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AES

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Agreed Ian, which is why the first few practical part of my apprenticeship dealt solely with filing (and hammering n chiselling!) even though I never made a part for an aeroplane in my whole life!

But these skills don't 'arf come in useful now I'm retired!

Cheers
 

Jackbequick

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Thanks Bm 101. There's plenty more to come, AND it's all finished, BUT, clutz that I am, I'm having LOADS of problem with the Forum full editor!!!

But I'm going to finish it tonight (even if I do have to stay up until Gawd knows when - I've already "lost" Pt 2)!!!

Glad you liked it though.

Later ..........

AES
Hi I am a raconteur also so I can say to you what applies to me...'get to the point'. Your safety good, remove handle....I can think of better....file types good but I think 2 x para's could have sufficed. Let's get onto correct filing procedures, file type Vs metals, chalking, file cards....all kindly meant.
 

AES

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Hi I am a raconteur also so I can say to you what applies to me...'get to the point'. Your safety good, remove handle....I can think of better....file types good but I think 2 x para's could have sufficed. Let's get onto correct filing procedures, file type Vs metals, chalking, file cards....all kindly meant.

Well, each to his own and all that Jack. I wonder if you got beyond Part 1 if you found no info on correct filing procedures, metals, chalking, etc, etc? But yes, it's a long post, and no one said you have to read it all, which I think it's pretty obvious that you haven't. Thanks for the comment anyway.
 

Jackbequick

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Well, each to his own and all that Jack. I wonder if you got beyond Part 1 if you found no info on correct filing procedures, metals, chalking, etc, etc? But yes, it's a long post, and no one said you have to read it all, which I think it's pretty obvious that you haven't. Thanks for the comment anyway.
Hi I did read it but not past part 1....I scanned (speed read) much of the first part and admired the effort and sketches and your intent to educate...As a once-was Tech teacher and remedial trades teacher who helped lads find their brilliance I thought it great....however I wondered whether it might be good to hit the practical and then the details...Not all folk have the really profound trades and tooling background taught post war to 1960's ... I thought it good your reminder about not using for opening paint cans etc...and not as hammers...they send hard ships very fast!!..

I look forward to the rest in your series and am downloading it for re-reading.

Some of my 'why??"

On my point, when I did my original trade it was "electrical fitter mechanic". A much more detailed course than the last 50 years especially with motors but really across the board we had to construct tools and then the crowning part was to build a commutator motor having only the shell.

We were given the rough gear and specs. The copper bar had to be filed to a trapezium 17.5 degrees from memory (thus my memories of stance, attack, chalk and file card!!) cut into segments , the tapered commutator casing made and screw threaded on lathe, the forms made for the windings and windings made and fitted. The segments were fitted with the handmade mica partitions and all assembled.

I particularly recall mine as with a week to go I was soldering the segments to the windings...uh....what's this??...have I missed soldering a segment in assembly....Oh NO!!...I was a segment short in the commutator. , why I don't know. Panic, then 'has to be done'.

I had to un-solder, disassemble and redo the entire commutator. I made it in time, two hours to go. That was in NSW.

In Qld they have the gall to allow electrical mechanics to be called 'fitter mechanics'...

Not only are "about 75% during my teaching time there heart-ached by some 'capstone' examiners as 'should not be licensed...but we have to to clear classrooms'. Later we find some electrocuted.

None of those 'fitter mechanics' ever (officially) saw a lathe or file during the course but on my enquiry (as was also my task) most of them had not even completed the work required of apprenticeship.

Most students ..not 60% 'most' but>96% 'most' had no employer details done for years ...Their employers then bodgied-up reports over a week or so after my demands for their apprentice's records. I reprimanded some for not trading apprentices with other organisations to actually get them experienced and not just be wire-jerkers.

I gave the only safety lecture of which I heard in my time in Qld and I recall my astonishment when in 3 x 3rd year workshop classes of over 20 in each only one lad had ever connected up a simple breaker board. Why ??.."the boss says we'll take too long. Mon Dieu! Mon DIEU!!

