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How to hold a tap in the tailstock?

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BGHansen

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#31
I use a spring loaded center (shop made) also. I've been using a piloted tap wrench lately (picture below). Bought a pair that goes from 1/16" - 1/2" off eBay from a seller in GA for about $40 delivered. I use the piloted tap wrenches in the drill press and vise also.

Bruce

1509448388023.png
 

Bob La Londe

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#32
I just use a standard drill chuck -- just for the reason you pointed out, the the tap will slip when it meets the bottom of the hole, or when the resistance gets to much (taps are hard and wont mar like a drill bit). I do have variable speed and this is done very slow. At the first slip, I reverse and will usually try again and get a thread or two more, if needed then I finish the threads with conventional means by hand. (use lots of thread cutting oil!)
I have to admit I power tap on the lathe sometimes. Just did 4 x M10-1.5 pieces in 6061 over the weekend... with a hand tap. Usually I use machine taps, but I didn't have any that size. Made me cringe, at first, but I did like you except when I reverse it out I add a drop or two of TapMagic and it usually finishes the hole. The stuff really is amazing. I use the all metals formula. Never have tried the one that's "formulated for aluminum."

I have been thinking about getting another Jacobs/MT taper for the tailstock on my big lathe and mounting a tapping head. Then I can count on the clutch in the tapping head to stop me from breaking taps. I usually tap at about 70 RPM (the slowest gear speed on the 1440). I don't power tap on the baby 7x10/16 as it has nearly no torque at low speed. Even in low gear. The 8.5 x 18 is belt drive so I guess I could reverse the pulleys and get good torque at low speed, but its a dedicated collet machine for small round stock now. I do tap some teflon parts I make on it, but teflon takes nearly no force, and its self lubricating.
 

Bob Korves

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#33
I only run small tap drivers, like this one, MT6. Does anyone have an adapter so I can drive the pictured tap?: :eek 2:
SAM_1564.JPG SAM_1566.JPG SAM_1568.JPG
(conversation piece and paperweight) Anybody have a real use for it?
 

Bob La Londe

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#34
Dang. I'd love to, but the spindle bore on my biggest machine is MT5-1/2 and the tails tock is MT4.
 

Wreck™Wreck

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#35
Have never had a problem holding a tap in a MT tap holder in a turret, holding the part in a 3 jaw chuck is more difficult.
 

4gsr

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#36
I've never had a problem power tapping in the lathe using a drill chuck. Tighten the tap a little tighter that normal for a drill of the same size. No cheater pipe used. Use a good cutting oil like Mobilmet 766 and get after it. If the tap starts to spin, I stop, back the tap out, clean chips out, go back using a tap wrench to finish up the job.
 

Franko

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#37
I have one of these. It works great. It also has a gizmo to hold dies. The holder slides on a rod so you can feed it forward. If it gets stuck, it just spins in your grip. I don't know that I've ever had to use the bar that goes in the hole. The knurled barrel provides lots of grip. Mine just chucks in the drill chuck.

Screen Shot 2017-11-03 at 6.03.30 PM.png
 

brino

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#38
I have one of these. It works great. It also has a gizmo to hold dies.
Franko, is that shop made? I really like to see the die holder too. (or a pointer to the vendor)
Thanks, -brino
 

Franko

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#39
Brino, they are not shop made. I purchased them. They shouldn't be that hard to make. The hard part would be attaching the tap chuck to the outside tube.

My tap holder fits in a drill chuck. It is limited to 1/4" and smaller taps.
I couldn't find it online and don't remember where I got it.
(Memory is the second thing to go. I don't remember what the first thing was.)

IMG_0999.JPG

The Die holder uses a M2 taper. I got this at Little Machine Shop.

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These are pretty useful and available at many sites. Large and small holders with a square hole for socket wrenches.
You can also stick a hex socket adapter in them and chuck them in a cordless drill with a hex to square socket adapter.

3602.480.jpg

My most used method of tapping is by chucking a tap in my cordless drill and setting the clutch low. I've never broken a tap with that method. It is good for quickly backing the tap out to clear it. I never had much problem starting them crooked. I'm pretty good at holding a drill at 90º. Some people aren't so that might not be recommended for them.
 

Bamban

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#40
I power tap using ER32 collet chuck with MT3 shank. Just like how Ken does, I don't gorilla tighten the nut. If and when tap slips, I hand finish the work, have not broken a tap.
 

Bob La Londe

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#42
If you make a die (or tap) holder don't make the slide rod for an MT taper. Invariabley you will buy another lathe with a different size tail stock. Just use a piece of solid rod as big as will fit in your drill chuck. If you already drilled and bored your die holder too big for that you can always turn down one end of a properly sized guide rod to fit your drill chuck.
 

gonzo

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#43
I guess i do it differently from everyone else.
I put the tap in a drill chuck mounted in the tail stock and get it super tight.
Put the lathe in back gear at dead slow speed.
Loosen the tail stock brake.
Turn on the lathe and push the tail stock to engage the tap into the work.
The tap and tail stock will then advance by virtue of the threads automatically advancing into the work.
Stop the lathe in time and reverse it. The tap and tail stock will back out on it's own.

This has worked flawlessly many times for me and I have never broken a tap.

Works on my machine.
 

projectnut

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#44
I was originally trying to tap under power, I am learning from this thread that is not advisable. Best to do it by hand it sounds like.
Tapping under power is done every day. I do it on my Sheldon and on my Seneca Falls machines, and have yet to break a tap. I insert the tap in a Jacobs Super Ball Bearing chuck, and put the lathe in the lowest speed on the back gear (about 40 rpm's) Slide the tailstock to engage the tap, and tap to depth.
Every once in a while a tap will spin in the chuck. If it does I loosen the chuck and back it away. Then I put a tap handle on the tap and attempt to turn it by hand. If it goes easily I remove the handle and bring the chuck forward. This time I tighten it just a bit more. 99% of the time all goes well.

On the other hand if the tap does not cut easily and smoothly with the tap handle I remove it from the part and inspect it. Sometimes the tap is just old and dull. Replacing it with a new one usually cures the problem. If a new tap has a hard time it usually means you've hit a hard spot. Then it takes a bit more finesse and finishing it by hand becomes the best option. Advancing about half a turn then backing off (just like when using a hand tap) has always cured the problem. It might be a bit slower, but breaking a tap would be a lot worse.
 

Cheeseking

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#46
I guess i do it differently from everyone else.
I put the tap in a drill chuck mounted in the tail stock and get it super tight.
Put the lathe in back gear at dead slow speed.
Loosen the tail stock brake.
Turn on the lathe and push the tail stock to engage the tap into the work.
The tap and tail stock will then advance by virtue of the threads automatically advancing into the work.
Stop the lathe in time and reverse it. The tap and tail stock will back out on it's own.

This has worked flawlessly many times for me and I have never broken a tap.

Works on my machine.
Same here. Only thing I do different is not chuck the tap super tight. I intentionally go a bit lighter than normal so if things go bad the tap starts to spin but not break. The tap body being hardened and smooth it doesn't tear up the jaws. Only use relatively new and sharp taps and hole drilled for 60% thread. I keep an close eye on it going in and at first sign of slippage will reverse, clean chips and repeat. Still I don't use my nice Albrecht keyless instead I have an old Jacobs chuck for tailstock tapping. Another key is having a 3 phase geared head lathe you can instantly reverse (plug)
 
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