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#2206723 - 01/02/14 04:08 AM new pin and reamer size in mm
ado Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/18/08
Posts: 94
Loc: france
Hello

In my farther adventures in restoring old henri herz
piano I will be facing pin replacement,I was searching around the forum and seen some related info but still haven´t come to conclusion and I would be very thankful to find some help to this specific problem.
As I mesured the old pins there are various sizes going from 6,28 to 6,76 ,they were usually thinner in the treble section of the pin block so the holes are also a bit smaller there too.
I wonder which new pin size 6,75 or 6,90 or bigger ,I must say the holes are uneven inside and covered with corrosion from old pins so I reckon reaming or drilling will be called for.
So I was wondering what would be the good reamer size for those new pins?
and if I could also ream directly (bypassin drilling) the small holes from 6,28 pins to fit the new pins or will I have to drill first ? In that case which drill size would be recomended.
Thank you .
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#2206814 - 01/02/14 10:14 AM Re: new pin and reamer size in mm [Re: ado]
Jon Page Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/13/09
Posts: 189
Loc: Harwich Port, Cape Cod, Massac...
You need first hand technical advise, hire a professional. Your concern should be when installing over-size tuning pins is whether the pins will touch the plate at the rear of the pin (speaking length side), or if the old pins are already touching; in which case, a new pin block is in order.

The quality of the pin block (density) determines the proper reaming diameter.
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Jon Page
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Harwich Port, Cape Cod, Massachusetts, USA
http://www.pianocapecod.com

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#2206844 - 01/02/14 11:18 AM Re: new pin and reamer size in mm [Re: ado]
Silverwood Pianos Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/10/08
Posts: 4187
Loc: Vancouver B. C. Canada

We mostly measure tuning pins in thousandths of an inch in North America. I am wondering what is being used to measure those pins, a caliper perhaps? A micrometer is much more accurate for this kind of work.

Tuning pins measuring 6.28-6.76 are quite small in diameter. That is from.247 to .266 in diameter. In order to get rid of all the dirt and metal deposits inside the hole it would be best to ream out to .270 (6.85mm) and then install .281 (7.13 mm).

Use a hand reamer with a T handle like this one in the photo

Hand reamer with T handle

I would do one tuning pin at the treble end first to see if the #3 tuning pins will fit as Jon has mentioned in his posting.
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#2206872 - 01/02/14 12:39 PM Re: new pin and reamer size in mm [Re: Jon Page]
ado Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/18/08
Posts: 94
Loc: france
Originally Posted By: Jon Page
You need first hand technical advise, hire a professional. Your concern should be when installing over-size tuning pins is whether the pins will touch the plate at the rear of the pin (speaking length side), or if the old pins are already touching; in which case, a new pin block is in order.

The quality of the pin block (density) determines the proper reaming diameter.

Thank you Jon ,is this issue of plate valid in wood frame pianos also?
All the way to 7.10 I can get 52 mm size lenght pins,the same as old pins


Edited by ado (01/02/14 12:52 PM)
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#2206880 - 01/02/14 12:46 PM Re: new pin and reamer size in mm [Re: Silverwood Pianos]
ado Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/18/08
Posts: 94
Loc: france
Originally Posted By: Silverwood Pianos

We mostly measure tuning pins in thousandths of an inch in North America. I am wondering what is being used to measure those pins, a caliper perhaps? A micrometer is much more accurate for this kind of work.

Tuning pins measuring 6.28-6.76 are quite small in diameter. That is from.247 to .266 in diameter. In order to get rid of all the dirt and metal deposits inside the hole it would be best to ream out to .270 (6.85mm) and then install .281 (7.13 mm).




