Left hand taps, dies

I would like to be able to make this sort of thing: http://www.adjustableclamp.com/handcat1.htm
The essence is a threaded rod, L/H for 1
half, and R/H on the other half. When the rod is turned, the jaws open or close.
You can buy kits: http://www.adjustableclamp.com/handcat2.htm
But where's the fun in that.
I would also like to be able to make one of these:
http://www.hdtvprimer.com/ANTENNAS/turnbuckle.jpg
as seen in the upper one of these:
http://www.vannattabros.com/adospics/bowsaws.jpg
So - anyone know a source of left hand taps and dies.
Any size between 1/4" and 3/8" should work metric coarse, or BSW or something like that
But prices I've found so far are horrendous. http://www.engineerstoolroom.co.uk/dies.htm
"Left Hand Taps + 200%. Left Hand Dies + 150%."
Tap-and-die box sets (or boxes, or buckets, or coffee tins) are cheap at auctions etcs. but don't contain L/H gear :-(
Anyone got any hints?
BugBear
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Make them on a lathe, I have made my own taps and dies from silver steel in the past, heat treatment is the key.
Joules
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Joules wrote:

No lathe :-(
BugBear
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On Fri, 05 Aug 2005 16:43:36 +0100, bugbear
...

Someone will, no doubt, point you to Tracy Tools who supply any size LH at +200% but when you consider 100% is only a pound or two, it's not so expensive after all.
Alternatively, try www.fastfixdirect.co.uk who can sell you as much left hand allthread and as many left hand nuts as you need. All you have to do is to think of a way of connecting it/them to the corresponding RH item.
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John Montrose wrote:

Eek! Their website is a disgrace, the more so for being made by a (supposed) specialist.
These web-technicalities aside, the only mention of LH threads is on the main page, and on their sets page.
No mention of prices for single taps/dies that I could find.

I'd rather do the mixed thread thing if possible. But thanks for the pointer.
BugBear
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Ask for their catalogue, it's a lot more comprehensive. Quite often, otherwise good firms have lousy websites.
Regards, Arthur G
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wrote:

size
it's
much
you
You'll find Tracy Tools very helpful on the 'phone
AWEM
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Until quite recently they ran print adverts saying they didn't take credit cards - only cheques. I've used them a few times in the past but only when they were at one of the exhibitions. The fact they have *any* web presence astonished me.
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On Mon, 08 Aug 2005 12:30:33 +0100, bugbear

Their old web site was better, if not prettier. Unfortunately, small businesses who have to pay someone else to produce their sites can't always avoid morons using frontpage :-(.
ISTR their standard terms were/are HSS+100% LH+200%.
Mark Rand RTFM
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On Mon, 08 Aug 2005 21:46:26 +0100, Mark Rand

Which soon starts to add up. I just bought two 30mm x 1.5 pitch taps, on list at 18.00 each but when you factor the HSS/GT in at 200% in their latest list, those two taps came to 75.00 inc postage.
When you consider that most suppliers J&L etc don't carry carbon taps any more this surcharge starts to get heavy.
I must admit they have got me out of the sh*te a few times on specials but note to self ask the price first. I have an account with Tracy and in the past I have had some good deals but times may be changing.

-- Regards,
John Stevenson Nottingham, England.
Visit the new Model Engineering adverts page at:- http://www.homeworkshop.org.uk /
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John Stevenson wrote:

I wonder if HSS/LH is +300% or +500%
(+100% is AKA x2 and +200% is AKA x3, so conceiveably HSS/LH could be x6 -eek!)
BugBear
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I bought some stuff from them a few years ago - but I've tried them a few times since when we've needed slightly non-standard taps or dies at work, J&L have always beaten them (quite severely) on price and delivery. J&L are often worth a call, even if they don't list it they will usually be able to get it -and often for the next day.
Regards
Kevin

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I have not tried it but I have read that removing the thread crests from 2 opposite sides of a 4 flute tap or die will permit it to thread left or right handed. Makes sense as the opposite flutes are exactly one-half pitch apart in both right and left handed threads and the helix angle doesn't amount to much with a narrow flute. I think most small taps and dies have no clearance angle so they can be turned either way. Seems it might be a bit hard to get started but I think it will work. Don Young

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It isn't necessary to use LH threads to make:

In fact two RH threads make it easy to adjust by "bicycling" the two handles.
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briano wrote:

But paired LH/RH double the effective pitch. It also looks better, since the "waste" thread protrudes from both sides of the clamp, in a more symmetric fashion.
You're thinking about toolmakers clamps, I'd guess.
BugBear
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Your quite right bugbear. I only had a very quick glance at http://www.adjustableclamp.com/handcat1.htm and interpreted it that way.
Pairing a LH & RH thread would certainly make them prettier but the downside is you reduce the clamping force for a given pitch.
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