Keeping a tap and die set nearby can prove to be very helpful for repair jobs around the home. It is also an essential item for garage business. There are many applications for a tap and die set, so it will not sit around collecting dust in your toolkit.
That being said, without knowing how to use a tap and die set, you really cannot realize its potential and use it to its fullest. So, in this article, we have put together the main steps of using this set.Without further ado, let’s get to it!
Tap and Die Set: What Is It?
As you can guess from the name, a tap and die set is a set of 2 tools. You can use this set to cut threads around a hole. The ‘tap’ is used for making threads for holes that require thread fasteners. And the ‘die’ is meant for cutting threads on steel rods.
You can also use the die to make fresh threads on bolts, as well as to repair any existing damaged thread on screws or bolts.
Things You Will Need
Before you get started on using a tap and die set, here are the things you will require –
- A well-stocked tap and die set with various sizes to accommodate many different types of jobs.
- The appropriately sized tap or die to cut your desired threads and cuts.
- A drill to make holes in the material on which you want the cuts or threads to be (This is not required if you are only using the die).
- The material on which you want to cut or thread.
- A grip or vice to keep things steady as you work.
- Cutting oil (used on robust materials like nickel, steel, cast iron, and titanium to make them malleable and soft).
- A ratchet and a die wrench (to turn the tap and the die).
How to Use a Tap and Die Set?
Now, we are moving onto the main event. When you are choosing a tap and die set, a good rule of thumb is to get one that has the pieces made from strong materials. The harder the tools will be, the more materials you can use them on.
These little babies are exposed to immense amounts of impacts and pressures, so get the strongest ones you can. Our recommendation would be the ones made of steel or high-speed steel.
Here is how you can use a tap and die set –
Step 1: Figuring out the Right Size
Before you actually drill the hole, it is important that you determine the correct size that needs to be drilled. Usually, in all tap and die set, the corresponding size is clearly labeled for convenience.
So, if you know the size of the hole you need, you will not have to do any guesswork. Just choose the appropriate one from the labels.
Step 2: Making the Material Steady
Now, you have to keep the material you want to drill steady because the material must not move when the threading cuts are being made on it. If it moves, the thread cuts will not be clean, and therefore, it will not work smoothly.
Use the vice or grip and fasten the material. It will keep the material securely in place.
Step 3: Choosing the Correct Bit Size and Drilling the Hole
You must also have the correct bit size according to the size of the hole you want to drill. Before you can start cutting the threads with the taps, you should start with this step and drill the hole out.
When you are drilling, start slow; if the chosen material is hard such as steel, nickel, or cast iron, use cutting oil on it. For the best results, do not rush the drilling. Go slow, taking your time.
Step 4: Tapping the Hole to Make Threads
Once you have the hole cleared, place your chosen tap in a ratchet. Begin turning the tap after placing it in the hole you drilled. Make sure to turn clockwise.
To get a clean thread cut, here is a trick you should follow – do two turns with the tap clockwise. Then, turn back out anticlockwise for half a turn. Repeat the process.
Doing this will make sure that small particles made inside the material from the tap do not scratch or damage the newly done thread cuts when you proceed further.
When doing this, keep the material steady and flat against the tap level. Also, keep the tap centered.
Step 5: Finishing the Tapping
Once you are done fully cutting the threads, remove the ratchet by turning it anticlockwise.
Step 6: Choosing the Appropriate Die
Now, you will cut threads on a rod to make it fit inside the hole you have just threaded. Again, find the right-sized die from reading the labels in the set.
Step 7: Securing the Rod
Just like before, you will have to secure the rod too so that it stays stable. There should not be any movement when you are working. Use a vice or grip for this.
Step 8: Preparing the Rod
Get the rod ready by filing its end so that it is perfectly square as well as clean. Apply cutting oil on the rod to make it more malleable.
Step 9: Threading the Rod
Now, put the selected die inside the die wrench and then secure it. Next, center the die over the rod. Then, start pushing the die by turning the die wrench clockwise.
In this step, follow the same trick we talked about for the tap in step 4, which is 2 clockwise turns followed by a half anticlockwise turn. This will provide you with straight threads and a clean cut.
Keep lubricating the rod as you continue threading. Once your desired length is threaded, remove the die wrench. Brush away any loose debris.
And voila! You are done. Now, you have a perfectly threaded hole and a rod to go with it.
Knowing how to use a tap and die set might just save you the cost of going to a professional mechanic for repairs such as a broken screw head. It can save time and money, and it is a relatively easy skill to master.
We hope our guide has been helpful and that you have successfully threaded holes or rods.
That is all for this article. See you next time!