View Full Version : Stub-Length Reamers?

06-26-2011, 12:20 PM
I have benchtop-size tools and normal-length chucking reamers don't leave me much room for the workpiece. I have searched MSC, WTTool, and McMaster for screw-machine and stub-length reamers without finding much. I'm looking for a few basic sizes like 1/4, 3/8, and 1/2", plus a couple over-under sizes.

Alternatively, how bad an idea would it be to get out the angle grinder and chop most of the shank off the ones I already have?

06-26-2011, 12:28 PM
At some flea market a couple of years back, my dad had picked up two trays of about reamers in the range of about .375 to .440, and they are the length you describe. I'm heading over there later, I'll see if there's any maker's marking on them.

In the screw machine shops that I'd work in for over 16 years, I usually had to just shorten the standard chucking reamers to the required length, using a cutoff saw and deburr on a bench grinder.

Order up solid carbide reamers and you'll get the short ones, that's for sure.

Just Bob Again
06-26-2011, 12:56 PM
The reason why reamers have long shanks is so they'll flex and follow the hole. Make it too short and you have a boring bar, not a reamer. If your equipment is perfect you may get away with it. On a lathe, if the tailstock is set over a couple thousandths and you use a short reamer it will bore the hole a couple thousandths oversize. Or, you need a floating reamer holder which will add a good bit to the length of the setup.

06-26-2011, 11:03 PM
Just get regular chucking reamers and cut them to the length you need. Most times they will be fine. If you have a sensitive hole that has to be just right, put the reamer in the chuck only 3/8 to 1/2 inch. It will have more flex than a full length one that's all the way in the chuck.

06-26-2011, 11:43 PM
I didn't think about the floaty bit, but now that you mention it... I think the reamers might see more use on my mill or drill though. When you add in the vise, I think I don't have much more than 6-7" of usable throat, and even a 1/4" reamer eats most of that. Just cutting down an inch or two would make a difference.

The lathe recently got CNC'd so I can set up a boring cycle pretty fast now, I just need to spend some time dialing it in if I want to be able to hit precise numbers on the first run.

06-27-2011, 12:19 AM
My dad's little collection of "stub length" chucking reamers had no makers markings, just as I thought. They were definitely not shortened standard-length chucking reamers, as the shank ends have the reverse center to them for grinding. Sorry, thought I could help.

I thought to check and see if Lavallee & Ide of Winooski VT might have what you need, but their website seemed to be down. In fact, they've apparently been bought by Michigan Drill and they may have moved everything to MI.