Thursday, November 1, 2018

Broach - A Special Cutting Tool

Most modelers give me a puzzled look when  I mention I used a broach to enlarge or shape a hole.  And, I am immediately asked, “What is a broach?” A broach is a cutting tool with a pointed or tapered  tip with teeth that cut on the back stroke.  A broach is used to remove material from the resin or  plastic material to shape an outside surface or a hole.  So what are some uses I have for a broach.

A fine and very fine broach set.
(click or tap on photo to enlarge)

A closeup view of the broaches cutting edges.

A broach is my tool of choice to cleanup flash from flat car stake pockets.   It is also a great tool to help cleanup flash between boards on stock cars.  I like to use a broach to cleanup brake shaft bracket holes through which the brake shaft must pass through or to open a brake shaft step that was molded closed on a plastic freight car.  Yet, another time I use a broach is to shape or enlarge a brake lever slot in a fish belly center sill on a model freight car, especially on a scratch-built fishbelly center sill.  These are just a few examples where I like to use a broach.

Where do you buy a broach?  I purchased a set of fine and very fine broaches from MicroMark, set #81847.   The broaches come with nice plastic storage tubes for storing the broaches and keeping the cutting edges protected when in my tool drawer among other reamers and files.

If you do not have this tool in your tool collection for working on freight cars I urge to order at least one and give it a try.

Thank You for taking time to read my blog.  You can share a comment in the section below if you choose to do so.  Please share the blog link with other model railroaders.
Lester Breuer


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  2. Les,

    I don't know if you've ever had a root canal but the endodontist uses files that are exactly like a broach and are available in many sizes complete with a plastic handle.

    Robert Oom

  3. I have and have sets of small reamers they use; however, not aware of the files like a broach. Thanks for the tip. Appreciated.
    Lester Breuer