Hi Dan thank you very much for help ,I am using micrometer to mesure , so as you sugest 7.13mm(here available 7.10)is way to go ,thus bypassing 6.90 and 7.00 pin size ,that´s what I was hesitating about ,this way the holes would be evened better (as some also appear a bit ovalish in the entrance)
I was a bit reluctant go thicker since the pins in this piano are very near each other,but I hope 7.10 won't be a problem.
I suspect the pinblock is solid wood


Edited by ado (01/02/14 12:47 PM)
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#2206925 - 01/02/14 02:04 PM Re: new pin and reamer size in mm [Re: ado]
BDB Online   content
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Registered: 06/07/03
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You are dealing with a very old piano, possibly made before parts standardization, so advice given on the basis of modern pianos may not be applicable to your piano.

We might be able to give better advice with pictures, but it still may be beyond the experience of people here.
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#2207035 - 01/02/14 05:26 PM Re: new pin and reamer size in mm [Re: ado]
Silverwood Pianos Offline
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Registered: 03/10/08
Posts: 4187
Loc: Vancouver B. C. Canada

You will need to have the holes 9-11 thousandth of an inch smaller than the tuning pin you choose. If this is wooden frame instrument then there is no problem with fit against the plate as there isn’t one.

Reaming out to .270 will leave enough to drive in a number 3 pin. I would load test the block first by doing one hole at the treble end see how it goes. You might find that you can ream out a little less but it is best to ream back down to clean wood.

That will also give you uniformity in the holes as you mention.

For the tuning pin holes that have gone oval; this is most likely the 3 ply finishing veneer in front of the pin block.

That product is about 3/8 of an inch thick. The oval holes are probably in the bass section as that section pulls a lot of weight. You might consider drilling out the front of the hole and inserting what are called hardwood plate bushings. These come in different sizes and lengths. I have done this in the past with open faced pin blocks. A little stain will match the colouring of the rest of the veneer.
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#2207055 - 01/02/14 06:01 PM Re: new pin and reamer size in mm [Re: ado]
Silverwood Pianos Offline
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Registered: 03/10/08
Posts: 4187
Loc: Vancouver B. C. Canada
Just came back with something I forgot;

Use blue tuning pins in that one. if you use nickle plated it will not look good.

I think Herz was the guy who invented the butterfly spring for the whippen lever.... now in use by Steinway and others.
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#2207073 - 01/02/14 06:52 PM Re: new pin and reamer size in mm [Re: ado]
Jon Page Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/13/09
Posts: 189
Loc: Harwich Port, Cape Cod, Massac...
>Thank you Jon ,is this issue of plate valid in wood frame pianos also?
>All the way to 7.10 I can get 52 mm size lenght pins,the same as old pins

Are you saying that is piano has an exposed pin block?

BTW, a .281 tuning is is 2/0.

If you have a variety of pins sprinkled throughout the pianos, go with the largest diameter and upgrade from that, install all new pins that are the same size.
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#2207077 - 01/02/14 07:08 PM Re: new pin and reamer size in mm [Re: ado]
Emmery Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/02/08
Posts: 2335
Loc: Niagara Region, On. Canada
Ado, you really didn't mention the exact reason for the piano needing "pin replacement". Is it cosmetic reason (rusty), or are there some loose ones amongst better ones, has a technician recommended it?

The reason I ask is that there are several pitfalls you should be aware of. If there are some pins which fall in line with each other and are significantly more loose than their neighbors, you could have some major deterioration/splitting on the pinblock in that area and driving in larger pins will just make it worse. Sometimes plugging and redrilling is needed in these cases. If there a dozen or less pins that are marginally loose you can aquire oversized pins in partial sets also from certain suppliers.

Not meaning to scare you off the piano if your a DIYer with your heart set on doing what your doing, just pointing out some things that techs look at when faced with the same situation.
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#2207083 - 01/02/14 07:33 PM Re: new pin and reamer size in mm [Re: ado]
Silverwood Pianos Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/10/08
Posts: 4187
Loc: Vancouver B. C. Canada

Originally Posted By: Jon Page

BTW, a .281 tuning is 2/0.


