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Combination Hex Drill\Tap Bits: Easy Installation of Threaded Knobs and Rod

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Review by DeLayne Peck posted 08-13-2013 08:26 AM 2524 views 1 time favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Combination Hex Drill\Tap Bits: Easy Installation of Threaded Knobs and Rod No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

Maybe I just fell off the lumber truck, but I didn’t know about combination hex drill\tap bits. You don’t have to install a brass insert! Or, drill and then tap threads?! Do it all in one easy operation! Directly into wood with a low voltage driver!!

I have threaded a lot of brass inserts for the jigs I’ve built, like my Rip Snorter Push Block , and thought they were a pain. And, I have read about and used various methods for installing inserts. They work, but they are tedious.

I’ve looked a tap and die sets. I don’t need all that. Quarter inch, 20 TPI (threads per inch) is pretty much the standard in my shop. I always have a supply of nuts, bolts, knobs, and threaded rod on hand for jigs, hold-downs, connectors, and stops.

I found the Greenlee bits in a variety of sizes at Ace, $12. For a test drive, I slowly drove the bit into a block of Douglas Fir with an low voltage Skill driver. Then, threaded rod directly into the wood. It couldn’t be quicker and easier. And secure, standing on the block, I couldn’t pull the rod out.

I can foresee a lot of uses for this bit.

-- DJ Peck, Lincoln Nebraska. I think of my shop as Fritter City. I am the Mayor.




View DeLayne Peck's profile

DeLayne Peck

353 posts in 922 days



13 comments so far

View woodklutz's profile

woodklutz

221 posts in 1488 days


#1 posted 08-13-2013 12:03 PM

Sounds like a great addition
On Amazon $8. with shipping, but a reviewer says not good for wood. What is your opinion?

-- honing my craft one mistake at a time.

View PurpLev's profile

PurpLev

8476 posts in 2368 days


#2 posted 08-13-2013 01:25 PM

an interesting accessory – I’ve never seen this.

Some more info from my experience: Greenlee is a company that is making tools for electricians. My guess is this bit is aimed at drill/tapping electrical boxes (sheet metal, or thin metal). where a combination like this could work and save time. otherwise for thicker materials this will probably not work so well as you need more room to clear chips as well as a tap with more torque to be able to sustain the deeper threaded holes.

That said – Wood isn’t exactly the material to be tapped. tapping relies on solid material that retains the thread, whereas wood has fibers that will sooner or later cause the threads to be non existent. For wood – as long as you drill the hole in the correct size, the screw/bolt once inserted can generate the threads in the wood all by itself to match it’s own threads. If you want to have “real” threads in a wooden application which is used to allow you to screw and unscrew that jig on a constant basis – you really do need to use inserts which will retain their threads.

Just my 0.02 – not to take away from this great looking drill/tap combination which I believe is great for it’s intended use.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View DeLayne Peck's profile

DeLayne Peck

353 posts in 922 days


#3 posted 08-13-2013 01:58 PM

Greenlee offers an extensive range of products for the electrical trade. The opinion you found suggested it not the best for some applications, like soft materials, wood, and plastic, specially where there is high stress and/or wear. I’d agree, it depends on the application. The the bit should be used sensibly. There are applications where a brass insert would be wise.

At the same time, deeper in soft wood or less so in hard wood, there’s a wide range of wood shop applications with screws, bolts, knobs, and rods. And, Greenlee offers full sets and individual of bits in incremental sizes. Larger bits could be used in higher stress or higher wear applications. I like having the bit in my connector arsenal for the speed, ease, and possibilities.

Amazon’s product description bears repeating: Complete hole drilling, tapping, deburring and countersinking in one operation with power drill saves labor and time Back tapered beyond tap to prevent thread damage from over-drilling Deburr/countersink also provided on bit beyond back taper Made from hardened high-speed steel vs carbon steel for longer life Designed to tap up to 10-gauge metal

-- DJ Peck, Lincoln Nebraska. I think of my shop as Fritter City. I am the Mayor.