There were more brilliant teachers than I but I was a dog at a bone and outspoken ...especially during their appalling lack of safety during SARS, My complaints and efforts to turn out safer, sounder apprentices instead of just passing failures saw me accused of stealing deputy principal's book ...ludicrous but I'd stood up to him....then on a rigged interview which was reported as a complete lie... out of a job. There was not a single complaint in work interviews about my performance... It was a kabal.

It's now changed but how much I don't know.I do know I have been thanked in the street by some of my students....including one I tossed out of the class then helped him to get his act together.

My own story which perhaps drives me?...I'd served my time (1960's) in a large international company. Forty years later a boss I often worked before being given my own sites (before I finished my apprenticeship) told my daughter "the apprentice-master said your father was the best apprentice to ever go through the company".

I spent much time in 'tune and test'which was the 'elite' and I saw it as awe inspiring in a way...shy but solid, like a theatre- nurse when working with tradesmen. I never saw myself up with those 'flash rats' apprentices I so admired who had fancy sports-cars or one a huge new Ford 500 Fairlane and 'wow' girlfriends.

I would work 24 hour shifts when I could to buy a parts for my Buick 8 rebuilds, Riley 2.0 L's, Morgan, and scores of others. That was a sickness, but I became very skilled through the demands of it and my insistence I modified engines completely (eg...line boring, static and dynamic balancing, distributor advance springs to match the new performance, suspension cluych and brake mods to match it all , and so on)

I file- finished to blue-print mating surfaces including my ( personally assembled) stroked Lotus escort. I could enumerate other technical feats requiring savvy and engineering excellence.... which I just saw as "how to fix this". I'd do any necessary research but mostly just got on with it...solutions were clear. I refused and still refuse to use silicon. So.... I am opinionated about tools, use and safety as is horribly evident.

I was given a year off my five years for passes and performance. That was 54 years ago. The electrical 'world' has become much more micro-tech and some of the lads brilliant at it but the use of tools and the 'wit' and 'panoramic view' so important on construction sites is rare, here or overseas. I studied electronics and communications and electrical engineering and pursued other trades as well as a Masters degree.

It all comes really from the profound excellence of what I was taught and exposed-to as an apprentice. Thus as said I admire your effort to impart excellence....my comment was perhaps driven by whether the low level concentration "X-Y" gens can stick with your long explanations of the detail and important mineralogy with conclusions later.

Although condemned for it at Uni, my reports in Defence during Vietnam were always constructed with ' recommendations' first...Decision makers need recommendation before seeing whether they are interested. At Uni they use a close cousin called 'Abstract' but don't realise it was little different from my military recommendation-conclusion style (though abstract is not a conclusion it uses some factors of conclusion).

Whilst I have not followed my own advice here (chuckles) to get interest in the body of any formal submission..which yours really is...the first three paragraphs capturing the reader's 'imagination' can be a winner. In thousands of dissertations and perhaps 30 theses I read during my Masters those properly abstracted were the best. You don't have to read many pages or the conclusion to see 'value'....and if I read 1000 in-toto or as far as I needed...I'd have dismissed hundreds of others. Undisciplined abstracts (for example introducing 'in text citations') were a 'warning' and I argued that case on Researchgate against other academics. I'm too medically battered at present including with asbestosis and arthritis and constant pain to take on a PhD so....I'm treading water.

Hopefully I have said 'we are on the same track'. Hopefully I am not s-t boring and hopefully I become a warmer person than I may otherwise seem.
 

AES

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Hi I did read it but not past part 1....I scanned (speed read) much of the first part and admired the effort and sketches and your intent to educate...As a once-was Tech teacher and remedial trades teacher who helped lads find their brilliance I thought it great....however I wondered whether it might be good to hit the practical and then the details...Not all folk have the really profound trades and tooling background taught post war to 1960's ... I thought it good your reminder about not using for opening paint cans etc...and not as hammers...they send hard ships very fast!!..