Yes, my mistake Jon, thanks for the correction. When I wrote “ream out to .271” for some reason I started to think that .271 was a number 1 pin, that is actually a 0/0 pin I believe. Here in N. America anyways.
I will leave the error in place without edit or the thread will not make much sense to readers.

So for the OP the reaming tolerances would be the same and the pin size would not change just the label of pin size.

Good additional comments from Emmery.
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"If you think it's expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur."

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#2207101 - 01/02/14 08:02 PM Re: new pin and reamer size in mm [Re: ado]
BDB Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 20779
Loc: Oakland
Going back to my previous comment which too many people have ignored, I have a question:

Are the tuning pins threaded or not? If not, are they tapered?
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#2207115 - 01/02/14 08:30 PM Re: new pin and reamer size in mm [Re: ado]
Emmery Offline
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Registered: 04/02/08
Posts: 2335
Loc: Niagara Region, On. Canada
BDB, I haven't run into "unthreaded" pins myself but since you mention this, are unthreaded pins hammer forged/ground or what? I had figured the fine threading was the final machining method to get the pins nicely round and to final size and wonder what the logic would be behind spending extra money to remove the threads or using a more expensive process to get them smooth. I've looked at many different pins with a loupe and most are machined with die that has about 1/4-3/8" length of multi toothed tool engagement...more like a fine toothed scraper. (The "threads" are not 60 deg standard depth threads like used for machined fasteners.)
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#2207122 - 01/02/14 08:40 PM Re: new pin and reamer size in mm [Re: ado]
Silverwood Pianos Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/10/08
Posts: 4187
Loc: Vancouver B. C. Canada
Hey Emmery,

Some English instruments, in particular Broadwood, maybe Collard too, had oblong tuning pins with traditional threads like a wood fastener. I just sent you a photo direct.

I don’t know if any European makers in Germany used threaded tuning pins.
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www.silverwoodpianos.com
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"If you think it's expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur."

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#2207123 - 01/02/14 08:41 PM Re: new pin and reamer size in mm [Re: ado]
BDB Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 20779
Loc: Oakland
I have only come across one piano with unthreaded tuning pins, which seemed to have come from Austria sometime around WWI. I have dealt with conical tuning pins in a harpsichord. I do not know how they are made, but whatever process that makes threaded pins could be used to make unthreaded ones round or conical.

I am just trying to establish what we are dealing with here. As I said, pictures might give us a better idea.
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#2207135 - 01/02/14 08:54 PM Re: new pin and reamer size in mm [Re: ado]
Emmery Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/02/08
Posts: 2335
Loc: Niagara Region, On. Canada
There certainly are numerous things to consider when replacing some or all the pins. I've had a fair amount of marginally loose pins get additional life in them from just tapping a bit deeper if it hasn't been done already. In fact, there are some older pianos I've seen where it almost appears like the coils were left a bit higher than normal just for this purpose. Open pin block, no bushings, older piano, almost seems to scream CA treatment for me too... Lol
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#2207269 - 01/03/14 03:59 AM Re: new pin and reamer size in mm [Re: ado]
ado Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/18/08
Posts: 94
Loc: france
Originally Posted By: Silverwood Pianos


Reaming out to .270 will leave enough to drive in a number 3 pin. I would load test the block first by doing one hole at the treble end see how it goes. You might find that you can ream out a little less but it is best to ream back down to clean wood.

That will also give you uniformity in the holes as you mention.

For the tuning pin holes that have gone oval; this is most likely the 3 ply finishing veneer in front of the pin block.

That product is about 3/8 of an inch thick. The oval holes are probably in the bass section as that section pulls a lot of weight. You might consider drilling out the front of the hole and inserting what are called hardwood plate bushings. These come in different sizes and lengths. I have done this in the past with open faced pin blocks. A little stain will match the colouring of the rest of the veneer.

