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Tap aluminum heatsink
Tap aluminum heatsink
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Old 12th August 2020, 07:03 PM   #71
sparkyprior is offline sparkyprior  United States
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Tap aluminum heatsink
I am new to the forum, but have tapped a lot of holes in many materials and here are my comments.

There is an exact, correct, tap drill size for each thread size. For the M3.5 thread discussed, the correct drill is 2.90 MM. They are not normally available at Home Depot, but they are available online. Do whatever it takes to get the correct size, especially if tapping aluminum. This is a soft material and being off a very small amount can marginalize the strength of the threads. This drill size is from the Machinery’s Hand Book (a worthwhile purchase if you will be doing a fair amount of metal work). Getting the correct size drill will make a large difference.

A full Tap Drill Chart is available at this link:
https://www.natool.com/wp-content/up...atp113-116.pdf

This is all easier if you have a drill press. Even a simple cheap one is a big help. With a steady hand and patience a hand drill can be successfully used.

Through holes are easier to tap than blind holes (holes with a bottom).

Be sure to have a handle for your tap.

Step one is to drill the hole with the correct drill. Use a drill press if you have it.
Step two is to chamfer the edge of the hole with a chamfer tool. This makes the tap start easier, creates a “lead in” for the final screw thread, and makes for a more professional appearance.
Step three is to lubricate the hole. For hand tapping, I like 3-in-1 oil or 30 weight motor oil (like for your car engine). I find WD-40 doesn’t have enough lubrication properties (it is a solvent, not a lubricant).
Step four is to tap the hole. If you have a drill press, put a dead center in it (or a nail with the head cut off) so that there is a point centered in the chuck. Place the tap tip in the hole and press the point in the drill press into the back of the tap gently so the the drill press is holding the tap vertically in the hole. Press down gently but firmly on the tap with the drill press and wind the tap in using a tap holder (just buy a tap holder if you don’t have one, they are cheap and so worth it). Once the tap is in a few turns, lubricate the hole again and raised the drill press spout of the way. Continue to wind the tap into the hole as far as needed. You should not have to force it at any point.

Step five is to remove the tap. This is where it is very easy to bugger up your hole. Before removal, clean any curs or metal shaving out of the way. Needle nose piers can be used. Then wind the tap back out.

If you are tapping by hand (without a drill press) do the same process using a very steady hand.
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Old 12th August 2020, 07:37 PM   #72
russc is offline russc  England
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8 pages to tap a thread?
FFS No wonder everything gets made in China!
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Old 6th September 2020, 08:25 AM   #73
JMF11 is offline JMF11  France
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Hi,


Lot of advices here. Thanks. I have a3 pass tap (3 progressive taps). For aluminum, somebody said me to only use the finishing one (as the material was soft).


Is it a standard practice compared to using the 3 passes as usual ?


JMF
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Old 6th September 2020, 10:11 AM   #74
levistubby is offline levistubby  United Kingdom
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This is not rocket science! Why don't you try a bit of self help/experimentation and do some trial tapping in some scrap aluminium.
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Old 6th September 2020, 03:34 PM   #75
Kay Pirinha is offline Kay Pirinha  Germany
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The fnal tap will do sufficiently in soft metals like aluminium.


Best regards!
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"I spent a lot of money on booze, birds and fast cars. The rest I just squandered." (George Best)
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Old 6th September 2020, 04:48 PM   #76
vinylkid58 is offline vinylkid58  Canada
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Quote:
Originally Posted by levistubby View Post
This is not rocket science! Why don't you try a bit of self help/experimentation and do some trial tapping in some scrap aluminium.
Or just watch a couple of youtube vids.

jeff
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Old 6th September 2020, 06:13 PM   #77
Kay Pirinha is offline Kay Pirinha  Germany
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...which mostly aren't science at all .
Best regards!
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Old 16th September 2020, 12:46 AM   #78
audio king is offline audio king  Canada
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You need one of these and a drill press:
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Old 16th September 2020, 07:09 PM   #79
JMF11 is offline JMF11  France
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Hello,


I retried, and even with all advices, even with the fact that it is not rocket science, even with a drill press and lubrification, I screwed several attempts and broke my final tap in the last one.


Finally what worked for me was:
- drill 2.5mm (the one I had, did not bought the "official" size,
- chanfrain the top on the hole with a larger drill,
- lubricate with WD40
- one pass with the intermediate tap, by hand.


2 holes => 2 OK => Done


For sure this is not the best way to proceed, but now the heatsink is on the amplifier


Thanks for all explanations and advices.


JMF
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Old 16th September 2020, 07:30 PM   #80
thimios is offline thimios  Greece
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Tap aluminum heatsink
Use 2.5mm drill,lubricating using W40, taping slowly by hand in the way,one turn forward, one turn reverse.No more broken taps.
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Last edited by thimios; 16th September 2020 at 07:38 PM.
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