Tapping Holes in White Metal

Discussion in 'FAQs' started by DWP, Nov 2, 2004.

  1. DWP

    DWP Member

    I am working on a 20 ton shay with keystone parts.
    I need to tap some 0-90 threads if I can see that small.
    Any ideas on what to use to keep the tap from clogging up?
    If not, any ideas on attachind the tender to the frame so I can remove it later.
  2. Glen Haasdyk

    Glen Haasdyk Active Member

    White metal is very soft but it should tap fairly easily. The idea is to turn the tap 1/2 turn in, then turn 1/4 out. This will break-off the metal shavings that tend to clog up the tap. winding the tap in all the way without 'back-turning' it is a sure way to break a tap.
  3. Dick Rasmussen

    Dick Rasmussen New Member

    I agree with Glenn, and you might want to use a thin lubricant( kerosene& oil I.E.) with a quality tap. Good luck. Dick R.
  4. N Gauger

    N Gauger 1:20.3 Train Addict

    I've actually done this :) :) Not that small though.

    The basic rules are what has already been stated:

    1/2 turn in (Slow) 1/4 turn out - then when the teeth grab again, "repeat"

    Also - Use 3-in-1 oil or any other "light oil" and use a bunch!!! Don't spare it!! If the oil drips out when you pull (turn out) 1/4 - then it's fine!!! After every 4 turns (One Complete revoultion) take the tap out & drip a drop or 2 of oil down the hole and clean off any "Shavings" from the tap. Do this "Every complete revolution"!!

    Last thing: All "good Quality" taps have the size of the tap on it as well as a drill size. Get a new, sharp, drill in this size & use it slowly as above, same thing as above - Oil Oil Oil!!!

    If you take your time & use the right, new, sharp tools, this should be easy!!!!

    Best of luck!!!!
  5. jim currie

    jim currie Active Member

    in using taps that small in soft metal is hard it tends to clog tap i use ith 1/8 turn and back a1/4 and remove tap fron hole every 1/2 turn and blow chips out of hole i use wd40 in spray can for lub.
  6. N Gauger

    N Gauger 1:20.3 Train Addict

    Since I've never done tapping this small - I'd side with Jim :) :D :)

    Err on the side of caution!!!!!
  7. sumpter250

    sumpter250 multiscale modelbuilder

    I've heard that applying bees wax to the tap will help the soft metal flakes to fall off the tap. Not as messy as oil.
  8. DWP

    DWP Member

    Thanks for the help.
    Al at B & F Hobbies suggested to make a new
    main frame out of brass. The frame that came with the kit is white metal. After cutting a hole for the gear box there is not a lot of metal left for support. So fo now I am in the process of cutting a new brass base.

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