Repairs #1: Tapered Reamers

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Blog entry by Lazy_K posted 02-08-2016 06:19 PM 2328 reads 1 time favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch
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A variety of woodworking trades require the use of some sort of tapered reamer….

Stringed musical instruments have tapered peg holes, or woodwinds with tapered holes running the length.

Windsor Chairs and spinning wheels are often put together with tapered joints.

And barrels have tapered holes for both the bung and the tap.

I’m currently repairing yet another spinning wheel, almost done:

All of it’s joints are tapered round tenons in tapered holes. you might notice the top of the Distaff is missing… well it is missing. so my next step is making a new parts!

That hole in the part that is there is tapered. it’s more of an angle than my violin peg-hole reamer. but less than any other store bought reamer.

So i need to make a reamer..I’d been thinking of making a 6 degree reamer for chair legs to see what the difference was. (Like Curtis Buchanan uses). I learned chairmaking at The Windsor Institute from Mr. Michael Dunbar. Where we use a steel reamer with an 11 degree angle.

The spinning wheels other holes are a much shallower angle (than 11 degrees) so I am making a pair (one big for chair legs and one small for other things) of tapered reamers.

Here’s what I’m doing:
First I used SketchUp to draw full size the tool I was going to make. Then cut the section of it and put all of the measurements I need on it. Then I print it out!

Then I took the drawing (back in SketchUp) and using the scale function shrunk it! to make a drawing of the mini tool. And printed that out! this could be all done by hand on a piece of paper.

And then prepped a piece of beech to suit it.
turned it on the lathe….leaving a square end on the small pointy end.

sawed down the center line on the bandsaw with a fine blade,

then I cleaned it up! this is where I am at today I’ll post the rest when it is done.

be well and be safe…count your fingers

-- Kai SaerPren

4 comments so far

View stevo_wis's profile


128 posts in 4359 days

#1 posted 02-08-2016 06:39 PM

I also like that reamer. I bought one from Elia Bizzari. The only flaw that I have found is that the pointy end is rather weak and mine broke off. I was trying to think of some way to pin it to give it support. It would be nice to have some smaller ones as well, though I also have a cello reamer. I was taking a machine shop class, so I made one out of aluminum sort of like the one you posted at the top, but mine is 6 degrees. It works great.

-- Stevo

View Lazy_K's profile


133 posts in 3522 days

#2 posted 02-09-2016 01:19 AM

i am wondering if I will regret having the slot and the hole for the crossbar in line…..

-- Kai SaerPren

View a1Jim's profile


118308 posts in 4909 days

#3 posted 02-10-2019 10:09 PM

Hi Kal
just found this post very interesting. I was wondering where you got the 11deg metal reamer.


View Lazy_K's profile


133 posts in 3522 days

#4 posted 02-12-2019 06:59 PM

a1Jim: they are available from Veritas tools. I got mine from Mr Frede Emhof who retired some 20 years ago and sold his process to them…
be well

-- Kai SaerPren

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