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MAKING

CHAMBERING
By KEITH FRANCIS
REA s
NL Y 3 of the 5 basic tool steel types of hardness. Its heat-treatment is in- various forms. On
O available are suitable for making
chambering reamers. These are the
volved and i best left to the profes-
sional, but cold work and carbon steel
rod or round bar -
form. Drill rod h
high-speed steels, the cold work steels, may be hardened in the small shop. finish (not preci
and the carbon and low-alloy steels. The beginner should select a steel mon high-speed
High-speed steel is used ordinarily that is suitable for reamers and also are available in
for tools that reach a temperature above ea y to grind. One of the most easily stock is less expeasrve,
3000 F. Chambering reamers have a ground suitable steels is designated has 'bark' on i
large area of cutting edge in contact SAE 06. It is classified as a 'non-de- be removed. It .
with the work and are susceptible to forming die steel' and has a grindability 1116" waste for
chatter and breakage at speeds that gen- alue of 85. This is a steel that the diameter. For clla~:;>::;;-:::.
erate heat above 300 F. Thus, the most
0 beginner may use while developing .30-'06 size (.4'7-- •
important quality of high-speed steel is grinding skill. Two popular brands of 9/16" diameter •
utilized only by the toolmaker during SAE 06 steel are Allegheny Ludlum's to about %". I
the grinding process. It is more forgiv- 'Oilgraph' and Tirnken's 'Graphmo'. grinding. Drill
ing to a careless grinding operation than Chambering reamers must cut the full l/z" diameter as
other steels and will withstand tempera- length of the chamber. They cannot be ties on its surfa
tures as high as 11 00 F. with no loss
0 operated as fast as end-cutting reamers; available ill 3-ft.
red-hardness and other advantages of lengths often run
Note: Drawings giving maximum cartridge and some of the other tool steels are not The illustratio
minimum chamber dimensions of U. S.-loaded required. Getting a good fini h at re- and the followi :
commercial small arms ammunition are obtain-
able at $5 per cartridge from Sporting Arms & duced speed is the main requirement. steps in _ produ
Ammunition Manufacturer's Institute, 250 East
43rd St., New York 17, . Y. Tool steel for reamer i available in chambering ream

Lathe operations with SAE 06 steel are easy. For a reamer such as the .30-'06 a
1. rpm's with .~03" feed is used in our shop with a much tougher tool steel, making
diameter, Carbide-tipped Grade K-6 tools are used for all turning. When high-speed steel t
the rpm's should be kept below 500, condition of the lathe and coolant system being the
factors. No sharp corners are left when turning the blank. The turning tool has about an .0
lessen the chance of hardening cracks during the heat-treatment. We leave .010" grinding stock
and shank and .025" to .030" grinding stock on the rest of the blank. All blanks are tura
to provide .030" stock at the back end and .062" grinding STock at the shoulder of a .30-
Shoulder angles are plunge-en from the rear tool post
The milling cutter used to the flutes may be one of
2 several types. The most common' the 60 cutter, shown
0
4carbide-From the milling machine the reamer goes back to the
lathe for the tang or shank squaring operation. A set of
on the right. The sharp corner of these cutters are radiused tipped cutters is used to straddle-mill the squares. A cut
to avoid hardening cracks. Minimum radius is about .030". is taken and the reamer then indexed 90° for milling the second
The 60 cutter will produce flutes 0
0
ear uniform thickness pair of flats. The reamer then goe to the marking machine for
from top to bottom. The cutter on Iefr I one made and used stamping of identification and caliber
by master toolmaker F. K. Ellio 0 his fine chambering
reamers. The flute produced with '- radius is much stronger
than the other types. Note the tapered e and thicker cross-
section of the reamer section on left. I ilmet 29 is used as a
milling machine cutting oil, but m good grade sulfur-based
cutting oils will work well ith AE 06 steel
5 The heat-treating or hardening of SAE 06 steel is less diffi-
cult than that of water- or brine-quenching steels. With a
common furnace like the one hown, it is best to do something
about the atmosphere contacting the reamer. Timken recommends
painting a saturated solution of boric acid over the surface of the
tool to avoid decarburization. There are also good commercial non-
scaling compounds available, such as Phoenix Brand, sold by
the Parker Stamp Works of Hartford, Conn. This is good for
hardening temperatures up to 1650° F. and covers more easily
and completely than does boric acid. The flute faces, being a part
of the cutting edge, should be protected from decarburization.
This is no problem if the flutes are to be ground after heat-treat-
ment, since the scale is easily ground away. SAE 06 tool steel
should be heated to about 1450° F. and soaked at this temperature
The reamer flutes should be milled a irregular intervals only long enough to insure uniform heating. The reamer should
3 to reduce chatter. Or the flutes may
solid stock if that is more practicable.
ground from the
. g formulas may
then be removed as quickly as possible and quenched vertically in
a light quenching oil. Quench with a gentle up-and-down motion
be found in the Machinery's Handbook. For a 6-fluted reamer until it has cooled to below 200 F. (very warm to the touch).
0

