They may be worried about abrasives getting embedded in the work and
creating a hone or lap in it's own right.
AFAIK engine shops all use hones to size connecting rod holes, not sure
if they use the hones on the bearing surface itself, though.
While there is some risk of creating a lap from imbedding abrasive from the
hone, it would be the method of choice in this instance. Pistons are honed
routinely, but with rigid hones, such as a Sunnen. Properly applied, they
don't leave anything behind that would be a problem. Stones used for soft
materials should be hard bonded and break down very slowly. The steel shoes
opposite to stone more or less constantly are wiping the surface. Virtual
no abrasive ever leaves the stone, so as long as the honing oil is clean, it
would be the method of choice.
The problem you're going to have with a hand reamer is cutting an
out-of-round and oversize, tapered bore. When you start talking tenths,
reamers become very suspect, especially hand reamers. If your project is
a one that would suffer serious consequences should you fail, I strongly
suggest you take it to a shop that is properly equipped and have it honed.
Assuming you have a mating piece, be certain to provide it so it can be
I also strongly suggest you not try a wheel cylinder hone to remove any
material. They don't have the means to control straightness or roundness the
way a rigid hone does. That would be a sure recipe for failure, much like
a hand reamer.
Find a ball bearing of the proper size and press it through if you
cannot have it honed on a Sunnen hone. Hand reaming is gonna leave a
nasty hole that will NOT be round or true.
"War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded
state of moral and patriotic feeling
which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse. The person who has nothing
for which he is willing to fight,
nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable
creature and has no chance of being
free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself."
- John Stewart Mill
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