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News > Technical Articles > Punching > Tapping 101

Tapping 101

In-machine tapping tools form threads in sheet metal accurately and without the need of a secondary application.

September 12, 2019

What is tapping in sheet metal?

Tapping in sheet metal is the use of a tapping tool to form material in a pre-punched or extruded thru hole, to create threads for engagement of a non-self-tapping screw. This application is typically needed for connecting one piece of sheet metal to another item.

How does an in-machine tapping tool work?

An in-machine tapping tool is placed in the punch press, similar to piercing or forming tools. The tapping tool utilizes each machine stroke to produce an accurate thread in programmed locations. With each stroke, the tool is engaged, and the tap rotates to form the material, creating the pitch of the thread needed. The tapping tool has a built-in fluid injection system that is synchronized with the machine stroke to reduce the wear on the tool. Taps used in the tapping tool to create the threads are easily changed out and are available in metric and imperial sizes. Taps are also coated to improve life and performance of the tap.

In order to create threads in sheet metal for a non-self-tapping screw, you’ll need enough material tapped for the screw to engage with. For thicker material, a thru hole is all that is needed while thinner material will need to be extruded. Wilson Tool’s expert Tooling Technicians will advise on each application to ensure proper engagement is achieved.  

What kinds of Taps are Available?

Taps are available in metric and imperial threads:

Metric
M2.5 x 45
M3 x .5
M4 x .7
M5 x .8
M6 x 1
M8 x 1.25
M10 x 1.5

Imperial
6-32
8-32
10-24
10-32
12-24
1/4-20
1/4-28
5/16-18
3/8-16

*additional sizes available upon request.

What Styles of in-machine tapping tools are Available?

Wilson Tool has a variety of in-machine tapping tools available.

• QuickTap™ for Thick Turret Machines
• QuickTap for Strippit PX Machines
• QuickTap for Euromac Machines
• Tapping Tool for Trump-Style Machines

For more information on tapping tools from Wilson Tool, please contact our Tooling Technicians or visit wilsontool.com/tapping.

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