Turning Archive 2005

Subject:
Tapping

Raymond Overman in SC
>I recently made a purchase of some 5/8" steel rod at the local Big Orange Box, a 1/4-20 tap and handle, and a hex bolt with the intention of making a boring bar and a scraper. After grinding a flat on the bar and drilling a hole with the supplied bit, I used the tap and handle to cut the threads. This didn't turn out exactly as planned and left me with a broken tap which to me was surprisingly brittle.

This is the first experience I've had with tapping a hole in steel. Does anyone have any advice on producing the results I want (a tapped hole) without breaking the tap? Is there some special technique? I'm not superman and didn't apply that much pressure to the tap. At least I didn't think I did.

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