Floating Reamer Holder.

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AllenH59
Posts: 429
Joined: Wed Mar 16, 2011 1:26 pm
Location: Prince George BC Canada

Floating Reamer Holder.

Post by AllenH59 » Fri Dec 20, 2019 11:16 pm

Gentlemen....
I have not chambered a barrel before, and am going to cut my teeth cutting Improved chambers in a couple bubba'd 6.5x55's. I have bought a reamer and a GO gauge, and and alignment rod and a set of pilots to align the barrel. I have the required measuring tools and will have no problem setting the barrel back a thread and headspacing.. My question concerns my particular lathe.. There is just about no room to make a spider for the outboard end of the spindle, and it is 27" from the face of the 4 jaw to the outboard end of the spindle. This means that I will be working with the steady rest to do the setting back, threading and chambering. My lathe will take 48" between centers, so I am not short of room. I put the heart of a vernier caliper on the tailstock to make a DRO on that. My question concerns using a Floating Reamer Holder. There is no rush for this work, and I will happily build one. I have read comments both ways considering the use of them. What do you guys think. Do you think in my situation this would benefit me? My goal after I have a bit of confidence chambering is to install new barrels, and contour them to shape. I am not intimidated by the external work at all, I just want to have a good system to confidently cut accurate chambers. Thanks.

earlgo
Posts: 1581
Joined: Sat Jan 29, 2011 11:38 am
Location: NE Ohio

Re: Floating Reamer Holder.

Post by earlgo » Sat Dec 21, 2019 10:40 am

When I was at the Colorado School of Trades, we chambered a lot of barrels. That was nearly 50 years ago and I can't remember if we used a floating reamer holder or not. However, having said that, I do own a FRH so I must have gotten the idea somewhere.
If you use a steady rest instead of a 4 jaw chuck, then you will have no way to compensate if the chamber is not concentric with the OD of the barrel riding in the steady rest. A FRH is then mandatory. Brownell's Gunsmith Kinks books recommend a FRH also.
Be aware if you try to ream a hole that is not rotating coaxially with the reamer, you will not get what you hoped for whether you use a straight reamer or chambering reamer. When reaming, you will also have to pull the reamer at short intervals and flood the reamer to get rid of chips. There is nothing like a nice smooth chamber with a ring in it, to make you invent new Anglo-Saxon invectives.
I recommend you do some reading on this subject and practicing on inexpensive barrels before you chamber the friend's Weatherby. :lol:
--earlgo
Before you do anything, you must do something else first. - Washington's principle.

johnfreese
Posts: 205
Joined: Thu Jan 21, 2016 2:10 am

Re: Floating Reamer Holder.

Post by johnfreese » Sat Dec 21, 2019 5:55 pm

You can often find used Glenzer or Scully Jones floating holders on the Bay. Both offer radial float but no angular float. A no.2 taper tap driver for a 1/8" pipe tap will drive the reamer. Instead of grinding the flats on the reamer to fit the square in the tap driver I just grip the reamer on the round shank by friction. That allows the reamer to spin in the driver before anything breaks.

One os the reamer manufacturers sells a floating reamer loosely based on the Glenzer. In my opinion these are the only floating holders worth owning.

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