Tap: "a tool for cutting female (internal) screw threads" a Die is used to cut the male (outer) threads.
Taps are classified by diameter, threads per unit measure, taper and hand (manual) or machine (automatic/power) held.
|An excellent video on basic metal working.
The section on tapping starts at 5min, 55seconds.
Operation: When using a hand tap, the operator must insert the tap with very accurate alignment into the hole. The tap is then turned several times while pressing it into the opening of the hole to start the teeth cutting into the material. The tap must be turned back a quarter turn every turns in order to break the chip formed during the cutting process. If the chip is not broken, it can "crowed" or jam the tap, causing it to break. These chips need to then fall out of the flutes cut in the side of the tap. If the chips can not be cleared, the tap will have to be removed and cleaned, before re-inserting to continue the process.
Dry bar soap makes a wonderful lubricant for the tapping process. Because it is dry, the flakes of metal and soap easily fall away, preventing a buildup of material inside the hole. The cost is extremely low, and the cheaper soaps (e.g. Ivory) work best.
Calculate Drill Size for Tap Diameter, TPI, and Thread depth.
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