which tapping head to buy

I have decided that I want a tapping head. Tapmatic is frequently on
sale in the enco catalogs so thats where I am starting.
I see the X, R and DC/TC series.
The X and R appear to be the same except the R can run right or left
hand. The DC/TC series has lower down feed but I really don't know
what that does for me.
I will use the tapping head on a vertical mill or maybe (but unlikely)
a drill press.
Right now, I'm leaning towards the R3.
Is a procunier a better choice?
thanks
chuck
Reply to
Charles A. Sherwood
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I've not used the other unit. But I can say the procunier is a wonderful unit. Fast and reliable don't break taps.
Karl
Reply to
Karl Townsend
Answer, very simply, is absolutely, positively, without a doubt, no question of it, yes.
When I first used a Procunier, after using Tapmatic for a couple years, I could not imagine anyone wanting a Tapmatic.
michael
Reply to
michael
I use a Procunier.
Harold
Reply to
Harold & Susan Vordos
I have used both and I think the Procunier is the better of the two. I have at present two Procuniers, the smaller one I got from MSC (a little over $500 several years ago) and going strong. The other larger one from eBay last month for $12.50 (Gloat) works well but had to buy collets.
Clark
Reply to
Clark Werner
The ones that run faster in reverse are handy for hand tapping. Once the threads are cut, you can get the tap out, and get to the next hole quicker.
The ones that run the same speed are handy if you have an older nc or cnc machine without a tapping cycle. Then you can program the same down speed as up speed, and the tap should follow. Harder to do with two speeds up and down.
Running left and right hand is a real handy feature. Left handed threads do appear from time to time.
I got a couple from ebay, some form an auction. Wonderful things for the shop.
Sometimes, it is quicker to do a batch of parts in the 2 axis knee mill than in the bigger machining center. Sometimes. g
Pete
Reply to
Pete Logghe
I got a Procunier on eBay. It is the "CNC" tapping head, it has no overload clutch. It can still be used manually if you have a depth stop. You HAVE to make sure the tap doesn't ever hit bottom, however, or it will break it. You should know that Procunier parts like the collets are a bit expensive. I only got the one size that was in the unit, so I made my own collets. They weren't that hard.
Procunier is a good outfit to deal with, parts are available from most of the machine tool suppliers, and they welcome phone calls asking for help, parts, etc. They will send out an instruction and parts manual free. I don't do a whole lot of tapping, but the tapping head REALLY beats doing it by hand! I had one job that required about 600 6-32 blind holes, and it was a killer to do by hand. I also did a fixture plate with 144 10-32 holes. It did that in less than 20 minutes!
Jon
Reply to
Jon Elson
I have never used the tapmatic. But I can attest to the ruggedness of the Procunier.
The first one I owned was the single most abused piece of equipment I have ever owned (and I have several owned used lawnmowers).
It must have been used in a drill press with a scored taper and every surface was covered with hammer dents.
You could barely make out that the three lumps on the bottom were nuts. The housing was cracked in three places. Two of the cover screws were stripped and the the taper was covered with grind marks and a scar from the setscrew they evidently used to keep it mounted in the drill press.
But the darn thing still worked like a champ. Eventually I aquired another, less abused.
I ebayed some Procunier parts including a new housing, I pulled the guts out of the beat up one and stuck it in the new housing, and it still works fine.
Paul K. Dickman
Harold & Susan Vordos wrote in message ...
Reply to
Paul K. Dickman
I have used both, and have to say that my money would definitely be spent on a Procunier. I have one that I bought used, looked like it was new. I also can direct you to at least 2 others (Model 1E) that are in the hand of my local used machinery dealer.
-- John Sullivan Jamlab Enterprises
Reply to
John Sullivan
And another note on the Procunier, I have even used mine to install helicoils in blind holes, by the thousands.
michael
Reply to
michael
I am a bit confused on the 1E. J&L catalog says it reverses at 2x but it does not say that it auto reverses. I discussed this with a friend that has a used one (but hasn't used it) and he says he doesn't think it reverses because it doesn't have any gears in it. He says it just a cork cone clutch. The only other Porcunier ones are CNC models and those state clearly they auto reverse. However these are too expensive for me to justify.
The driving factor is that J&L has a 25% discount that expires tonight so its order it now or wait for the next sale.
chuck
Reply to
Charles A. Sherwood
--Why? Never used one; I've only ever used Tapmatics.
