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Old 04-22-2013, 09:16 PM   #16
Half Fast OP
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This is all great info, thanks. I don't have a specific issue at present. I just wanted a better understanding of what options are available.

This last project involved drilling and tapping in tight spots on a bronze plaque. Some areas there was barely enough room to start and turn the tap. Also lots of odd angles so the risk of breaking a tap or drill was higher than normal.

Here the fastener was under the brim of a hat. I could not access the back of the piece.



(That's a missing canteen strap being replaced on a military monument. Yes, I know it's a simple tig job but if pins were originally used I drill out the old pins and do it the same way.)

I forgot about those tap removal tools. I'm sure, just like screw extractors, they work "sometimes". Still, it's another option to have on hand.

Again, thanks for the ideas- I knew this was the place to ask!
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Old 04-22-2013, 11:15 PM   #17
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For that job illustrated I strongly recommend an "extended tap wrench". Not only does the extra length really help, the longer handle makes it a lot easier to keep it in line.
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Old 04-23-2013, 01:48 PM   #18
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I like.

Gonna add one to the tool kit.

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Old 04-23-2013, 02:17 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Half Fast View Post
I like.

Gonna add one to the tool kit.

There are also tap sockets available. They have an internal o-ring to hold the tap in. Handy for inaccessible locations.
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Old 04-23-2013, 02:47 PM   #20
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Cordless drill

I sometimes chuck the tap in a cordless drill with just snugging the chuck. It allows you to get steady pressure and a good angle on the tap. If it gets too tight it will slip in the chuck. And it is much faster as well.
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Old 04-23-2013, 03:52 PM   #21
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Cordless drill & tap works fast, but not for the faint of heart or first-timers or for that matter anyone that's not willing to extract a broken tap. However, that being said it's become my favorite method; ....... :) :) :)
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Old 04-23-2013, 07:06 PM   #22
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As long as you don't tighten the chuck, it works well. But I always use a
good cutting fluid.
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Old 04-24-2013, 05:14 AM   #23
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tap in a drill = broken tap. maybe not the first 5 times, but eventually, it will bite in an expensive part and you'll remember how many people said it was a bad idea.

in a bridgeport, sure, tap a million holes. or with a fixture.

what's really funny is seeing that apprentice 30 seconds after hearing the POW. the rest of his day is extracting, or begging for help extracting, that broken tap, while hiding from the owner.


anyway, tap straight, careful, and patiently. :)
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Old 04-24-2013, 07:20 PM   #24
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I brazed a old 1/4 drive socket on the top on a tap handle. it can be driven with a 1/4 drive T and extensions to suit
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Old 04-24-2013, 07:31 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Half Fast View Post
When drilling or tapping a hole, what are the options for removing a broken drill bit or broken tap that is stuck in the hole?

I just finished a project that involved lots of new threaded fasteners and each time I held my breath thinking "Man, if I break this tap/bit I'm screwed". All went well but what to do if the worst happens?
Yup...

EDM, acid, tap extractor, spring-loaded centerpunch to shatter, carbide endmill....they all can work, depending on application.

Avoid broken taps to begin with. If there is ANY doubt, use a brand-new HSS tapered tap (if there is enough depth) to start tapping, and a bottoming tap to finish. Brand-new HSS tapered taps cut SOOOOO easy, even into stainless. Use cutting fluid. Use the right tap-wrench for the job. Don't rush. Clear the chips. I barely dig in at all before I back it out and go in again. You can even use a slightly larger drillbit for the pilot hole. Even bits sold as the same size have slight differences. Measure the bits with calipers to be sure. You may find a looser size that is still appropriate.
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Old 04-24-2013, 10:50 PM   #26
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tap in a drill = broken tap. maybe not the first 5 times, but eventually, it will bite in an expensive part and you'll remember how many people said it was a bad idea.
Thats funny, I have done hundreds and never a broken tap. I can hold a drill steadier than I can a tap handle. Don't over tighten the chuck and you will be fine. If it starts to slip in the chuck, just reverse a a few turns and go in again. Fast and accurate.
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Old 04-25-2013, 12:20 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ironwood View Post
Thats funny, I have done hundreds and never a broken tap. I can hold a drill steadier than I can a tap handle. Don't over tighten the chuck and you will be fine. If it starts to slip in the chuck, just reverse a a few turns and go in again. Fast and accurate.
congratulations, you're the exception ! (zero sarcasm)
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Old 04-27-2013, 03:48 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kommando View Post
Yup...

EDM, acid, tap extractor, spring-loaded centerpunch to shatter, carbide endmill....they all can work, depending on application.

Avoid broken taps to begin with. If there is ANY doubt, use a brand-new HSS tapered tap (if there is enough depth) to start tapping, and a bottoming tap to finish. Brand-new HSS tapered taps cut SOOOOO easy, even into stainless. Use cutting fluid. Use the right tap-wrench for the job. Don't rush. Clear the chips. I barely dig in at all before I back it out and go in again. You can even use a slightly larger drillbit for the pilot hole. Even bits sold as the same size have slight differences. Measure the bits with calipers to be sure. You may find a looser size that is still appropriate.
I'm with you. I got in the habit of only cutting about a quarter turn at a time then backing off to break and clear the chip. I've broken my share of taps over the years and the extra time it takes to do it slow is still faster than any extraction process. Often if the hole goes through and the material thickness is less than the diameter of the hole you can blast right through with a plug tap, probably even with a drill, no problem. Deeper bottoming holes are the ones that generally cause the problems.

The bottom line is that you have to break some taps to get a feel for the kind of torque you can get away with!

Again, thanks to all for the "tips on taps".

.
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Old 04-28-2013, 11:52 AM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Half Fast View Post
I'm with you. I got in the habit of only cutting about a quarter turn at a time then backing off to break and clear the chip. I've broken my share of taps over the years and the extra time it takes to do it slow is still faster than any extraction process. Often if the hole goes through and the material thickness is less than the diameter of the hole you can blast right through with a plug tap, probably even with a drill, no problem. Deeper bottoming holes are the ones that generally cause the problems.

The bottom line is that you have to break some taps to get a feel for the kind of torque you can get away with!

Again, thanks to all for the "tips on taps".

.

Not breaking tap in the first place is obviously the best way to avoid needing to remove a broken one. However if a tap does break, then in most cases anyone with a MIG welder can remove it easily.

The technique involves building up a blob of weld on the broken tap, big enough to grip with a mole wrench, then turning out the tap as soon as the weld has cooled from red heat. This also works on broken bolts, and is far easier and less costly that almost all of the methods outlined here.
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Old 04-28-2013, 12:58 PM   #30
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My brother got some help on his diesel with that 'weld it out technique'; was pretty cool, but don't recall the term 'mole wrench', had to use wiki to learn that it is a 'vise grip'.
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