a chance. The lack
of a photo scared off most other bidders, so I got it for a reasonable
price.

Any set which does not say the material of the taps is almost
certainly carbon steel -- the worst choice other than Chinese. Hanson
tap and die sets are a good example of those -- something to avoid.

I have seen tungsten, hss (in various Cobalt%), carbon steel, tin
coated, and others.


For that last specific, I presume that you mean TiN coated
(Titanium Nitride), not the metal Tin, which is pretty much useless as a
coating -- though cheap vendors sometimes mis-spell it that way, and
don't know the difference -- such as ones which I encounter at hamfests.

The basic principle with TiN coating is that it can be put on
high quality steels or on pure junk -- and the behavior is according to
what is on the inside, not the coating. The TiN coating reduces wear,
and causes some chip materials to glide along the edge and flutes
without welding to them thus dulling the tap prematurely.

Carbon steel is very brittle and is a poor choice, with only
junk steel from China being worse. The carbon steel will break in the
hole, and you are stuck trying to remove the remains without damaging
the workpiece which you may have many hours of work into already.

Solid carbide taps are very good for tapping hard materials, but
are also very brittle and will break easily with a bit of side pressure.

A Cobalt steel will probably be the best for most purposes --
but avoid those from China, as you never know what you will wind up
with. It could be good steel, or it could be total junk, and you won't
know until you have bought it and are trying to use it.

As long as you are tapping through holes, I strongly suggest
"gun" taps (spiral point taps) which chase the chips ahead of the tap
and avoid having to back up the tap every quarter to half turn to break
the chips.

Good HSS and Cobalt steel taps are ground threads, formed after
the material is hardened.

Cheap carbon steel taps are threaded, the flutes are cut, and
then the metal is hardened, often producing poor quality threads.

It is better to buy only the taps you need, but good quality
ones with each purchase rather than a full set of cheap taps.

TiN coating on a good tap (say Cleveland similar) can improve
the performance when power tapping. It is not necessary for hand
tapping. TiN coating on a junk tap is still a junk tap, and it is likely
to bend or twist when you are using it -- just as it would without the
coating.

I wonder what is best for taps and dies.

Is it more important to have a toolsteel that holds a very sharp edge,
is very hard, or is very tough.


It depends -- what are you tapping? Mild steel is pretty
forgiving. Already hardened tool steel requires special materials and
techniques.

Aluminum needs something like kerosene or WD-40 to keep the
aluminum from sticking to the tap -- even at hand speeds.

Taps cut very slow so heating is not a
problem.


Not always true. If you are tapping say 40 or more holes at a
time, you will eventually want to get a tapping head to mount in your
drill press or your milling machine. Those will tap at very high speeds
with quality taps and the right lubricant for the metal being tapped.
And here is where TiN coatings on good taps really starts to help.

Are there any tests to see what the quality is of the taps I
buy is?.


The price? Try using them -- after which it is too late to take
them back. I use the price, and absolutely avoid Chinese made taps or
drills.

What is most important thing to consider when buying a tap?


What material you are going to be tapping, and whether you will
be doing it under power or by hand. also there are tapping fixtures
which will reduce your chances of starting a tap at an angle or applying
side pressure and thus breaking the tap.

6-32 taps are going to be the easiest to break. The thread
pitch is too coarse for the diameter -- because someone sometime thought
that it would be nice to have the same pitch go through three sizes,
6-32, 8-32 and 10-32. The second and third are good ones, but you
*will* break 6-32s in your learning -- and even afterwards.

Does anyone have any references to books or web pages on the subject?


Contact places like Cleveland and Greenfield. They may have t
on their web pages, or may send it to you for free or very little.

How do I know when my tap of die has become blunt and how can it be
sharpened?


When it takes more torque to continue tapping the same material.
You may see the tap starting to wind up with the torque.

If you have a Tapping head like a TapMatic, you have a torque
limiting clutch on them, which you set to just a bit past the point
where a new tap stalls and slips the clutch. When the clutch starts
slipping, it is time to replace the tap -- and put that one in the
trash, or give it to someone who you don't like. :-)

I really know nothing about tapping other than it is important to
drill the right size hole, use plenty of cutting oil or tallow, and to
make sure the tap is centered and parallel in the hole.


If it is aluminum, use kerosene or WD-40. If it is something
which work hardens like stainless steels, cut fast and hard (tapping
head helps), use something like Molly-Dee (Molybnium DiSulfide) grease.
For many non-aluminum metals TapMagic works nicely -- especially if you
can get the old formulation.

I am initially wanting to tap mild steel but would be interested in
tips on tapping in all metals (stainless, high tensile, brass,
aluminum, etc..).


Each of which has its own problems and is likely to be best down
with its own particular flavor of tap and tapping fluid. Brass, you cut
dry. Stainless work hardens so you need to be careful to keep going,
and to have a compatible tapping fluid. Aluminum, as mentioned before,
wants kerosene or WD-40 (the latter in a spay can for convenience of
application, since it is mostly kerosene anyway. :-) Some aluminum
alloys tap nicely, others are gummy and very likely to mess things up.
For those, perhaps the best bet is to use a thread-forming tap (it does
not make chips, it just pushes metal aside to make the threads, so it
needs a different size tap hole than a cutting tap does.

