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Metal tap for steel

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Forum topic by willhime posted 04-13-2021 04:14 PM 363 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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willhime

186 posts in 2623 days


04-13-2021 04:14 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question resource tip milling finishing carving

I stopped using big box taps awhile ago due to poor quality. Fabricating my own cabinet and door hardware, I tap quite a lot of steel. Mostly 8-32 thread. I bought some HSS steel taps from fastenal and they finally met their match trying to go through 1/4” steel the other day. Is HSS my best option or are there other quality materials out there I’m unaware of ?

-- Burn your fire for no witness


9 replies so far

View SMP's profile

SMP

3992 posts in 990 days


#1 posted 04-13-2021 05:03 PM

What kind of steel? What kind of cutting oil are you using? How many holes would you say that these tapped?

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Chenier

39 posts in 791 days


#2 posted 04-13-2021 05:28 PM

Taps are also available in mild steel or cobalt steel and can have different coatings.

https://www.mcmaster.com/taps

... or your online tool vendor of choice.

View HokieKen's profile

HokieKen

17547 posts in 2223 days


#3 posted 04-13-2021 05:35 PM

You can get carbide taps but unless you’re power tapping at a production rate or working with hardened steel, it’s unlikely it’ll be cost effective for you. In general, HSS is the best bang for your buck. And carbide is pretty easy to break too. It’s hard but it’s also brittle.

-- I collect hobbies. There is no sense in limiting yourself (Don W) - - - - - - - - Kenny in SW VA

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splintergroup

5133 posts in 2307 days


#4 posted 04-13-2021 05:57 PM

Depending on your application, you might be able to accept a lower percentage of thread depth (maybe 70%).
This will allow for easier tapping and less required torque.

Most any tap table will list the different drill bits required for different depths of cut.

The downside of reducing depth is of course reduced ultimate holding strength.

View Kudzupatch's profile

Kudzupatch

195 posts in 2293 days


#5 posted 04-13-2021 08:40 PM

Quality HSS taps are what most machine shops used. No need for high dollar taps. Makes me wonder if you are just trying to force them through to fast.

-- Jeff Horton * Kudzu Craft skin boats* www.kudzucraft.com

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splintergroup

5133 posts in 2307 days


#6 posted 04-13-2021 09:29 PM

I should have added that if your holes are through holes, you can use taps with a tapered starting lead. Easier to get straight and the progressive cut makes tapping easier.

View tvrgeek's profile

tvrgeek

1869 posts in 2733 days


#7 posted 04-13-2021 10:16 PM

Greenfield are good. Morse about the best. I usually get sets of 3 ( taper, plug. bottom) from MCS.
Even Hansen/Irwin are now barely useful for chasing or soft stuff.

View Foghorn's profile (online now)

Foghorn

1217 posts in 471 days


#8 posted 04-13-2021 11:59 PM



Greenfield are good. Morse about the best. I usually get sets of 3 ( taper, plug. bottom) from MCS.
Even Hansen/Irwin are now barely useful for chasing or soft stuff.

- tvrgeek


Ridgid taps are among the best. Big departure from their woodworking tools that bought the name. Industrial quality.

-- Darrel

View HokieKen's profile

HokieKen

17547 posts in 2223 days


#9 posted 04-14-2021 12:06 AM

Also, if it’s stainless you’re using, uou may want to go to a 3 flute tap and and just use wd-40 as cutting fluid. It depends on the specific type of stainless but if it’s “gummy” then typical cutting fluids like tap magic can increase the already prevalent tendency of the metal to clog the threadform.

If you want to give some more detail, ie material type, thickness, depth of thread, thru or blind and how you’re tapping (by hand or machine) I can give some more educated suggestions.

-- I collect hobbies. There is no sense in limiting yourself (Don W) - - - - - - - - Kenny in SW VA

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