[Source] Tap & die sets

I am looking for individual tap & die sets. Sizes 1.4 or 1.6.
Does anyone know of a source. Thanks

oe Kilpatrick
Expressions With Metal

Aloha Joe, Try http://www.micromark.com , pretty cool catalog.The
products are mostly geared toward modelmaking hobbists
(trains,plastic modelmaking,dioramas,ETC.)They have some
interesting things and good prices.Enjoy!

Christian Grunewald
Precision Modelmaking

Thanks Christian, I have Micromarks catalog. It does have some
cool things. They sell complete tap and die sets but I am
looking to buy individual sizes. I understand that it is easy to
break the taps and I am only going to need one size and would
like to have extras of that size.


You can find individual taps and dies from Reactive Metals
Studio in Arizona; phone # (520) 634-6734 . I don’t know if they
have the sizes you want; they carry sizes which will work for
wire guages 11 through 18. They also carry drill bits that match
their taps and dies exactly.

Hope this helps.

No. Calif coast, where the skies are finally clear enough to see the
meadow bathed in moonlight

Aloha Joe, They (Micromark), sells individual taps and dies, as
well. Most dies are $7.95 (some $17.95 and $9.50) and taps are
$4.95. They also have some tap and drills (on clearance) for
$1.95. Hope this was of help anyway.

Christian Grunewald
Precision Modelmaking

The source that I have for miniature nuts and bolts (1.0mm or
1.7mm) which comes in Brass, nickel plated, Black oxide and
Plated 14K Gold. They also carry other metals like
niobium,titanium, finding of all kinds, bi-metals, Mokume-Gane.

There address and telephone is the following:

Reactive Metals Studio Inc, 
PO Box 890 Clarkdale, AZ 86324 

Tel. 602/634-3434 

FAX 602/634-6734


Hi Gang,

To help make your taping & threading easier, try using a product
called ‘Tapmatic Cutting Fluid’. It’s usually available from
industrial supply houses that sell machine shop tools & supplies.
There are 2 varieties available, 1 for aluminum & 1 for all other
metals. To use it, just put a drop or 2 on the tap or die before
starting, more can be added as work progresses if required. It
makes the work lots easier helps prevent tap breakage.

There may be several brands available, just don’t let them sell
you the old fashion high sulfur content dark cutting oil that most
plumbers use.

Individual taps/dies are also available from this source also.


As noted, taps are delicate. Very easy to break. With a tap and
die set, however, it is possible to make your own taps as they
are broken.

Bruce D. Holmgrain
Maryland’s first JA Certified Senior Bench Jeweler

Hello Joe Kilpatrick- I had this same problem recently when I
made two links for an Audemars Royal Oak watch. Rex Supply, a
machine shop supply that is located on Navagation Blvd.; C.W.
Rod, also a machine shop supply in Houston; Precision Tool and
Supply, which is on Lawndale past 75th St; or Bass Tool and
Supply on Hempstead Hwy. They probally have the diameters you
want, but the thread form and pitch may be a problem depending
on your needs.They will basically have Unified National course,
fine, or extra fine and metric taps. If not one of these forms,
I would try Bergeron if you can find a watchmaker or anyone else
with their catalog. These taps will come in numbered sizes
corresponding to the dies. If I might suggest an old machinist’s
trick- put the piece in the vise of a drill press, drill the
correct size hole for 75% full thread- a tap chart will tell you
the drill size, which corresponds with the minor diameter of the
thread. Leave the piece in place after drilling, so that the hole
is straight,concentric, and center located in relation to the
spindle of the press and then replace the drill bit in the chuck
with the tap. Maintain steady downward pressure on the drill
press handle, just enough to get the tap to start cutting while
turning the chuck _by hand_until the spring return action of the
drill press handle will not pull the tap out of the hole, which,
depending on the type of chamfer and tap, will be say, two to
five complete turns and then let off on the handle and continue
turning the chuck by hand and let the tap pull itself in until
you get deep enough as you want. After you get to the bottom,
turn it back out by hand the same way, maybe with just a very
slight bit of help on the handle upward, but very slight, as if
too much pressure and you will ruin the thread coming back out.
You can try some Tap Magic, a cutting fluid for tapping,
especially if it starts to sqweek as the tap is close to the
point of breaking if doing this, a very distinctive sound you
will come to recognize. Taps usually break due to improper drill
size or the flutes becoming clogged with shavings and causing it
to bind and the tap to break, so you will want to tap in some and
back the tap out to clear the cuttings, tap in some more and back
out again to clear, etc. until you get where you want to be, the
more backing out and clearing the better for the tap not to
break, although you don’t want to back the tap completely out,
as if you should do this, you will have the added problem of
trying to restart the tap without getting it started cross
threaded and ruining your threads.Tap Magic is great stuff, but
there are different blends for different metals, so be sure to
specify the general type of material. If you’re tapping a blind
hole, measure the depth you need to go to and either put tape to
mark the point on the tap or use a piece of wire twisted around
the tap to mark it so that you don’t hit bottom with the tap as
this is another great way to break a tap.:^) Also it could help
you to slightly chamfer to edge of the hole before you start the
tap in, as the sharp edge left by the drill bit will play hell
with the flutes of the tap, even though the taps are chamfered on
the starting threads. If you make it to Rex Supply and check out
their hand held Optical Comparators, which are sort of an
eyepiece loupe with a scale and inclinometer etched on the lens.
They are great for getting a feel for sizes and angles of things
you’re working on. When I officed with Frank Goss, someone
introduced him to one, and I sent him to Rex Supply to buy one-
$20-30 or so. Frank tells them that he wants to buy an Optical
Comparator, and man, they jumped up, came around the counter,
where extremely nice to him, all smiley, enthusiastic, excited,
falling all over themselves to help him. You know-“Can we get you
some coffee, a soft drink, donuts”, all of this type of thing.
Frank was very impressed with the service, etc. and thought,
‘Wow, what a place to do business with’. They thought he wanted
to buy an Optical Comparator- the version that stands on the
floor and costs about $28,000.00! It was hilarious! They were
sort of let down to say the least, but he got one and is very
happy with it- great for making channels in waxes very precisely,

HI! Just got back in town and read your note. If you have an
ACE Hardware, they have an incredible supply of just what you
want. All sizes. Even here in Northern Wisconsin small town.