Tap and Die set

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I need a good tap and die set. Never bothered to buy one, could've used one a coupla times, but the local hardware store doesn't carry any taps or dies. (pathetic isn't it).
Any you would recommend, and what can I expect to pay. To start I only need the typical 1/8, 1/4, 3/8, 1/2 NPT fittings for making the manifolds and fittings for my on board air, but if there is a good complete set maybe with some metrics I would be interested in biting the bullet so I don't have to run to the store everytime i need to run a die over a marred bolt, etc.
These will see only limited use and I can't afford Snap On.
 
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Cruisin,

Problem with buying sets is you'll likely get a ton of junk you'll never use. I found a guy on ebay that sold me every individual piece I wanted for a song. Not high quality, but good enough for my ocassional use.
 
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Bailey,
I asked the same question at a machine shop a couple of weeks ago. They were doing some fab work for me and I asked them to chase the threads on some nuts they welded to a bracket they built. The guy said they buy their good stuff mail-order but he said, for the money, he would recommend Craftsman.

Check their sales, their web site, and watch the Sunday paper for deals.

[Technically, you have to add this purchase to the total cost of the OBA project. I still can't figure out how you did it so cheap... unless you're still not done yet. ;) ]

-B-
 

nakman

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Fwiw, I bought the cheapo tap & dye sets from Harbor Freight, they're $9.99 each. Here http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/Displayitem.taf?itemnumber=39391 and http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/Displayitem.taf?itemnumber=39384

Most of the sizes are pretty small, but for the few times I've used them they've done just fine. I wanted a good starter kit so this was a good way to get a bunch of handles, thread gages, etc. The taps are ok, the holders are pretty cheap but that's what I expected, I think the biggest tap you can cram into the biggest tap handle is a 5/16-18. There's no question that Craftsman tools are better, but hey, it's $10 bucks. hth, -tim
 
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Nakman,
I was considering the same set from HF and asked the "expert" guy about it. My reasoning was like yours... I don't use them often so why pay 5x for Craftsman. His reply was something I hadn't thought about. He told me to stay away from the cheap ones because they are brittle and they break. When they break you have a big, big problem. He said they get calls every day from people that break "easy-outs" and taps and the charge to remove broken taps starts at $100 and goes up. The metal is extremely hard and it's impossible to drill one out.

-B-
 
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IMHO buy the best that you can afford. We used to run to the store and by the "vermont" american ones? cheapy ones and they would break and stuff. Another way to do it is to order the specific ones you need from some place like

www.mcmastercar.com
www.mscdirect.com
www.grainger.com

I would suggest getting the crastman set at like 50 or 60 bucks and then buy the drill bits and other taps/dies you need from one of the above.

One thing i have found is that Toyota uses some odd sizes like 12x1.00 and 12x1.25 both of those do NOT normal come with the standard sets. i think there are 4 diffrent 12x and 10x that are "standard" metric 1, 1.25, 1.5, and 1.75...

Anyway good luck...we got the Snap On set...works good...but cost good chunk o change...you know Snap On does do weekly payments :D :D

Stew
 

3_puppies

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PAWN SHOPS cheap and usually have alot of different sizes. If buying new I'd check Fastenal, their drill bits a good and so are the taps. The mechanic I work with doesn't like his Snap on set as they are extremely hard and we've broke a few of them.
 
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Nearly all of my tools are Craftsman, about 1/3 of them my dad bought when he was my age..30 years ago. So I do like craftsman but I didn't know if there was anything else I needed to know.
I'll take your suggestion to heart Junk, and probably just buy what I need as I need it, and maybe a few that I know I will eventually need. I still haven't asked for a birthday present so maybe I'll just get a complete set... we'll see.
B-You're correct it is not done, however, it works, but is VERY read EXTREMELY ghetto-rific. You'd laugh if I explained how I operate it. I could keep costs under $150 for a simple yet well functioning system, but I'm going Bling-Bling setup with dual guages, solid aluminum manifolds dual quick disconnects etc.. :D
So when its all said and done, it will probably run me just under $200.
 
