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Hand Tapping Machine

(Originally from here)

The Shop in Bray Lab has a hand tapping machine that can be used to create threaded holes in metals like steel, brass, aluminum, or cast iron depending on the bit used.


  • Internal threading is done by using a tool called a TAP
  • Tapping is done on a hole that is pre-drilled for a specific thread size and pitch to be
  • External threads (for bolts) are made using a DIE, which is applied to a specified
    diameter of rod for the specified size and pitch to be cut
  • Select proper hand tap (taper, plug, bottoming) and fit it into a holder
  • Align pre-drilled workpiece under tap (can use mini-vise to hold part)

Safe Operation

  • Turn handle clockwise to start thread (back up every 1-2 turns to break forming chip)
  • Use lubricant to assist the thread-cutting
  • Taps can be brittle, so be careful not to bind the tap or break it


  • If a tap or threaded piece needs cleaning with compressed air, protect your eyes with
    proper protection (do NOT endanger person in the area near you
  • Use a brush or piece of cloth to remove chips, NOT your hand
  • Clean table, floor, and surrounding work area