Don’t Just Rely on Collet Chucks to Hold Taps

Have you had a chance to read our recent article that appears in the Fabricating & Metalworking Magazine? Our engineering and product manager, Alan Miller, informs readers about different ways to set up tapping operations and discusses the benefits of dedicated tap holders which absorb synchronization error.

It’s a fair statement that tapping holes is one of the more challenging metalworking processes to execute with precision in volume. Though, it’s also fair to say that technology has come a long way. Tension-compression tapping used to be the go-to, a painstaking process that could only be performed at RPM levels in the hundreds. Now, most machine tools come with canned cycles allowing for M-code and G-code pairings that perfectly synchronize the spindle and feed axis for repeatable harmony with the workpiece.

Even still, synchronizing depth and thread pitch with the relatively aggressive stop/reverse action is a challenge for shops. The right tooling can help dramatically. The majority of shops opt for collet chucks to hold taps since they are easy to understand and set up, yet that may not be the best option.

In the article, Alan writes, “What many shops don’t realize is that another perceived strength of collet chucks, their rigidity, can actually be detrimental in tapping. Rigidity does very little to counteract the dramatic thrust loads imposed on the tap and part, exacerbating the already difficult challenge of weathering the stop/reverse and maintaining synchronization.”

Alan then provides further details about tap holders designed specifically to mitigate the load imposed on the tap by essentially absorbing the synchronization error, such as the Mega Synchro tapping holder. This is a game changer since these holders provide more control of thread pitch, tolerance, eliminate re-cutting on exit and less tap chipping, extending tool life.

To learn more about how proper holding equipment for tapping operations can maximize machine tool capabilities and compensate for synchronization errors, read the full article titled “Time to Reconsider Holding Taps with Collet Chucks” here.

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