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[quote author=Beowulf link=board=14;threadid=6546;start=msg53459#msg53459 date=1066778892]
Bailey,
I could buy you a RT plane ticket and give you $300 to get mine bling-bling and *still* come out cheaper than what I've spent. Would you throw in an upgrade to Win 2003 server?
-B-
[/quote]
That'd make for a cool Thanksgiving break, go out to ALBEQUERQUE (yes that is spelled correctly) and work on B's cruiser and computer. Share some Boddington's :D I could even pick up some OEM parts from the man C-dan and not pay shipping :D. I can get you pretty much any software you want. For nothin. Just don't tell Mr Gates about it. :D Not kidding either.
What kinda OBA setup are you running (or tryin to run :D) B?
Creative high school students with very diminuitive budgets can figure out how to save money. :D
 
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>> What kinda OBA setup are you running (or tryin to run ) <<

It is planned to be an electric with two el cheapo used compressors and a 6 gal tank mounted underneath. Right now it's an empty tank and a bunch of parts, fittings, and hoses scattered all over the garage. The project is about $300 over budget with no end in sight. :(

If the compressors are inadequate then a new one (Thomas ?) will go into the project causing the budget to be about what a used M12000 would have cost.

(Sorry about the thread hi-jack... we'll get back on topic soon.)

-B-
 
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For the love of Pete use tap oil EVERY TIME you use a tap or die. I used to just run a tap through and call it good. Those taps are dull and bind up and I'm saving you some real misery here young fella. :D :D

Like my old man used to say to me, "Do as I say, not as I do."
 
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I second the tap oil. I found my craftsman set at a flee market. Of course horbor frieght is in liburn now and you cant hardly beat there prices most of the time (compair with sears just to be safe). You would be supprised at their quick disconnects and fittings ( 2 in 1 anodized manifold with 1/4 npt threads for $2...yes, $2 air gauge with regulator for $7 ) McMaster Carr is also in atlanta if you need something quick.
 
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I'm ordering a lot of stuff from Mcmaster carr
do you know where in atlanta? It would be nice to not have to pay shipping for once. Though with playing on the 3rd in the nation soccer team i don't have a lot of time, so i may have to order anyway. :D.
I might have to hit up that Harbor Freight too, I didn't think we had anything in Atlanta other than sears and Northern for tools, and Northern doesn't have a lot of what I need and isn't very close.
B-I'd like to talk with you more about your onboard air setup, I bet we can get the cost down and the Bling Bling factor up :D.
 

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Will airtool oil work?


Absolutely.. with few exceptions, just about anything will work, as long as it's wet. WD-40, PB, 90wt, nose grease, spit, we're not talking production machining here, just keeping the heat down and the chips in a manageable condition. If you want the best, there's this stuff called Tap Magic that smells like cinnamon schnapps, it works real nice. Slick50 works well too. I just grab whatever's closest, usually WD, and use it on both the drill & tap.
 

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I found that for most tapping situations WD or equivalent works okay. The Tap Magic is the best I have used. It make the tapping process very easy when I tap the drag link for my steering.

I have a craftsman set and like it but you will need to odd ball sizes and I have had some difficulty finding individual taps and dies at a reasonable price. usually find them for about $10-$12 each.

There is a place in Marietta that carries very good quality bits, taps, etc. They are a little pricy but close to me. The also carry just about any size and type of nuts and bolts you could ever want. "Threads for the South"

I got a receommendation from someone on here for a bolt source on-line (www.barnhillbolt.com) for taps, etc. But do not have any experience with their quality.
 
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Alright!
Just got back from Sears, bought myself the basic metric and basic standard tap/die kit. $34 each. Seems to have most of the standard sizes, the only thing I know I need soon that I didn't see at Sears were 1/4", 3/8", and 1/2" NPT taps. ???
 

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