Bought B&D 586 Tapgun, what is it?

I got some tools left behind after a woman died, that her husband had left behind 10 years ago when he died. Both were in their 80's. He made furniture, at least as a hobby. There was some nice furniture there that they were selling, that he made, that he and his wife had used for, I think, decades.
Two were a matching quarter inch drill and something I thought was a drill, but is labeled Black & Decker Model 586 Tapgun.
Now that I have the "tapgun" running, it only turns counter-clockwise and it seems like a normal, low speed 1/4 inch drill, but it has a 1 inch push-back spring on the shaft just behind the chuck and sometimes, like if I grab hold of the chuck, it seems to be moving forwards and backwards, "tapping" the work.
I've wanted a hammer drill since I saw they made them (because they make them), but I've never actually seen one run in hammer mode. Is this a pre-cursor, since it only seems to tap and not hammer, or is it just that this is B&D's name, and hammer drill is generic. Web searches find nothing for me.
Why does it only turn counter-clockwise? And what is this especially good for! I like it because it's old, but it really should do something. :)
(Both have matching steel cases and 3-prong plugs, and this one was broken. The trigger wouldn't pull in, but last night I fixed that (only needed lubrication, but I think I had to take it apart to reach the right spot))
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Edwin wil know...
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mm wrote: (snip)

It's a special drill for tapping (cutting threads). B&D used to market a set of three drills for metal workers: holgun (drilling), tapgun (tapping), and scrugun (driving the fastener). Looks like you got two of the three.
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On Wed, 16 Aug 2006 13:50:05 -0700, Mike Paulsen

Yes indeed! The other one is labelled...well the plate is scuffed but it starts with an H so I guess it is a holgun, good for making holes, I gather.
I indirectly learned of a guy who was short of money, but needed tools to pursue a (just-starting, I guess) career in word working. I gave him a modern double insultate but one speed sabre saw, and a beautiful but old all steel case Skil saw, by Skil, complete with a wooden carry case (although I think that was from an even older tool.) and I was going to give him this quarter inch drill, the holgun.
When I realized it matched the other, I took it home instead of bringing it to his apartment, and now that they match, I hate to break the set. If he ends up making some sorts of furniture, he'd be able to use the tapgun more than I am likely to, so I could give him both of them.... but I like having all these tools. Once I have a tool, I always need it...it's amazing but true. Should I give him the holgun, the tapgun, or both?
I'd almost rather buy him a new quarter inch drill than give him the old one. And I figure I'll be dead in 40 more years, and I can give my tools to someone worthy then. (I"m 59.)
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mm wrote:

The tapgun has almost no application in woodworking, it is a 99.9% metalworking tool. It would be most applicable to tasks such as taping holes in sheet metal electrical cabinets for mounting components, basically any application with through hole tapping in light to medium gauge metal.
Pete C.
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mm wrote:

I picked up Porter Cable's version at an auction some years back. It's not useful on every project, but it's very useful when you need to tap a lot of holes quickly. Did you ever tap wood? It works great, especially in the nice dense tight-grained woods. That spring loaded nose is the automatic part. It rotates in (clockwise) when you push down and it reverses when you pull up on the tool. First time I tried it I was _sure_ that I'd be snapping taps all over the place, but nope, easy to use to boot.
Have fun with it
R
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Ricooooooo!
You hang out here too?! Lot more silent than on alt.b.c.
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wrote:

No, I've never tapped wood. Is this so wood screws, or maybe lag screws, will go in easier? Why tap wood?

So I'd have to have taps, too. They weren't included... well, maybe they were. There's a a cardboard box and a tool box and I haven't looked closely through everything yet.

I think I will. Thanks to you and Mike.

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mm wrote:

I tap the wood if there's a part that might be taken off and reassembled more than a few times and I use machine screws.

Well, if the guy had a automatic tapping gun there should be some taps flating around. If you can't find them, you can often find boxes of taps at garage sales and the like.

