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Files for Wood?

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DuncanA

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Over the past few months I've been assembling a kit of tools loosely based on the recommended tool lists provided in a couple of old Charles H. Hayward books.

One of the items I'm struggling to find are files specifically for working wood, to take out coarse marks left by a rasps etc. Hayward's drawing shows a what looks like a double cut file but he mentions that a woodworker's file 'differs rather from that of the metal worker. It has a coarser cut and the shape of the teeth is rather different; it is not so liable to choke up'.

Does anyone know where I could get my hands on some woodworker's files? I've been struggling to find anything that states that it is specifically for wood (and searching for files for wood turns up rasps - not files). I'm looking for a half-round file, about 6-8", and a rat-tail file. Or, with the increased popularity of hand-stitched raps is the need for a file to remove coarse rasp marks reduced, will fine hand-stitched rasp leave a suitable finish?


And while I'm on the subject of files - can anyone recommend a good set of needle files (or oil stone slips?) for sharpening brace bits? I think it's time I replaced the poor quality (featuring large uncut patches on the cutting edges! :shock: ) budget set I'm currently using.


Very best,
 

AndyT

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There are some excellent Japanese tools around, which don't have the separate teeth of a rasp, but are different from an ordinary metal file. This is one such, at Rutlands: http://www.rutlands.co.uk/sp+woodwo...rasps-half-round-file-250mm-turnip-cut+jp2005 who sell several sizes. If you do get one, be aware that the half round style only has teeth on the curved side; you'll need to also buy a flat one if you want a flat file. (You might also want to wait a day or two until they have a sale on.)

On the other hand, in my experience an ordinary coarse metalworker's file will remove wood ok, though slowly. You might have more success with 80 grit sandpaper stuck on a stick.

Axminster sell proper Swiss needle files, as do Chronos - http://chronos.ltd.uk/acatalog/Engineering_Menu_Vallorbe_Swiss_Needle_Files_160_mm_248.html
 

DuncanA

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Thanks chaps,

I think I'll go for the Bacho files from WorkshopHeaven (for financial reasons as much as anything else!) they look like they'll fit the bill, though those Japanese ones do look interesting - I'll have to bear them in mind for the future.

Many thanks,
 

Liogier

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DuncanA":1suifgp8 said:
One of the items I'm struggling to find are files specifically for working wood, to take out coarse marks left by a rasps etc.

Not all rasps leave scratches and ugly grooves. IMHO, a hand-stitched rasp with a grain of #13 will be more efficient to remove wood and leave a better surface than most of any other solution. But then of course, I am both judge and jury here :wink:
 

David C

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Single cut, second cut, metal files work well for smoothing dense exotic woods. ( Not sure if terminology is quite correct !)

David Charlesworth
 

Argus

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....... and an honourable mention for the old-fashioned float. They need painstaking sharpening, just like a saw, but are capable of leaving a very smooth, clean finish on end grain and long grain alike. Unlike rasps and rifflers, they may also be re-sharpened when dull.

Noel Liogier in France makes them as well as a range of excellent hand made rasps, if you are so inclined:

http://www.hand-stitched-rasp-riffler.c ... loats.html

Not cheap, but top quality.

.
 

Mike.S

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Dieter Schmid has a wide range of files, including Liogier - see here. If you click on the needle files link then at the bottom you'll see an Auger Bit File for your brace bits.
 

MIGNAL

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The rasp in the foreground was a mighty fine rasp in it's day. Cut like a coarse file but much faster with less clogging issues. Very impressive. I think it was termed a Swordfish rasp. If you look closely you can see that the teeth are punched in an arc like pattern. It's certainly hand stitched.
Sadly it's 20 years since I purchased it and it's lost a lot of it's verve. It's one of the cheap Chinese rasps that I bought from Touchstone in Reigate. They still list a 'file rasp' but I'm not sure if it's the same item. You can actually bend the metal quite easily, turning the tip into a curved riffler type rasp! It does bend back. I've done it numerous times and it's still in one piece.
The rasp in the background is obviously Chinese as well, bought from Fine Tools in Germany. It's much coarser. It cuts OK, better than machine cut rasps but it's never left me with the great impression that the finer version did.
 

AndyT

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Racers

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I did a lot of my knife handle with a Dreadnought file it didn't seem to bother if it was Antler Karelian birch or Ebony it was cutting.

I got all mine from carboots.

Pete
 

DuncanA

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I can easily see myself buying lots of different files, just to make sure the one I use is 'just right'. :shock:

I've been drooling over Mr Liogier's rasps for sometime, however (and dropping 'hints' for an upcoming birthday), reading all the positive reviews here and elsewhere I may wait until I've got my hands on one to confirm if I really need the file as well. The rasp I'm currently using I've always thought was a bit gnarly - maybe I just need a better quality tool (which is always a good excuse to buy something new I find!)

Decisions, Decisions...
 

jimi43

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As the proud owner of (a few :oops: ) of Noel Liogier's masterpieces in steel...I can honestly say they are worth their weight in gold and it's not really necessary now to use a file of any sort for smoothing.

Bit of old wood "prepared" using a small dog called ALFIE...

DSC_0074.JPG


...transformed instantly by the whizzy cutting abilities of a Liogier rasp...

DSC_0075.JPG


By simply adjusting the angle of attack of the teeth...each grain size can cover quite a wide spectrum from fast stock removal to smooth finishing.

And the things are works of art in themselves....

DSCN0431crop.JPG


Wouldn't be without mine now. The handlemaker one especially!

Jimi
 

Eric The Viking

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Ditto. I've got a Liogier #12, and a rat's tail of the blued-steel posh type (I splashed out). The latter is so sharp you have to mind yer fingers a bit. I'd have more if funds permitted.

Both leave a stunningly good finish if used correctly, and, being a leftie, it's brilliant not to get grooves (they're left-handed ones). I love the feel you get using them on hardwood. They're my go-to tools for shaping.

The storages boxes Mr. L. supplies are a great idea, too, as the rasps then don't get blunted on other tools in the drawer* and they can be on the bench in their boxes without risk. I've learned the hard way that it's too easy to blunt files and rasps on each other!

E.

*my garage/workshop is cold and damp in the winter. The boxes also keep rust away.
 

Harbo

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I've got some Aurio and a Loigier rasps - they cut so fast that I've found the finer ones work best as the leave a very clean and fine surface which doesn't need much sanding whatever to finish?

Rod
 

AndyT

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Just to say that I have received the dreadnought file I mentioned earlier in this thread.
No maker's name, so presumably far eastern, and the teeth are a tiny bit rough here and there. It does seem to work ok on wood or brass, but is clearly a budget tool, not like a hand stitched rasp or a proper old Sheffield product. Good enough to clean up the inside of a through mortice.
 
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