Pedal Tap – Definition & Detailed Explanation – Bicycle Maintenance and Repair Glossary

I. What is a Pedal Tap?

A pedal tap is a tool used in metalworking and machining to create threads in a hole. It is typically used in conjunction with a tap wrench to manually cut threads into a pre-drilled hole. The pedal tap itself is a cylindrical tool with a series of cutting edges or “teeth” along its length. These teeth are designed to gradually cut into the material as the tap is turned clockwise into the hole.

II. When is a Pedal Tap Used?

A pedal tap is used when a threaded hole is needed in a metal workpiece. This can be for a variety of reasons, such as creating a mounting point for a bolt or screw, or for assembling parts together. Pedal taps are commonly used in industries such as automotive, aerospace, and manufacturing where precision threading is required.

III. How to Use a Pedal Tap?

Using a pedal tap requires precision and care to ensure that the threads are cut correctly. Here are the steps to using a pedal tap:

1. Select the appropriate size pedal tap for the hole you are threading.
2. Secure the workpiece in a vise or clamp to prevent movement.
3. Use a center punch to mark the center of the hole to be threaded.
4. Use a drill bit to create a pilot hole slightly smaller than the diameter of the pedal tap.
5. Insert the pedal tap into the hole and align it perpendicular to the surface.
6. Begin turning the pedal tap clockwise while applying downward pressure.
7. Continue turning the pedal tap until the desired depth of threads is achieved.
8. Back the pedal tap out periodically to clear away metal shavings.
9. Once the threads are cut, remove the pedal tap and clean the hole of any debris.

IV. What are the Benefits of Using a Pedal Tap?

There are several benefits to using a pedal tap for creating threaded holes in metal workpieces. Some of the key benefits include:

1. Precision: Pedal taps allow for precise control over the depth and pitch of the threads, ensuring a secure fit for bolts or screws.
2. Cost-effective: Pedal taps are a relatively inexpensive tool compared to other methods of creating threaded holes.
3. Versatility: Pedal taps can be used on a wide range of materials, including steel, aluminum, and brass.
4. Ease of use: With the right technique and practice, using a pedal tap can be a straightforward process that yields consistent results.

V. Common Mistakes to Avoid When Using a Pedal Tap

While using a pedal tap, there are several common mistakes that can lead to issues with the threaded hole. Some of these mistakes include:

1. Using the wrong size tap: Using a tap that is too large or too small for the hole can result in poorly formed threads.
2. Not using lubrication: Failing to use cutting fluid or lubricant while tapping can cause the tap to bind and break, or result in rough threads.
3. Applying too much force: Applying excessive force while tapping can cause the tap to break or the threads to be damaged.
4. Not clearing away metal shavings: Failing to periodically back out the tap to clear away metal shavings can result in a clogged tap and poorly formed threads.
5. Incorrect alignment: Failing to align the tap perpendicular to the surface of the workpiece can result in crooked or misaligned threads.

By avoiding these common mistakes and following proper technique, using a pedal tap can be a straightforward and effective way to create threaded holes in metal workpieces.