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Old 02-03-2018, 09:36 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Tap and die for kit-less pen cap/body


I am looking for a triple start tap and die set to start experimenting with kit-less pens.

After a little research, it seems the 12mm is commonly used. Any advice and sources for a tap and die set is much appreciated.

I am also looking for a good source for nib supplies.


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Old 02-03-2018, 09:45 AM   #2 (permalink)
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For taps, dies try here: Silver Pen Parts

That is a members site, mredburn.

Not sure what he has available but he could direct you to other sources.

Watch on IAP for possible Group Buys of taps and dies in triple start, etc. . About once or twice a year someone organizes these for buying from Tapco or another company.
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Old 02-03-2018, 11:10 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Beaufort Ink in the UK is about the only company that stock them. They are expensive because they are not a stock thread for manufacturers so have to be custom made.

Disclosure. Marla, my wife, supplies blanks to Beaufort Ink.

There was a recent group buy in one of the Facebook groups but it is closed now and their order is being made. The organizer may have ordered some extras.

If you just want to get your feet I would suggest you buy some single start sets first and if you like it, then get the triples. Victor have tap and dies at reasonable prices. You will want a 12x.75 for your cap to body threads. Pick up the body to section ones while you are at it. Victor also sell a simple die holder that you can use by choking a rod in the tailstock and hand turn the die onto the work held in the chuck. Easy for plastic materials but if you want to cut metal threads might be harder. I have a few of them.

Feed taps for the nib assemblies are proprietary to the nib brand you use, so you'll have to get them from the place you buy the nibs from.
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Old 02-03-2018, 03:00 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Thumbs up on Curly's suggestion regarding single start threads. 12x.75mm is fine; 1/2-32 is a reasonable alternative.

A suggestion on nibs to get started. Forget Bock, Jowo, Schmidt, Edison (which is a Jowo in disguise) for the moment. They are all relatively expensive and/or require expensive proprietary taps. In addition, they require a lot of tedious, fiddly work to fit them into grip sections.

Instead, go here:


and order an El Grande Nib or three in whatever width floats your boat. You will have a section/feed/nib that is the perfect diameter to mate up with a barrel with a 12mm cap/barrel thread. The only additional tooling you will need is a 10x1.0mm plug tap for the hole that the section screws into. (By the way, if you have ever built a Churchill, this is the same grip section)

One other suggestion. Buy this book; you won't be sorry.


Have fun,
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Old 02-03-2018, 03:24 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I do carry taps for Jowo, #5, #6, #8 but no longer stock the triple taps. If you leave the want ad up someone may be ready to sell a set. I recomend single thread taps to start if your not sure you will continue making kitless pens. If you make a couple and decide its the way you want to go, then invest in the Triple lead sets. Beaufort Ink does carry them as noted and it looks like there is a possibility that another vendor will start stocking them in the US.
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Old 02-03-2018, 06:07 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Thank you all for the great advice. Thank you for suggesting the single thread route, now the fun begins!

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Old 02-03-2018, 07:13 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I forgot to mention that I started in kitless by using the Churchill nib and a 10mmx1mm tap that I got out of a multi-piece tap and die set (metric and SAE) that I bought many years ago at a store much like your Harbor Freight. . It worked out great and then I proceeded to buy a triple start set.
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Old 02-04-2018, 05:27 PM   #8 (permalink)
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An alternative to the El Grande/Churchill section, which is along the same lines but will allow you to use Bock nibs, is Bock's own ready made sections. You'll need a plug tap if you don't have one, which is M8.5 x 1 - which I think Mike may have on his website, he certainly used to, but if not, we've got them in stock.

The sections are available from Beaufort Ink and cost about 10 depending on the finish.

Sections for custom fountain pens and kitlss pens

My advice to you too, even though it's our triple lead taps and dies everyone is mentioning, is in agreement with every one else, which is to prove your techniques and designs with single lead taps and dies. They are much cheaper to begin your journey with. Once you're happy that everything works out, and you know what you're doing, that's the time to invest in the triple lead ones.
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Old 02-05-2018, 12:11 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Plus, with the single tap, you can line up the cap and body to match perfectly. With a triple start, you only have a 33% chance of lining up the way you would like.

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Old 02-06-2018, 12:17 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I've been following this tread.

Would this be what I want to start with?

12mm x .75 High Speed Steel Bottoming Tap

12mm X .75 Round Adjustable Die 1" Outside Diameter - High Speed Steel

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