I look forward to the rest in your series and am downloading it for re-reading.

Some of my 'why??"

On my point, when I did my original trade it was "electrical fitter mechanic". A much more detailed course than the last 50 years especially with motors but really across the board we had to construct tools and then the crowning part was to build a commutator motor having only the shell.

We were given the rough gear and specs. The copper bar had to be filed to a trapezium 17.5 degrees from memory (thus my memories of stance, attack, chalk and file card!!) cut into segments , the tapered commutator casing made and screw threaded on lathe, the forms made for the windings and windings made and fitted. The segments were fitted with the handmade mica partitions and all assembled.

I particularly recall mine as with a week to go I was soldering the segments to the windings...uh....what's this??...have I missed soldering a segment in assembly....Oh NO!!...I was a segment short in the commutator. , why I don't know. Panic, then 'has to be done'.

I had to un-solder, disassemble and redo the entire commutator. I made it in time, two hours to go. That was in NSW.

In Qld they have the gall to allow electrical mechanics to be called 'fitter mechanics'...

Not only are "about 75% during my teaching time there heart-ached by some 'capstone' examiners as 'should not be licensed...but we have to to clear classrooms'. Later we find some electrocuted.

None of those 'fitter mechanics' ever (officially) saw a lathe or file during the course but on my enquiry (as was also my task) most of them had not even completed the work required of apprenticeship.

Most students ..not 60% 'most' but>96% 'most' had no employer details done for years ...Their employers then bodgied-up reports over a week or so after my demands for their apprentice's records. I reprimanded some for not trading apprentices with other organisations to actually get them experienced and not just be wire-jerkers.

I gave the only safety lecture of which I heard in my time in Qld and I recall my astonishment when in 3 x 3rd year workshop classes of over 20 in each only one lad had ever connected up a simple breaker board. Why ??.."the boss says we'll take too long. Mon Dieu! Mon DIEU!!

There were more brilliant teachers than I but I was a dog at a bone and outspoken ...especially during their appalling lack of safety during SARS, My complaints and efforts to turn out safer, sounder apprentices instead of just passing failures saw me accused of stealing deputy principal's book ...ludicrous but I'd stood up to him....then on a rigged interview which was reported as a complete lie... out of a job. There was not a single complaint in work interviews about my performance... It was a kabal.

It's now changed but how much I don't know.I do know I have been thanked in the street by some of my students....including one I tossed out of the class then helped him to get his act together.

My own story which perhaps drives me?...I'd served my time (1960's) in a large international company. Forty years later a boss I often worked before being given my own sites (before I finished my apprenticeship) told my daughter "the apprentice-master said your father was the best apprentice to ever go through the company".

I spent much time in 'tune and test'which was the 'elite' and I saw it as awe inspiring in a way...shy but solid, like a theatre- nurse when working with tradesmen. I never saw myself up with those 'flash rats' apprentices I so admired who had fancy sports-cars or one a huge new Ford 500 Fairlane and 'wow' girlfriends.

I would work 24 hour shifts when I could to buy a parts for my Buick 8 rebuilds, Riley 2.0 L's, Morgan, and scores of others. That was a sickness, but I became very skilled through the demands of it and my insistence I modified engines completely (eg...line boring, static and dynamic balancing, distributor advance springs to match the new performance, suspension cluych and brake mods to match it all , and so on)

I file- finished to blue-print mating surfaces including my ( personally assembled) stroked Lotus escort. I could enumerate other technical feats requiring savvy and engineering excellence.... which I just saw as "how to fix this". I'd do any necessary research but mostly just got on with it...solutions were clear. I refused and still refuse to use silicon. So.... I am opinionated about tools, use and safety as is horribly evident.

I was given a year off my five years for passes and performance. That was 54 years ago. The electrical 'world' has become much more micro-tech and some of the lads brilliant at it but the use of tools and the 'wit' and 'panoramic view' so important on construction sites is rare, here or overseas. I studied electronics and communications and electrical engineering and pursued other trades as well as a Masters degree.

