Sunday, 3 February 2008


As well as repairing my extruder I aimed to bring it closer to the latest RepRap design. The machined heater barrel has been replaced by a drilled out brass bolt. Partly out of laziness, and partly out of a lack of confidence in my skill with a lathe, I bought a ready made barrel from BitsFromBytes.

I was surprised to find it came with a modification that I had blogged when I made my first nozzle. That was to turn down the end that fits into the PTFE holder to get round the fact that I didn't have a bottoming tap to make the thread go right to the end of the hole in the PTFE. Ironically, I had bought a set of taps which included a bottoming one in the meantime. Well at least I thought I had :-

The tap on the left is the one from my cheap set of taps which only has one for each thread. The boxed set are the new ones that I bought with a taper, second and bottom tap. The single tap seems to correspond to the second tap, which makes sense for a compromise. The thing I don't understand is why the bottom tap still has a point and some taper. I was expecting it to be straight with a flat end, so I made it thus with a grinder :-

To try it out, I made a test thread in a scrap of PTFE and cross sectioned it :-

As you can see the flat end of the heater barrel butts up nicely to the end of the thread in the PTFE. I think it is important not to have a void here as it will fill with molten plastic which will freeze when the heater is switched off. It might then be difficult to melt it again as it is insulated from the heater.

The end of the barrel that is turned down is then a pretty good fit for the acorn nut, although a simpler solution is probably to bottom the thread in the nut and the PTFE and then go back to a plain heater barrel.


  1. I really appreciate the trouble you take with your documentation.

  2. Nop, et al,

    Regarding taps -- There is an unhelpful nomenclature issue: There are *two* terms used to describe taps that will cut thread to/close to "the bottom" of a hole: bottoming and plug taps. Unfortunately, different vendors use the terms with maddening ambiguity. As a result, I tend to order only from companies that either show a picture or describe the end-taper in number of threads.

    -- Larry Pfeffer
    ursine at gmail d0t c0m