Files and Filing

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TFrench

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As far as I'm aware (sure AES or one of the proper engineers will be able to confirm) a lathe file has safe edges on both sides. Arceurotrade sell them.
 

AES

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Agreed, there ARE "proper" lathe files, and they do (usually) have 2 safe edges. In wasn't aware that ArcEurotrade have them (good company IME BTW, usual disclaimers) and I thought lathe files were pretty rare these days. I have just a couple I inherited from my dad.

Within reason, IMO you can use just about any file on the lathe (NOT a Dreadnought for example!) and I believe that jewellers & watchmakers often use Swiss and needle files on the lathe for final dimensioning of small pivots and the like. But as said, using a sensible lathe speed, a suitable file for the job and its material (basically you're fine finishing), you can use just about any file that suits. Or even emery of wet n dry wrapped round a file. And if you must have a 2nd safe edge on a file you can of course grind it away for all (or part) of its length.

BUT, PLEEZ, whatever file you use, DO be careful and ALWAYS use a handle and NEVER just a bare tang - catches can occur sometimes and if they do they WILL happen at a speed which will definitely NOT allow you to react in time. Same applies to using a file in the pillar drill.

"Lecture rant" over.

P.S. @TFrench. Thanks for the "proper engineer" cachet above, but looking at your current thread "you ain't no slouch yerself mate"!
 

AES

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Yup, that's very much what the 2 from my dad look like. Really didn't realise they're still made/available.

Just to "reinforce" the above safety message - this type clearly does not need a handle, but EVERY other type does, including Swiss & needle files (for which little wooden handles are available).
 

Robbo3

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A visitor to my shed wanted to know how to de-gunge a file so I showed him my file card. This begged the question as to whether fine, medium & coarse file cards were required, to which I didn't know the answer & said I would try to find out.
Although I've had a cursory search I can see no reference to any types or sizes of files that a file card is suitable for.
Hence my asking the question here.
 

Nelsun

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For when a file card isn't enough (e.g. metal blobs) a piece of copper pipe, flattened at the end, makes for a good deep clean. The file eats away the copper to form a matching set of teeth that [Madonna]get into the grooves[/Madonna] and clean it out pretty well.
 

AES

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AFAIK, there are no different grades of file cards.

Agree with a bit of copper wire to clean clogged files (ali is a particular problem) but what also works for me is the (now blunt) end of one of those cheapo snap off blade knives).

Cleaning "a" file that way is quite therapeutic I find, but do NOT wait for half a dozen to need such attention, as "therapeutic" soon becomes "VERY boring"!
 

Dalboy

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After today I will need to clean three files of ali, the needle file will be easy the other two will need a little more attention.
Why are my files multiplying I will soon have more than turning tools :lol: :lol: :lol:
 

AES

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@Sammy.se. Thanks, my pleasure Sir (glad to "give something back" here for once, my woodworking "skills" are NOT all that up to much)!

@dalboy: Yup, getting ali out of files is a bit of a barsteward (I DID warn)! If you're doing a lot of ali, especially the softer alloys, it's worth while breaking off "in the middle" of a job to give them a quick brush up. Not only does it give you less of a task at the end of a job but it also increases the cutting efficiency of the file/s.

As to files "multiplying", yup, they tend to do that! OTOH they are useful tools and though I don't own any turning chisels, I guess that piece for piece they're cheaper than turning tools.
 

Dalboy

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AES":3cxxxuzp said:
@dalboy: Yup, getting ali out of files is a bit of a barsteward (I DID warn)! If you're doing a lot of ali, especially the softer alloys, it's worth while breaking off "in the middle" of a job to give them a quick brush up. Not only does it give you less of a task at the end of a job but it also increases the cutting efficiency of the file/s.

As to files "multiplying", yup, they tend to do that! OTOH they are useful tools and though I don't own any turning chisels, I guess that piece for piece they're cheaper than turning tools.
I did give them a brush with the card every so often as I could not find my chalk. And yes turning tools a lot more expensive
 

AES

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@dalboy: Yeah, agreed, ali, especially the softer alloys, tend to "melt" (at least get very soft) for a milli-second during the cutting process, so the residue sticks like an army blanket into the teeth. If you're going to do a lot of ali filing I can only suggest you buy at least 1 file specifically for the purpose (they clog too, but less so, due to the chip breaker design). Don't know if they're still available new these days, but I've found the Oberg Cut or Baiter Aluminium file both very good for fast material removal with minimum (but still some!) clogging.

