Tired of breaking the little ones
Mini Hand Tapper
© Frank Ford 2008; Photos by FF

Years ago I bought one of those "hand tappers" from ENCO - you know the kinf that has a set of tap holders and allows you to tap vertically by cranking a nice big handle.  I use it a lot, and I've thought it would be cool to have a miniature version to use with #6 and smaller taps.  Those little taps all have the same size shanks, so I figured it wouldn't be necessary to have a bunch of different holders.

Last month I decided to go for it, and I came up with this:

It's a small version, complete with a little holder to keep small parts from rotating.  The tap is held in place by four little set screws that engage the square end of the tap shank.  The quill is a simple piece of 1/2" drill rod running in a brass bushing.

I didn't take any photos of the building process, so here's another shot of the finished unit:

Now, you may notice that the arm is stuck on top of a cube of aluminum.  That's because when I designed this thing, I forgot to take into account the length of the tap, so it was WAY too short.  Jeez, I gotta learn to draw. . .


OK, I did come up with what I consider a minor bit of brilliance, though.  I made the handle by broaching a 1/4" hex hole with my Slater rotary broach, so it could stick on top of the quill, thus:

Now I can take the handle off and use a regular cordless screwdriver to have a mini POWER tapper:

Great for repetitive work.


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