It looks the oval parts are only on the front venner.As for reaming back to clean wood ,that sounds like the thing to do ,so you sugest no less then 7.10 for the new pins? Might 7.00 be ok also ,Thank you

I will be using blue pins


Originally Posted By: Jon Page
>Thank you Jon ,is this issue of plate valid in wood frame pianos also?
>All the way to 7.10 I can get 52 mm size lenght pins,the same as old pins

Are you saying that is piano has an exposed pin block?


Yes I think this is what you call exposed pin block

Originally Posted By: Emmery
Ado, you really didn't mention the exact reason for the piano needing "pin replacement". Is it cosmetic reason (rusty), or are there some loose ones amongst better ones, has a technician recommended it?


Thank you Emmery, I decided to repin because some of the pins were stuck hard and some loose.Although majority pins seemed ok and there was no rust from outside when I started to take them I could pull them out with gently jerks once they were half way unscrewed,so I believed that was kind of loose pin situation.Some of the tough ones to turn
were swollen and expanded by corrosion also.

Originally Posted By: BDB
Going back to my previous comment which too many people have ignored, I have a question:

Are the tuning pins threaded or not? If not, are they tapered?

They are threaded and tapered
Originally Posted By: BDB

I am just trying to establish what we are dealing with here. As I said, pictures might give us a better idea.

I will try to get some up soon ,thank you very much all for your kind advice and help
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#2207368 - 01/03/14 10:45 AM Re: new pin and reamer size in mm [Re: ado]
Silverwood Pianos Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/10/08
Posts: 4187
Loc: Vancouver B. C. Canada
Originally Posted By: ado
It looks the oval parts are only on the front venner.As for reaming back to clean wood ,that sounds like the thing to do ,so you sugest no less then 7.10 for the new pins? Might 7.00 be ok also ,Thank you
I will be using blue pins


With old instruments like this it depends upon how the wood reacts when the new tuning pin is driven. This is what Jon meant when he posted about the density of the wood pin block.

That is why I suggested doing a test pin at the treble end.
Sometimes with old instruments I ream one hole and install a test pin, install the new string and pull to pitch, then measure the torque resistance to see where I am and how the wooden plank is reacting.

With the tuning pins that have distorted the bottom edge of the front of the hole we do not know if the back of the hole is damaged too. This is why I suggested reaming out to .270(6.85mm) to make the holes uniform in size but also to get rid of any distortions that may be hidden inside the back of the hole at the top. This will also clean out the holes completely and give you straight, clean holes, all the same size to work with.

This part here quoted;

Originally Posted By: ado
Thank you Emmery, I decided to repin because some of the pins were stuck hard and some loose.Although majority pins seemed ok and there was no rust from outside when I started to take them I could pull them out with gently jerks once they were half way unscrewed,so I believed that was kind of loose pin situation.Some of the tough ones to turn were swollen and expanded by corrosion also.


The corrosion damage in the back of the hole cannot be seen. This is why you need to ream out to .270 to get rid of all the contamination.

The smallest tuning pin you have is 2.47mm. In order to ream out to .270(7.13mm) you might have to set the reamer to take out half of that distance and then reset the reamer again to ream out the rest of the way. This is why I use the adjustable hand reamers, instead of a spoon bit or twist drill.

If you want to use 7.00mm tuning pins these are .275 thousandths of an inch. The reamed out hole is.270 thousandths of an inch and that makes the hole too big for a .275 tuning pin. The pins will be loose right away especially in the bass…..

You need a minimum of 9-11 thousandths for good torque ratings. So if the reaming is.270 (7.13mm) the tuning pin should be a minimum diameter of .279(7.08mm) to .281(7.13mm) That should get you there.

But again do a test pin in one reamed out hole, string it up and then put the torque wrench on to see what rating you have.

The tuning pins you mention that are 7.10mm are the ones I would use for this job.

From what you have written it seems that the tuning pins being removed are conventional pins.
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www.silverwoodpianos.com
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"If you think it's expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur."

