What all taps are needed to make pens?

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Joebobber

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Sep 24, 2018
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910
Location
Erie, North Dakota
I am thinking about advancing into makining my own fountain pens. I know you need specific taps for each companies nibs you are going to use, but what else am I going to need as far as taps/dies go? Cap threading/ body threading?
 
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eharri446

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Mar 17, 2016
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1,017
Location
Marietta, GA
There have several posts dealing with that information. However, in a nut shell you will be taps for the Bock #5 and #6, and Jowo #5 & #6 if you plan to use those two most commonly used vendors. Here is a list of the various taps and dies, and their cost, that many of us have purchased:

Triple lead taps and Dies
1​
2​
3​
6​
9​
12​
24​
M14-.8
178.64​
137.61​
104.39​
80.41​
69.19​
5,808.00​
51.81​
M14-.8
M13-.8 1pc
162.40​
125.10​
94.90​
73.10​
62.90​
52.80​
47.10​
M12-.8
159.00​
121.90​
91.50​
68.40​
563.00​
48.40​
43.20​
M11-.8
158.00​
119.80​
89.50​
63.45​
53.45​
44.10​
37.70​
Triple lead Dies
M14-.8 HS 1"OD Die
184.80​
138.60​
103.60​
78.40​
70.00​
M14x.8 HS 1 1/2"OD Die
204.10​
165.10​
126.10​
89.70​
80.60​
M13-.8 HS 1"OD Die
184.80​
138.60​
103.60​
78.40​
70.00​
M12-.8 HS 1"OD Die
184.80​
138.60​
103.60​
78.40​
70.00​
M11-.8 HS 1"OD DIe
184.80​
138.60​
103.60​
78.40​
70.00​
SIngle lead taps
M6.4-.6 1pc
125.00​
90.20​
61.90​
40.15​
26.15​
22.45​
18.40​
M7.9-.6
126.10​
91.60​
62.90​
41.50​
31.60​
23.50​
18.50​
M6.5-.5
125.00​
90.20​
61.90​
40.15​
26.15​
22.45​
18.40​
M7.5-.5
126.10​
91.60​
62.90​
41.50​
31.60​
23.50​
18.50​
M8.5-1
130.35​
94.10​
66.99​
44.66​
34.35​
25.65​
20.80​
SIngle lead dies
M8.5-1 HS 1"OID DIe
131.60​
99.40​
74.20​
56.00​
50.40​

These taps and dies can be very expensive to purchase if you try to purchase them as an individual. However, there are periodically group buys put together to get them at a discounted price. The table above shows what one group buy got them for in 2017.

Having given you the bad news first, let me give you some good news. You can use standard single start metric taps and dies for the body, cap, and sections. One document available in the library show a member using a triple (Nib, feed, and housing) for a Cigar pen kit which has a thread of M10X1.

My recommendation would be to get the single start taps and dies and use them first to see if you really want to make what we term as kit less pens. It will be much cheaper if you decide that these types of pens are not for you.
 

eharri446

Member
Joined
Mar 17, 2016
Messages
1,017
Location
Marietta, GA
I have no issue with that idea. I was trying in this post to give an idea as to how expensive buying the tooling for making kit less pens is, and showing that there is another option, even if it is not the one everyone likes.

Also, the price for the M14x.8 triple lead tap when the quantity being order is greater than and equal to 12 and less than 24 should be 58.08 not 5808.00.
 

bmachin

Member
Joined
Jul 28, 2013
Messages
613
Location
Owensboro, KY
Prices on the Bock and Jowo taps appear are, I assume, based on group buys from Tapco or similar. I don't know if there are still domestic retailers for those taps or not, although there used to be.

Taps for Bock nibs are available here (priced in British Pounds):


Beaufort also sells some triple lead taps and dies.

Taps for both Bock and Jowo are available here (priced in Euros):


Really quick estimation puts US dollar price at around 35-40. No idea what shipping might be.

You might check with Brian at Meisternibs to see if he knows of a source fo Jowo taps. Don't know who the importer for Bock is.

One nib that is rarely mentioned is Schmidt. Richard Greenwald sells several different models and he generally has the necessary taps in stock although you may need to call him to figure out which tap you need for which nib. They are quality products.


Hope this is useful.