Reply to
steamer
Do they have a torque limit or will they break the tap if you bottom it out? chuck
Reply to
Charles A. Sherwood
Likewise, Ed. Saw a lot of recommendations for the Procunier in this thread but no analysis - design or anecdotal - of why it's significantly better than the Tapmatic equivalents. I never had a problem with my well used R5, and it has all the bells and whistles that everyone seem to be praising the Procunier for having. One wonders....
Reply to
Mike Hanz
I have about a half-dozen Tapmatics (from little 1 & 1a models to a couple 50x models and a big R7) that I use almost every day... and they work very well. We probably break a tap every couple thousand holes... but usually because the work piece gets loose or something. >:-( I have no basis to say they are "better"... having never used anything else; but they are good! David
Reply to
David Courtney
There is no pre-set torque limit on those. If you bottom the tap, and keep pushing down, you can generate enought force to break the smaller taps for a given tapper's range.
Jim
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Reply to
jim rozen
Note that TapMatics come in several styles.
One style has adjustable travel before the dog clutch releases, and is better for tapping relatively shallow blind holes.
Another style has fixed dog-clutch release travel, but has an adjustable clutch, which can make it better at avoiding breaking taps. I finally downloaded the manuals (note that I never have bought a new one, just a small one with the clutch (30X IIRC -- good up to 1/4-20), and a larger one with the adjustable travel to release but without the clutch (40R or is it 50R -- good from 1/4-20 up to perhaps 1/2"). The first was an eBay item, the second an opportunity from someone else at the metalworking club meeting.
Based on the downloaded manual, you don't use the numbers on the clutch for anything -- you just adjust it (with a *new* tap) to just above where it slips. Then, when the tap starts to get dull, the torque needed goes up, and you get a warning when it starts to slip, so you can swap it out, and put in a sharp one.
In any case, with the smaller taps (0-80 though perhaps 6-32) I would pretty much *insist* on the clutch feature.
I had to make MT-2 shanks for each, as I normally use them in my drill press.
Both have worked very well for me in everything that I've asked of them so far.
I don't know what other features the other models of TapMatic have, but at least the two that I have each provide different features from that list of Procunier tapping head features.
The TapMatics use the Jacobs "rubberflex" collets and tapping chuck -- two sizes cover the range of a given tap head, and they are rather expensive (and unlikely to come with a used tapping head in good condition). I understand that the Procunier needs a custom tap collet for each size, and that these are even more expensive, so this seems to be a bit of a tradeoff.
I've also recently made an adaptor to hold MT-1 tap collets (Thanks MPToolman for your offer on the newsgroup) in the releasing tap holder for the turret lathe. Is there a chance that the Procunier uses the MT-1 tap collets?
Enjoy, DoN.
Reply to
DoN. Nichols
My wife once used a Procunier to tap something like 9000 2-56 blind holes. She broke a tap at that point because she had to change to a different machine. Finished the job with a second tap which did about 3000 more holes. Maybe Tapmatic has improved their design since then, but I know what I like and won't be spending any money on any tapping heads.
michael
Reply to
michael
After a while this thread seemed to boil down to experience with a particular model. I called tapmatic and got some guidance.
A procunier is basically a forward and reverse cluth. Push it down and it applies torque to the tap proportional to the down pressure. When you stop pushing down and pull up, the upper clutch engauges and it backs out.
A tapmatic is self feeding. When the tap engauges the work, it pulls itself into the hole. It will continue until you stop feeding. When you stop feeding it will continue by the amount of down feed designed into the unit you are using (there are several models one has adjustable downfeed). At that point it will shift into neutral. When you pull up, it shifts into reverse and backs out.
Tapmatics have a clutch that will slip if the torque is excessive. This will sense when the tap is dull or I suppose an accidental bottom out of the tap. Procuniers do not have this clutch. The torque is proportional to the down pressure.
Tapmatic makes several models with different features. The TC/DC model has adjustable downfeed and is designed for blind holes. The R model will tap left and right hand.
I figure that some of the dislike of the tapmatic is that people don't understand how they work and are using the wrong model for the job.
Anyway I figure the TC/DC model would work well for my needs and I like the idea of having the clutch. I will find out when I try it. AS they say, the proof is in the pudding...
chuck
Reply to
Charles A. Sherwood
--Interesting. For the "slop" reason alone I'd pick Tapmatic for my needs then, as it means that I can quickly set up and tap a pile of holes with a drillpress and I can save the mill for the important stuff. --FWIW I've been a happy Tapmatic user for some time. The downside of these has always been what can happen if you bottom the tap in a hole and spin the part B4 you have a chance to back it out. That's why I developed this gizmo:
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It takes a minute to set it up, but then I know I won't have a "bad day", so to speak..
Reply to
steamer

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