Lots of things apply, and you asked a very general question, so
I had to type a lot of words. :-)

Good Luck,
DoN.

--
Email: | Voice (all times): (703) 938-4564
(too) near Washington D.C. |
http://www.d-and-d.com/dnichols/DoN.html
--- Black Holes are where God is dividing by zero ---
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Old February 23rd 08, 04:36 PM posted to rec.crafts.metalworking
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Default Buying thread cutting taps dies and best type of tool steel to use????

On Wed, 20 Feb 2008 13:29:16 -0800 (PST),
wrote:
snip
I wonder what would be regarded as best all round material for a tap
and die set?

snip
================
I suggest that you consider if you need a *SET*.

Most hobby machinists have a type/size of work they tend to do
most of their work in, and there tends to be only a few thread
sizes in any given type/size of work. Thus with a set you will
wind up with a large number of taps/dies you won't use.

More helpful will be several styles of taps in the same sizes
that you use frequetly such as taper [to start] with plug to tap
to bottom of hole, and gun or chips-ahead for most through holes.
If possible, talk to some other home shop machinists that are
doing the types of work you are interested in and see what the
common threads are. Metric is becoming increasingly common.

Other useful additions are exact diameter screw machine length
[stubby] drills (for more tool part clearance and rigidity) for
both tap and body diameters and a 135 degree split point for more
accurate location (less tendency to walk). A spotting [not
center] drill will also help in accurate location. A larger
spotting drill with a 90 degree point or a chamfer tool will
break the edge of the hole for a better start and will also
insure the threads are below the surface when you need to parts
to fit flat.

A tap guide to accurately locate the tap when starting [both
location and perpendicularity] will greatly reduce your tap
breakage. At the very least make a tap block to hold tap
perpendicular to the surface for starting.

A proper tap wrench to apply only torque will also be a major
help in avoiding tap breakage.

Proper tap lubrication will also be critical.

I find that the plastic ammunition boxes that reloaders use [see
your sporting goods store or Harbor Freight] are perfect to store
the taps and screw machine length drills together for quick
selection while protecting the tools.

For home shop use I suggest any of the made in USA taps/dies on
sale, or *BRAND NAME* imports. The no-name imports are too
variable in quality. Plain HS steel [no surface treatment] for
taps, drills and dies, will be adequate for home shop use as the
speeds/usage is low.

Check the NG archives for threads on the "best" tap lube, etc.


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Old February 23rd 08, 08:05 PM posted to rec.crafts.metalworking
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Default Buying thread cutting taps dies and best type of tool steel touse????

On Feb 23, 11:36*am, F. George McDuffee [email protected]
associates.us wrote:
...

That was an excellent description of a tap collection for
fabrication.

The sets are good for repair work, like cleaning up corroded male and
female threads on outdoor equipment or tapping stripped holes larger.
You can use them to find the size of a lost screw to buy a
replacement.

I use a Huot index for the drill and one good tap in each size and
keep the rest in drawers with nylon or brass nuts screwed on to
protect them from each other.

Jim Wilkins
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Old February 24th 08, 01:41 AM posted to rec.crafts.metalworking
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Posts: 2,600
Default Buying thread cutting taps dies and best type of tool steel to use????

On 2008-02-23, F George McDuffee wrote:
On Wed, 20 Feb 2008 13:29:16 -0800 (PST),
wrote:
snip
I wonder what would be regarded as best all round material for a tap
and die set?

snip
================
I suggest that you consider if you need a *SET*.

Most hobby machinists have a type/size of work they tend to do
most of their work in, and there tends to be only a few thread
sizes in any given type/size of work. Thus with a set you will
wind up with a large number of taps/dies you won't use.


[ ... ]

If possible, talk to some other home shop machinists that are
doing the types of work you are interested in and see what the
common threads are. Metric is becoming increasingly common.


This reminds me of the one set which I consider a worthwhile
purchase. I got mine from MSC (not in today's sales flyer, but maybe in
another soon). This is what I use for most metric work -- a HUOT index
which contains a few common size taps (gun taps, FWIW with TiN coating)
and the corresponding tap drill to go with each tap. It does not cover
all sizes by a long shot, but it provides most of the sizes which I need
from time to time -- even resulting in my choosing to use metric for
certain projects, since I did not have to go off and purchase a tap
specifically for the project.

Note that this set does not have any dies. But I do my metric
threads on my Emco-Maier Compact-5/CNC lathe, where the choice of inch
or metric is just flipping a switch and then keying in the thread pitch
and depth.

There are similar HUOT index sets for inch sizes, but I already
had all of the sizes which I needed to use -- many of some, only a few
of others.

Enjoy,
DoN.

--
Email: | Voice (all times): (703) 938-4564
(too) near Washington D.C. |
http://www.d-and-d.com/dnichols/DoN.html
--- Black Holes are where God is dividing by zero ---


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