what tap kit to buy?

I am totally fed up with my collection of cheap nasty taps, and I want to
buy a reasonably good set.
I probably want 1/4" to 1/2", NF and NC, taper plug and bottoming. I tap
mostly aluminium, and chase threads in steel and cast iron. Some tapping in
mild steel.
Do I settle for carbon steel or go for HSS? do I buy a set in a box or make
up a set? Who sells sets of just taps, no dies?
Thanks, Brian
Reply to
Brian
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--Make up a set; it's cheaper in the long run.. Use HSS; OSG is a good brand. There are other good brands, too.
Reply to
steamer
I started buy the Greenfield 3 piece sets (taper, plug, bottom) as I needed them. I now have a collection from 0-80 up to 5/16.
I am quite happy with this approach. I have nice little boxes to store them in so they don't get mixed up. All the little boxes are organized in a larger box.
cs
Reply to
Charles A. Sherwood
Agree. But if you are buying taps in your local hardware store, the plug and bottoming types are usu. not stocked. In the smaller sizes ( --Make up a set; it's cheaper in the long run.. Use HSS; OSG is a
Reply to
Robert Swinney
Eek. Stop right there. If he's buying taps in the local truevalue hardware store (what, american vermont or something?) he's in big big trouble.
Jim (2-flute HSS gun taps are our friends!)
Reply to
jim rozen
You guys are frickin' paranoid, my Hanson taps are still going good after a whole bunch of holes. At least in aluminum. The #8 has seen its share of HRS though...
BTW, at least Ace sells only plug taps (and maybe something else, I haven't looked very closely).
Tim
-- "I've got more trophies than Wayne Gretsky and the Pope combined!" - Homer Simpson Website @
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Reply to
Tim Williams
See if you can find "Nachi", I've had the best luck.
Reply to
Tom Gardner
Tim sez: "You guys are frickin' paranoid, my Hanson taps are still going good after a whole bunch of holes. At least in aluminum. The #8 has seen its share of HRS though..."
Whoa, Tim! . . . Not all of us! Some respondents lose sight of the fact RCM is primarily a hobbyist group and they become overzealous in recommending only what they consider "quality". And there are others that have memorized the names of a few leading, high-priced, brands which they throw out in an attempt to impress you. And then there are the middle-of-the road types that know reasonably good quality doesn't always come with the best name, or highest price.
Bob Swinney
Reply to
Robert Swinney
All I know is, I come out with a few choice, leading names whenever I've snapped off a hardware store tap in a part. They're not names of tool and die manufacturers, either! :^)
I guess you might say they're not really all names, either. Sort of, other kinds of words. All I know is the air is sorta blue when I get done uttering them.
Jim
Reply to
jim rozen
Excellent comments Bob.
Gunner
"There is no difference between communism and socialism, except in the means of achieving the same ultimate end: communism proposes to enslave men by force, socialism - by vote. It is merely the difference between murder and suicide." - Ayn Rand, from "Foreign Policy Drains U.S. of Main Weapons"
Reply to
Gunner
Rozen sez glibly: "All I know is, I come out with a few choice, leading names whenever I've snapped off a hardware store tap in a part. They're not names of tool and die manufacturers, either! :^)"
Et tu, Jimbo?
Bob Swinney
Reply to
Robert Swinney
It took me a long time to learn that cheap tool steel is no bargain. I was just trying to pass on my 'school of hard knocks' experience, fwiw.
Jim
Reply to
jim rozen
While I've got a really nice set of NC taps and dies (made by TRW, from 1-64 up through 1"-8, IIRC, it was from an eBay auction without any illustrations (I lucked out there, as other bidders were apparently scared by the lack of images).
But for metric, I have had no such luck, so what I have done is purchase the sets in an index (they are supplied in fractional inch sizes, too). These have only one tap of each size (two-flute gun taps, (HSS, of course) a very good choice, IMHO if you don't need to do bottoming), and a matching tap drill for each.
I bought my set from MSC, and they were listed as "Made in USA" taps, and have worked quite well for me.
This gets you quality in the most common sizes. As you discover the need for three-tap sets, buy the individual sets. Again, go for HSS, and aim for quality, instead of price.
And whenever you need taps for through holes which are not in the sizes which you get in the indexed set, I would suggest that you go for the gun taps again. They are lovely for through holes, and can be used successfully in blind holes as long as there is sufficient room beyond the length which you need to thread to accommodate the chips, which are pushed ahead of the gun taps.
Of course, for blind holes in ductile materials, (especially things like aluminum and brass), you might consider form taps (also called "roll taps". These need a slightly larger hole, and they deform the metal, pushing it from the root of the threads being formed into the crests. Since this is formed by deforming the metal, it is work hardened, and is thus a stronger thread.
So -- for each function, there are specialized taps -- and (as you already know) the cheap sets of carbon steel taps are seldom the right choice. :-)
Good Luck DoN.
Reply to
DoN. Nichols
I'd like to thnk I have a fair set of taps and dies - I need to replace warn taps but was delighted to walk into a autoparts house in Scotts Valley CA - and see a wall of taps and die in Imperial and Metric ! I don't have to drive to far but there are other sources. I feel a quality part is best to use - doesn't have to be state of the art.
Reply to
Martin H. Eastburn
There is ONE good thing about the cheap carbon steel taps though..if you do snap one off in the work piece, its a hell of a lot easier to bust it out than a HSS one.
Gunner
"There is no difference between communism and socialism, except in the means of achieving the same ultimate end: communism proposes to enslave men by force, socialism - by vote. It is merely the difference between murder and suicide." - Ayn Rand, from "Foreign Policy Drains U.S. of Main Weapons"
Reply to
Gunner
My 'secret weapon:' Metric and Multistandard Corporation, of Elmsford, NY. Right down the street from where I work.
When they built the factory, the local town required them to do retail business as well - so they have a 'walk up' window. Some of the best metric taps and dies, besides other cutting tools like drills, reamers, end mills. Not to mention metric and british standard hardware.
Jim
Reply to
jim rozen

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