Workshop Tip: Reamer and router team up to bore holes at uncommon diameters
An easy way to bore odd-size holes.
I recently needed to make a 1-9/16-in.-dia. hole to fit a wooden shaft from some antique machinery. Neither my Forstner bits nor my collection of router bits and bushings could get me a hole that size.
So I took a barrel bung reamer and placed painter’s tape where the reamer is 1-9/16 in. dia. After drilling a hole just under 1-9/16 in., I reamed it down to the tape, which made the very top of the hole the right size. Then I put a top-bearing pattern bit in my router and set it to ride the top edge of the hole, which squared the entire depth to 1-9/16 in. Since my reamer goes up to 2-1/2 in. dia., I can quickly and accurately bore odd-size holes up to that diameter.
Good news for those who can’t find a decent barrel bung reamer: I’ve used the same technique with a large taper reamer from Lee Valley, which retails for $28 and goes up to 1-3/16 in. dia. Any time you need an odd-size hole, or just need to widen holes slightly, such as dog holes in a benchtop, this technique works wonders.
—RYAN ERISMAN, Sun Prairie, Wis.
Illustrations by Dan Thornton
From Fine Woodworking issue #283