Introduction: How to Make a Metal Lathe Tap and Die Jig

  This is the first project i have made on my new lathe . It is a easy way to Use a die to make threads or chase them to clean them up.

Step 1: My New Lathe and Mill

 The first picture is my new precision matthews  12 x 36  metal lathe and the 2nd picture is my new precision matthews  pm30mv mil

Step 2: Tap and Die Plans

Here are the detailed plans for the project.

Step 3: Turning the Main Body of the Die Jig

 Picture #1  shows the turning of the main body of the die jig to  1''
 Picture # 2  shows drilling the body all the way thru with a 1/2 inch drill .I then bored the end to 13/16 x3/8 deep for the die to be inserted.

Step 4: Knurling

 The first and second picture show the knurling process. It took a few times to get it right .

Step 5: Finished Main Body

1st picture shows the finished body and the metal stock i used  .
 2nd , 3rd and 4th picture shows the finished die assembly.

Step 6: Support Arms With Knobs Plan

Step 7: 3 Handles and Knobs

pic #1 shows the 3 support arms
  #2 Shows the knobs being polished
 #3 and #4 show the finished die jig

video #1 shows the die jig in use chasing threads on the lathe

video #2 shows a ball turner i made making the knobs for the die jig


snoopindaweb made it!(author)2014-08-14

Cool tool. ~:- }

razor7177 made it!(author)2012-06-21

Awesome much was the lathe and mill any ways...?

coolbeansbaby68 made it!(author)2012-06-21

The lathe and mill are from precision Matthews . The lathe is a 12x36 and the mill is a pm 30. The lathe was 3,000 and the mill was 2,000

throbscottle made it!(author)2012-02-12

Awesome and inspiring. Wish I had a lathe too...

coolbeansbaby68 made it!(author)2012-02-14

There are some nice sites and prices .

throbscottle made it!(author)2012-02-14

I am limited to working on a folding bench in my back yard (though I get my shed back this year :D ) and am pretty broke. I've designed myself a miniature lathe based on the insides of a food processor but need the weather to improve before I can do any work on it - as to anything else, well, I can dream...

fabricador made it!(author)2012-02-10

What is the 5/8" dia x 5" bar with the 3/8" bore for? can you send me a photo???
"If you look at the main picture you will see a drill chuck . The sleeved shaft goes on the drill chuck shaft and slides in the bored shaft for when your using a tap in the little chuck . If that makes sense if not i will try and explain it again"
I´m learnin english!!!!

thanks a lot, good job!!!


SinAmos made it!(author)2012-02-09

I'm so jealous right now. Where exactly did you buy your china made lathe?

coolbeansbaby68 made it!(author)2012-02-09

Depends on the size . or a nice site for small lathes is littlemachineshop .com

sockless made it!(author)2012-02-05

Amazing, I use exactly the same model of lathe at school, how much did it set you back?

I personally don't like them, they seem to be quite inaccurate, but that might just be years of abuse! The best precision I can get seems to be about 0.2mm.

coolbeansbaby68 made it!(author)2012-02-06

These lathes are china built . You have to keep that in mind when you are buying . The lathe and mill i bought together was 5,000 bucks.If it was American made it would have cost me 40,000. The y have there quirks at times but other than that there a really good machines ...

giovannah made it!(author)2012-02-05

The lathe may be new to you, but it's obvious you are not new to lathes. This will be a great help with one of my To-Do projects. How about an instructable on the ball making tool

coolbeansbaby68 made it!(author)2012-02-06

I do have a instructable on the ball turner .Take a look at my page .Its the 1st one on my page... I went to boces in high school which is a vocational school. Other than that i learned what i know and still am learning from my father who helps me and reminds me what i didnt know and also what i have forgot !!

blanchae made it!(author)2012-02-05

Nice project, I'm going to put it on my list of things to do. But first I'll have to make a custom ball turner. What is the 5/8" dia x 5" bar with the 3/8" bore for? Is that for mounting your drill chuck?

coolbeansbaby68 made it!(author)2012-02-05

That is for the tap Jig which i totally forgot to put pictures or in the instructable!!! (SSSHHHHHH) dont tell!! lol If you look at the main picture you will see a drill chuck . The sleeved shaft goes on the drill chuck shaft and slides in the bored shaft for when your using a tap in the little chuck . If that makes sense if not i will try and explain it again.. lol

blanchae made it!(author)2012-02-05

I take it the material is aluminum? What tolerance did you use for the pieces? For the handle you have listed 1/2" for the bore and 1/2" for the bar? I guess it doesn't matter much as long as one slides smoothly into the other.

pietzeekoe made it!(author)2012-02-05

Wish I had a lathe :(

codongolev made it!(author)2012-02-05

me too. I'm currently trying to make a tablet press for caffeinated candy and effervescent tablets, but I need to precision mill the stuff. oh well, I will soon be in a college of engineering where I'll have access to this kind of stuff.

Mrballeng made it!(author)2012-02-05

You are my hero

coolbeansbaby68 made it!(author)2012-02-05

Thanks but how come?

steveastrouk made it!(author)2012-02-05

Nice work !

Pro tip: When knurling, start the knurls by hand, by barring the lathe with your chuck key. Once there are some marks from the knurls, the knurls will lock step, and you can turn on the spindle.

Run the process VERY very wet - otherwise the chips clog your nice new knurls.

An ultrasonic cleaner REALLY brings the details out of knurled work.


jonnyd55 made it!(author)2012-02-02

Nice :) I like the handles on the die stock, have you considered buying a MT blank and attaching the device to that?

About This Instructable




Bio: Just a normal guy trying to make it in life .Good paying job but mindless sometimes .I enjoy making things in my garage to keep ... More »
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