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[Source] Jeweller's tap and die set


#1

Hi all,

A book I have on jewellery making (Loosli, Maerz, Schaffner (1982)
"Practical jewelry making, UBOS/Scriptar, p 65) hints that there is
a special tap and die set for jewellers. A friend of mine has tried
the one you can obtain at your local hardware store and found that
its pitches are too fine. Since we are both hunting for one used for
soft metals could any of you please let us know a source. I tried the
archives and while there was chatter about tap and die sets I was
unable to find a listing of a source.

Thanks in advance from both of us.

David


#2

I got my mini tap and die set at Rio Grande, initially made 30 or so
small nuts and bolts in sterling with 14K heads, used StayTite when
they were in place and all are still fine on a piece I wear
frequently. I also found a very inexpensive set $12 or so from a
surplus catalog “BW Traders”.

Donna in VA


#3

A quick peek into Rio Grande’s Tools & Equipment Catalog shows a tap
and die set with available replacement taps. They also list
individual “jewelers” taps and dies, all on page 327. I’m sure
practically every jeweler’s tool suppliers have similar sets.
Contact your favorite supplier.

James in SoFl


#4
a special tap and die set for jewelers

Reactive Metals Studio (800-876-3434 or www.reactivemetals.com)
lists tap and dies for 17-11 ga.

Rick Copeland
Silversmith and Lapidary Artisan
Colorado Springs, Colorado
http://home.covad.net/~rcopeland/


#5

Hi David,

I tried the archives and while there was chatter about tap and die
sets I was unable to find a listing of a source. 

Progress Machine & Tool (progresstool.com, 800-841-8665) in LA,
lists small (.06 - 2.0 mm, in 0.1 mm increments) in their catalog.
They have both Swiss & India made tools.

No connection, just a happy customer.

Dave


#6

I recently purchased a tap and die set for jewelry work from
American Science and Surplus for $12.95. I find it to be adequate
for occassional use. Use this link to go to the description:

http://www.sciplus.com/singleItem.cfm?terms=10284&cartLogFrom=Search

Also, regarding the pitch of the threads being to fine for soft
metals, I find that if I first work harden the piece I wish to
thread, then the threads will cut much nicer and hold up better. Of
course with any soft metal such as silver or high karat gold, the
threads will not stand up to frequent use and it is sometimes better
to use a harder metal for the shank portion of a screw to make it
more durable.

Good Luck - Jim DeRosa
James DeRosa, Jr.
140 Clifton Drive
Boardman, OH 44512-1616
(330) 782-0702


#7

Please find out what you need as Tap & Die sets in Jeweler’s Supply
stores also vary.There are different sizes and ranges too.

Tap & die sets for Watchmakers which many of us (supply stores)
carry are for very fine threads.

Colibri, Wiru are better quality sets. Make sure the name & Origin
are on the sets as now there are some look alike Wiru type sets made
in India sold for a lot more than they are worth.

Regards
Kenneth Singh
karat46@aol.com


#8

Hello David,

Frei & Borel has a couple of jeweller’s tap and die sets on page 231
of their C2002 Tools catalogue. They also offer quite a few
individual taps and dies. Frei & Borel’s telephone number is
1-800-772-3456 or 510-832-0355. Rio Grande also carries sets and
individual taps and dies on page 327 of their 2004 Tools and
Equipment catalogue. Rio Grande’s phone number (for Canadians) is
1-800-253-9738. Usual disclaimers.

Best Wishes,
Anne M. Kelly
@Anne_M_Kelly1


#9
  I got my mini tap and die set at Rio Grande, initially made 30
or so small nuts and bolts in sterling with 14K heads, used
StayTite when they were in place .... 

Donna: What is StayTite? Thanks.

