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IndustryArena Forum > MetalWorking > General MetalWork Discussion > Busted Tap blues? Here's the fix!
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  1. #1
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    Busted Tap blues? Here's the fix!

    If you've every tapped more then a few holes in either steel or aluminum then you've probably broken a tap off in the material. Now what?

    Here's a solution that I've been working with for a couple of years now and no tap has beat me yet.

    First pic, broke the tap off in a piece of steel. This can really ruin your day..

    If you are proficient with a TIG welder then you slowly start adding a bit of metal to the piece of broken off tap. Add a bit more until you have a little nub sticking up above the surface.

    Next, Drop a nut (in this case a 1/4- 20) over the nub. Weld the nub to the nut.

    While the nut is still warm use a wrench to slowly rock the nut back and fourth a bit at a time.

    Success! After a little patience you can just walk the busted tap out of the hole and you are golden!

    I hope this is as valuable to others as it has been to me.

    Post back if you try this and let us know your results.

    Lawrence
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  2. #2
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    pretty nice! Do you think this would work for a tap busted off in 6061?

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by AiR_GuNNeR View Post
    pretty nice! Do you think this would work for a tap busted off in 6061?
    I've removed a couple from 6061 with no problem at all. I think it's actually easier to do this on softer metals. The example I posted was on steel.

    Just takes a bit of patience..

    Lawrence
    Is a sentance fragment?

  4. #4
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    Great technique. My local machinist showed me a couple of tricks when I broke off a tap one time.

    The break was right at the surface of my 6061 plate, and he gently tapped a center punch to "walk" the tap back out of the hole. Once he could get a grip on it with a pair of vice grips, he took it right out. It's hard to describe the technique, but he came in at an angle with the punch and then slowly walked it counter clockwise back out.

    The second technique was to use a small endmill and cut around the tap. Again, until it could be grabbed with a set of needle nose grips. Once the tap was out, he bored the hole, plugged it and redrilled/tapped. I'm not sure how the plug was permanently attached, but it may have been a press fit and then welded? The end result was nearly invisible.

    Steve

  5. #5
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    I have used the method that Tristar500 has discribed several times, I use a MIG to attach the nut. It works like a champ! I keep the little nubs from the broken tap as a reminder. This also works on broken header bolts so you don't have to pull the engine to drill and extract the offending bolt.

    Larry O

  6. #6
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    Another reason I wish I had a TIG. MIG dosen't work for this. It dosen't seem to get enough (or any) penetration into the tap, and the nut just twists off.

    Paul

  7. #7
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    If all else fails a solid carbide end mill/slot drill can drill out the core of the tap (but will lay down its own life in the act).

    DP

  8. #8
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    I never thought about keeping the nubs. Might be a good idea to pull a few out and have a long look next time I'm in a hurry with a dull tap.


    Quote Originally Posted by Phishaholic View Post
    I have used the method that Tristar500 has discribed several times, I use a MIG to attach the nut. It works like a champ! I keep the little nubs from the broken tap as a reminder. This also works on broken header bolts so you don't have to pull the engine to drill and extract the offending bolt.

    Larry O
    Is a sentance fragment?

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