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Thread: 30+ taps per bit

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    23

    Default 30+ taps per bit

    In the 37 years we have made syrup I have used 3 maybe 4 bits. In 2018 I had an Irwin 7/16 break. I was shocked. I figure I had close to 800 taps with that bit. I could not find one for sale close and fast but was able to borrow from a neighbor. I had the local hardware order me 2 new Irwin bits. Started tapping this year and it was obvious there was something different. My old bit took pressure but it pretty much pulled itself into the tree. When I had the depth I wanted I would back off 1 turn (counterclockwise) and then pull the bit out while continuing to turn it clockwise and this cleaned the hole. The new bits I had to push in hard. When I reached depth, the only way to get them out of the tree was to unscrew them (counterclockwise) while pulling hard. First bit lasted 33 taps. Second bit went 34. I had bought some old tools over the summer and remembered there was a old set of Irwins in them. I dug out an old bit and it worked just like I remembered, for my last 101 taps. I got on the Irwin site and wrote a scathing review - heard nothing and they never published it. I spent some time on the internet and came up with the name of an executive at Irwin. Never got through but after 4 phone calls - with a really nice receptionist - they sent me two replacements - different type of bit - and I sent them the faulty bits. The flutes on the bad bits were too large and interfered with the sides of the hole. I figure you could buy a set of bits and probably never know because most users don't drill 200 holes in a row. I am curious - has anyone else had a similar experience?
    Been doing syrup for 37 years
    buckets, spiles, 2 flat pans
    boil off 30 gal/hr
    2019 178 taps
    loving this life

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Loudon NH
    Posts
    5,398

    Default

    I always spend the extra money and buy genuine tapping bits. They're designed to clean out well while drilling and are really sharp. Irwin makes tools for a price point. They use the cheapest metal that they can in their tools. Vice Grips used to be good when they were made by the Peterson Company. They look the same but the teeth round off as soon as you grip something tight and try to turn it now that Irwin makes them.
    Russ

    "Red Roof Maples" Where the term "boiling soda" was first introduced to the maple producing world!

    Algier 2x6 evaporator, W F Mason arch
    Lapierre 250 Turbo RO machine
    SP-22 vacuum pump
    1930 Ford Model AA Doodlebug tractor
    1971 IH 454 52hp diesel tractor
    A couple of Honda 4 wheelers
    About a dozen chainsaws and no chickens

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Oneida NY
    Posts
    9,789

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    I second that. Never use any bit to tap that is not made for tapping trees. The maple companies all carry them and so far I have never gotten one of poor quality.
    Back about 10 years ago or so, I had an employee tapping for me, while drilling his foot slipped and he broke the bit. He then went and bought a hardware store bit so he could continue tapping because I was out of town. The trees he tapped using the hardware store bit yielded less sap by quite a bit. I do not recall the amount but it was very notable. The bad part, is that I had 2 or 3 spare bits in a parts box I had given him that contained lateral tubing fittings, taps, connectors, saddles etc. He just had not thought to look in there.
    Yes, an official tapping bit costs more, but they are worth every penny.
    Dave Klish about 1320 taps in '15, doing fewer each year, about 450 planned for 2020 (and after?)
    2012 Mahindra 36 HP 4x4/ loader/cab/heat/AC:-)
    added a gooseneck equipment trailer and F350 to tow it to haul more sap
    3x8 raised flue evaporator
    250 GPH converted to electric, RO by Ray Gingerich
    6.32 KW solar system, 1.48KW is battery backed up, all net metered
    http://s1041.photobucket.com/albums/...anssugarhouse/
    website: www.cnymaple.com

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Dunnville, ON
    Posts
    344

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    I used to use 7/16 Irwin wood auger bits and i think Task was a brand I used as well. They worked well for me. I did as my uncle did back then. He'd put a block of wood on the bit so you could only drill to the desired depth. Never had a problem pulling them back out. Now I use real tapping bits. Use a new one every year.
    2120 taps. 577 gravity line, 1543 buckets

    3x12 remake of a Small Bros. Lightning evaporator.
    3x9 Darveau raised flue pan, 3x3 D&G reversible finishing pan.
    Reist arch

    93 Argo 8x8 Magnum & a 100 US gal. poly tank in the back.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2019
    Location
    Middlesex, Vermont
    Posts
    114

    Default

    I will be splurging this next season for a couple bits as well. Hard to justify when you can buy several (cheap) sets of bits for the same money as one. But there’s a big difference between high end metal cutting drills and cheap ones as well so I can see the value.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Mead Maple "It's for the kids..."
    Paul Cerminara
    2019 - First season ever
    -Homemade 275 gallon oil drum arch
    -75 taps, all on traditional buckets and drops into 5 gallon buckets
    -Goal: 3 gallons
    -Season Total: 7.5 gallons - pulled taps after running out of firewood and time
    -Fear: Becoming a member of MT.com and getting bit

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Catskill Mountains
    Posts
    1,795

    Default

    I drilled 4,200 holes with one cdl tapping bit.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    23

    Default

    OK now I am curious. What is a cdl bit? Is that a brand name?
    Been doing syrup for 37 years
    buckets, spiles, 2 flat pans
    boil off 30 gal/hr
    2019 178 taps
    loving this life

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2019
    Location
    Middlesex, Vermont
    Posts
    114

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by old fashioned View Post
    OK now I am curious. What is a cdl bit? Is that a brand name?
    Yes CDL is a maple equipment supplier. The bit just implies what brand he used.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Mead Maple "It's for the kids..."
    Paul Cerminara
    2019 - First season ever
    -Homemade 275 gallon oil drum arch
    -75 taps, all on traditional buckets and drops into 5 gallon buckets
    -Goal: 3 gallons
    -Season Total: 7.5 gallons - pulled taps after running out of firewood and time
    -Fear: Becoming a member of MT.com and getting bit

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2019
    Location
    Middlesex, Vermont
    Posts
    114

    Default

    Is anyone welding a washer to the bit? Just a couple small racks so as to not heat up the bit and possibly jeopardize the integrity?

    Or perhaps you use a different method of depth control?


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Mead Maple "It's for the kids..."
    Paul Cerminara
    2019 - First season ever
    -Homemade 275 gallon oil drum arch
    -75 taps, all on traditional buckets and drops into 5 gallon buckets
    -Goal: 3 gallons
    -Season Total: 7.5 gallons - pulled taps after running out of firewood and time
    -Fear: Becoming a member of MT.com and getting bit

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Loudon NH
    Posts
    5,398

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Mead Maple View Post
    Is anyone welding a washer to the bit? Just a couple small racks so as to not heat up the bit and possibly jeopardize the integrity?

    Or perhaps you use a different method of depth control?


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    I eyeball the depth and don't use a depth stop. If I had a stop on the bit for 1 3/4" for example, I'd only be drilling and inch or so into a big old sugar maple with 3/4" of bark on it and drilling the whole depth on a smooth barked red maple. Just the opposite of what I want to do. I have both types of trees in my orchard.
    Russ

    "Red Roof Maples" Where the term "boiling soda" was first introduced to the maple producing world!

    Algier 2x6 evaporator, W F Mason arch
    Lapierre 250 Turbo RO machine
    SP-22 vacuum pump
    1930 Ford Model AA Doodlebug tractor
    1971 IH 454 52hp diesel tractor
    A couple of Honda 4 wheelers
    About a dozen chainsaws and no chickens

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