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  • Hand Files

    How are modern files or rasps different from files made 20 or 50 years ago? Which is "better?" How do you clean a file with moderate rust and what constitutes proper care and maintenance?

  • #2
    Re: Hand Files

    If the file is still sharp some elbow grease with a file card (basically short bristled steel brush designed for files) may restore it. If it is dull they can be restored by a professional service. Old or new it is mostly the quality of steel. Great files can be had today but they tend not to come from China. The best way to maintain a file is with a file card

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    • #3
      Re: Hand Files

      do not dump them in a drawer were they all set on top of each other, treat as a sharp tool (like a loved wood chisle), and keep them clean with a card Ideally only put the file in contact with material on the push stroke of the filing and lift off on the return stroke, (some wd40) may help with reducing the clogging of the the groves of the file, and need for cleaning of it,
      Push sticks/blocks Save Fingers
      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
      "The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good."
      attributed to Samuel Johnson
      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
      PUBLIC NOTICE: Due to recent budget cuts, the rising cost of electricity, gas, and oil...plus the current state of the economy............the light at the end of the tunnel, has been turned off.

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      • #4
        Re: Hand Files

        Actually cringed when I read "do not dump them in a drawer were they all set on top of each other"

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        • #5
          Re: Hand Files

          Would a regular wire brush like a paint scraper work or does it need to be more like the small steel brushes welders use? I have both types of brushes.

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          • #6
            Re: Hand Files

            there is a special brush, called a file card, it has little wire bristles about 3/16 long, and many times has a fiber brush on the other side,

            http://www.specialtytools.com/popup_image.php?pID=3545

            look around the price and vary a lot, $5 to $25

            they just work well, the short stiff brush will work normally much better than a standard wire brush,
            Push sticks/blocks Save Fingers
            ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
            "The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good."
            attributed to Samuel Johnson
            ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
            PUBLIC NOTICE: Due to recent budget cuts, the rising cost of electricity, gas, and oil...plus the current state of the economy............the light at the end of the tunnel, has been turned off.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Hand Files

              With new files running from $5-$50, is it worth it to have files sharpened? And who provides that kind of service, anyway? I can find numerous blade sharpening services, but none that mention files. Obviously, an important or special or expensive file may be worth getting sharpened, but the ordinary ones?!

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              • #8
                Re: Hand Files

                I have never had a file sharpened, and have never looked for a place to do it, most are just replaced, I know I looked in to getting some equipment for sharping saw years ago and you just bought files by the box, for that,

                some where I read that by diping in acid it can sharpen them some, (note never tryed it),
                Push sticks/blocks Save Fingers
                ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                "The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good."
                attributed to Samuel Johnson
                ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                PUBLIC NOTICE: Due to recent budget cuts, the rising cost of electricity, gas, and oil...plus the current state of the economy............the light at the end of the tunnel, has been turned off.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Hand Files

                  this place was recommend by some one on another discussion, (never heard of them or used them),

                  http://www.boggstool.com/

                  here is the discussion,

                  http://www.woodweb.com/knowledge_bas...ing_Files.html

                  and from the discussion the price looks fair,
                  Push sticks/blocks Save Fingers
                  ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                  "The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good."
                  attributed to Samuel Johnson
                  ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                  PUBLIC NOTICE: Due to recent budget cuts, the rising cost of electricity, gas, and oil...plus the current state of the economy............the light at the end of the tunnel, has been turned off.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Hand Files

                    Try soapstone (NOT soap) and rub in into the file before using it on aluminum. Keeps the file from clogging up with soft metals like aluminum.

                    File cards can be found at most hardware stores, the big box stores, and other places.
                    "When we build let us think we build forever. Let it not be for present delight nor for present use alone. Let it be such work that our descendants will thank us for, and let us think, as we lay stone upon stone, that a time is to come when these stones will be held sacred because our hands have touched them, and that men will say, as they look upon the labor and wrought substance of them, "See! This our fathers did for us."
                    John Ruskin (1819 - 1900)

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                    • #11
                      Re: Hand Files

                      Thanks for the info. I found Boggs when I did a search earlier, but couldn't find any prices. I might try the vinegar thing first.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Hand Files

                        Here is what a file card looks like. The one on the left is the economy version but it does work.
                        Attached Files

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                        • #13
                          Re: Hand Files

                          I got the economy version at HD and it worked OK. I tried a little BKF with moderate results. The files are not rust encrusted, but they do have some deep rust on them. I just sprinkled the BKF on to the files I had sprayed with mineral spirits. I'm going to try to make a paste (like the directions on the box say) and work it into the grooves, brush it out with a brass brush, rinse it again with mineral spirits, and finally dress it with the card file. That really seems like a lot of work for a used file (and I've got 8 of them), but I'm so new to the proper maintenance of tools, I figure it's good practice for if I ever get a quality tool. I'm concentrating on the 2 largest and coarsest files first. I'll try a vinegar teatment on at least one of them and may send them to Boggs, if they are as good as I've heard.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Hand Files

                            To get rid of surface rust try this stuff

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                            • #15
                              Re: Hand Files

                              It looks like good stuff, prices aren't bad. I'm not sure I want a gallon of it. It looks like they offer a 32oz. size with the "Rust Bandit Special," but not retail. Can you buy it anywhere else?

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