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What to do with old reamers

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Ignatz16/04/2021 15:48:41
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128 forum posts
73 photos

Recently, I was lucky enough to purchase quite a number of reamers at a very attractive price. After much cleaning and sorting I found that most were in used but quite good condition (a few evidently brand new) and then of course a small number of them that are evidently dull or so close to it that I dare not use them in anger.

I understand that attempting to sharpen a reamer is a finicky business at best and even if successful you have to make do with the new 'smaller' diameter of said reamer. But that is a moot question as I have no access to the sort of sharpening equipment for such a process.

What I am wondering is what would you suggest I might do with the small number (about thirteen) of otherwise not-to-be-used reamers?

How would you repurpose them?

Andrew Johnston16/04/2021 16:08:32
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6009 forum posts
670 photos

Depends what sort of reamer. Machine reamers cut on the leading chamfer, not on the flutes. So sharpening the chamfer should restore them to good condition. If they're hand reamers with a long taper it's more difficult to re-sharpen. Irrespective of type if a reamer can't be made to cut to size I'd recycle it.

Andrew

Ignatz16/04/2021 16:15:54
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128 forum posts
73 photos

Sadly, most of the dull ones seem to have spiral flutes and a squared off drive notch suggesting that they are hand reamers.

Maybe two or three are machine style reamers (maybe), but what is the technique for sharpening the chamfer?

Does this chamfer sharpening also require special equipment or can one do something simpler like taking them delicately to the bench grinding wheel?

David Colwill16/04/2021 16:44:45
745 forum posts
38 photos

I have had a couple of jobs that required a number of holes that needed to be reamed to non standard sizes.

The cost of new reamers was quite high and they were not available on eBay. The answer tuned out to be fairly simple. Give the next size up to the local tool sharpening chap and have him resize it. The cost was about £15.00 each.

David.

Martin Kyte16/04/2021 16:49:26
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2346 forum posts
39 photos

You really can only sharpen the tapered leads between centres on a tool and cutter grinder so you need something like a Union to do it. Even then unless they are very large (and new large reamers are exppensive) and you have the kit don't bother.

regards Martin

ega16/04/2021 17:43:11
2105 forum posts
175 photos

You could try a method suggested to me by a toolmaker friend for dull hand reamers. He advised that running a carbide rod of suitable diameter inside the flute and pressed against the cutting edge would improve matters.

The principle is no doubt the same as raising a burr on a cabinet maker's scraper.

Pete Rimmer16/04/2021 18:10:38
940 forum posts
57 photos
Posted by ega on 16/04/2021 17:43:11:

You could try a method suggested to me by a toolmaker friend for dull hand reamers. He advised that running a carbide rod of suitable diameter inside the flute and pressed against the cutting edge would improve matters.

The principle is no doubt the same as raising a burr on a cabinet maker's scraper.

I've done this to ease the fit on a reamed hole. You don't get much but sometimes it's just enough to make a slip fit really nice.

Bo'sun16/04/2021 20:29:29
417 forum posts

Sounds like it's worth considering. Thanks for the tip.

Ignatz17/04/2021 12:49:01
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128 forum posts
73 photos

Well, it sounds like I cannot (easily) save these reamers.

So, assuming I don't just toss them out...

The question remains: What would be the best recycle use for these in the shop?

Howard Lewis17/04/2021 12:51:45
4738 forum posts
10 photos

If the machine reamers are beyond hope, they (or part of them )may still have a use. This assumes that the Taper is in good condition.

If the shank is soft enough to allow the Morse Taper to be sawn, or parted off, the MT could be held in the Mandrel taper, possibly with suitable sleeves, and turned to provide a centre, or or as an arbor onto which other items could be fixed, or tapped and used as an arbor for work holding. if needed.

An extra centre can be useful for centering work in a 4 jaw chuck, using the "Two Centres" method, or on a Mill, or a Rotary table or Dividing Head.

Howard.

old mart17/04/2021 20:00:23
2906 forum posts
184 photos

You could sell them on ebay as long as the listing was accurate, somebody might want them for resharpening. I would sell as a job lot at, say 50p each, and make sure your postage is covered.

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