You're welcome.
R
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wrote:

Well, in case I can't find them in what I got from the guy's granddaughter, I looked on the web and the first clear hits on "tap wood" were from Harbor Freight of all places and they have 1" bottom taps for 6 dollars and 1/2" for 4 dollars. So these aren't hard to get! I don't remember seeing them before.
On the same page was listed
" 4 PC. LEFT HAND HIGH SPEED STEEL DRILL BIT SET 4 PC. LEFT HAND HIGH SPEED STEEL DRILL BIT SET
Remove bolts or studs easily when the head breaks off. Eliminate the need to bore out and re-tap the hole. Simply drill a hole in the broken stud, insert a screw extractor, turn the extractor with a tap wrench and back them out. Made from high speed steel. Only for use with reversible drills.
* Includes 4 left-handed drill bits: 1/8'', 3/16'', 1/4'', and 3/8''
ITEM 38180-4VGA $5.99"
By Drill Master. I don't think Vermont American has more than 2 of these sizes, and although I'm sure the quality is low here, the price is cheap. Just two days ago, I had to get a screw out of the tapgun itself. I had already used liquid wrench and I couldn't use a nut cracker as someone suggeested in anotther thread, because the "nut" was part of the drill. I was going to use a left-handed drill, but tried an impact wrench with a flat screwdriver bit first. Of course that risked breaking the piece of the drill case, and driling wouldn't have.

I always look at garage sales, but around here, not too many tools. Just baby clothes!

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wrote:

Harbor Freight also sells taps and matching wood handled things, which they don't call dies, but which they say "Make sure-holding rods from wood dowels. Comes with matching tap for perfectly sized holes. Hardwood handle. " These run from 20 to 24 dollars depeding on size.
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mm wrote:

That's a different animal. The gun you have is a metalworking tool. I'm just saying you can use your gun with the regular metal taps in wood and get surprisingly good results.
R
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RicodJour wrote:

He can also likely Ebay the tapgun which he seems to have no use for and make a good deal of money if he describes it properly so metalworkers can find it. Heck, I'd give $50 + $9 for Priority Mail shipping for it.
Pete C.
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wrote:

Right! Mike mentioned metal, but then I started thinking about wood. so it will do metal and wood. I have metal taps, and might use them more often now that I have this thing.

Well. what if I kept 55 dollars and only spent 4 dollars for low-cost shipping? You've gone your whole life without this, why the rush now? :-)
No, either I give it to that guy, who doesn't do metal working, or I keep it. I'm sure I'll find at least one use for it, or more likely, the use will find me. There will be plenty time after I die to sell it.
I'm really a packrat and it's bad. My townhouse is full; I don't want to move; and if I put something in one of the mini-storage lockers, it's almost like sending it to Siberia. I forget I even have it.

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mm wrote:

I'm 36 and a "reformed pack rat". I give serious consideration to how long it will actually be before I use something and what it would cost to just buy new then. That doesn't mean I don't still hang onto stuff and indeed I frequently pull out stuff I've put aside like five years ago for a project today. I also have a couple "warehouses" comprising about 500+ square feet.
BTW, the Priority Mail flat rate boxes are the most economical shipping I've found for a lot of smaller / heavier things. Anything that will fit in the supplied box, up to 70# anywhere in the country in 2-3 days for like $8.10.
Pete C.
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the motion back and forth that you mentioned is required with ordinary taps in mild steel. With a standard (right hand) thread, the tap rotates maybe a half turn clockwise, then maybe a quarter turn ccw. This sequence is repeated as long as the trigger is pressed. The backward rotation breaks the chips that are curling out of the cutting edges. On gummy materials this keeps the chips small so they will fall out of the gullets rather than jamming up. The same technique needs to be used when manually tapping these ductile materials.
Bill

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On Thu, 17 Aug 2006 19:10:36 GMT, "bill allemann"

Wow, this thing sounds wonderful.

P.S. the other, probably bigger reason, RicodJour, that I started concentrating on tapping wood is that the guy I got this from was a furniture maker, and all the other tools seemed to center around wood. I wish I could have met the guy, but he died at least 10 years ago.

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