View Full Version : Rigid tapping or tapping head

01-12-2006, 08:50 PM
Is rigid tapping possible using the IH CNC kit or would it be better to get a tapping head? Most of the taps that I would be using are in the range #6 to 1/4.

09-22-2006, 02:02 AM

I am courous about this as well. Is it posible with a VFD


09-22-2006, 04:28 AM
I am no machinist, but I have several tapping heads and use them occasionally. They are great once you practice with them and get them set up for each part correctly. What I find is that alot of the tapping I have to do is easiest with a good screw gun, just because it is hard or impossible to get the part up on a machine some times, and the screw gun goes anywhere, especially for that range (under 1/4in.)

If your doing a lot of production on parts though I think a tapping head would be well worth the money, you will save in broken taps and ruined holes in the long run on stuff that size, but maybe there is a way to ridgid tap I havent learned yet.... The VFD might be the trick...

09-22-2006, 04:54 AM
get a piece of scrap and an old tap and try it at a relatively low speed , best way to find out ,

09-22-2006, 10:54 AM
Is rigid tapping possible using the IH CNC kit or would it be better to get a tapping head? Most of the taps that I would be using are in the range #6 to 1/4.

I don't think that rigid tapping is possible unless you have a servo spindle.


09-23-2006, 09:26 AM
Without a servo spindle or an encoder attached to spindle for tach output rigid tapping is impossible in the IH mill, I have been pondering ways of puting one on my system but nothing yet. Get the tapping head and one for me too while your at it ! hahaha

09-24-2006, 02:08 AM
To rigid tap you essentially need to synchronize the spindle to the Z-Axis just as you would synchronize the leadscrew on a lathe to the spindle. Mach 3 doesn't support it at this time, though Art does get asked about it a lot. I'd go for a tapping head.

BTW, I understand the slick way to go for small production shops involves some sort of an articulated arm with a motorized tapping head attached. I've seen it somewhere on Practical Machinist, but don't have a link handy at the moment. You can Google "articulated tapping" and see the devices I'm describing.

Another possibility is to power tap. This is a manual operation. You need to unlock the quill and basically let the tap drag itself down pulling as it cuts threads. Some details here:




also discusses power tapping.



09-24-2006, 01:08 PM
Hi, If you've ever done any thread cutting in a lathe using one of those sliding die holders then you can also use this method for tapping, only now the end that normally holds the dies has a hole for the tap and two grub screws for the drive.
To use just get the tap into the job with some down feed and then let it pull down by itself. If the tap is marked with a turn of masking tape then you just reverse out when ready.
Works OK for small amounts of tapping, but it pays to get the proper tapping head if you want to do it regularly.
If it's going to be used with CNC, then the holder is spring loaded and the spindle remains up and only rotates to drive the tap.