Making tapped threads be dead-on square - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 17 Old 09-29-2020, 10:14 AM Thread Starter
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Making tapped threads be dead-on square

It’s always nice to have you threads be straight, but on some occasions it’s really important.

It’s seems to me that one easy way to make sure that the threads are square is to do them on a drill press or lathe. Of course if running the motor, the threading happens way too fast and if turning the Chuck by hand, it’s hard to make the tap advance at the proper rate.

Any sage advice to be had on how to get perfectly square threads?
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post #2 of 17 Old 09-29-2020, 01:00 PM
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I use a drill press - a weighted tin can tied to one of the spindle handles.
turn the chuck by hand.
once you've got a couple threads started, it'll pull itself.
I use the tin can so I can easily add/remove (fishing) weights as the initial cutting force varies by size and material....
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post #3 of 17 Old 09-29-2020, 02:00 PM
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They sell a tool called a tap follower that can be used in a drill press or lathe. One example shown below.
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post #4 of 17 Old 09-29-2020, 02:10 PM
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You can get a hand tap driver with a collar for use in a drill press from McMaster Carr. Works fantastic. (The image url looks weird, so hopefully this comes through.)

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post #5 of 17 Old 09-29-2020, 04:26 PM
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Get a tapping head... :)

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post #6 of 17 Old 09-29-2020, 04:47 PM
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yep ..... practice

Quote:
Originally Posted by Quickstep View Post
Itís always nice to have you threads be straight, but on some occasions itís really important.

Itís seems to me that one easy way to make sure that the threads are square is to do them on a drill press or lathe. Of course if running the motor, the threading happens way too fast and if turning the Chuck by hand, itís hard to make the tap advance at the proper rate.

Any sage advice to be had on how to get perfectly square threads?

Drill press speeds are to fast unless you use a Tapmatic at a 30 to reduction. Turning the chuck by hand does work, but it's tedious and as suggested, you need simultaneous down feed pressure to get it started. I've done it that way myself, but here's my tip. Do not stand directly over the tap, rather off to the side so you can sight it from both East and South directions for vertical. Of course having the object secured horizontally is necessary as well. Check the tap for 90 degrees with a small machinist square or the end off your tri-square or a square end piece of wood. Now, you could drill a slightly larger hole in the end of a scrap and saw 1/2 of it away leaving a vertical groove to locate against your tap from East and South......after all, it's a woodworking forum.

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)
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post #7 of 17 Old 09-29-2020, 05:18 PM
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Or you can get a tap/reamer aligner...

https://www.travers.com/tap-reamer-aligner/p/111539/


Last edited by shoot summ; 09-29-2020 at 05:20 PM.
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post #8 of 17 Old 09-30-2020, 10:29 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick Christopherson View Post
You can get a hand tap driver with a collar for use in a drill press from McMaster Carr. Works fantastic. (The image url looks weird, so hopefully this comes through.)


As Will Smith said in Men in Black, "I have got to get me one of those!"
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post #9 of 17 Old 09-30-2020, 11:14 PM
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Quote:
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As Will Smith said in Men in Black, "I have got to get me one of those!"
Yup!! I bought it last fall when I realized how much "fun" it was going to be drilling and tapping several hundred holes on-edge for the parts to manufacture my boom arms.

It works just a standard hand tap (good quality) except the upper guide bushing chucks into the drill press to guide the tap to be vertical. Once it's started, you can even retract the quill out of your way if necessary, without needing to unchuck anything. So after each hole was tapped, I would remove the tap and handle, dip it into a shot glass full of cutting oil, and reset it all for the next hole.
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Last edited by Rick Christopherson; 09-30-2020 at 11:16 PM.
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post #10 of 17 Old 10-01-2020, 03:27 AM
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Option 1 is a tap guide block:https://littlemachineshop.com/produc...ProductID=2571

Basically, a block of material with a hole drilled in it thats a running fit for the tap youre using. Set the block over the hole to be tapped, run the tap through the block. Block keeps the tap straight

Option 2, get HSS taps, use the drill press under power. Long as you arent bottoming on a hole, the slowest speed of a drill press shouldnt be anywhere near enough to cause problems. If youre worried, spin the chuck by hand while applying a gentle downward pressure, after you get a few threads cut the tap will pull itself into the work. No need for a tapping head or gear reduction, not unless youre doing job shop volumes of work

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post #11 of 17 Old 10-01-2020, 11:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by epicfail48 View Post
No need for a tapping head or gear reduction, not unless youre doing job shop volumes of work
A good share of homeowner drill presses do not have reverse to back the tap out of the hole.

