Tap and Die Press

Hello,
We have a standard tap and die sets in our workshop. I remember seeing somewhere recently a device that would make it easier to do taps/dies,
not using a wrench but a press or contraption on a vise. We aren't looking for a real expensive press (not the $20,000 ones that are automated) but one that is a manually operated one. Can someone give me some names of vendors or links where one can purchase one of these? (under $1000 please).
Thanks Mike McWhinney elja, Inc.
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Mike
Something like this?
http://www.use-enco.com/CGI/INSRIT?PMAKA26-1568&PMPXNO387815&PARTPG=INLMK3
several manufactures, search for "hand tapper"
Carl Boyd
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http://www.use-enco.com/CGI/INSRIT?PMAKA26-1568&PMPXNO387815&PARTPG=INL MK3
Careful....
The link given is for the tapping adapter set. The tapper itself is:
http://www.use-enco.com/CGI/INSRIT?PARTPG=INLMKD&PMPXNO3101&PMAKA18-000 7
Jerry
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eljainc wrote:

Are you talking about a hand tapper?
http://tinyurl.com/ymbnym
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Yes, that is it. A hand tapper. Thanks to both of you for your replies
Mike
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To me those things aren't sensitive enough for 6-32 and below. I use a vee block to start small taps straight, and some machinists make small guide blocks with holes the size of tap shanks.
You can clamp a lathe dog onto the tap shank for a handle and use the untightened drill chuck to keep the tap aligned to the pilot hole.
Jim Wilkins
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    Well ... for the *taps*, consider a tapping head mounted to a drill press. The ones which I have are made by Tapmatic, but there are other makers as well.
    You set the depth stop on the drill press so the tap never gets past perhaps two turns from the end, and simply bring the spindle down to start the tap into the pre-drilled hole. It goes on in until you hit the depth stop, at which point the tap is uncoupled from the spindle. As you withdraw the spindle, it switches into a reverse gear which is faster than the forward, and backs the tap out.
    Be sure to use a "gun" tap (spiral point tap) so it chases the chips down into the hole and out the other side for through holes, or a spiral flute tap to bring the chips up out of the hole, for blind holes, since you aren't going to be in a position to stop and reverse the tap ever quarter to half turn as you do by hand.
    As for *dies* -- you have a bit more of a problem with standard dies -- even if you make an adaptor to use them on a tap head. They are not made for continuous cutting (no spiral lead-in so the chips accumulate in the flutes.
    For die work, what I do (on the lathe, not on the drill press) is to use a Geometric die head of appropriate size, and the proper chasers. The die head is mounted in a turret, and when the turret reaches its stop, it releases the chasers (like the jaws of a 4-jaw chuck, except that they cut threads) so they spring away from the workpiece, allowing the workpiece to keep rotating without engaging the chaswers. Then you bring the turret back and operate a lever to close the jaws for the next workpiece. (Usually the turret is set up to advance another tool after the one you just used, so you can do many operations with a single setup. My turret has six stations.) Note that there are versions of this which have a turned groove in a sliding ring to engage or disengate the chasers while the spindle is rotating the die head -- in either a mill or a drill press -- but I have not used one of these. They would be better for threading studs which had been left as standing features by previous milling.
    Either the tapping head or the die head is somewhat north of your $1000.00 when bought new -- but both can be found on eBay from time to time. You may need to do a bit of work to make them work with your machines. (For example, I had to make two Morse Taper No.2 shanks threaded at the other end to match the tapping heads which I got. Some of them have a female Jacobs taper, so you can use standard drill chuck arbors for the task.
    You also have to make something which serves as a stop for the arm which comes out of the side of the tapping head. It is this which allows you to switch into reverse to back the taps out without having to reverse the drill press spindle. I made a collar which clamps around the bottom of the drill press spindle, and which supports a vertical arm to engage the horizontal arm from the tapping head.
    Anyway -- even *new* these are a lot cheaper than a mill or drill press with feed geared to spindle revolution to drive the tap.
    Note that for some materials, you may want a thread *forming* tap (also called a "roll tap") which generates *no* chips -- but it requires a different, and more precise tap drill to do the job.
    I hope that this is some help,         DoN.
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