View Full Version : Has anyone ever made a tapered reamer?

June 8th, 2006, 02:07 PM
Hey guys,

I need to ream about 8 holes for steering arms, and I am curious about making a reamer. I have a lathe, a torch, and I figure I could bang out a reamer in no time flat, with a little custom work.

I'd use air hardening steel, and create something like this - I've described it to friends as looking like a Diode symbol on a schematic.


I'd start by roughing out either the shank for my drill press or maybe the guide for the 9/16" holes in my steering arm, and rough out the shape of the taper, to within maybe .050 of the final diameter.

I'd then hand shape the flutes for the actual reamer, and get them so that I'd cut the final cutting shape onto them on the lathe.

Or, I could take an existing large reamer I have, and see if I can chuck it up and do the same sort of work to it, by probably grinding it down.

I have just read bad things about the reamers you can get for under $150 - and dude, I don't want to spend $150 on 8 holes.


Jason's CJ5
June 8th, 2006, 02:48 PM
Shain's91 had me pick up one from the Snap-on Guy. It was like $50. He used for his knuckles and was very happy.


June 8th, 2006, 03:44 PM
Hunh. I need to make 8 holes in 1" steel. Will that snap on one work?

Jason's CJ5
June 8th, 2006, 04:42 PM
I am not sure... I would assume so, he said when he used it it had alot if bite.

I would fiqure if you used cutting oil and took it slow, maybe just maybe it would work.

June 8th, 2006, 05:21 PM
TRE taper? Just bring me the parts, Bob. Already got the reamer, it'll take 20 minutes.

June 8th, 2006, 06:24 PM
Air hardening steel won't get you anywhere near close enough in hardness to ream your arms. Your's going to need something like HSS or carbide, both of which will need grinding. Sorry dude.

Edit: I'll let you know next time I need something lathed though.

June 8th, 2006, 06:54 PM
Hunh. I need to make 8 holes in 1" steel. Will that snap on one work?

I've done about 10 holes in 3/4"-1" with the Snap on and it's still going strong.

Snap on guy made sure to tell me though, don't put it in a press. :-) Under warranty either way so I have been using the press with it very slow speed with good luck. Doing it by hand takes forever

June 12th, 2006, 09:08 AM
Sorry, this is the taper for my cone washers on my highsteer arms. Thanks for the offer, Scott, but this is going to be a heck of alot of reaming, and at a much steeper angle than TRE taper!

So I gather that the angle I need is about 52? or something (can't remember, but it's not a "standard" 45? countersink from Enco, good idea Chris but it would still require modification).

I wonder.... I picked up alot of used tooling (worn, a little out of spec) on the cheap. I wonder if I can do a little bit of ghetto fab and grind one of these big endmills down.

Ahh well, I still have like 5 projects before this one, so no huge rush. :)

Thanks for the ideas,

June 12th, 2006, 10:41 AM
I have made one from oil hardening tool stock. I only used one flute and no pilot. It can be done. But shortly after I went through all the trouble(about 1 hour) I could have ordered it through Travers Tool.

June 12th, 2006, 01:43 PM
Mack just had a great idea. Even though I have these cone washers, why plan a reamer around them? I can get cone washers for a standard angle, so I'll buy a reamer / countersink for a standard angle, and then just get cone washers to match.

Duh. Thanks, Mack.

June 12th, 2006, 04:15 PM
I've got the cone washer taper tool too, but that one has to be used in a mill, so it's kind of a PITA to use on anything that I can't readily fixture (typically by bolting through the other holes in it) to the mill table.

June 12th, 2006, 09:45 PM
Sarcasm noted ;)

June 13th, 2006, 09:41 AM
No sarcasm, the Duh was for me.

Well, wanted to see if I could ghetto fab something first.

So I too had a tool that could only be used in a mill... a 1" 4 flute endmill. It was all rusty and old, and I have another, so I figured WTF. Last night, I turned the shank down to 1/2", and on the business end, I did a serviceable job lathe-grinding the flutes down to the rough angle of the cone washers.

The thing does a really, really bad job of cutting as it is right now, but does cut some (It's HSS and I'm going into A36 mild steel). I did a very bad job extending the cutting edge of the flutes inward, but I figure that if I spiff that up with a dremel, I'll get pretty close to good.

Anyway, ghetto fab might be the winner on this one.

June 19th, 2006, 11:04 AM

So I spiffed this up, and this works well... too well. It keeps spinning in my half inch chuck, so I may have recut the shank and put some flats into it.

This didn't take forever to make, works really well, allows me to use the cone washers I have in abundance, and is staying really sharp. A good project, for sure.