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Remember All Those Old Rusty Reamers

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  • Remember All Those Old Rusty Reamers

    Sometime back I bought a decent size lot of reamers from an old swap meet guy. They had not been stored well and most were rusty and dirty. (Most of the flutes were coated in wax to protect them atleast.) Evaporust did the trick, but many of them I could no longer read the size markings. I've also had several times when my cheap import reamer sets didn't have the size I needed. Those old reamers often produced the reamer I needed. The problem is... I can't read the markings. I found I could get very close by gently spinning the reamer slowly and carefully in reverse between the jaws of a set of calipers. After measuring suddenly I could make out the markings on a few of them... My measurements have pretty much been right on the mark. I usually check each one 3-4 times until I am comfortable, clean the oil off the shank, and mark it with a Xylene based paint marker before putting it back in the drawer.

    If practical I try to always drill/bore/ream on a test piece to verify before using.

    *** I always wanted a welding stinger that looked like the north end of a south bound chicken. Often my welds look like somebody pointed the wrong end of a chicken at the joint and squeezed until something came out. Might as well look the part.

  • #2
    That is generally the way that I measure them, by turning them in reverse, but I usually use a mic. And I always measure them, even when they're legibly marked. After I have checked them once there's no need to do it again, just that first time. Markings can be wrong - we were taught that one by our 3rd year apprenticeship teacher. Had a quiz where we had to identify a bunch of tooling. Several of which were mis-marked. I caught it because the tooling didn't look right to my eye for the marked size - most of the others didn't.

    You might want to mark them a little more permanently - those carbide tipped scribers are a good way to do it. I also sometimes use a tiny carbide burr in an ⅛" die grinder, that works really well too, but it's easier to write neatly on tiny stuff with the scriber.

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    • #3
      Just curious. Did the Evaporust treatment have any effect on the cutting edges, or did they survive in sharp condition.
      S E Michigan

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      • #4
        When I have used it, or phosphoric, the edges seemed to actually be slightly sharper after.
        4357 2773 5647 3671 3645 0087 1276

        CNC machines only go through the motions

        "There's no pleasing these serpents"......Lewis Carroll

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        • #5
          Originally posted by OaklandGB View Post
          Just curious. Did the Evaporust treatment have any effect on the cutting edges, or did they survive in sharp condition.

          No issue at all with those that still had the wax coating intact. on those that didn't or that I had to remove it because it was badly melted all over the place I did notice a slight discoloration of the steel, but I haven't noticed a measurable difference in diameter from those that I could read the markings on. They have been used on 1144 and 4140 HT since I got them. a couple might have been used on aluminum, but I don't really count that.
          *** I always wanted a welding stinger that looked like the north end of a south bound chicken. Often my welds look like somebody pointed the wrong end of a chicken at the joint and squeezed until something came out. Might as well look the part.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by eKretz View Post
            That is generally the way that I measure them, by turning them in reverse, but I usually use a mic. You might want to mark them a little more permanently - those carbide tipped scribers are a good way to do it. I also sometimes use a tiny carbide burr in an ⅛" die grinder, that works really well too, but it's easier to write neatly on tiny stuff with the scriber.
            That's a good idea. Maybe I should make a fourth axis engraving project out of it. Well if I didn't have anything else to do in the shop. I do need to set up a new fourth axis on one of the Mills though. I might do a couple that way just to test the fourth axis and make sure I got everything dialed in.

            *** I always wanted a welding stinger that looked like the north end of a south bound chicken. Often my welds look like somebody pointed the wrong end of a chicken at the joint and squeezed until something came out. Might as well look the part.

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            • #7
              thats how you sharpen files, put them in acid overnight. size might be different with a reamer. i like an acid pen for marking.

              bob, im sure you know where to measure the reamers, on the front corners, right?

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              • #8
                Technically, I should measure them with a gauge pin in the hole they make.
                *** I always wanted a welding stinger that looked like the north end of a south bound chicken. Often my welds look like somebody pointed the wrong end of a chicken at the joint and squeezed until something came out. Might as well look the part.

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                • #9
                  A small cheap ball end diamond burr works pretty good as an engraver for something like this too. Not as bouncy as a carbide burr.

                  None of them you've had to measure were an odd number of cutting edges?
                  Chilliwack BC, Canada

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                  • #10
                    Not yet.
                    *** I always wanted a welding stinger that looked like the north end of a south bound chicken. Often my welds look like somebody pointed the wrong end of a chicken at the joint and squeezed until something came out. Might as well look the part.

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