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Old 3rd October 2012, 02:32 AM   #1
redjr is offline redjr  United States
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Default Hand Tapping Tool?

Hi all,

I've been fairly successful with the construction aspect of my projects over the past several months. I do have a question to the seasoned veterans here about tapping a hole.

I mount all my PCB on 3mm brass stand-offs. I drill a 2.5mm hole and then manually tap a 3mm hole using the typical t-bar style tapping device. Most of the time I can get a pretty straight hole 90-degrees to the panel I'm tapping. Is there a better way to tap a hole to ensure it's precisely 90-degrees to the panel? Is there some sort of gig that you can use with a manual tap to ensure straight holes?
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Old 3rd October 2012, 02:55 AM   #2
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Default taprite tool

i have an older version of this that works great
TAPRITE TAP GUIDE - Brownells

or these

http://www.littlemachineshop.com/pro...Product+Search

Last edited by harperrc; 3rd October 2012 at 03:02 AM. Reason: added another link
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Old 3rd October 2012, 03:18 AM   #3
DUG is offline DUG  Canada
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Block of aluminum with a hole in it.
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Old 3rd October 2012, 12:06 PM   #4
redjr is offline redjr  United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DUG View Post
Block of aluminum with a hole in it.
Great idea. Now to find that block of aluminum. I assume you would need to use clamps to secure the the block while tapping. Short of an industrial tooling machine used for tapping in a manufacturing environment, I guess the hobbyist is stuck with doing it the ole manual way.
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Last edited by redjr; 3rd October 2012 at 12:09 PM.
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Old 3rd October 2012, 09:03 PM   #5
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Default tapping guide

sorry i misread your post.
go to your local hobby shop and find some brass or aluminum tubing that
will just slip over the outside of the standoff and then cut to length to allow
you to start the tap.

remove the drill you use and replace with the tap and hand turn the chuck to tap

Last edited by harperrc; 3rd October 2012 at 09:04 PM. Reason: another idea
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Old 3rd October 2012, 10:45 PM   #6
redjr is offline redjr  United States
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I'm not quite sure how this would work. How does the tubing stay in place so that your tap stays perpendicular? The tubing would need to be the size of the drilled hole not the standoff width.

Most of my manual taps work out pretty good, but every once in a while it starts out a little crooked, and an attempt to straighten it up often buggers up the threads. And when you're tapping thru 3-5mm thick panel, you don't have a lot to work with. I also often put a nut on the threads of the standoff once screwed into the panel for extra strength.

I haven't done any real tapping for 20+ yrs until recently, and was more curious if the method of tapping had been improved over the years, or if there were new techniques to use. Tapping has to be done slowly and with oil, so using a drill-press would be out of the question. Right?

PS. I just noticed your other link. I saw this gig on their website. Now this looks like it has some promise for a good perpendicular tap. Maybe it's been around for years. This looks like a perfect solution.
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Last edited by redjr; 3rd October 2012 at 10:52 PM.
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Old 3rd October 2012, 11:01 PM   #7
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The trick is to drill straight in the first place using a drill press and hold the brass in a vice.
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Old 3rd October 2012, 11:13 PM   #8
Enzo is offline Enzo  United States
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Or simply buy already threaded standoffs. I make a product using standoffs of either brass or aluminum, and I just get them to length with threads already made. Or cut inner threaded tubing to length. McMaster-Carr for starters.


I liked DUG's block of aluminum. Heck, you could do it with a hunk of wood even. Drill a clearance hole for your tap diameter all the way through. Then from one end drill it out larger to fit the standoff stock, deep enough to handle the length of the piece being worked.. Slip the standoff into the wider side, then tap through from the other side, the hole in the block keeps it lined up. Block/slab pieces of aluminum are not hard to find. A local metal or steel company ought to have some, or a welding shop. A piece of scrap would be good enough.

And if you need to, make two holes, one for the drill that makes the hole, and a second to fit the tap.
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Old 4th October 2012, 01:47 AM   #9
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Use a drill press -- ergo, i second the recommendation -- i wouldn't use the aluminum block as you want to see whether the tap is torking too much. It's time for the crying towel when you break a tap on a heat sink. I use some oil on the bit as it very much aids the process.

One summer in college i worked on an automated tapping machine in a die casting plant -- scared the daylights out of me so i requested that i go back to just driving a forklift! I did get a boat load of 6-32 taps in the process.
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Old 4th October 2012, 01:55 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jackinnj View Post
I use some oil on the bit as it very much aids the process.
You definitely need oil or cutting oil or the tap will grip the metal and break.

I learned the hard way after I broke 2 taps !
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