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Reamer, tenon cutter

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Project by Jeremymcon posted 06-07-2017 08:43 PM 656 views 3 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I have a Windsor chair project in the works. Lots of parts roughed out and drying after splitting them from a walnut billet. I have never built a chair before, but have been reading a lot, including a book from Peter Galbert which is just full of information.

So anyway, this is part of the process for that build. I made the reamer blade from a cheap compass saw, then turned the reamer itself on my mini lathe . Used a chunk of a walnut billet that was reasonably dry.

The matching tenon cutter is from a scrap of Sassafras, and I used the iron from an old wooden jointer plane as the cutter. It’s a bit primitive, but it worked fine! I made a test joint, and the tenon fit with a couple whacks with a mallet it really locked in place, even without a wedge! So that’s good news.





6 comments so far

View Elksniffer's profile

Elksniffer

101 posts in 3118 days


#1 posted 06-07-2017 09:08 PM

Good job on the reamer and cutter, necessity is the mother of the build. Did you put two blades in the reamer and how did you cut and sharpen them. I made a similar one using a little T shaped hunting saw and I think I filed the blade square. It works pretty good but does plug with shavings. Galbert has a very helpful website too if you haven’t discovered it already. I have five windsors legged up and spindles shaped but got side tracked building a house. My experience putting a Windsor together is exciting as they assemble with some tension in the joints and I hold my breath each time. If you have any questions and need to talk it out, feel free to contact me

Jeff

View Jeremymcon's profile

Jeremymcon

166 posts in 400 days


#2 posted 06-07-2017 10:44 PM

Thanks Jeff! I used a single compass saw blade, and filed off the teeth of the one side. Mine has about a 45 degree angle, ground with a grinder on both sides, then refined with a file, then sharpening stones. The blade is just friction fit into a slot in the reamer. It works OK – I’ve never used one, so I don’t know what it’s like to use a “good” one. But it cuts fine, a little slowly (which in my mind is a good thing, as I’ll be less likely to screw up a mortise that way), and it does clog, but I just remove it periodically and whack it on my bench to clear it.

View helluvawreck's profile

helluvawreck

27225 posts in 2587 days


#3 posted 06-08-2017 01:33 PM

That’s a very creative and ingenious shop-made piece of work. It’s not because there has never been such a tool but because you made it in a wood shop and not a tool shop and that it was also a one off piece of work. Nice work!

helluvawreck aka Charles
http://woodworkingexpo.wordpress.com

-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

View BenDupre's profile

BenDupre

453 posts in 209 days


#4 posted 06-08-2017 08:47 PM

This is really cool. I have been looking for a set like this on ebay. Pretty hard to find. Impressed to see how simple it is to just make your own. Can I ask what the taper ratio is? And the top/bottom opening on your tenon cutter?

-- The problem with communication is the illusion that it has occurred. – George Bernard Shaw

View Jeremymcon's profile

Jeremymcon

166 posts in 400 days


#5 posted 06-08-2017 08:55 PM

The taper is about 6 degrees – exactly matches the taper of the compass saw blade I made the cutter from. I’ve read that the ideal angle is anywhere from 6 to 12 degrees. The mortise is a 5/8” hole (standard for Windsor chair legs, from what I’ve read, though I did consider doing a larger hole for a stronger joint) that I reamed with the reamer itself, leaving a small area of the level 5/8” hole on the exit side (didn’t ream the entire mortise, if that makes sense). That’s the area where the plane blade isn’t over the slot in the tenon cutter.

I bored and reamed the hole in a piece of wood about 2 1/2” deep, and then hand planed until I just exposed the top of the hole.

The idea for the reamer came from: http://www.greenwoodworking.com/SawSteelTaperedReamerPlans

View Jeremymcon's profile

Jeremymcon

166 posts in 400 days


#6 posted 06-08-2017 09:01 PM

Oh! And fwiw, I actually made a similar reamer with a spokeshave before I acquired a lathe. It worked OK, but it was made from sawn ash, and the grain wasn’t perfectly straight. Ended up breaking from an area where the grain ran out. It was a little fiddly to do with a spokeshave though, as I was always finding areas that were a little too high where the blade wouldn’t make contact with the mortise.

The ideal material would probably be riven hard maple, but I just used what I had.

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