My drawer of taps and dies agrees with this statement! I have two of all the MTP taps and a handful of the smaller (1/8 and 1/4) taps just as Bill describes.Bill Shields wrote: the bad thing about all of this is you generally need two taps....one to get started and one, with the end ground off, so that you can work blind holes - or 90 or 45 ells.
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Fred, I know in my turret lathe operation days, we used to use old, more dull pipe taps in brass and bronze. What happened is the stuff cut so easy that a new sharp pipe tap would get partially to depth where the tap is starting to cut fully into the metal, and it would just cut all the treads out instead of continuing deeper, leaving you a worthless tapered hole. So our shop had to have 3 of each size, regular sharp, regular dull, and a "bottoming" version for blind holes as stated above. Toss in the fact that we did 1/8"-1" NPT, and this was some serious $$$$ in taps!