Tapping threads straight can sometimes be a challenge. A lathe, drill press, or a lot of practice help the process — or you could use a tool like Big Gator Tools’ V-Tap Guide. A series of graduated holes in the V-Tap Guide keep the tap aligned perpendicular to the surface.
Big Gator Tools makes the V-Tap Guide from nickel alloyed steel, heat treats it, grinds the bottom flat, and chrome plates it. They also cut a V-groove into the bottom, which both gives the tool its name and allows you tap perpendicular holes on corners and round stock in addition to flat surfaces.
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Malco’s duct folding tool doesn’t look like much, but it allows you to evenly fold sheet metal for forming various duct parts. It’s simply two steel plates joined together at the center. You insert the sheet metal in the gap between the plates until you see it through the diamond site holes, then twist the tool to form the bend.
Malco sells five versions of the folding tool: 8″ and 12″ long folding tools that make 3/8″ and 1/2″ bends and 12″, 18″, and 24″ tools that make 3/8″ and 1″ bends. The longer the tool the more uniform the fold; the 24″ version can even be used as a mini brake for flashing and siding.
You can pick up one of these folding tools for between $10 and $15.