It all comes really from the profound excellence of what I was taught and exposed-to as an apprentice. Thus as said I admire your effort to impart excellence....my comment was perhaps driven by whether the low level concentration "X-Y" gens can stick with your long explanations of the detail and important mineralogy with conclusions later.

Although condemned for it at Uni, my reports in Defence during Vietnam were always constructed with ' recommendations' first...Decision makers need recommendation before seeing whether they are interested. At Uni they use a close cousin called 'Abstract' but don't realise it was little different from my military recommendation-conclusion style (though abstract is not a conclusion it uses some factors of conclusion).

Whilst I have not followed my own advice here (chuckles) to get interest in the body of any formal submission..which yours really is...the first three paragraphs capturing the reader's 'imagination' can be a winner. In thousands of dissertations and perhaps 30 theses I read during my Masters those properly abstracted were the best. You don't have to read many pages or the conclusion to see 'value'....and if I read 1000 in-toto or as far as I needed...I'd have dismissed hundreds of others. Undisciplined abstracts (for example introducing 'in text citations') were a 'warning' and I argued that case on Researchgate against other academics. I'm too medically battered at present including with asbestosis and arthritis and constant pain to take on a PhD so....I'm treading water.

Hopefully I have said 'we are on the same track'. Hopefully I am not s-t boring and hopefully I become a warmer person than I may otherwise seem.

Wow Jack, I thought "rambling on" was only my writing "style" (if I may elevate my stuff to having a "style" at all)!

FYI: The piece was posted "in the old days" (before we had this new sooper-dooper software). That meant it was posted in 4 (I think) sections and joined up together by one of the - now sadly departed - Mods, CHJ". BUT for some reason the joining up of Part 2 and onward appears AFTER the first lot of members' comments. So that means Parts 2 and on ARE already there (have been for a long time).

So IF you want to see more you now go back to that thread and scan through the pages you've already read until the comments start. You just keep going on for a page or so and suddenly Part 2 and on will appear.

But you're right, the thread (which was requested from me by another member BTW )w as aimed mainly at helping beginners, and especially members who though competent in a wood shop do get into a bit of a bother when it comes to doing some metal bashing. So not exactly "educating", more a matter of trying to help, but done in line with how I was taught (I started my own apprenticeship in 1961)so I went into the details and the "whys".

From what you say you hardly need any such help from me, but if you want to, you now know how to read the rest of the piece - but as you've already seen, it IS quite long mate!
 

Jackbequick

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Hmmm....you must be about my age!!! I still give a moment's advice when I see someone filing 'both ways' or dragging a file backwards across copper....scoring the work. It's worth the risk if they listen.

That commutator job I had to redo in a week was only 4 hours of workshop time.....I filed and it had to be 'perfect' there was no time to spare.!!

I'm glad you mentioned 'sharpness' because so many places and people hang into blunt files. Good ones are dear, that's for sure, but like most tools they should cut under their own weight not be forced into the work.

There was for along time a file-factory in Footscray area of Victoria...I wonder whether we still have Aussie files. A lot of what is for sale now at places like Bunnings is not food gea. 'Foils ain't foils Sol!!
 

AES

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Hmmm....you must be about my age!!!

75 actually Jack. I'm not exactly "proud" of it, but "that's just how it is". It's in my profile too.

Just FYI, a quite famous German actor (so famous that I've forgotten his name off hand!) published a book "Alte Geworden ist nicht für Feiglinge!" - literal translation - "Getting older is not for cowards!" IMO he definitely got THAT right! :)
 

Jackbequick

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Hi well I didn't suggest being proud of it...however if you can think back and see what you have done experienced and achieved before the X-Y's came along dragging pixieland along, you might have a lot of which to be proud. Life for me is precious, mortality is a sort of dark shadow ...however I've not heard as many people saying"I want to die/I have no fear of death/I'll kill myself it.......as I have in the most recent generations. We had hobbies adventure, backyard cricket, scouts, fishing, hiking ...things we would just go and do, we didn't need to be entertained with ugliness....I'll leave it there.
 