Kay


#10
Colibri, Wiru are better quality sets. Make sure the name & Origin
are on the sets as now there are some look alike Wiru type sets
made in India sold for a lot more than they are worth. 
I agree with Kenneth, and would also add Bergeon to the list of

quality tap and die manufacturers. Watchmaker sets use a finer pitch
than that used by jewelers. If you are making threads on fine metals
(softer than brass or stainless steel), stick to the jeweler’s pitch.
If you have an Otto Frei catalog, there is a great description of
this on pg. 528.

I use screws a lot in my work. Often, I purchase tiny machine

screws of brass or stainless. You can find these at hobby shops, as
they are often used for model railroading. The REALLY tiny ones
(OOO-120) I get from Small Parts in Miami. www.smallparts.com.

They also sell individual taps and dies for these tiny screws. High
quality=not cheap, but cheap tools are not always the best value. If
you decide to use pre-machined screws, you can usually just thread
the screw into the soft metal for a perfect fit. I drill my hole at
80% of the diameter of the screw. Use lubricant, and just screw in a
few turns, back it out, and do it again. Again, this will only work
if you are screwing into a soft metal, like silver or 18k gold. If
you try this with brass, steel, titanuim, or even white gold, it may
not work, and you will have the added problem of extracting the
broken screw from the hole.

Please remember to use a lubricant when cutting threads with either

the tap or die. It is also important to be absolutely straight when
you are tapping a hole, and be very careful not to break the tap.
Yes, they do break if you start to bend them while tapping, and it is
very easy to do this. They are a real PAIN to remove, since they are
of a hardened steel (and you are crying since you just broke an
expensive tap!). Take a 1/4 turn in , then back out, then advance by
a quarter turn. If you are tapping into a “blind hole” (one that is
not drilled all the way through) be sure to remove the tap and blow
out the chips at the bottom, or you may break your tap. Also remember
that most taps are fairly pointed, to guide you into the hole, and
the point will hit the bottom often before the threads are fully cut
(breaking the tap). Most taps are in the $4.00 range, but the tiny
000-120 tap will cost you around $40.00! 00-90 screws/bolts are the
smallest size you will normally find in a hobby shop.

Having said all this, I must also tell you that most jewelers get

by with nothing more than a screw plate and small set of taps. A
screw plate is a small rectangular plate with a series of tapped
holes in it, in progressive sizes. The wire is filed to a point,
inserted into the hole in the screw plate, and the plate is twisted
around the wire. I have seen these used, but rarely are they in good
shape. The threads are usually worn out on the most popular sizes.
They are also usually in the watchmaker’s pitch.

If you are new to this technique and wish to try it, or will only use
it occasionally, I’d recommend the screw plate. Get a good one. If
you get the “bug” and want to screw or bolt a lot of things together,
just buy a matched tap and die in the size or sizes that you are
using. I doubt you will use all the taps and dies in a full set.

Doug
Douglas Zaruba
33 N. Market St.
Frederick, MD
@Douglas_Zaruba


#11

Reactive Metals Studio, in the Ganoksin suppliers list. I’ve never
bought this product, but I’ve been very happy with their service.
Just a satisfied customer (except for those weird niobium beading
hoops, which I still can’t figure out…).

Lisa Orlando
Aphrodite’s Ornaments


#12

Good post on threading Doug,

Another resource for very small taps and dies is Newman Tools
http://www.newmantools.com/taps/micro.htm they have a very nice die
that opens up to allow you to release a broken screw and they have
roll taps for most of the sizes> A roll tap is a tool for threading
a hole that pushes or rolls the metal to form the thread. It is a
little less likely to break in use and it does not cut so there are
no chips to remove from the hole and the final benefit is that it
work hardens the soft metals and makes for a stronger and longer
lasting thread. As Doug mentioned these tools are not cheap but if
you get into threading they are well worth the cost in time and
materials saved.

Jim

Jim Binnion

James Binnion Metal Arts
Phone (360) 756-6550
Toll Free (877) 408 7287
Fax (360) 756-2160


@James_Binnion
Member of the Better Business Bureau