See pix FF11 & FF 12 in Pt 2 of my OP here.

If you can't find either of those (you'll need a good local tool shop - any in Canterbury?) then a Dreadnought is good too - maybe easier to find? The only other thing I can suggest (not teaching granny all about egg sucking - hopefully!) is to "refine" your cutting out skills so you get nice and tight to the line.

Otherwise "Just keep taking the tablets Brian"!
 

Dalboy

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Don't file ali much and this was a case of I had to file the way I did because I was making a round hole square just big enough to get the smallest file I have other than the needle files Both square holes now filed and files cleaned and put away for the next job. :wink:

AES" Otherwise "Just keep taking the tablets Brian"![/quote said:
That is something I have to do anyway :lol: :lol: :lol:
 

AES

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@dalboy: "That is something I have to do anyway :lol: :lol: :lol:"

Yup, me too mate! (Glad the job's finished OK now, anyway).
 

MattyT

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I saw this project posted on social media over the weekend: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qaQtD5pyQc4

The jeweler seems to file a brass screw down really quickly. I wondered if he had cut out a lot of the filing footage when he was editing the video? I'm starting to wonder if I need a sharper file haha
 

AES

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Thanks for posting that MattyT, I thoroughly enjoyed it. Yes, right at the start where he first started filing the threads down on the bolt, you could see that A) he was using a relatively coarse file, and B) material suddenly just disappeared off the bolt! Similarly a couple of times later on, with both filing and sawing shots.

But none of that takes anything away from the bloke - on the contrary he's obviously a highly skilled craftsman who's produced a very nice piece of jewellery. AND he's got a well-equipped shop too, (though no doubt you noticed some of his gear - like the wire drawing machine - was pretty old). Another plus point IMO! =D>

Anyway, thoroughly enjoyed, thanks. Just hope you don't expect to see that level of work from my shop.
 

Ian.stewart

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I have had a few apprentices in my time as a engineer, and turned out a couple of good engineers that I am proud of,
Filing low grade Aluminium such as LM6 will always clog a file, there is on way that seems to work for me, is Blind the teeth of the file with blackboard chalk, This "blinding" can also be used generally if you have a coarse file but require a finer cut, you blind it with chalk, as for file cards, something I won't use, nor steel wire brushes, they are both made from hard steel and do blunt files, If I use a brush it will be a brass brush, and not a brass coated brush
Buying Rusty Files for me is a bit of a no no, (you often see them at boot fares) the rust will take the sharpness from the cutting edge.
the two main things for filing other than the files is STANCE, file like you are a boxer with a leading foot so you can transfer steady weight to the file and you file with your arms, not your torso, the other is vice height, best control with filing is have the vice at the right height, generally, stand at your bench, put your index finger on your nose elbow tucked into your body pointing down, get somebody measure from the point of your elbow to the bench top, the top of the vice jaw should be at elbow height, this allows for good posture and control when sawing or filing
 

AES

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Thanks for your comments Ian (and BTW, welcome to the Forum).

I don't know if you found time to read the whole piece, but I do agree about filing ali (especially the softer grades), and I also agree about "chalking up" (and oiling) files under various circumstances, not just on ali.

Likewise the point about adopting the correct stance, and also vice jaw height.

Though I didn't mention boxers specifically re stance, all four of the above points are I feel well covered in my text, so thanks for your confirmations of those points.

However my own experience (and my apprenticeship) does not agree with your point about scratch cards - I've never blunted a file that way. But "different strokes for .... " as they say!

I also disagree (partially at least) with your point about rusted files - I agree 100% that it'll be worthless buying any file that's very deeply rusted (I look at the tang as well as the teeth to see how far gone the rust is) but I've had good success with electrolytic rust removal on files that are not too far gone - especially on the coarser cut files.

Anyway, thanks for your inputs. IMO far too many people regard files and filing as somehow old fashioned and requiring too much elbow grease to achieve good results.

Not so, as you obviously agree, so it's nice to find (another) kindred soul here! ;-)

Cheers
 

Ian.stewart

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AES,
Filing is the best way to teach how to handle hand tool it teaches stance, precision, understanding materials, the other misunderstood tool in the workshop is the hammer, there is more skill in wielding a hammer than most will understand
 
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