Would I be able to turn and drill/tap an impact socket? The brand is Masterforce from Menards, the description says nothing about being heat treated. I'd like a hex holder for my tailstock round die holder.
You probably can - I made a spanner from a cheap Home Depot impact socket last year. This was to re-install the bearing on my Rockwell mill, which was torn apart, so I milled this socket with my little Sherline mill! Less than .010" DOC and it took forever, but did it with a HSS end mill.
Impact sockets are heat treated, but are not especially hard, instead they are tempered to a very tough state so they will not be brittle and crack under the pounding. They are machinable but will probably require carbide tooling. A good surface finish might be difficult. Tapping might also be difficult, choose a smaller percentage of thread depth like perhaps 55%. Those are general guidelines as I see them, but there are lots of tool makers out there, and their products are not all the same, sometimes by wide margins...
HF impact sockets cut like butter with HSS tooling, the masterforce brand may be similar
as Bob said they are not hard, but they are varying degrees of tough between manufacturers
i have not tried to tap them, but i'd consider other methods unless tapping was the very last option (or something i'd have to prove to myself )
in my experience, the less expensive sockets don't have a very long service life, post modification.
but i expect that in the first place, and am rarely let down
Thanks for the replies. I ended up taking apart a hand hex die holder and turning it down on the lathe. Then I made a piece that fits into my current round die holder that holds the hex. Came out pretty good. The only thing that really stunk was the material I had was a 2.5" round aluminum. There is an enormous amount of chips or stringy fries out in my garage.
I haven't had a socket yet that I couldn't mill with HSS endmills. I have milled many different brands to make special sockets. I would think that if it cuts real easy with HSS then you should be able to tap it without a problem. Just don't use a dull tap.