A tapping head not only provides gear reduction, it is "self reversing". The drill press is never shut off or reversed, the tapping head does it all. Slight downward pressure results in the tap driving forward. Neutral pressure, the tap does not spin. Slight upward pressure causes the tap to spin in reverse, at double the rotational speed.

If doing more than a few holes, it is a handy item to have.
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post #12 of 17 Old 10-01-2020, 12:47 PM
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I've broken a few taps backing them out .....

The smaller the hole, the greater the risk of breakage in turning in either direction. You "eventually" develop a feel for how much torque you can apply, but it will require breaking a few to get there.

I don't know about the sensitivity of the tapping devices and whether they are more sensitive than a human hand. But apparently so, because they are used so much in industry.



Gunsmiths would be a good example, where they are drilling very small holes and tapping them for sight mounts, in some pretty tough steel in the rifle barrels. Of all the you Tube videos I watched on this subject no one used a tapping device. So, there's a good possibility that it's not a common practice to use a mechanical tapping device.
https://www.youtube.com/results?sear...rel+for+sights



The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)
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post #13 of 17 Old 10-01-2020, 02:40 PM
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Thanks, Dave I ordered one!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave McCann View Post
They sell a tool called a tap follower that can be used in a drill press or lathe. One example shown below.

Looks like just the ticket for centering a tap and keeping it "plumb" on a drill press. What I'm wanting is a way to grasp the chuck around the key holes and rotate it by hand with some increase in leverage. I could possibly make one ........

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)
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post #14 of 17 Old 10-01-2020, 06:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by woodnthings View Post
Looks like just the ticket for centering a tap and keeping it "plumb" on a drill press. What I'm wanting is a way to grasp the chuck around the key holes and rotate it by hand with some increase in leverage. I could possibly make one ........
They make a tool which will give you more leverage. Measure the pin size of your chuck key and measure the chuck body diameter where the chuck is inserted. Find a wrench to fit.
https://www.mcmaster.com/spanner-wre...on-the-side-7/

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post #15 of 17 Old 10-01-2020, 06:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave McCann View Post
A good share of homeowner drill presses do not have reverse to back the tap out of the hole.

A tapping head not only provides gear reduction, it is "self reversing". The drill press is never shut off or reversed, the tapping head does it all. Slight downward pressure results in the tap driving forward. Neutral pressure, the tap does not spin. Slight upward pressure causes the tap to spin in reverse, at double the rotational speed.

If doing more than a few holes, it is a handy item to have.
Hey, were talking about getting the tap in square, not getting it out. Once the threads are cut in, its a simple matter to loosen the chuck and take the tap out.

Also, not all tapping heads are self-reversing, a fair majority of the ones floating around are a fancy clutch that keeps the tap from breaking, and even the basic ones are a $300+ handy item. I stand by my original statement, unless youre in a job shop environment where you need to have 300 holes tapped in an hour, chuck up the tap in a drill press and use that, powered if you can and turning the chuck by hand if you cant

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post #16 of 17 Old 10-01-2020, 07:25 PM
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Tapping is bi-directional .....

You need to get the tap out as well as get it started and perpendicular, it's a entire process. No need in berating an experienced machinist who is considering all the aspects of the process, in fact I commend him. If all we did here was answer a single narrow aspect of the questions, it wouldn't be a very informative discussion.



As many holes as I have drilled and tapped I'm still happy to learn to new ways to do it. Here's a recent example of drilling and tapping some 3/8" thick steel plate:
https://www.woodworkingtalk.com/f15/...109305/index6/










The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)
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post #17 of 17 Old 10-01-2020, 11:00 PM
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Drilling small holes with "feel"..

I mentioned practice will result in getting the feel of the torque needed to tap or to drill small holes:


The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)
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