Is there anything worse than breaking a tap?
Crashing a CNC machine in a way that does costly damage is worse, certainly. But breaking a tap off in an expensive part that’s nearly finished has got to come in a close 2nd place.
I just finished the 11th episode of CNC Chef for Cutting Tool Engineering. This video gives you 7 ways to avoid breaking taps:
7 ways to avoid breaking taps from Cutting Tool Engineering on Vimeo.
Watch the video for details, but my 7 ways include:
- Choose the best hole size
- Use Form Taps where possible
- Thread Mill critical and tough jobs
- Use purpose-made Tapping Lubricants
- Use the right tool holder
- Extract chips with a spiral fluted tap
- Mind the depth on blind holes
Taken together they provide a wealth of techniques that will make breaking taps far less likely in your shop.
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Bob is responsible for the development and implementation of the popular G-Wizard CNC Software. Bob is also the founder of CNCCookbook, the largest CNC-related blog on the Internet.
I’m having problems tapping 4-40 blind holes in 6061-T6. Snapping the taps off so much I’ve switched to tapping by hand. Roll forms bulge the material out because it’s only .188 thick.
Your tip about a Dip Cup is great, we would stop the machine and hand lube the taps. Never thought of a Dip Cup.