Moderators: Random Orbital Bob, nev, CHJ, Noel, Charley

 Reply
User avatar
By Harbo
#1274603
Cromwell sell some very good quality taps and dies including Dormers but at a price.
I started off with a cheap set from Axminster and added to it with better quality ones when they failed.

Rod
By Zedheadsteve
#1280860
With regards to using carbon steel taps and dies to repair damaged threads :

A much better option is to use “re-threading” taps and dies. These are specialist tools for cleaning up damaged threads and they remove minimal material to do this. The cutting tap or die option does tend to recut and therefore remove material which can be undesirable on worn threads.

The other advantage is that re-thread kits are fairly cheap. Save the money for good quality HSS cutting taps, buy the individual sizes you really need and forget the carbon steel options.
User avatar
By Sheffield Tony
#1323402
I know this is an old thread, but I bought some individual taps from Chronos recently, they are marked Apex UK on the box, and HSS UK on the tap - and they work very well.

The set of Chinese no-name ones I bought previously (not from Chronos) were astoundingly useless. They simply would not start cutting a thread, internal or external - just chewed up the hole / end of the rod.
By Rorschach
#1323403
Sheffield Tony wrote:I know this is an old thread, but I bought some individual taps from Chronos recently, they are marked Apex UK on the box, and HSS UK on the tap - and they work very well.

The set of Chinese no-name ones I bought previously (not from Chronos) were astoundingly useless. They simply would not start cutting a thread, internal or external - just chewed up the hole / end of the rod.


Chinese made sets are quite often very poor however if you source them as single items or mini sets and make sure you buy HSS you will find that there are very well priced, high quality items available.

I have bought superb spiral point taps direct from China for about £1.50 per tap, they are strong and sharp and seem to be holding their edge fine.
User avatar
By Ttrees
#1323744
Thanks for the tip about the cheap ones not starting, I will look out for that happening.
I've only bought a cheap Lidl the other week and must have another look at them.
What i have noticed is on these cheapies at least the dies are at least centered, compared to a pack I bought about 10 years ago.
I bought them mostly for the wrench can't go too wrong as they were half the price of a single pack of good ones...beats using a vice grip :P
Do you folks use the cheap wrenches that you get with these packs,?
Is it scornful to use a cheap wrench that comes with these taps for fancier taps?
Should I be looking for one of those fancier chuck style wrenches on the bay for cheap?
The ones locally are about 25 quid.
Thanks
Tom
By AES
#1323761
I really have found that cheapo "Chinese Cheese" taps & dies are very much a matter of pot luck. Example, I have a set of either Lidl or Aldi HSS Metric Coarse - 2, & 3 mm, then 2mm steps up to 12 mm, and they're VERY good. OTOH I've got another cheapo set (I forget where from) and "they wouldn't cut a thread in a rice pudden skin".

Trouble with all this is you don't know until you try, but at least the Aldi/Lidl 3 year guarantee seems to work fine the few times I've tried - the lady in the shop here just takes the item back, no Q's asked, and if in stock on the shelf, you get the choice of a "new" item or your money back..

Re tap wrenches, the tap wrench in my OK "Laldil" set is also "OK", but for the smaller sizes (small mm, BA, etc, etc) the M&W "2 jaw collet-type wrench" that I inherited from my Dad is great - small and delicate enough that the chances of breaking a tap or cutting a cock-eyed thread is greatly reduced.

Nowadays though, I generally buy single taps and dies as needed, rather than full sets, and can therefore afford to buy better brands (via Chronos, Arc Euro, Model Fixings, etc. Usual disclaimers, links at top of Metal Working section).
User avatar
By Ttrees
#1323843
Thanks for the info AES
I presume the Moore and Wright collet type wrench that you have is something like this one
pulled from a quick Google
vintage-moore-and-wright-tap-wrench-no-110c-made-in-england.jpg
vintage-moore-and-wright-tap-wrench-no-110c-made-in-england.jpg (14.39 KiB) Viewed 231 times


I will do some more looking up when I have time.
Good to know both wrenches I got in the pack are OK from your perspective, I only got them for some unforeseeable job.
I'm normally only looking to do non precision stuff, but have a bought the few good ones when I needed them.
I might be making four M10 barrel nuts in the future and might opt for something like a chuck type wrench for the job, or maybe fix my pillar drill return spring and try that out.
Threaded a hole with a monsterous old metalworking lathe before and couldn't believe the smoothness 8) , so that's probably a better idea for now.