Bill
 

Joebobber

Member
Joined
Sep 24, 2018
Messages
910
Location
Erie, North Dakota
Prices on the Bock and Jowo taps appear are, I assume, based on group buys from Tapco or similar. I don't know if there are still domestic retailers for those taps or not, although there used to be.

Taps for Bock nibs are available here (priced in British Pounds):


Beaufort also sells some triple lead taps and dies.

Taps for both Bock and Jowo are available here (priced in Euros):


Really quick estimation puts US dollar price at around 35-40. No idea what shipping might be.

You might check with Brian at Meisternibs to see if he knows of a source fo Jowo taps. Don't know who the importer for Bock is.

One nib that is rarely mentioned is Schmidt. Richard Greenwald sells several different models and he generally has the necessary taps in stock although you may need to call him to figure out which tap you need for which nib. They are quality products.


Hope this is useful.

Bill
Yes bill, Thank you!
 

Joebobber

Member
Joined
Sep 24, 2018
Messages
910
Location
Erie, North Dakota
There have several posts dealing with that information. However, in a nut shell you will be taps for the Bock #5 and #6, and Jowo #5 & #6 if you plan to use those two most commonly used vendors. Here is a list of the various taps and dies, and their cost, that many of us have purchased:

Triple lead taps and Dies
1​
2​
3​
6​
9​
12​
24​
M14-.8
178.64​
137.61​
104.39​
80.41​
69.19​
5,808.00​
51.81​
M14-.8
M13-.8 1pc
162.40​
125.10​
94.90​
73.10​
62.90​
52.80​
47.10​
M12-.8
159.00​
121.90​
91.50​
68.40​
563.00​
48.40​
43.20​
M11-.8
158.00​
119.80​
89.50​
63.45​
53.45​
44.10​
37.70​
Triple lead Dies
M14-.8 HS 1"OD Die
184.80​
138.60​
103.60​
78.40​
70.00​
M14x.8 HS 1 1/2"OD Die
204.10​
165.10​
126.10​
89.70​
80.60​
M13-.8 HS 1"OD Die
184.80​
138.60​
103.60​
78.40​
70.00​
M12-.8 HS 1"OD Die
184.80​
138.60​
103.60​
78.40​
70.00​
M11-.8 HS 1"OD DIe
184.80​
138.60​
103.60​
78.40​
70.00​
SIngle lead taps
M6.4-.6 1pc
125.00​
90.20​
61.90​
40.15​
26.15​
22.45​
18.40​
M7.9-.6
126.10​
91.60​
62.90​
41.50​
31.60​
23.50​
18.50​
M6.5-.5
125.00​
90.20​
61.90​
40.15​
26.15​
22.45​
18.40​
M7.5-.5
126.10​
91.60​
62.90​
41.50​
31.60​
23.50​
18.50​
M8.5-1
130.35​
94.10​
66.99​
44.66​
34.35​
25.65​
20.80​
SIngle lead dies
M8.5-1 HS 1"OID DIe
131.60​
99.40​
74.20​
56.00​
50.40​

These taps and dies can be very expensive to purchase if you try to purchase them as an individual. However, there are periodically group buys put together to get them at a discounted price. The table above shows what one group buy got them for in 2017.

Having given you the bad news first, let me give you some good news. You can use standard single start metric taps and dies for the body, cap, and sections. One document available in the library show a member using a triple (Nib, feed, and housing) for a Cigar pen kit which has a thread of M10X1.

My recommendation would be to get the single start taps and dies and use them first to see if you really want to make what we term as kit less pens. It will be much cheaper if you decide that these types of pens are not for you.
Thank you so much!
 

eteska

Member
Joined
Oct 29, 2019
Messages
241
Location
Wisconsin
I too am thinking about trying my hand at kit less pens. I appreciate all the help I can get. I just placed an order for a few of the schmidt fountain pen nib units, matching cartridge rollerball, grip sections, and the corresponding tap. I plan to try my first ones with the snap caps that come with as I do not have any triple start tap and dies yet. Guess we will see how it goes..


Sent from my iPhone using Penturners.org mobile app
 

bmachin

Member
Joined
Jul 28, 2013
Messages
613
Location
Owensboro, KY
I think that you have the cart way before the horse. There is more to kitless pens than just taps and dies.

