The Cranky Sysadmin A world of technology, fun, and ignorant rants.

October 8, 2014

Still tapping holes

Filed under: machinist — Cranky Sysadmin @ 1:27 pm

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.

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