One of my most satisfying quickies that has served my well is a handle that
fits on the splined shaft of a drill press that lets me use the it for
tapping. It's just a 12" long by 1/2" dia. rod welded to a 2" long round
with a hole drilled to accept the splined shaft. a setscrew engages the
spline. I do take the belt off to make sure that a power-on won't hurt me.
This took 5 minutes to make 15 years ago and may have paid for itself by
now. Simple, and I get straight tapped holes. This will only work on drill
presses that the cover opens from front to back.
I'll bet that everybody has some little trick or device that I and others
would love to know. please post some.
I bought one of those 79.99 hand tappers and centered a 3 jaw chuck to it-
welded some 17mm nuts to the ends of a set of die holders and drilled a hole
in the bench below the center of the chuck- I can tap inside or die thread
outside on any shaft up to 1" diameter and 3' long. Using the outside jaws
I can tap a hole in a disc up to 5.5" diameter.
Shop exhaust system. I took two box fans and set them side by side on a 2x4.
Then I screwed them down securly. Next I rotated the axis of the 2x4 90 degrees
so the board was now vertical. I put hinges on the two by four and the vertical
side of a window so that the two fans can swing into the window and exhaust
welding smoke, spray paint etc. When not in use they swing away for the window
up against the wall.
You can also use a solid center finder. Set the hole under the chuck
the point of the finder, then raise the drill up and insert a hand tap
holder, using the center drill in the back of the tool for centering
and slight pressure.
You can make the center finder from a broken end mill if you have a
What about the import drill presses with the cover hinge on the
left? That should work, too. It's just the ones with a double crank
assembly so the cover rises parallel to the top of the drill press which
would have problems, or those with a permanent housing over the front
and center of the spindle pulley.
But I've used the drill press to start taps in the past by
giving it just a blip of power and bringing it down to contact the
workpiece as the spindle is drifting to a stop (using spiral-point gun
taps) and then release the chuck and use a tap wrench to complete the
I've even used 10-32 and larger gun taps in a reversible
hand-held drill motor.
I've also used a spud (center ground on a cylindrical shaft) to
center the hole on the back of a tap wrench, or to reach the center hole
on the back of a larger tap (and a female center in the chuck to hold
the male center on the backs of smaller taps.
There are also spring loaded devices which do just this for
But these days, I use a pair of TapMatic tapping heads for
anything from 0-80 up through 1/2". Just make sure that you have gun
taps, not standard ones.
You have some of my tricks for tapping above -- most of which
don't require an investment though some do. (My spring loaded center
device came with a partially populated toolbox which I bought at an
estate sale -- mostly to get the set of gauge blocks -- 0.000010" to
0.0000100" -- scattered in the box, but with the fitted case still
present. They made a nice enhancement to my normal set of "Jo" blocks
and my cheap Chinese set for rough duty. So -- the spring-loaded
tapping guide was essentially free, since I didn't know that I was bying
it with the other things which I did notice.
At work we hold the taps in the drill chucks and just run the tap in and
reverse out. It's pretty tough to snap a tap when everything's aligned.
Spiral flute taps are nice for taping blind holes. Spiral point are used for
tapping through holes (or if you like digging strings of compressed chips
out of the bottom of your holes, you can use them for blind holes). Don't
use a hand tap, however.
Best trick is to change the ac motor on a drill press to dc. This allows
virtually unlimited speed w/torque at low speeds & reverse for
tapping. Found a 1hp dc motor & control on a junked surface grinder &
put it on my drill press - no parts costs. Also installed a light
fixture inside the press's casting - I get great lighting right at the
work location w/no bad shadows or extraneous light.
Better be a keyed chuck, however. The nice keyless chucks (such
as Albrecht and clones) are designed to release on reverse -- nice for
quick tool changing, terrible for left-hand drilling or backing out
Not a problem on my drill press, because it does not (yet) have
left-hand capability. Some of these days, when I hang a three-phase
motor on it, the game will change, and the Jacobs chuck will get a lot
Of course, Albrecht makes chucks with a locking ring for things
like this -- and also makes one with diamond grit jaws, to grip a
hardened tap shank (or mill shank) with no slip. Just not at a price
which *I* am willing to pay. :-)
It's not a problem with a properly maintained Albrecht. If
grease gets in the wrong places the chuck will feel springy
and release too easily, but it's an easy thing to remedy. I
use a 1/2" Albrecht all the time for power tapping up to
about 3/8". I did about 20 3/8-16 taps thru a piece of
3/4" Blanchard ground hot rolled yesterday without the
chuck releasing when backing out.
On 4 Dec 2004 04:30:30 -0800, firstname.lastname@example.org (Kevin Beitz)
What grit do you use to polish the carbide?
IOW, how fine is "sharp" in your method?
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Really? Got any suggested speeds and feeds for lets say a 5/16 bit? (
I have a number of them)
Simply sharpen them on the honing machine and have at it?
"I mean, when's the last time you heard of a college where the Young
Republicans staged a "Sit In" to close down the Humanities building?
On the flip side, how many sit in's were staged to close the ROTC building back
in the '60's?
Liberals stage protests, do civil disobedience, etc.