My suggestion (for the 345th time) is to buy this book:


It has a step-by-step plan (with drawings) for making a kitless, clipless pen with a list of all the tooling necessary. As I recall, in terms of taps and dies it uses a single start 1/2-28 or 1/2-32 tap and die and a 10mm-1 tap and die along with a few drills. You will of course need to make a couple of mandrels. The nib assembly used is the Berea/El Grande

I am assuming that you are working with a wood lathe. Check out the videos from Steve4948 on YouTube. He shows making a kitless pen on a wood lathe as well as making mandrels on a wood lathe.

Believe me the book is worth the 17 buck price of admission.

Bill
 

Joebobber

Member
Joined
Sep 24, 2018
Messages
910
Location
Erie, North Dakota
I have made pens that I needed to make mandrels for. A few didn't have tubes. I've made capless (i think they are called) as well. Basically I am understanding that I could use whatever I wanted to put threads in the cap and pen body, but best option would be to measure the nib with calipers and go from there.
 

bmachin

Member
Joined
Jul 28, 2013
Messages
613
Location
Owensboro, KY
I have made pens that I needed to make mandrels for. A few didn't have tubes. I've made capless (i think they are called) as well. Basically I am understanding that I could use whatever I wanted to put threads in the cap and pen body, but best option would be to measure the nib with calipers and go from there.
Sorry for jumping to conclusions. This might be of some help. Seven years or so ago when first started thinking about kitless pens, the canonical three start was 12x.08. IIRC nobody even talked about 11 or 13 or 14. So if you’re looking for an all around starter go with the 12 or the 13. Either will work with a 5 or 6 nib. The 13 will give you a bit more flexibility. I would stay away from the 11 and 14.

Bill
 

Joebobber

Member
Joined
Sep 24, 2018
Messages
910
Location
Erie, North Dakota
Sorry for jumping to conclusions. This might be of some help. Seven years or so ago when first started thinking about kitless pens, the canonical three start was 12x.08. IIRC nobody even talked about 11 or 13 or 14. So if you’re looking for an all around starter go with the 12 or the 13. Either will work with a 5 or 6 nib. The 13 will give you a bit more flexibility. I would stay away from the 11 and 14.

Bill
Thank you Bill, i really appreciate that information!
 

chris_11

Member
Joined
Dec 28, 2020
Messages
15
Location
Luedinghausen
Hello,

does anyone have experience with milling the tap on a CNC mill with thread-whirling? That should be a lot cheaper since you do not need those expensive dies. A single whirling tool should do for both sides.

BR
Christian
 
Joined
Dec 19, 2008
Messages
16
Location
Sarasota, FL
I have been turning Pens since 2008 and have been doing the standard glue/epoxy tube with all sorts of Pen Kits using bushings. Kitless pen making has been a growing desire for many years and it is time for me to give it a try. I do have Richard Kleinhenz Pen Turner's Bible and a very useful guide. The youtube videos are very useful and great to see the diverse ways that different people go about solving problems and different techniques, a big shout out to #RJBWoodTurner on youtube for some great videos. I have done some simple videos and it takes a ton of work so my hat is off to you RJB hope to meet you someday.

Here are my questions:
1. I am stuck on tap and dies. Mainly on the price of the ones I think I should get. I get everything else pretty well with the kitless process, I am sure once I am hands-on there will be many "learning opportunities". I understand basic principles with tap and dies but I don't understand the price difference with the ones I believe I may need.
2. Is the quality really that different?
3. What is the core difference between the high-end Tapco tap/dies? (I believe I understand the difference between triple start compared single start. Is the machining of these Tapco Tap/Dies really that superior we are cutting fairly soft material compared to what you would normally cut with a tap/die)
4. I am also needing a good starting point and then expand as I grow into kitless. What would be the best starting point from a standpoint of a set of Tap/Die/Jowo/Bock sizes I should start with where I can hone my skills and then expand into other sizes later? From what I see it is going to be a $ 600-ish investment for a good set of tap/die tools and size just to get entry into kitless. I am looking at getting the right setup first and not having to buy something I don't need or something that just does not work.
5. Jowo or Bock? Is there a good guide on what the difference is between Jowo and Bock? Advantage Disadvantage?

Here is what I think I am going to start with and please comment whether it may be a good starting place or not:
1. Tapco M13 Tap/Die Triple Start paired/set ~$229.00
2. Jowo #6 Tap 7.4-.5 ~$46.00 (I believe these will be always single start taps?)

I believe the most expensive thing you can do is buy the cheapest thing and then not have it work throw it away than buy the right thing.

Thank you for your help!
Andy
 
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