Tapping a Square Hole (Square to Your Material That Is!)

Introduction: Tapping a Square Hole (Square to Your Material That Is!)

I have always been vexed by having to tap threads in a hole so that the threads are square to the top of the material I was tapping. I found a nice solution using a block with a groove in the side.

Step 1: Insert Tap Into Hole

Start by putting the tap in the hole. Notice the tap I am using has a somewhat flat profile on it’s side.

Step 2: Place Block So Tap Sits in Groove

Next, place the “jig” in place to align the tap. This jig is an old hydraulic valve with the right sized groove in the side of it. Start tapping the hole, while keeping the tap pressed against the inside edge of the groove.

Step 3: Remove Block to Finish the Threads

After you have the threads established, you can slide the jig out the side to run the tap down further.

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    15 Comments

    0
    sharlston
    sharlston

    11 years ago on Introduction

    add some tapping lubricant like break free they go a long way

    0
    Davad
    Davad

    11 years ago on Introduction

    If you can get your work under a small drill press, then why not put the bit in the chuck, removed the drill press belt and turn the chuck manually?

    Would it be possible to use a same size die to guide the tap bit into the hole?

    0
    ruzter
    ruzter

    Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

    That's the point of this, you can't always get the drill press where you need it ;)

    0
    camperken
    camperken

    12 years ago on Introduction

    What y'all need is a tapping block. Mine is about 1 1/4 tall and 3 x 3in on a side ot of steel . I've drilled in a drill press holes for every size tap from #6 - 1/2 in. This starts every tap in straight. You could make it out of plastic, al., wood. anything that is flat. For getting holes in straight by hand. I first pilot drill with a small bit. Small like 1/8 or 3/16 . Then I used a bigger dril and since The force to start drilling is so small I can concentrate on watching and making sure its square. I'm talking about drill in something relatively hard here like steel, al. ect.

    0
    MisterSlippy
    MisterSlippy

    12 years ago on Introduction

    Cool instructable. I never seem to have a problem finding the vertical with drills and taps unless I'm working at an awkward angle. Something like this would be perfect for those situations.

    0
    MisterSlippy
    MisterSlippy

    Reply 12 years ago on Introduction

    Also, you only need one or two such tools. As long as the hole is large enough to take the largest of your taps, you can pack out a selection of smaller taps with rubber sleeves or heat shrink over the shaft. Presto hey, one size fits many.

    0
    killerjackalope

    Handy little tip, one other thing I can think of is to take a tapping tool and modify it in to a little jig frame to make it specifically for making nice square threads. By the way delete step four, it's empty. I added a few keywords to your 'ible to help with searches as well.

    0
    ruzter
    ruzter

    Reply 12 years ago on Introduction

    Yes, my original idea was a tool with a spring loaded tube or something. But I have enough projects that I decided not to start making more tools just yet.

    0
    killerjackalope
    killerjackalope

    Reply 12 years ago on Introduction

    Ah maybe one to put on hold until you're free of time or embarking on something that would really be helped by such a tool... So we're likely to see some more projects soon then?

    0
    killerjackalope
    killerjackalope

    Reply 12 years ago on Introduction

    Impressive, I may have to have a look at that gantry system, it supports you pretty well and I have a little project I'm planning that could benefit from such a thing...

    0
    doommeister
    doommeister

    12 years ago on Introduction

    DoomMeister hate's tapping holes too.
    This looks like a solution, however you would need one for each size of f tap you use. So perhaps it would be worth making the spring loaded tube or even investing in something like this.

    One tip I can offer is that if you use a drill press or miller to drip a hole that needs to be tapped then before you move the workpiece is place the tap in the drill chuck and start the tap by hand using the column to keep the tap square, this also works on lathes. Just be sure to knock the power off first (at the safety cut out preferably).

    0
    ruzter
    ruzter

    Reply 12 years ago on Introduction

    Yes, it is definitely limited. I my case I had to tap about 60+ 1/4" holes, so finding a jig the perfect size was a blessing. I had tried the drill press trick on other projects, but my holes were in a table structure so I couldn't move it there.