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Thread: Tap guides

  1. #1
    Member Bart's Avatar
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    Dec 2015
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    Valdez, Alaska
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    Tap guides

    Last week I really found out what a pain it is when one breaks off a 1/4" tap, with not an easy way to get it out. I have used a carbide cutter from MSC before, and they work real sweet. but I didn't have any on hand, at 70 bucks a pop. sometimes it is hard to have them around. waiting for a goof up.....
    so the next best thing, is what am I doing wrong that causes the tap to break.
    mostly improper alignment, and putting to much side pressure on it. and last of all not removing the tap a couple of times to clean out the chips...

    I was always wanting to make one of these, A tap guide, there are a few different styles a person can purchase, but where is the fun in that. I have a lathe, why not make one.
    ended up using a small round stock 1.5" diameter, and 1" long, with this size, I was able to drill centering holes for the 3/8, 5/16, 1/4, #10, #8, & #6 taps...
    one could make this on a drill press also.
    while making these, I see the need to get a better drill selection. all I have at the moment are fractional ones, with this project the numbers and letter drill bits, would have let me get a closer tolerance.

    there is another style that is on a bar with a "V" down the center, so a person could center it on a pipe or tubing...

    I can see making another one for drilling the holes, I don't know how many times I have thought I was drilling a straight hole with a hand drill, and when all was said and done. they have been more than a few degrees off....

    it is a simple tool. that could save a lot of us from an unexpected headache..

    I included a few pictures while it was being made, it is always fun to turn something off center, to get the holes where I want them. and always check the final fit before rotating the work piece for the next hole.
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  2. #2
    Super Moderator Corky's Avatar
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    Re: Tap guides

    It must be nice to go out there and just whip up whatever you need ! ...I worked in a machine shop back in the high school days and we had those to keep the drill bits centered as well... Great job !!

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  3. #3
    Member Bart's Avatar
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    Dec 2015
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    Valdez, Alaska
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    Re: Tap guides

    i don't know if having a lathe is a blessing or a curse. I am still so much on the learning curve.
    I am always finding new tools that I need to have or make to complete a task.
    the funnest part is, needing to make a tool with the lathe, but having a part on it. that once it is taken out, it is nearly impossible to dial it in, with what tools I have I can get it close to with in .0005 or there abouts.
    so i am finding out, it is wise to have at least a couple of blanks on hand when starting a project. because the prototype is the learning curve.
    like with the hub extension. every time I have taken it out and replaced it in the lathe, the little differences add up. but that is why at the moment I am playing on it. to find a method that I can use to get everything dialed in. it is looking like a 3 inch extension will be more than long enough.
    now I am looking at how I can salvage the original hub, and use it useful someplace else on this redrive...

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