Cork Reamers

Hello All,
There is a ton of great info on this forum about all stuff, including reaming cork handles, but I haven’t seen this question come up yet. I am currently working on building a rod, and need to ream out the handle. I know that reamers can be made from old rod sections, and I may end up needing to do that or purchase one that is made commercially. But some people have said they use rat tail files to do the job. I am curious about this for a couple of reasons ($ and durability). So far, though, all of the files that I have seen are only tapered at the tip, and that taper is much more than the blank itself. So, my question is, do you just use a cylindrical file and wobble out the hole, or do some of you have fully tapered rat tail files? If you just use a regular round file how to you keep the hole centered and tapered correctly? This seems a great way to waste a lot of handles and cash. If you have fully tapered files, where do you find them?
Thank you very much in advance for your help on this.
For my first couple builds I used a file like you mentioned, It mostly worked, but as you say it's only tapered at the end, so not ideal. For my current build I bought the 4-pack of reamers like the one flybill linked to and it worked much, much better. Sure, not as long-term durable as a steel file, but for as infrequently I'll actually use these, they'll probably outlast me anyway.
I tried building a reamer out of a wood dowel that I hand planed to the appropriate taper, then used contact cement to glue a long strip of sandpaper around the dowel. I used 40 grit sander belt cut into a strip and wrapped it around the dowel. It worked okay but the taper was never quite right and it didn't chuck into the drill very well.
I now use the Extreme Reamer. It works awesome. Hand reaming for thin walled grips, drill for the big stuff.
I have used all of the above, round file, reamers made from old blanks, and a Batson reamer chucked in a drill. They all have their place. If you are using ready-made cork handles the taper can be difficult to match regardless of which tool you use. Sometimes I get a wobble effect if I work the tool to hard and end up with an off center hole in the cork. The trick is to go sloooow and don’t force the process. Cork is soft and you can take off a lot of material real fast. If you are building your own handles from individual cork pieces it is much easier to match the taper because you are doing one ½” piece at a time. The only problem with this method is you have to turn the cork handle to shape afterward. Good luck.

Lue Taylor

Lue Taylor/dbfly
I have set round files only I do not run the drill clockwise I run in reverse less hanging up on the cork and you can go very slow keep centered.
I mostly build my handles on the blank like Bonsai said. You can get the size of the 1/2” cork rings just right (reaming them with a rat tail file in a drill motor) and then glue them and press them on the blank. DYI presses are easy to make. I usually glue the bottom ring on where I want the grip to meet the reel seat and let it set up over night. then I glue the rest on and press them. Chuck it up in a lathe after the glue has set and turn the handle to you liking.

If you use a file or reamer and it is too aggressive, try running the drill motor in reverse like Lue said. If you use a file, break the bottom off so it chuck up in the drill concentically.
I love my set of Batson cork reamers, can ream a grip in under 30 mins with them, opposed to hours and hours with rat tails. You have to be careful with the reamers and follow the instructions or they will break, but if followed work great.

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I am in a rod building class. I was watching a guy use a CRB reamer. He was using it in an electric drill and was forcing the tool. He broke the tool and the sand paper peeled off. I had told him 2 minutes earlier to let the tool do the work and not push it. I also mentioned the hint coo2 made "running the drill motor in reverse like Lue said."
I've had my two hand reamers for almost 30 years, not much grit left on them but still work good enough. I've never put them in a drill.....
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Thank you all for the good advise. My wife and I spent the day in the Sequim area yesterday, so I picked up a set of the Dream Reamers from Utmost Enterprises. I love that place. They’re super helpful and friendly. Plus, the prices are great.

I got the handle reamed out nicely last night after we got home. The dream reamers did their job admirably.

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