Bent Tap: Huh?

The Shapeways bronze-infused stainless steel process reportedly produces objects so hard that they require carbide tooling, so I wasn’t too surprised when this magazine block rounded the threads right off a tap:

Browning Hi-Power magazine - steel block trial fit
Browning Hi-Power magazine – steel block trial fit

The tap turned up while I was clearing off the bench and, seeing as how the upper half of the threads weren’t ruined, I thought maybe I could at least get a bottoming tap out of it.

Step 1: snap off the damaged part. This should be easy, as tap steel tends to punish you when you’re not doing it right. So I grabbed the ruined section in the bench vise and gave the shank a stiff whack:

Bent tap
Bent tap

Now, that is not a nominal outcome

The tap came from a set of dubious provenance that’s conspicuously labeled: JUNK METRIC. I have no idea where it came from, as it’s slightly younger than dirt. There’s a Craftsman metric set in the same drawer with much better steel (yes, I’ve snapped a few taps) that I normally use; I figured if I was going to wreck a tap on that magazine block, I should wreck a junk tap.

Maybe that Shapeways stainless isn’t quite as nasty as it seems…