an index circle with 39 holes is placed 0 the dividing head. It is apt to warp if dropped to the bottom of the quenching tank
The first flute is then milled. The second te j milled 4 holes too soon. Also, any swishing motion is likely to cool one side of
less than regular spacing, the third is ed 5 holes more, the reamer more quickly than the other and cause warpage. A
the fourth 7 holes less, the fifth 6 holes more and the last 5 quenching oil temperature of about 100° F. is recommended to
holes less than regular spacing. A produc 'on milling fixture minimize warping and cracking. After cooling to oil temperature.
is usually built with the irregular spacing machined into an the reamer is taken out for tempering. Relief of machining and
index plate. The milling fixture shown has a bination center hardening strains demands about 2 hours tempering time at
0
and dog which is more conducive to ra id loading and unload- 300 F. A kitchen oven will do nicely. It is best to let the reamer
ing than a standard center and dog would . This center has cool in the oven. It may then be tested for hardness. SAE 06 steel
been ground with 5 . should have a working hardness of 63 on the Rockwell C-scale

JANUARY 1963
6 From the hardness tester the reamer
goes to the drill press for checki ng of If the reamer is to bave ground fiutes. this is the next operation. It is
its concentricity (above). It is then center-
lapped with diamond lapping cones (below).
7
with
important to smooth the entire flute so that chips will flow from its face
less chance of bonding or fusing. If the backs of the flutes are also ground
During this process the centers may be moved smooth, the chips will flow out more easily with less packing. Three wheels are
over to minimize any warpage. The centers used. Roughing is done with a 60-grit aluminum oxide wheel, followed by a 150-
may be lapped with other types of mounted grit aluminum oxide wheel. Final polishing is done with a fiber MX wheel and
points, such as aluminum oxide 60° center finishing compound. Grinding procedures vary, but we grind tbe shanks first. then
laps. It is very important to lap tbe centers to the pilot shanks followed by cylindrical grinding of the throat, body, neck, and
remove any scale and out-of-roundness and to shoulder. With some grinders it is best to circle grind one section of the reamer
provide good cones for the reamer to rotate and then back it off, or relieve it, before changing the taper for another portion
on during grinding. The lower center is fitted of the reamer. Lengths are scribed on the backs of the fiutes using a height gauge.
to a precisely aligned bole in tbe drill press With a good eye Ioupe, it is fairly easy to work to the layout lines. A micrometer-.
table. Tbe lower center also goes through a stop is a must. There are several ways to grind clearance on a reamer. The simplest
thin plywood table top method is to circle grind to size, tben back off the land leaving a margin no more
tban .002" wide. The margin is that portion of tbe cylindrical width of a flute
that remains after the reamer bas been backed off. On straight reamers this margin .'
is easy to see, being as wide as .020" or so on a 1/2" reamer. A second and some-
what better method, is to circle grind to size plus .001" or so. Then grind tbe
primary and secondary clearances. Primary clearances for reamers such as the
.30-'06 may be about r for the tbroat and neck and 3 ° for tbe body. Secondary
clearances should be about 16° on the throat and neck and 8° for tbe body. If
tbe fiutes are thick it will be necessary to grind a third clearance so that tbe beel
will not' be too high. Sharpened staggered-flute reamers will mike out of round,
so it is necessary to observe the dial reading when the margin disappears and
go by the dial. If ring gauges are used the secondary clearance must be ground
on first. or the gauges will not come in contact with the primary clearance
and cutting edge. A spring-finger may be u ed on most reamers for tbe short
section such as the throat and neck, but a slide finger must be used on the body
unless it has been ground straigbt. A tbird type of clearance is obtained by cam
grinding tbe entire cutting relief. This may be done as a circle grinding operation
and is possibly the faste t method. The cams must be precisely timed to match the
spacing of the fiutes. This can be a ratber difficult problem \ ith staggered-flute
reamers. Tbe flutes must be uniform and not warped. or tbe cutting edges will not
be of tbe same heigbt. One or 2 of tbe flutes will do all the cutting and the
chamber is likely to be oversize. A fourth and more sopbi ticated method is used
by F. K. Elliott. The reamer is circle ground to size plu a predetermined amount,
then the secondary clearance is ground first so that it completely eliminates tbe
margin. The reamer is then placed in a stoning fixture and the primary clearance
carefully hand-stoned. Fixture adjustments control the learance. The cutting
edge produced with tbe stone is much smoother tban that obtained with a grind-
ing wbeel. Stoning must be done uniformly or an out-of-round condition will
result. This method is more difficult than tbo e previously de ribed, and it is
used only for the finest reamers. Selection of grinding whee for SAE 06 tool steel
is not as critical as for some of the other reels. For ir Ie grinding, a wheel such
as 38A60-K5VBE may be used. For grinding the learan one might choose a
38AlOO-H7VBE wbeel. Steel manufacturer often recommend wbeel gradings
for their brands •

32 E A ERICAN RIFLEMAN

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