Thanks
Tom
By AES
#1323848
Yup "my" (my dad's old) tap wrench is exactly like that one. Sorry, I don't even know if they're made any more.
By TFrench
#1323852
AES wrote:Yup "my" (my dad's old) tap wrench is exactly like that one. Sorry, I don't even know if they're made any more.

Eclipse still make them (no. 143) but there are that many on ebay you'll soon pick up a decent one for pennies.
User avatar
By Trevanion
#1323858
I had a cheap set for a while from Aldi, I think it was something like £10-15, worked OK but they didn't last long making new threads so I guess they were mainly for cleaning up and re-cutting old threads.

I've steadily bought sets of Presto HSS taps and dies when I needed them and now I have a range from M3 to M12 and a couple of BSW sizes, they're not cheap but they do work that much better at cutting new holes. They bite into the material pretty instantly compared to the cheap Chinese ones and it's a much cleaner thread without any chipping of the thread itself. As for tap wrenches, I found the cheapie 10" Aldi one to be pretty rubbish and it constantly lost grip mainly down to the sloppy fit of everything I think. At the moment I've officially only have two sizes of tap wrench, 6" and 22"! :lol: I bought a vintage 6" Eclipse no 241 a couple of years ago and it's excellent on all the Presto taps up to even M10, even though it's only 6" in size but I think sharp taps help greatly. I recently bought a 22" Record tap wrench for pennies that is military broadmark stamped 1942, I'll never be driving taps that'll do it justice and it'll mostly sit in the drawer for its whole life but hopefully it will come in handy!

Anyone know where to get a decent set of tap size drill bits? I could buy singles but it would be nice to have a set with some kind of holder.

I think good die stocks are a must though, they should hold a die squarely in the holder and firmly, any play or out-of-squareness makes it so much harder to cut a thread. Fortunately, most of my external thread cutting is done on the lathe with a holder in the tailstock 8)
By AES
#1323886
Good to know the M&W 143 is still available, thanks.

And +1 for cutting threads on the lathe if you have one.
By Bod
#1323997
SAM_0008.JPG

Selection of tap wrenches.
Top LH. Ratchet tap wrench, available in 3 sizes.
Top Centre & RH. Eclipse tap wrenches, again 3 sizes. The Tommy bar is moveable for difficult jobs.
Bottom. Selection of Bar type wrenches.
Be sure to get enough to cover all the sizes of taps you use.
SAM_0009.JPG

Die holders. Again there are different sizes.
Note the slit in the dies shown, this is to allow adjustment, via the 3 screws.
SAM_0010.JPG

Top. Die Nuts and holder. Better quality ones are able to repair threads quite well, cheaper ones, barely able to remove thin paint/rust. Does have the advantage of being usable with a spanner.
Bottom. Examples of cheap dies and holder, no split in the die, or screws to adjust. The tap wrench shown is cheap and nasty, will not grip a tap. Not shown is the tap wrench mate to the cheap die holder, which mushrooms over rather than grips the tap.

Bod
By AES
#1324003
+1 Rorschach. But it's news to me that there are 3 sizes of the M&W tap holder. I "only" inherited one from my Dad (from the pix it must be the smallest one think). I must have a Google for the biggest one of the 3.

I also have the ratchet type shown on the extreme LH, but must confess I don't like it all that much
By Rorschach
#1324004
AES wrote:+1 Rorschach. But it's news to me that there are 3 sizes of the M&W tap holder. I "only" inherited one from my Dad (from the pix it must be the smallest one think). I must have a Google for the biggest one of the 3.

I also have the ratchet type shown on the extreme LH, but must confess I don't like it all that much


News to me as well, I have 2 sizes of eclipse tap holder, they cover everything I need to do for hand tapping though so I guess a small size again wouldn't be much use to me.

What I really want to get hold of, never seen one at a car boot etc yet, is a spring loaded tap follower for use on the lathe or drill press.