How can I automatically tap 500 holes in 5/16-18 thread size using a hand drill or drill press?

A few years back Ryobi offered a bench top, swivel head drill press. It wasn't very expensive 'cuz it wasn't a heavy industrial machine, but the
swivel feature was kind'a sweet and it's sturdy enough for the work you describe . You might find one on ebay that would work well to horizontally tap those long lengths.
Cheers.
--
Message posted via CraftKB.com
http://www.craftkb.com/Uwe/Forums.aspx/metalworking/200801/1
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Tue, 1 Jan 2008 18:58:41 -0800 (PST), snipped-for-privacy@rollandelliott.com wrote:

The only quibble I have with Robin's advice, based on my specific experience working with these extrusions, is regarding spiral point taps (gun taps) vs. spiral *flute* taps. I use gun taps for almost everything, but tapping these extrusions is one exception. A gun tap will work fine 98% of the time, but for some reason, 2% of the time something goes wrong and the tap buggers the hole. Since I started using the spiral flute taps I've had zero problems. I gave McMaster's p/n for a 5/16-18 spiral flute tap in an earlier reply.
I'll second Robin's endorsement of the Metabo drill. I bought one on his recommendation and love it. You should not need a special tapping tool to cut 5/16 threads in aluminum as long as you have a drill with good speed control and adequate torque.
--
Ned Simmons

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
there are a couple of sellers on ebay who offer a wide range of new taps - it may be worth your while to look there and see what you can get - I typically found I paid about a dollar per tap

--
Posted via a free Usenet account from http://www.teranews.com


Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

    You're tapping the ends. How long are the pieces? Short enough to fit between the base of your drill press and the end of a tap in a tapping head?

    A *hand* drill? Yes -- you are pretty likely to break them that way. They are quite brittle, and it is difficult to avoid putting side stress on the tap/drill when working that way.
    And if you are drilling and tapping the *ends* of these extrusions, I suspect that these are not through holes. The drill/tap combinations are made for use in through holes as far as I can tell. The drill tip has to clear the far side of the workpiece before the tapping part starts working.
    So -- you want a drill (in a drill chuck) followed by a spiral flute tap to get the chips out -- or even better a rolling tap (thread forming tap) which generates no chips -- but requires a slightly larger hole. (Look it up and order the right size drill bits at the same time. It is likely to be a Metric size. Look up the proper size in _Machinery's Handbook_.
    This would still be better done in a drill press if the workpiece is short enough. If your drill press table will tilt to the side, rotate it 90 degrees, and bolt a chuck onto it to hold (and position) the workpieces. Drill them all, then change out the drill chuck for the tapping head and go back through tapping under power. Be sure to get the proper lubricant for the roll taps. But they will form stronger threads in your aluminum than the standard thread cutting taps will.
    Now if you consider the drill/taps expensive, you *won't* like the new price of a tapping head. But they can be found somewhat more affordably on eBay -- given patience and luck. I got the smaller of mine (TapMatic) from eBay -- and the larger from someone else at a local metalworking club meeting.

    You have my opinions above. Now to see what others have suggested.
    Good luck,         DoN.
--
Email: < snipped-for-privacy@d-and-d.com> | Voice (all times): (703) 938-4564
(too) near Washington D.C. | http://www.d-and-d.com/dnichols/DoN.html
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
William and Don thanks for the tips about ebay and using a drill press. I can't believe how helpful this forum is! I'll try to post a few complete photos when I am done with my project so everyone can give themselves a pat on the back for helping me out.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
If I understand your project you want to use the extruded holes in the ends of the material to fasten them together with 5/16 18 screws.
If the hole is an appropriate size or you can enlarge it to the correct size you can buy thread cutting screws that you can skip the tapping process altogether.
Mc Master sells these in 5/16 18. Mow all you need is a socket on the end of a hand drill with a clutch and you are in business.
--

Roger Shoaf

About the time I had mastered getting the toothpaste back in the tube, then
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Forget taps and use the appropriate Rivnut.
Vaughn
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

    --EEEEeeewww! Evil! Make sign of crossed wrenches! I hate it when those things start to spin! I switched to Formdrill; no regrets (well not as many!)
--
"Steamboat Ed" Haas : All the candidates
Hacking the Trailing Edge! : are JERKS!!
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Roger, Vaughn, and Steamer, this aluminum profile is heavy duty there is no way you could use self tapping bolts, rivenuts or Formdrill on it. My friend jokingly says the aluminum has steel in it. It is that heavy.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
    --I never did get the wall thickness. It *is* 'tube', yes?
--
"Steamboat Ed" Haas : All the candidates
Hacking the Trailing Edge! : are JERKS!!
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

He's tapping the ends of 80/20 extrusion, so they have a small hole in the center of the extrusion shape. http://www.8020.net/ right in the middle of the photo on the front page of their catalog, you'll see two side views and the end view.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Nope. Different brand, but like this...
http://catalog.item-international.com/medienelemente/PIC_PRD_VBT/PIC_PRD_VBT_22b3_%23SALL_%23AIN_%23V1.jpg
--
Ned Simmons

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

You can use self tapping screws on steel. The only time you will have an issue is if the hole is not the appropriate size for the screw, otherwise they will work just fine.
--
Roger Shoaf
If you are not part of the solution, you are not dissolved in the solvent.
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Riv-nuts are great for putting threads into thin sections but if I understand the OP's project correctly, he needs to have threads in the end so there will be nothing for the riv-nut to grab on to.
--

Roger Shoaf

About the time I had mastered getting the toothpaste back in the tube, then
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Right. As I understand it, Rivnuts are really for things like sheet metal where you need a threaded fastener but the material is too thin to get adequate thread engagement,
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

    Yes. Sheet metal or metal otherwise too thin for the thread pitch in question to offer sufficient strength.
    And as for the spinning in the hole -- there are Rivnuts with a key under the flange, and a tool for notching the hole to accept the key.
    There are also Rivnuts with a hex body.
    Enjoy,         DoN.
--
Email: < snipped-for-privacy@d-and-d.com> | Voice (all times): (703) 938-4564
(too) near Washington D.C. | http://www.d-and-d.com/dnichols/DoN.html
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

And if it's too late and you have a spinning Rivnut you don't want to totally replace, you can drill a hole at the perimeter and put in a small Pop Rivet as a lock.
--<< Bruce >>--
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Polytechforum.com is a website by engineers for engineers. It is not affiliated with any of manufacturers or vendors discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.