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Frederick Skelly
05-27-2016, 6:11 PM
Hi guys,
I'd like to buy a good but basic book that teaches how to choose and use a tap and die set? I don't even know how to choose the appropriate diameter of rod to make a given screw (and Im tired of playing trial and error games).

I could google a video, but I was hoping you could suggest a good beginner's manual that covers these and a wider range of basic metal working hand tool techniques. Just as an overall reference for me.

I have such things for woodworking hand tools, so I'm guessing such a thing exists for metalworking.

Thanks for your help!
Fred

Charles Wiggins
05-27-2016, 9:46 PM
Drills Taps and Dies (Workshop Practice Series Number 12) (http://www.amazon.com/Drills-Taps-Workshop-Practice-Number/dp/0852428669/)
I am not familiar with this one myself but it has gotten pretty good reviews on Amazon in the last few years. Amazon says this is a 1987 publication, but the publisher site says that it was originally published in 1976, but was reissued in 2003.
You may also want look at Audel Machine Shop Basics 5th Edition (http://www.amazon.com/dp/076455526X/). Audel used to be the gold standard of shop reference. We have several of their updated titles in our library, including this one, but I've not taken a detailed look at it. Caution: The "Look Inside" preview that Amazon has linked to this title is for a different book. The actual table of contents is as follows:

Benchwork
Precision measurement and gaging
Materials
Abrasives
Grinding
Cutting fluids
Cutting tools
Cutter and tool grinders
Drills
Reamers
Taps
Threading dies
Milling-machine cutters
Milling-machine arbors, collets, and adapters
Broaches and broaching
Electrical safety in the machine shop

Jerry Bruette
05-27-2016, 10:25 PM
Fred,

What size screws are you looking to make?

Number sizes like a #4, #8, #10 etc. or fractional sizes 1/4, 5/16 etc.

And I assume you're talking machine screws and not woodworking screws.

I haven't personally seen this guide but I would think it would have more information than you'll need.

"Machinist's Guide for Taps" by Morse Tool Co. I have their "Machinist's Practical Guide" and it's full of great information, but if you're new to metal working alot of it will look like a foreign language.

Here's a link where you can buy it.

http://hqtinc.com/pn20404machinistsguidefortaps.aspx

Roger Feeley
06-30-2016, 3:38 PM
Some basic advice:

1. one or two turns forward and a half-turn back to break the chips.
2. Get some lubricant. A lot of people swear by Tap Magic. Any cutting oil will do. Any lubricant is better than nothing. If you are drilling or tapping cast-iron, no lubricant. Maybe there's some special stuff but I do it dry.
3. Keeping the tap exactly straight is really important. I have a hand-tapper which is this sort of drill press thing with a big handle at the top. Mine came from Grizzly. I made a die holder for it and when I use a die on rods, I use the tapper there also. If you use a tap wrench, you will find a dimple in the back of the handle where you can put a dead center. So you drill the hole in the thing with the drill press, remove the drill bit and put in a countersink bit or any conical bit. That will insure that your tap moves in exactly the same path as the drill bit did.
4. The tap wrenches that come with sets can be pretty bad. Over the years, I built up a collection of Starrets. Same with the die handles. 40 years with a terrific wife wanting to know what I want for Christmas, birthday, etc. This is the wife that bought me the SawStop ICS.

John K Jordan
06-30-2016, 3:56 PM
...a hand-tapper... I made a die holder for it and when I use a die on rods...

Now THAT's a good idea. I have the same tapper and it makes it so easy even little kids can use it. But I struggle with the dies, sometimes using a bubble level to keep the thing straight. A die holder for the metal lathe or even the wood lathe could hold things straight.

JKJ

Bruce Page
06-30-2016, 4:55 PM
Now THAT's a good idea. I have the same tapper and it makes it so easy even little kids can use it. But I struggle with the dies, sometimes using a bubble level to keep the thing straight. A die holder for the metal lathe or even the wood lathe could hold things straight.

JKJ
They've been around for years. Google tail stock die holder.

Frederick Skelly
07-09-2016, 1:27 PM
Thanks for the additional advice guys! I've got no machining experience so this definitely helps me.

(BTW, I just noticed that more replies have been posted here since my last look. Sorry - I didnt mean to seem unappreciative or rude.)
Fred

Charles McKinley
09-02-2016, 2:37 AM
Older Machinery Handbooks from the 1940s still have informations on hand forging steel, have information useful for home machinist, pretty cheap on a certain auction site or Half-price Books and are just COOL to look through.

If nothing else the HUGE square root tables will make you appreciate a pocket calculator.

William Adams
09-02-2016, 9:51 AM
That book isn't free, Maelstrom/Maelstrom is a notorious pirate site known for posting book scans. It being posted to a public user's Google Drive folder doesn't make it equivalent to being listed at books.google.com --- see instead: https://books.google.com/books?isbn=0831129050

As Charles McKinley noted, older books still have useful information, and the ones from before 1923 are out of copyright and in the public domain and legitimately available from reputable sites such as archive.org

Not sure what the last version of that book to enter the public domain would be, but a suitable alternative would be: https://archive.org/download/americanmachinis00colv/americanmachinis00colv.pdf

The Army has done a fair number of manuals on metal-working:

http://opensourcemachine.org/wp-content/uploads/2008/10/fundamentals-of-machine-tools-mil-tm-1996-ww.pdf
http://opensourcemachine.org/wp-content/uploads/2008/10/us-army-machinist-course-milling-machine-operations-od1644-ww.pdf

Jim Finn
09-16-2016, 7:46 PM
When I worked for a living, I was a construction sheet metal worker and occasionally was required to do some drill and tap work. We had to drill and tap one hundred twenty holes in stainless steel, one Sunday so we just put the tap into an electric drill and after drilling the proper hole we put the tap into the drill and ran it in the hole. (In and out, a few times, actually.) We used a product called "rapid tap" to lubricate this process. In doing about 120 taps we only broke three taps. In construction this was a very efficient way for us to do this. $$$$$$$$

Bill George
10-18-2016, 5:10 PM
We are not allowed to post links, but Village Press the people who publish Machinist magazines and maintain the Home Shop Machinist website sell lots of books. Check them out.


bbs.homeshopmachinist.net/forum.php

Bruce Page
10-18-2016, 5:18 PM
We are not allowed to post links, but Village Press the people who publish Machinist magazines and maintain the Home Shop Machinist website sell lots of books. Check them out.


Bill, links are permitted as long as they fit in with these guidelines:

From the Terms of Service (TOS)

3. External Linking

Links to other websites are allowed in posts. In fact, they are encouraged. However, links for the sole purpose of marketing, generating traffic to a site, or any other commercial advertisement deemed to solicit commercial benefit are not allowed. Links to other public or private forums are not allowed. Links should be submitted as references, for the sole purpose of generating or supporting discussions on SawMill Creek.

Frederick Skelly
10-18-2016, 10:23 PM
Thanks for the tip Bill!
Fred

Mike Cashman
11-09-2016, 4:18 PM
https://archive.org/details/NAVPERS14004

This is an old US Navy radio maintenance school mechanical training manual, it has a chapter on drill, & taps & dies. Good basic information.