Conservatives talk politely and try to work out a solution to problems
through discourse until they believe that talking won't work... they they go
home and open the gun cabinets.
Pray things never get to the point where the conservatives decide that
"civil disobedience" is the next step, because that's a very short route to
"voting from the rooftops"
Jeffrey Swartz, Misc.Survivalism
Check your electrical wholesaler for a "drum" switch. It's a
reversing switch commonly used on single-phase motors on machine
tools, provided that the motor has accessible start winding terminals,
which most do unless it's a cheap single-purpose motor.
Diamond is the better choice in this instance. (Green) silicon carbide,
even in very fine grits, tends to chip the cutting edge instead of sharpen
it. The hardness of silicon carbide is too close to the hardness of tungsten
carbide to be as effective as might be desired. Not saying it won't work,
it just doesn't work as well. If you haven't explored diamond for carbide
sharpening, I highly recommend you do so. It's very affordable these days,
unlike in the past.
While it likely works, don't get real excited about the concept. Carbide
for masonry application is likely to be a C2 grade, which is a poor match
for machining steels. Not saying it won't cut, but edge failure is likely
to come quickly. That's the nature of the beast. Still, if it serves the
purpose--------what the hell!
Amen! No shop should be without a set of diamond hones. For what they can do
they are dirt cheap. Think the small 'keychain' type. Lee Valley (among
others) has them. I use them to touch up cheap carbide tools without taking
the tool out of the lathe. Wonderful!
On Sat, 4 Dec 2004 10:55:19 -0800, "Harold & Susan Vordos"
My DMT 2x6" fine (600 grit) diamond plate is my favorite sharpening
tool for all wood/metal/meat-cutting edges. They come in grits up
to 1200. What I haven't seen are fine-grit grinding discs.
Some day, when I start drilling more metal, I'll need a better method
of sharpening my bits than the 120-grit 1" belt sandah, huh?
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Hi guys, here is a posting of mine last year, still relevant, It's
amazing how two people on opposite sides of the world come up with
identical solutions to a problem. 28 years ago I fitted a 1hp motor to
my drill press, I have probably changed the belt to a different step
on the pulley maybe twice in all that time (to fly-cut something) (I
HATE fly cutters, especially cutting anything over about 4") I also
mounted a bulb in the casting hole. It has a keyless chuck & sometimes
I tap using the chuck, the trick is to turn the speed to zero before
reversing, & soft start the backing out, with small taps the chuck
doesn't realease. Over the next few day's I will post some pics of
"workshop tricks" I'm sure that I will find some.
A Merry Xmas & A Happy & safe New Year to all on the group if the
"next few day's" stretches into '05.
Ian Sutherland, Oz.
Hi guy's, posted a pic of a tap guide that I made & use often. Not my
idea, saw it in a magazine a few years ago. It consists of a ground
steel rod about 8 mm (5/16") diameter (from a discarded printer,
kerbside recycling) & a steel body with a reamed hole to suit. It has
a small cross hole to let air in/out. A small (1/4") chuck is screwed
on to the body. The knurled aluminium rings are a recent addition to
give a bit more purchase.
In use, a bench drill or mill is used to keep the tap square with the
work. (Tapping is done by hand.) My chuck is a keyless, from some old,
probably hand powered drill. To keep the chuck from loosening, I tap
using the ring on the body & back out using the ring on the chuck.
Can also be used in the lathe, un-powered by hand, & also running the
lathe slowly & holding the tap chuck to stop it rotating, if the tap
starts to load up, just let go & it will spin harmlessly 'til you turn
off the lathe. Hope this comes in handy for someone.
You indeed will, but make sure it's not diamond. Diamonds operated at
elevated speeds, speeds high enough to raise temperatures to red heat,
dissolve into the steel being ground. That shortens diamond life
tremendously, but worse than anything, it dulls them quickly so they don't
cut well, which, in turn, heats them all the more as you push harder trying
to get the diamond to cut. The proper selection of wheel types for
sharpening HSS is an aluminum oxide wheel, vitrified bond, either 46 or 60
grit, around a J or K hardness, assuming you'll run the wheel at the proper
speed. Speed affects hardness characteristics. I prefer the finer
abrasive. Much finer and they cut too hot, burning the tools too easily.
I gather you don't do any (power) carbide sharpening. Assuming that you
do, and you plan on a diamond wheel in the future, be certain the you always
relieve the steel under the brazed carbide before sharpening the tools you
One other thing. When you grind with diamond, a terribly fine wheel isn't
all that important. If you select a wheel that is a resinoid bonded type,
the best choice, a grit in the area of 200/300 is fine enough for a very
nice finish. You need not get down to very fine grits for good performance
and fine finishes.
On Sat, 4 Dec 2004 18:57:02 -0800, "Harold & Susan Vordos"
I've always kept a cap full of water next to the sander when
sharpening billdrits, but the sander keeps the temps down more
than a grinding wheel would. I've often wondered how good the
white Norton stones were since so many people use them.
No, I don't, as they're mostly woodworking bits. My router bits fit on
the DMT and can be lapped by hand in a very short time. I'm not
familiar with relieving steel. 'Splain, please.
I've seen those in the HF stores for dirt cheap prices but the coarser
grits made me think they were less useful.
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