This tool, made from riven hickory, reams the arm stump and leg holes in the chair seat to a six-degree taper. It also works for reaming the arm stump holes in the arm. The blade tapers from 3/8″ to 1 1/4″ and is 1/16″ thick. They are roughly 15″ overall length.  Developed by Richard Starr.

To keep up with the competition, the blade is now twenty-five percent thicker (1/16″) and the slot is machined for a more precise fit. The depth of cut is adjustable with a set screw, driven by a 5/32″ hex key (not included). The handle is removable for traveling.

Reamers — $140 each


Make your own reamer! These are the blades we use in our reamers, made from spring steel hardened to RC48-50. The blades taper at a 6 degree included angle from 3/8″ to 1 1/4″ and are 1/16″ thick. They come with edges ground to a 70 degree bevel, ready for you to hone. See Jennie Alexander’s website or my videos (below) for instructions on making reamers.

Reamer Blades — $35 each (free shipping in USA)


This Set Includes 3.5 hours of Instruction in Two Parts

Part 1: Starting with the blade, we look at various types of steel, making a blade from a scrap handsaw blade, grinding the blade, sharpening, honing and turning a burr. Then we look at wood options (lumber and log), sawing the blade slot by hand and by machine, and turning the taper to match the blade. The shaving lands are cut with a chisel and drawknife. We focus on making a six degree reamer for chairmaking, but the same techniques would work for a variety of sizes and tapers.

Part 2: We adjust the cutting depth with either a permanent wedge or an adjustment screw, then we work on two different types of handles, a fixed dowel and a removable tapered handle. We taper the top end of the reamer to a point and talk about using the reamer in various chairmaking applications. 

$30 for the set.


This Set of Five Tools includes a leg tenon cutter, a arm-stump tenon cutter, and a 1/2″ spindle tenon cutter, plus one six-degree reamer and one 3/8″ dowel plate. Dowel plates in other sized are available separately. Visit the Tenon Cutters page for more info.

Set of Five Tools with Maple Tenon Cutters — $475

Tools & Supplies

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“The tapered reamer exceeded my expectations…. Your tools would be a bargain at twice the price!”
–  Brian Eve

Read about the pros and cons of 6 versus 11 degree tapered tenons.

Read instructions for using reamers.

Make a Reamer: Jennie Alexander’s website has detailed instructions for making a reamer.

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