Ever Broke Off A Threading Tap?

There always seems to be that one guy who says no, he has never broken off a tap.

All I can say is either you are the luckiest sonofabitch I ever heard of or you don’t do much thread tapping.

If that is the case, you just ain’t trying hard enough and this should take care of your broken tap virginity issue.

This thing is a MONSTER.

Far and away the biggest Tap Wrench I have ever laid eyes on.

I spent about an hour and a half cleaning it up some and got it broke loose and working.

The battery was just to give you an idea of how big it is.

I still want to do some more cleaning on it but it is totally functional right now.

I picked this up from STxAR over at Budget Machining after I read that post and started drooling before I was even done.

The poor dude has had a really, really rough year.

He is just a Prince of a guy too, it breaks my heart to see all the crap he has been through.

So he picked up several LARGE tap and also some Die wrenches somewhere that were all rusty and said he was going to clean them up and sell them to make some extra money if he could ever find the time.

I’m still entertaining the thought of snagging another one.

I got ahold of him and told him I would take this one off his hands and he didn’t even need to bother cleaning it.

That’s half the fun for me anyway.

So we went back and forth a bit and I made him a decent offer and told him I would pay for the shipping too.

Done deal. He had the thing boxed up and shipped lickety split.

Like I said, he is a hell of a nice guy and I am dead serious too.

A couple days later I heard a pretty solid THUNK against the front door and here it is.

I wasted no time getting it unboxed, out on the bench and went at it.

This is the second or third time I have gotten a rusty old tool from somewhere else in the country and I have to say that on all occasions, it is a totally different kind of rust than what we have to deal with here in the Pacific Northwest.

The stuff we get is very aggressive. Something that sat around as long as those tap and die wrenches obviously did where he is, around here would be completely destroyed.

The rust around here would have fused that thing together and then commenced to eating it completely.

As nasty as it looks in that picture when I first got it, it only took me about an hour or so to get it cleaned up and working smoothly!

So I really want to give a shout out to STxAR and thank him again for hooking me up.

As for just what the heck I am ever going to use that beast for, I do have some Pipe Taps that would require something that big and anything square that needing reefing on and would fit inside those jaws would be crying it’s eyes out when it saw me drag that puppy out.

28 thoughts on “Ever Broke Off A Threading Tap?

      • Those covers are hard to come by for them.
        I probably have 8-10 and no covers. Bought them at a gun show years ago and the vendor didn’t have a single one.


  1. Any mechanic who claims he never broke a tap is just like a biker who claims he
    never dumped a bike. It is as big a lie as a guy who claimed he never masturbated!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I believe your rust differential is due to your proximity to the coast and salt air and no doubt it would have been locked tighter than a bulls ass. Along with the in depth destruction of the metal itself. Nice find but I like Irish’s a helluva lot better! Can’t believe he tagged that drill press for 2 bills, WOW!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah that was a score to tell your Grandkids about. Holy Moly what a deal. That’s a $1500 Drill Press anywhere, any day.
      I am tickled he snagged it and you know as well as I do that it found the best home possible.


  3. Wow. I just slithered over to Budget Machining. We are moving back to where he is from after 20+ years on the southeast coast. I read one of his entries about the May 11th tornado that hit Lubbock. We were crammed in a closet when it went over our house. Small world.


    • 35th and Toledo. That was where we lived, right across from Stubbs. Welcome home, brother. I’m glad you lived through that night.


  4. The title of this article suggests a couple of hints on how to deal with broken taps and how to get those suckers out again.
    The steel I am working with really sucks (or is it me?) thus I break two taps a month on average.


      • Harf to say. It isn’t the regular steel you encounter when building/welding everyday constructions. It’s not the brittle kind of steel but the extreme opposite. If we were steel eaters, stainless steel that got hot once (like Phil describes) would be some hard tack. That steel I‘m talking about would be like some kind of extremely sticky toffee.


    • Let me guess, you work around a lot of Stainless Steel.
      I hate working with that shit but almost everything where I work at is made out of either that or Molybdeum.
      If you really want nightmares, try working with that crap after it has been hot a couple of times. It doesn’t matter how thick it is, it turns as brittle as glass.
      The REALLY weird thing about it is that if you get it warm again you can do damn near anything to it and it isn’t brittle, until it cools off again.


  5. Like I said yesterday, biggest tap wrench I’ve ever seen.

    Biggest tap I own is 1-3/16 – 16 for an AR-15 buffer tube. It has a 3/4″ drive. I don’t have a tap wrench that fits it, just a large socket wrench.


    • WD-40 and 3 In 1 oil mostly. I go through an UnGodly amount of both.
      WD-40 cleans as it lubricates and also softens up dried up greases and oils so they come off easier.Unfortunately, it also evaporates after a while. 3 In1 is messy but I wipe things off just enough to leave a film of oil on things.
      I have been seriously thinking about trying out some of that Cold Bluing solution on some things as it really helps protect against rust.


  6. Wife’s uncle passed away several years back and all of the dumbass nephews were fighting over craftsman sockets, ratchets, harbor freight junk. In the corner was a complete set of tap and dyes, nut buster, extensions, an anvil, 16” bench vise and other miscellaneous REAL tools. There in my shop now, lol.


  7. Phil- I was a millwright for years. Grew up in the trade. Used cold blue on some of my good trisquares and centering heads. Worked pretty well.


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