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Pin Letters - How You Tap Holes

Discussion in 'Dimensional Signs' started by Tessellate, Apr 11, 2019.

  1. Tessellate

    Tessellate Member

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    Dec 1, 2015
    Toronto
    Curious how your shops Tap holes in 1/4" - 1/2" Acrylic for pins? With the recent addition of a laser cutter in our shop we are going to really be exploring the option of simple dimensional letters. VHB And a template are no trouble but what is your process for speed and quality?

    As we will be using a laser and NOT a CNC, we would still need to drill the holes by hand before we tap. I do have a large radial drill press that would make quick work with a 3/16" Bit and a collar stop to set the depth but tapping a blind hole into the plastic gets me somewhat a little concerned?

    We were going to look into a pneumatic tapping arm to ensure straight threads but with the cost of around 4k CDN - its a tough price up front.

    Let me know your process as I would love to discuss!

    Thanks,
    Anthony
     
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  2. Broome Signs

    Broome Signs Member

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    Nov 1, 2018
    england
    why do you want to tap perspex?
    you can buy pins on plates that just glue to the rear of the letters
    or just use locatour fixings
     
  3. Tessellate

    Tessellate Member

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    Toronto
    Thanks Broome!

    Sign Pads Are A Great option but do leave a 1/4" Gap at the minimum. Most of our installations do require a flush to wall install...unfortunately.

    Locator Fixings - Neat! Do you ever have a problem with Vandalism/Theft as they are just pressure fit?
     
  4. Broome Signs

    Broome Signs Member

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    england

    Back in the late 80s we had a lot of problem with kids steeling the “E” of signs to go raving with..

    We tend only to use the push fit internally,

    All the external Perspex letters have brass or nickel finish threaded locators

    If we have to use a threaded stud we cut 20mm radius disks out of 8mm clear and tap them to M4

    Just glue them to the back of the letters
     
  5. Broome Signs

    Broome Signs Member

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    Nov 1, 2018
    england
    captive studs a good for the back of letters
    fast and easy to fit, we no risk to the letter, see photo
     

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  6. JR's

    JR's Very Active Member

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    Sep 6, 2007
    swansea Ma 02777


    Gun Tap
     
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  7. bowtievega

    bowtievega Member

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    Mar 2, 2015
    Gilbert, AZ
    We use spiral flute taps typically with a small drop of dish soap, never had any problems with rusting taps lol. I like the gun tap as shown in that video but we rarely are thru tapping letters. Normally they are blind holes so you need to use a bottoming tap. Taps that push the chips down are only good if they have somewhere to go. We cut the letters and use the 1/8" up flute bit in the tool changer to drill the holes in the correct locations at half the depth. We use a good drill press with a depth stop to drill the hole with the correct size bit for the size of stud we are using. We can get more aggressive with our depth control with individual letters than trying to do it on a big sheet of not perfectly flat material on the router. We use a table top hand tapping machine from enco or whatever they are called now. Just takes a little skill and practice at the bottom of the hole to not jamb the tap into the bottom of the letter and break it. Sprial taps are much weaker and more prone to breakage than standard taps. We use the same taps for aluminum but with cutting oil instead of dish soap.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  8. MikePro

    MikePro Major Contributor

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    Racine, WI
    potato tomato. we tap acrylic sometimes, other times we drill the hole just bigger than the threads and epoxy the studs-in, depending on if we are assembling in the shop or I have to box-up the letters and don't want the pins jabbing through the padding and scratching the other letters.

    for tapping, if you drill your hole straight, via drill press/cncrouter, you can hand-tap pretty damn straight. hole sizes/drill bits for whatever tap you're using are easily found in charts online.
    bonus points if you can utilize your laser router to mark desired tap hole placement, and apply that hole to your mounting pattern.
     
  9. signmaker-ok

    signmaker-ok New Member

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    May 8, 2014
    Tulsa, OK
    I know this is old, but where do you get your taps from?
     
  10. MikePro

    MikePro Major Contributor

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    Racine, WI
    we get our taps from either Grainger or McMasterCarr.
    make sure you shop "bottom tap", as it has a flat-head that doesn't require you to punch-thru your hole or leave ~1/8-3/16" untapped bottom of the hole.

    Typical big box hardware stores will just have the standard taps, with the pointed tips, if you need them in a pinch BUT the bottom-taps get all the use around this shop.
     
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