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Discussion Starter · #21 ·
I have found a set of hss taps and dies locally on ebay that starts at 0-80 and goes up (6 sizes) and contains taper and bottom taps. I plan to order it this week.
 

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Being in Australia makes it very limited for supplies, learning to look at parts and tools from other trades like watch makers, model planes builders, model train builders and so forth can provide all the tooling and parts you need.

Also, you can farm work out, if you get stuck see local repair shop, over your way is ozwinds and a few others, then you can get part of a job done without the expense of that tooling which you may never use again.

I make my own flat springs from spring steel from local car shop, I buy small screws like the one you noted from hobby plane shop and last but least, the taps and dies I get from local jewellery supplier.

If you pay for items from America, you loose on the exchange rate, you loose on the shipping, all round makes it just down right expensive, source local thinking outside the square. For nice pads, again ozwinds, some of the best known repairers in Australia wait for Aaron and Brian to make custom pad sets for them.

Steve
 

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I have found a set of hss taps and dies locally on ebay that starts at 0-80 and goes up (6 sizes) and contains taper and bottom taps. I plan to order it this week.
Be aware that there is a huge range of qualities, eg those that really fail to make a keen thread from the get-go, and those that have so much friction that they break before the threading can be completed.
A local specialist supplier to engineers and tool makers probably has brands that can be trusted.
 

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Be aware that there is a huge range of qualities, eg those that really fail to make a keen thread from the get-go, and those that have so much friction that they break before the threading can be completed.
A local specialist supplier to engineers and tool makers probably has brands that can be trusted.
Yes, what he said.

I've been involved with metalworking all my adult life both professionally and in my personal life, and my experience has been that almost always cheap tools are a bad bargain. When you start talking about highly stressed cutting tools that also have to be precisely made, like taps and dies, this goes double.

(I am tempted here to talk about the taps I once got that turned out not to be M6 x 1 as requested, but instead M6 x 24 TPI!!!)

In Australia I would expect that high grade cutting tools from manufacturers like OSG, Mitsubishi, Sumitomo and the like should be readily available. I would not buy mystery brand tools (probably from China) on ebay for anything even semi-critical. (Lest I be misunderstood, there are many Chinese manufacturers of high quality goods, but the high grade cutting tool manufacturers in China aren't selling stuff at cut rate on ebay.)

If you don't know a local industrial distributor that carries a range of cutting tools, and you don't want to hassle with ordering from a US company like MSC, I would suggest doing an internet search for your local machine tool distributor and ask them where they would recommend to buy things like taps and dies.
 

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Discussion Starter · #25 ·
Thanks Gardon & turf3.

To enjoy the flavour of life, take big bites.
 

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It just sucks that good taps and dies can start at 5 times the price of the crap.
 

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Was curious so just checked a bit.

M2.5x0.45mm tap which is common for woodwinds and a very standard size. There are Chinese stores on ebay selling this, supposedly made of HSS, for about $1.50... including shipping. I don't know how much shipping costs them that they don't lose? Even if it was a mild steel rod, let alone made to a tap made of HSS (which is doubtful but who knows).

These often come in sets of two or three. The cheapest locally available set of three, by a good brand, made of HSS, made in several possible places (China/Japan/Korea/Germany) costs $17. The same company has their own brand, made in Germany, which you can buy as a set of three or individual taps. The set is $42, each separately is $15. There is sometimes an advantage to a set but with copper alloys not always.

IMO the better quality tap would be worth $15 even if you only need to use it once.

Getting a bit off optic... but FWIW, all the basic hand taps, whether good or the cheapest ones, are almost always the regular type made for steel. They work pretty good with instrument copper alloys because it is not a very demanding case so usually they are fine.
Optimally a different tap is better for copper alloys. I once had to tap aluminium-bronze. No regular hand tap could do it. Nothing but squeaks and getting stuck. I tried a couple of much better taps, spiral, higher quality coatings... it was better but still pretty terrible.

After consulting I got a tap especially for copper alloys. It was "magic"... suddenly it tapped just fine. For comparison, the M2.5x0.45mm size costs $40 and (at least locally) these are available in only very standard metric sizes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #28 ·
Well, for better or worse I bought the $40 no name set. Has 9 imperial sizes of taps and dies starting at 0-90, taper and bottom taps in each size. I don't do a lot so didn't want to spend a lot on single taps for occasional use. I already have a couple of decent ones (from music medic I think) in 1-56 and 3-56 with dies that I have been using for hinge rods.

To enjoy the flavour of life, take big bites.
 

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I guess you mean 0-80. :)
 
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