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Thread: Help replacing discontinued tool

  1. #1
    Project Engineer CCR5600Design's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Central USA

    Help replacing discontinued tool

    As you all know, no matter how well a product is designed, it has a limited service life. For our business, we thread a LOT of holes, many of them free-hand with a tool that has been discontinued by the manufacturer. So, after nearly 15 years, these tools are wearing out. We have nearly exhausted our source for maintenance parts and are looking for alternatives. So.... I come to the great cornucopia of knowledge known as Engineers Edge for help dragging our tails out of the fire once again.

    The tool we currently use is a hand-held, quick-reversing air drill which was designed for the purpose of running a gun tap. It features a special collet which centers and secures the tap in line with the drive of the drill. Operating speeds are between 2000 and 2500 RPM depending on the model number. We typically use these with #8-32UNC and #12-24UNC taps and in the hands of a capable operator, upwards of 80 holes can be threaded per minute. No special jig, no special fixture, no need to bring the parts to the drill press via forklift as the drill can easily be carried to the parts. If possible, we use a tapping station in our CNC punch to create threaded holes, but in cases where the holes are required to be close to a bend line, these holes get deformed during the bending process and damage the threads. The holes cannot be moved further from the bend line, so we have simply threaded them after bending.

    I called the manufacturer when we first started having issues with these tools and the service tech on the phone made me repeat the model number and serial number THREE times to make certain it was correct. His response was, "Man, I didn't think there were any of these things left!" Upon learning this particular model was no longer available, I took his suggestion and ordered its "replacement." Boy, was I disappointed. Operating speed is only 450 RPM. Yes, Four hundred and fifty revolutions per minute. The old tools were four times faster. I called him and asked if there was any way we could return the tool and have a different ratio gear reduction unit installed and was informed this was the fastest this tool could operate.

    Darn the luck.

    So, here's where I turn to the collective genius of Engineers Edge. Do you folks know of a tool that can be used in such a manner that will offer an operating speed in the range of 2000-2500 rpm?

    Thanks for your time and suggestions,


  2. #2
    Administrator Kelly Bramble's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Bold Springs, GA
    First, I would really like to see a picture of this tool. This is just a fancy drill motor? Are there any features that allow or force the tap to be perpendicularity?
    Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.

  3. #3
    Lead Engineer RWOLFEJR's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Rochester Pennsylvania
    Reversible air drill?
    My compliments to your tapping after bends... Many would just horse the screw into the skewed threaded hole.

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