I decided to start the New Year off by making some small productivity improvements in the shop. One of the things I find myself constantly doing is reaching for a wrench to tighten the tool post, and also the tailstock (more on this soon!). I decided to make a tool post lock nut and handle.
From this point on I’m going to try to make drawings for all the projects that I do in Autodesk Fusion. I’ll also share the CAD data in Fusion once I get that setup. Below are the drawings for each of the parts:
In the video I talk a little about the taps I primarily purchase and use in the shop. YG’s spiral flute bottoming machine tap is my go to tap. The quality on these taps is exceptional, and work well in many materials that you find in the home shop. They are designed for tapping blind holes, but work equally well in through holes so to keep costs down I try to just purchase these. Avoid the cheap import sets for thread cutting. Usually these sets are made from high carbon steel (not high speed steel), and they generally do a poor job in the shop.
If anyone says you can’t tap properly by hand using machine taps, they probably aren’t using good machine taps, or need more practice I guess. I find that the YG machine taps are easier to use and start than standard hand taps and do a much better job on the thread. Let them pick out the broken hand tap.