AES

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I don't rate myself as a file's expert, sorry - particularly not when it comes to rasps - as I say in my original "treatise", personally I have little experience or knowledge in that area.

The only thing I can suggest, IF applicable, is that you take the edge you want to make into a safe edge to a grinder - a coarse ali-oxide belt would be better than an off-hand grinder IME.

But as to why no safe edge, I didn't even know that they don't have them, and have no idea why, sorry, (my apprenticeship was in the RAF, and old as I am, there were no aircraft in service then which had much in the way of wood included within their structures)! :)
 

Alpha-Dave

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This is a great thread, but it took me at least half a minute to work out what a ‘turnip’ cut was. :LOL:
 

AES

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UPDATE:
Re fitting file handles

Python file handles have an internal wound spring to grip the file tang. Just push in the tang (in the correct sized handle, there's about 5 sizes) and maybe twist a bit. DO NOT BORE OUT you'll probably break the drill. When the file is dull, tap off handle and re use. If you give them some linseed oil you can even keep them reasonably clean.
 

Robbo3

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Further to my previous posts in Sept 2019, I received 2 files that had been resharpened. Unfortunately they were not mine so I didn't try them.
Files - Sharpened 1c.jpg


Files - Sharpened 2.jpg


They look good to my untrained eye, despite the damaged teeth.
I was also shown a trick of how to test if the file was sharp by slapping a coin (any coin) down onto, & pushing into, the teeth. If the coin sticks when the file is turned over it was deemed sharp.
 

AES

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Very interesting Robbo, thanks for posting. As remarked when you first talked about this, the whole thing is completely new to me. What does it cost/how long does it take? And is it worth it unless it's for a very special file (though I agree in advance, new files are getting pricier, and decent quality somewhat rarer too).

I agree your pix show files in pretty good nick - of course you'd need to be careful when using the file around those damaged teeth, but only a small area/s nit seems, and I doubt that a file of that (apparent) coarseness is unlikely to be used for fine, scratch-free finishing cuts!

And BTW, thanks for your "coin trick". Another new one for me!
 

Sandyn

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What's more, files allow you to remove material accurately, and to within fine limits - once you've acquired the necessary skill of hand!
I just came across this post and your excellent write up on files. Very interesting. I've been using files for years and found your write up really interesting. "Everything you've ever wanted to know about files, but afraid to ask"
I put it all into a 42 page PDF. A small book!! Is it OK to post here?
 

AES

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Thanks for the positive response Sandyn. I'm glad you found it useful. I already have my own copy of the whole thing in .pdf. But if you want to publish it here again as a complete "booklet" I have no objections.

This "principle" has been discussed here before, and my personal opinion is that once something is put up on the internet, the author has put it in the public domain and has lost all rights to it. I known that legally speaking that is/may not be true, at least not within some jurisdictions, but simply in practical terms, IMO the author has lost all "rights" to it. But BTW, I know that not everyone agrees with that stance.

But from my side, "go ahead, do what you like with it"!

Edit for P.S. But I forgot to say, "thanks for asking anyway" Sandyn
 
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TFrench

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On the subject of filing, fireball tools on YouTube has just released the first part of a scientific look at whether dragging the file on the backstroke actually makes a difference or not. The test rig he's made uses his Cincinnati shaper to give the lateral motion of the file. Clever setup and I'm looking forward to seeing the results!
 

AES

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Cor Blimey TF! Makes yer fink - how can anybody, no matter HOW skilled, produce anything at all in a tiny, ill-equipped shop like that!!!!!!!!!!! :)

Looking forward to seeing the results of his tests though. Whatever they show/don't show, I'll stick to "my own" technique (file lightly IN contact on the back stroke). And you???

(And thanks for posting BTW).

Cheers
 

Sandyn

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Thanks for the positive response Sandyn. I'm glad you found it useful. I already have my own copy of the whole thing in .pdf. But if you want to publish it here again as a complete "booklet" I have no objections.
 

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