Thursday, April 29, 2010

Tapered Hole Reamer: A Chronicles' Project

© 2010 Albert A Rasch and
The Rasch Outdoor Chronicles
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Handmade Tapered Hole Reamer

I've been on a bit of a Chronicles' Projects tear these last few weeks. I suppose I've been trying to get quite a few things done before I ship out again.

Yesterday I needed a tool to taper and smooth a stepped hole I bored in a segment of a powder horn I am making.

I remembered seeing an auger type of tool that was used to taper the bung hole on barrels after they had been bored out.

So I grabbed a piece of oak that was originally a piece of a pallet, and a branch. I scrounged around my junk bins until I found an old hacksaw blade.

The pictures pretty much tell the rest of the story.

Piece of scrap oak in the lathe

Every time I bump into a piece of hardwood, whether a limb or dressed lumber, I grab it. You just never know when you can use it for something. This piece came from under a crate.

Turned to taper

Starting saw kerf on midline.

Turned Red Maple handles.

I turned the handles out of some branches I had in my scrap wood box. I also took the opportunity to carefully bore a hole through the top of the reamer for both handles. I turned the handle tenons just a hair larger than the hole I bored, and I also grooved them with a pointy tool so the glue would have something to lock on to.

The piece of oak had been split so I had a couple of already somewhat flat spots that I refined with a block plane. They are not exactly centered around the hole, but they suffice to allow the handle tenons to bottom out properly.

Finishing kerf.

Measuring for the hacksaw blade.
I put the blade in a vise and snapped it at the mark I had made. Then I rounded out the end of the hacksaw blade, and flattened the back with a sharp single cut file.

Blade in place.

I did have to file the back of the blade down in order to have it sit just above the edge of the kerf. After filing it down, run it over a coarse stone to straighten out the edge. Finish with a fine stone, holding the back of the blade as close to perpendicular as possible.

 The side towards the cut gets relieved.

I relieved the front of the kerf so the wood scrapings would have some where to go. It's just a small shelf, maybe an eighth of an inch deep, and at a right angle to the blade.

Reamer in use.

 Almost done.

Nicely done!

I put it right to use, and it works like a charm. Don't get me wrong, it's not a machine, so it took me a while to get the taper reamed out completely. But it sure looks pretty and when I am making something for pleasure, I am not in a hurry.

It's not centered, but because the horn curves, and you start out with a square block of wood, the initial hole doesn't always end up where you think it should. But it is centered to the previous section.

The tool itself took me about an hour and a half to make, and the majority of that was cutting the kerf. All that's left to do, is to give it a coating of linseed oil, touch up the blade, and hang it up.

Best Regards,
Albert A Rasch
Member: Kandahar Tent Club
Member: Hunting Sportsmen of the United States HSUS (Let 'em sue me.)
The Hunt Continues...

The Rasch Outdoor Chronicles


Anonymous said...

Very impressive nice job!

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Michael Spinelli said...


I would have never thought of building a tool like that! That to me, is absolutely wild. It goes to show that you don't need to buy things, you just have to have the imagination, and the desire to make it yourself.

Are you planning on making/creating any other tools?


Albert A Rasch said...

Rick and Mike,

I just noticed your comments! Sorry it took me so long to get back to you all! Love to make tools, and there is always the pleasure of knowing you made the tool, even if it's not perfect!

Best regards,
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