View Full Version : Tapering holes
03-23-2009, 11:33 AM
I need to make multiple holes tapering from 1" to 3/4" in wood (in this immediate case, ash). Is there a drill bit that can do this? A reamer of some sort? What would such a tool be called? Seems as though there should be some simple way of making these holes, but I get blank stares when I pose the problem to various people. Spending several hours with a rasp making imperfect holes doesn't seem like a good way to go. Any help will be much appreciated.
03-23-2009, 11:37 AM
Or you could google up the process used by recorder makers for reamers -
03-23-2009, 11:46 AM
I need to make multiple holes tapering from 3/4" to 1/2" in wood (in this immediate case, ash).
The chair maker's reamers like mine in the front row right are designed for softwoods, are slow, fragile and won't survive long in ash.
If you have a lot of holes to ream, a pipe reamer like the one in the front row center might serve you better. Every plumber had several back in the days when threaded steel was used for water supply pipes, and they are common on eBay.
03-23-2009, 11:59 AM
damn....and I thought my reamer supply was excessive......ya got me beat by more than twice.
John E Hardiman
03-23-2009, 12:16 PM
If you need the hole 1" on one side and 3/4" on the other, you will need a custom bit or reamer specific to the thickness that the taper is going through. Normally for mass production such as furniture, such specalized hand tooling was common.
For trunnels or other common wedged joints, a standardized shallow angle (1 in 12 or more) cone tapered reamer was used. (see http://www.greenwoodworking.com/reamer.htm). Like this except bigger with a handle for two hands.
FWIW, in the NY Webb Yard, they did not use reamers but used a counterbore for trunnels.
03-23-2009, 12:54 PM
How deep are the holes to be?
If less than 1 1/2" or so,a spade bit can easily be modified to a taper(unless of course you want the big end at the bottom).
03-23-2009, 07:18 PM
grind a taper on a old morse shank twist drill .
03-24-2009, 01:09 AM
Thanks to everyone for their thoughts. Looked successfully on eBay today for a pipe reamer; Bob Smalser's looked just like what I was imagining. Not sure exactly how I will proceed, but there are a lot of good solutions here. I'll post the results of my efforts.
The forum is such a great resource!
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