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Want to Borrow a 4-40 bottom tap




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#1
Hello all.

I would like to borrow a 4-40 bottom tap (plug tap might work) to re-trap the optic mounting hole in my Omen slide. A screw recently broke off and I was able to drill out the broke piece without damaging the existing threads, but there are some fragments stuck in the threads at the bottom of the hole. I have several of these taps, but of course they are with my tools and other household items that were just shipped out of state. I've looked locally but can't find what I'm looking for.

If you have either a 4-40 bottom tap or plug tap and tap handle you'd let me borrow for 5 minutes, or if you know where I can purchase one I would greatly appreciate it.

Thank you.
 

NYECOGunsmith

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#4
Home Depot in Pahrump carries 4-40 taps, they are taper taps, which means one of those and 30 seconds on a grinder and you can have a plug or a bottoming tap as needed. I bet Home Depot or Lowes or Ace or McFadden Dale or Fastenal in Vegas would have them too. Our Wal Mart even has them here in lil ol backward Pahrump.

Taper tap has 5 to 7 threads tapered, they do most of the cutting, easing force. A plug has 3-5 threads tapered, goes almost to the bottom of holes, a semi bottoming tap has 1.5 to 2.5 threads tapered, and a bottoming tap has 1 to 1.5 threads tapered, easy to make any of them from the taper tap.
Trying to get fragments out of the threads at the bottom of the hole with a tap, bottoming or otherwise, will result in a broken tap because it will bind up on the fragments.

Take a paper clip, straighten it out, bend a 1/16 long leg on one end, grind a sharp point on the short leg, reach down in there and fiddle out the fragments, then use the bottoming tap.

A small crochet hook will work too, they are hard steel, or a modified dental pick.
 
#5
Thanks for the info. Grinding a tapered tap isn’t really an option as my grinder is with the rest of my tools out of state. I’m staying with a buddy who doesn’t have basic hand tools, hence the request for assistance.

I already tried getting them out with a stainless dental pick. No dice. Figured a little cutting oil and a tap might do. I don’t intend on using much force at all in fear of breaking the tap.

Another member offered his tap and handle. I’ll give it a go. Thanks everyone for the replies. Mods please lock the thread.
 

NYECOGunsmith

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#6
Closing the thread for you, good luck.
One last note for anyone with a similar problem, if the broken screw in the hole, or a broken tap in a hole, is made of steel (and you know the tap will be) but the part it is broken off in is Aluminum, you can get the steel screw or tap pieces out without harming the aluminum by using powdered Alum and water.

Alum in powder form is available in most major grocery stores, in the department where they sell supplies for canning and pickling. In food prep, it is used for pickling.

In the machine shop, hot water mixed with powdered alum and put down the hole in the part where the broken screw or tap is, will eat the steel, but won't harm the aluminum at all.

The hotter the water, and the more alum you get mixed into it, the faster it works.

An aluminum slide with a busted screw, put in a pot of water with as much alum as the water will hold, and boiled for 5 minutes and the screw or tap will be gone.
 
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