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#2207384 - 01/03/14 11:33 AM Re: new pin and reamer size in mm [Re: ado]
BDB Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 20779
Loc: Oakland
They cannot be threaded and tapered.
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#2207932 - 01/04/14 09:31 AM Re: new pin and reamer size in mm [Re: ado]
ado Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/18/08
Posts: 94
Loc: france
Dan Thank you very much for your valuable advice, I see it all much clearer now ,I will order the 7.10 pins to be on the safe side

BDB ,they are threaded and very soft easy to break so I thought they might be tapered,I might be mistaken maybe the iron thosedays was like that or it is the age.
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#2207938 - 01/04/14 09:48 AM Re: new pin and reamer size in mm [Re: ado]
ado Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/18/08
Posts: 94
Loc: france
Sorry BDB I just found out what tapered means in english ,I thought tapered was something related to tempering of the iron process.

The pins were just like these days pins threaded and with smaller conical tip and smaller wrench tip to use


Edited by ado (01/04/14 09:50 AM)
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#2207969 - 01/04/14 10:54 AM Re: new pin and reamer size in mm [Re: ado]
Emmery Offline
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Registered: 04/02/08
Posts: 2335
Loc: Niagara Region, On. Canada
Ado, here are some other options if you have the flexibility.

A pin that is too tight and jumpy can often be fixed by removing the wire, winding the pin out, give a light brushing with a wire gun brush to the hole, blow out with compressed air, and then hammering back in the original pin.

The surface of machined thread area on the pin actually has tiny serrations/tears on it if you were to look at it with a microscope. These act like fine sandpaper on the hole. This is one of the reasons the pins are typically not wound in, but rather, hammered into place. It minimizes the wear/sizing on the hole.

Gun bore brushes can be gotten according to caliber. I keep several different ones on hand but .270 brushes work well. Stainless steel ones are more rigid for larger sized pins, bronze brushes are more flexible for smaller holes. The brushes do not resize the hole. They will clean off glazing caused from high speed drilling and remove epoxy/glue residue from multi laminate pin blocks.

Reamers are handy for truing up the roundness and slightly taking the size larger. On the reamers which are adjustable, note that on most of them, the first 1/3 of the reamer is slightly under sized and serves mostly as a guide. Some people will get several of them, set them to work in a certain narrow size range and then hack saw off the excess adjustment thread out front. This lets you true up the blind hole parallel down much deeper.

In my experience, the "spoon" reamers offered by piano supply places are garbage. I had a few 5/16" front cutting reamers ground to custom size for me by a buddy who runs a tool grinding shop. I use these instead of the side cutting adjustable type. I just need to be more careful on the initial line up angle when entering the hole with these but I find they work supreme once you get the hang of it.
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#2207996 - 01/04/14 11:48 AM Re: new pin and reamer size in mm [Re: ado]
Silverwood Pianos Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/10/08
Posts: 4187
Loc: Vancouver B. C. Canada
Originally Posted By: Emmery

Reamers are handy for truing up the roundness and slightly taking the size larger. On the reamers which are adjustable, note that on most of them, the first 1/3 of the reamer is slightly under sized and serves mostly as a guide. Some people will get several of them, set them to work in a certain narrow size range and then hack saw off the excess adjustment thread out front. This lets you true up the blind hole parallel down much deeper.


All good advice from Emmery about reamers.

Make sure when you are setting the reamer diameter that you set the cutting edge at the rear rather than the leading edge at the front.

Measure twice, cut once. This is always the rule in the metal shops. Yes the pin block is wood but when sizing tuning pin holes, this is a machinist application using machine shop tools and precision.

Regarding the part about blind holes, the reamer I have shown in the photo earlier would not work well in an upright for example, as the excess threaded stem of the reamer would not allow the reamer blades to get to the back of the hole walls.

A reamer with excess stem off the end is used for grand’s with the pin block drilled through the bottom.

Now if the threaded excess is cut away then the reamer will work in all holes, blind or drilled all the way through.