View NiteWalker's profile

NiteWalker

2710 posts in 1297 days


#4 posted 08-13-2013 04:45 PM

Re; tapping wood, I use a normal tap and it works great. I use my cordless drill to do the tapping going slow, but not a snail’s pace. Pouring a bit of thin CA glue on the threads hardens them to the point where inserts aren’t necessary.

I’ve done it with MDF, baltic birch plywood, oak, maple etc.
Wood holds threads surprisingly well.

-- He who dies with the most tools... dies with the emptiest wallet.

View gtbuzz's profile

gtbuzz

377 posts in 1161 days


#5 posted 08-13-2013 08:36 PM

@NiteWalker

Never heard that before with the CA glue on the threads. Sounds like a great idea, I’m gonna have to try that.

View Rick M.'s profile

Rick M.

4324 posts in 1100 days


#6 posted 08-13-2013 11:59 PM

DJ, I was looking at these awhile back and even asked about them on another forum but no one there had any experience with them. The Amazon reviews were all positive last time I looked. I look forward to reading your impressions once you’ve had some time with them and used them in a variety of materials.

-- http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

View DeLayne Peck's profile

DeLayne Peck

353 posts in 922 days


#7 posted 08-14-2013 05:04 AM

NIghtwalker!

Thank you for a very valuable contribution to this discussion. Your CA glue suggestion is a golden shop tip. Makes me wonder about using Wood Hardener. A couple of drops might work.

And, here is a tip: If your wife has wicked sense of humor, keep Wood Hardener away from her. She will taunt you with the can.

-- DJ Peck, Lincoln Nebraska. I think of my shop as Fritter City. I am the Mayor.

View MT_Stringer's profile

MT_Stringer

2063 posts in 1951 days


#8 posted 08-14-2013 08:30 PM

That sounds like a good idea for drilling/taping holes all in one operation. That got me to thinking. Liquid Nails construction adhesive is some tuff stuff. A little dab on the threads before inserting the bolt should seal the threads and make a permanent bond. Later if needed, the bolt could be backed out with a wrench. It is available in a hand size squeezable tube.

-- Handcrafted by Mike Henderson - Channelview, Texas

View ArtistryinWood's profile

ArtistryinWood

97 posts in 2407 days


#9 posted 08-15-2013 01:45 AM

Recently watched this on American Woodworker Site.

http://www.americanwoodworker.tv/videos/5025_machine-screw-joints/

-- It seem's to me i could live my life, a lot better than i think i am. Andrew, Midland, Ont.

View Mainiac Matt 's profile

Mainiac Matt

4317 posts in 1048 days


#10 posted 08-15-2013 03:43 PM

The key with tapping any machine screw threaded hole in a soft material is to make sure you don’t over tighten the screw. The mechanical advantage of the screw allows you to put an amazing amount of force on the threads with even a short wrench or decent tourque driver, you can easilly strip the threads.

You will definatley want to stick with UNC (coarse) theads.

I like the CA glue idea.

You can pick up tap sets on the cheap at places like harbor freight, but I’ve never personally seen the deep extension taps like the one shown in the AW clip.

-- Pine is fine, but Oak's no joke!

View Rick M.'s profile

Rick M.

4324 posts in 1100 days


#11 posted 08-15-2013 06:06 PM

The long taps in the AW clip cost around $30 each, it would be really spendy for a set although you’d probably only need one or two for woodworking.

-- http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

View NiteWalker's profile

NiteWalker

2710 posts in 1297 days


#12 posted 08-15-2013 07:18 PM

The tap I use is from lowe’s; kobalt brand.
Nothing special.

It’s been a hard worker in my shop.

-- He who dies with the most tools... dies with the emptiest wallet.

View abie's profile

abie

608 posts in 2491 days


#13 posted 08-16-2013 10:43 PM

I’ve done this recently
Taped into wood slowly
then poured CA glue into the hole, let it dry over night then re tapped it slowly and I am happy with the result
wood was maple.

-- Bruce. a mind is like a book it is only useful when open.

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