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Something new for me: a piece so hard, it can not be tapped?

Sounds like this is a fancy highly polished stainless steel show piece. I think annealing will cause obvious discoloring and ruin the look. The brass insert probably looks better in the end unless he can get a beautiful consistent range of colors radiating from the hole.
Bill D
 
Might be some threads can be tapped in hardened steel with carbide ...

6-32 ain't never gonna be one of them...

I cringe whenever I pull one of those from the cabinet ... regardless of material.

Made a fair bit of cash-in-pocket over the years EDM'ng them out.

Old Timer I worked with years ago ... "you think 6-32 is bad? Try a 4-32 ..."

I had no idea that was even 'a thing' ...

Need to change the world by insisting on UNF ...

Or 'Meretrix' ... should slip in even smoother ...
 
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Might be some threads can be tapped in hardened steel with carbide ...

6-32 ain't never gonna be one of them...

I cringe whenever I pull one of those from the cabinet ... regardless of material.

Made a fair bit of cash-in-pocket over the years EDM'ng them out.

Old Timer I worked with years ago ... "you think 6-32 is bad? Try a 4-32 ..."

I had no idea that was even 'a thing' ...

Need to change the world by insisting on UNF ...

Or 'Meretrix' ... should slip in even smoother ...

Totally possible, done it many times in nasty hard steel. Gotta alter the thread percentage is all. In very hard steel you can get away with not a whole lot of thread depth.
 








 
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