Another thing I have remembered about adjustable reamers if you go that route. When using an adjustable reamer turn ONE WAY ONLY, to the right.

Never turn back or reverse the direction of an adjustable hand reamer. If you do the nut that adjusts the blades diameter will undo and you will never get the reamer back out without destroying it and damaging the hole.
_________________________
Dan Silverwood
www.silverwoodpianos.com
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"If you think it's expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur."

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#2209272 - 01/06/14 11:20 AM Re: new pin and reamer size in mm [Re: ado]
ado Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/18/08
Posts: 94
Loc: france
Thank you guys for very useful info.
So 0.2795...(7.10mm)pins and holes finally reamed out to 0.270 (6.85mm)
I will be doing some testing on some 5cm hardwood before touching the pinblock .

I might probably use one size reamer if I can find the correct size
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#2209349 - 01/06/14 12:37 PM Re: new pin and reamer size in mm [Re: ado]
Emmery Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/02/08
Posts: 2335
Loc: Niagara Region, On. Canada
Ado, testing a reamer first for its effects on sizing is common practice in metal machining also. You want to find a wood material as similar in hardness/density to the pin block as you can. Next, you want to predrill it to as near size as what the pin block holes are. Pay particular attention to how fast you are feeding it through and duplicate that same speed. Pay attention to the resistance you feel on the cutter, if it increases too much, then slow the amount you are feeding it per revolution.

There is a bit of a learning curve with the intial reaming experience. Once you get the hang of it, it is an incredibly accurate way to get consistant sizing and torque on the pins. To add to what Dan mentioned...a reamer (especially for metal) is never rotated in reverse while in contact with a part. Even when removeing from a hole, keep rotating in the cutting direction so you don't leave long vertical slice marks from the cutting edges.
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#2209353 - 01/06/14 12:40 PM Re: new pin and reamer size in mm [Re: ado]
ado Offline
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Registered: 05/18/08
Posts: 94
Loc: france
Forgot , I will probably have to drill before with something like 6.5 or 6.7 drill.
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#2209362 - 01/06/14 12:51 PM Re: new pin and reamer size in mm [Re: ado]
Emmery Offline
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Registered: 04/02/08
Posts: 2335
Loc: Niagara Region, On. Canada
If you haven't done a lot of drilling, use a fairly steady feed and enough speed on the bit to do the hole in about 5 or 6 seconds max. Some materials I do even faster. Too many people dwell and go to slow on the feed. The bit gets very hot from this and can expand by a few thousandths of an inch, not to mention, it allows more time for the alignment to wander. Having a steady stream of high pressure air on the bit and the hole can actually help in keeping the drilled size consistant.
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#2209365 - 01/06/14 12:53 PM Re: new pin and reamer size in mm [Re: Emmery]
ado Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/18/08
Posts: 94
Loc: france
Originally Posted By: Emmery
Ado, testing a reamer first for its effects on sizing is common practice in metal machining also.


That reminds me of my techschool workshop and as I remember was kind of tricky to get to ream after drilling if the object was moved and the result if not aimed correctly was ovalish holes and broken reamers,even though that was metal and big mashines I imagine wood and handreaming will be a chalenge .
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ado

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#2209372 - 01/06/14 01:04 PM Re: new pin and reamer size in mm [Re: Emmery]
ado Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/18/08
Posts: 94
Loc: france
Originally Posted By: Emmery
If you haven't done a lot of drilling, use a fairly steady feed and enough speed on the bit to do the hole in about 5 or 6 seconds max. Some materials I do even faster. Too many people dwell and go to slow on the feed. The bit gets very hot from this and can expand by a few thousandths of an inch, not to mention, it allows more time for the alignment to wander. Having a steady stream of high pressure air on the bit and the hole can actually help in keeping the drilled size consistant.


Thank you Emmery
What about manual drilling with 6.7 or 6.8 drill and not using reamer ?
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ado

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