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Old 8th June 2007, 09:06 AM   #1
Nordic is offline Nordic  South Africa
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Default Taps for screw holes - need advice....

After ordering the wrong size tap, I managed to get the replacement today...

BUT

It says it is a no 2 tap...

I googled a bit, and it seems you get 3 taps...

. Taper Tap
The tap is tapered off for a length of 8 to 10 threads and is the first tap to be used in a hole to start the thread form.

2. Second Tap
The tap is tapered off for a length of 4 to 5 threads to facilitate picking up the threads cut by the taper tap.

3. Plug Tap
This is fully threaded throughout its length and is called a 'bottoming' tap. This tap used to cut the bottom of a blind hole.


Am I right in saying that the straight flute second tap tap is the wrong thing for tapping screws into aluminium heatsinks...?

I know I could try, but then I cant return the one I got.
If I were to get only one tap, which should it be?
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Old 8th June 2007, 09:13 AM   #2
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You use #1 then #2 then #3, it's not a 'one for this job, one for that job' type of thing.

Make sure you do 2 turns forward then 1 turn back every time.
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Old 8th June 2007, 09:27 AM   #3
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Thanks richie, I will try to return it for a 3 piece set then, I first got one of those sets with diffirent sized taps and dies... but broke the m3 one, and thought I could just replace it with a single tap again... that set cost as much as this one tap did.
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Old 8th June 2007, 09:35 AM   #4
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Like all tools, there are cheapo ones and good ones. Rather than buy a set full of things you don't need, buy only the things you need, at better quality.

You might be able to get away with one tap, especially if you aren't doing blind holes. But three taps per size is the norm.
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Old 8th June 2007, 10:14 AM   #5
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Thanks, I'm still learning, at least I got lots of practice with the cheapie set. I used a cordless drill with torque set low... broke the tap, when I forgot to set it low again after turning the torque up to get the tap out of the hole before... but I still see tap and die sets into several hundred dollars that just have one tap per size...
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Old 8th June 2007, 10:19 AM   #6
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I personally wouldn't like to use a cordless or any other drill to tap with, too little control. No wonder you snapped a tap. Did you not get a T-bar handle in the set?
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Old 8th June 2007, 01:20 PM   #7
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Yep I got two crap ones....

naah the dril works lovely with the small taps... was purely a user error... Actualy its a tip I learned from Peter Daniels...

However with the larger M6 nuts I had to use the t-bar... but because the tab is bigger it fits more or less properly in it... the smaller taps tend to slip out of the bar...also i tend to wriggle them a bit too much during the first taps sometimes, whereas the drill punches through straight.... in the deeper holes I start them off with the drill and finish by hand, once the first few threads are established as a guide...

The drill's speed adjusts according to how deep you hold the trigger in, so it does not run out of control.

Richie many thanks for your help.... I am a total noob with these things... and love to learn how to use tools properly...
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Old 8th June 2007, 01:38 PM   #8
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No problem. I have seen Peter Daniel's tips, and yes if you have the right equipment it is a good way, but it does rely on good equipment.
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Old 8th June 2007, 01:57 PM   #9
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The middle tap is all you need unless you want to thread right down into a blind hole.

To get started a small countersink helps and if you take some care in lining up the tap for the first few turns you will get a nice result.

If you are using hand taps they are (presumably) designed to be turned by hand and its a good idea to use some lubricant.

I don't know about the drill business. If it works then good but I like the feel of doing it by hand.

Its obvious but get the correct size drill bit for the job!
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Old 8th June 2007, 02:24 PM   #10
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Sadly thats exactly what I need to do... sink about 7- or 8mm into a 10mm thick base.

One sink is done and the next needs to be tapped now... and I now have to wait over a week for the new 3 piece M3 tap set, not to mention the $30 cost.

Think I should order a nice tap wrench while I have to wait anyway.

The way I do it with the drill is to set the clutch to 3 and tap till it starts slipping. and increment the torque in half number increments untill it slips and would appear to need a large increment in torque setting to budge, then I hit reverese and slowly bring out the tap, clean it off nicely with some kitchen towel, wd40 the hole and go at it again, or switch to hand, for thin straight through holes, I just clamp, the target in the vice and run it through one time on high torque...
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