The milling table is still a work in progress. Tapping the 3/8-16 holes by hand was a lot harder than I anticipated. I have about 12 holes left and at my current rate, I should be done in a couple of weeks. Some lessons I’ve learned are:
- Ratchet taps are a lot easier than regular tap handles. $20 at harbor freight for one that has proved robust so far.
- Even with a ratchet tap, tapping larger holes is hard on my hands and back.
- A drill press with a laser is helpful for starting the hole and keeping it true. I use a chamfer bit to hold the tap into an indent in the top of the tap
- Bolt down your drill press and clamp down your work securely. If you think it’s secure, it probably isn’t yet.
I use non-detergent motor oil as lubricant, and I back out a bit after each 3/4 of a turn. I’m sure professional machinists will shake their heads at my choice of lubricant, but that’s what I have on hand.