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Thread: Fine Fluteless Taps. Keeping track of suppliers...

  1. #1
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    Default Fine Fluteless Taps. Keeping track of suppliers...

    Quote Originally Posted by Buffo View Post
    If you can do the machining work yourself, the design isn't all that complex. (Though the 60 threads per inch adjustment screws might be a sticking point.)

    Adam
    This post has been on the back burner for a day or so... I've given it some more thought since, and found that if you look on eBay for "2mm Tap" you'll find a large number of jewellers taps, usually ranging from 0.7 to 2.0 mm in 0.1 mm increments. They're dead cheap too. No idea how good they are, so if anyone knows, please post. I started this as a new thread, sources of fine taps might be something we need an easy to find thread to cover, as suppliers change, they can't guarantee a regular trade in unusually small sizes, but we'd always have use for them and could share info on sources and prices. These things cost a bit if you want good ones.

    What I was actually after was the high quality Dormer fluteless taps. M2 have 0.4mm pitch which is better than 60 TPI, and I've used the M3 and M4 versions, they're fantastic taps, they work-harden the tapped hole, make a fine smooth finish, and don't leave any swarf. These are ideal for hand-made fine optics tuning assemblies. They cost around 15 each or more, but considering the freedom you get for the money, one mount will be enough to pay for the tool.

    Also worth tracking are good sources of cheap A2 and A4 stainless M2 machine screws, especially countersunk Allen headed types. RS Components (European) probably have them, but not cheap, and not everyone has access, you need a trade account.

  2. #2
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    www.mcmaster.com has a lot of screws and stuff. I know they have countersunk M2 stainless steel machine screws but I don't know about having allen heads.

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    They even have the fluteless taps, but not in M2...
    We need that size for the fine pitch for optics mounts.

    I discovered that "thread-Forming" and "cold-forming" (with or without hyphen) are also good search terms to find these.

  4. #4
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    Hey Doc, Its funny you should bring this up

    I am also looking for some decent taps for making some ultra-small mirror mounts.
    "My signature has been taken, so Insert another here"
    http://repairfaq.ece.drexel.edu/sam/laserfaq.htm
    *^_^* aka PhiloUHF

  5. #5
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    Cool. Then we might increase interest in this and get some more input. I've found a bit more... There's a guy on eBay called 'davethetools' who has the Dormer M2 fluteless, at £26.66. This compares well with RS Components, who don't stock it now. What he also has is an M1.6! This has a pitch of 0.35 mm, over 72 TPI! The price is steep though, at over £38. Also, I don't know if there are many suppliers of M1.6 machine screws in stainless. I never heard of that size before, except as a PCB thickness.

    Got to say, using a brittle tool the thickness of a needle by hand, with the cost of failure being so high, is a bit of a white knucle ride. I think it could be worth buying a cheap ball-bearing translation stage for mounting the work, and a mounted chuck for the tap, to do repeat operations without stress to user or tool.

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    Quote Originally Posted by The_Doctor View Post
    Also worth tracking are good sources of cheap A2 and A4 stainless M2 machine screws
    I looked into this as well and found as soon as you go <M3 the price rockets. Quality cap-head 2mm machine screws were getting on for a couple of 's EACH from most suppliers.

    I settled for 8BA which are of a similar spec, but cheap as chips.

    HTH

    Pit.
    A little bit werrrr, a little bit weyyyyyy, a little bit arrrrgggghhh

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    Moving up to the normal sized mirror/dichro optical mounts, Thorlabs sell 80/100tpi taps, but the ball-ended thumb screws are so expensive, you may as well buy a finished mount

    http://www.opto-mechanics.co.uk in the UK also sell cheap thumb screws with machined brass inserts, but again by the time you have a couple of them you're half way towards a ready made mount...

    Pit.
    A little bit werrrr, a little bit weyyyyyy, a little bit arrrrgggghhh

  8. #8
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    It does help, lots. I often use mixed units, or go non-metric for cheapness, yet forgot to consider it properly this time. The crucial thing is finding nice fluteless taps. Those are going to cost, no matter what, unless someone here knows different.

    I'd even contemplate self tapping screws to form the threads, but this is false economy, as are those cheap jewellers taps, probably. Repeatable precision is what we need. To be fair, even M3 is good. That's 50 TPI, near enough. If you have space to take advantage of leverage to reduce the active movement at the optic itself, extremely high accuracy can be had.

    I suspect that Marconi wants something extra for the same reason I do though: miniaturisation.


    Edit:
    That 8BA suggestion paid off:
    http://www.drill-service.co.uk/Produ...t.asp?Tool=423

    And look especially at this:
    BA-12-FL
    12BA HSS Fluteless Tap
    Pitch 0.28
    &#163;11.56

    That's very hard to beat, probably. I don't know what the pitch figures mean though, especially as a 13BA exists in that page with a pitch of apparently zero. Some arbitrary gauge system, no doubt.
    Last edited by The_Doctor; 04-05-2007 at 14:46.

  9. #9
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    Heh, I would buy premade mounts ...but I require very small ones.
    smaller than the arctos style mounts.

    I glad to see this..maybe some good will come of this
    "My signature has been taken, so Insert another here"
    http://repairfaq.ece.drexel.edu/sam/laserfaq.htm
    *^_^* aka PhiloUHF

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    You guys seem to have hit a road block. I have located the socket head machine screws in the following sizes and taps...not cheap 3 flute ones.....for less that 10 USD each.
    #0-80 pitch x 1/4 inch long
    #1-72 pitch by 3/16 long This is for the taps only I am thinking that a box of 50 screws each would be less that 8 USD.
    I can also get hold of some metric sizes that are not normally available to the general public.......taps of quality not sure of but I think I could come up with them. I have just sourced this from one of my suppliers/vendors that I know would have such things....looking for the ball end #2-56 stud for a pivot. More to come as this may be a usefull thing to start a project on.This size of mount will have to be on the order of around 1/2 inche in mirror capacity and would be limited to 15 degrees or somewhat smaller movement.
    Last edited by MechEng3; 04-05-2007 at 15:31.
    You are the only one that can make your dreams come true....and the only one that can stop them...A.M. Dietrich

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