By Robert Beason
I recently had a task where I needed to use a pipe tap on some large pieces of 1” diameter steel. To ensure the tap started straight, I made up the tap guide shown here. With it, I was able to keep the tap straight and could use a large wrench to rotate the tap.
The piece seen at the right of the photos fits into a 1/2″ chuck in the lathe tailstock. The next piece has a spindle turned to a sliding fit for the bore on the first piece and a large hex cut for the wrench. On the other side, a squarewas milled to fit a standard 1/2″ socket. Using 1/2″ sockets allows one to find a socket to fit almost any tap size.
The guide was a quick project, is easily made, and really helps when it comes time to tap those big holes.