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06-16-2009 05:31 AM  11 years ago
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cdrking

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Seattle

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Tips for tapping soft aluminum
Is there a specific technique for tapping soft aluminum? Should I run the tap all the way through or screw it in for a short distance and then run the tap back out and back in?

Thanks,

Jeff
To hover is divine, the alternative is rather PLANE.
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06-16-2009 05:34 AM  11 years ago
GimbalFan (RIP)

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Big Coppitt Key, FL

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Use some sort of good cutting oil. Tap in some, then partly out, then farther in. Lather, rinse, repeat 'til done. Condition the threads with a gun bore brush to smooth and deburr. Clean thoroughly with acetone if you're gonna use loktite.op-thwop-thwop-thwop-thwop-thwop-thwop-thwop-thwop-thwop-thwop-thwop-thwop-t
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06-16-2009 05:40 AM  11 years ago
cdrking

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Seattle

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I'll go give it a go.

Thanks,

Jeff
To hover is divine, the alternative is rather PLANE.
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06-16-2009 05:49 AM  11 years ago
aristo1963

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goldsboro nc usa

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Jeff dip your tap in some kerosene for a lube if you have any.
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06-16-2009 06:12 AM  11 years ago
RobG

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Duncan BC. Canada

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You have to go in one or two turns and then take the tap all the way out and clean it right off. blow the hole out too. lots of cutting fluid too. They make special stuff for aluminum but it's not necessary.
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06-16-2009 01:25 PM  11 years ago
JakeBrake

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+1 on all.

Tap Magic or bacon grease works well.

EDIT:

I guess they make a special fluid for aluminum:

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06-16-2009 01:43 PM  11 years ago
Bart B

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chicago illinois

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I love bacon.
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06-16-2009 02:57 PM  11 years ago
whirlyspud

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USA

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Use a sharp spiral point tap. Backing the tap out depends on if the hole is blind, and the type of tap you use. Spiral point(gun tap) does not need to be backed out unless you are tapping a blind hole.

Mike
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06-16-2009 03:58 PM  11 years ago
jamesdh

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Houston, TX

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WD-40 works wonders on Aluminum as a tapping fluid.Let's bring back survival of the fitest.
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06-16-2009 07:37 PM  11 years ago
bbaxter

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Central Illinois

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You can also use Boelube. Developed by Boeing, and available through aviation supply houses...excellent for aluminum.
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06-16-2009 10:35 PM  11 years ago
countrypilot

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Billings,Montana

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Don't use cutting fluid for steel. It will bind up and gall the threads you are trying to put in or worse yet break the tap off. They make special tapping fluid for aluminum and it works well. If you try it dry go SLOWWWWW and keep backing the tap out every quarter turn or so to clear the chips. Also be aware that you must keep the tap straight and not centered each time you put the tap in and take it out. Aluminum is soft and unforgiving. Good luck!A good day flying is when you come home with everything in one piece
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06-17-2009 02:13 AM  11 years ago
dkshema

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Cedar Rapids, IA

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Tap Magic or bacon grease works well.
Mmmmmmmm....bacon!
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06-17-2009 07:27 PM  11 years ago
sceaduman

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Houston, Texas - USA

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If you don't use cutting fluid (like I did once or twice) the tap will break off and you will need to use a tap extractor to get it out. If you are tappping something small enough, they don't make a tap extractor and then you are stuck. The tap is usually much harder than a hardened steel drill bit, so once it breaks off, there is really not an effective way to get it back out.
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06-19-2009 04:54 AM  11 years ago
MX400 DUDE

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Oklahoma

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Last time I tapped aluminum I didn't get very clean threads. They were usable but weren't real pretty. I should have asked on here for tips, but now I know.
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06-19-2009 12:22 PM  11 years ago
Gyronut

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Martinsville In.

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Reg hand soap works well alsos.Rick
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06-19-2009 01:09 PM  11 years ago
Climax

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West London, United Kingdom

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Just as a thought...

Whenever I tap soft aluminium and the application permits, I tap one size up and use a thread insert (Helicoil, Recoil etc). This gives you a stronger and much more durable thread.
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06-20-2009 03:37 AM  11 years ago
okw14

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Morgantown, WV

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I second the WD-40 as a cutting fluid for aluminum. Works great for threading, turning or milling.
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06-22-2009 06:07 AM  11 years ago
cdrking

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Seattle

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Thanks for the info. I did get it to work. It's not the most perfect job but it will work just fine.

Thanks,

Jeff
To hover is divine, the alternative is rather PLANE.
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