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tony ennis
12-28-2008, 01:04 AM
Hello, it's been a while.

I'm looking to acquire some files. All mine came from god-knows-where and are rusty.

Bastard cut... single cut... safe edge... what??

What are you suggestions for a file set? I know my immediate use will be for filing 3/16" mild steel. I'll be making some corners so I'll need at least one file with a safe edge.

Ken_Shea
12-28-2008, 02:04 AM
Tony,
There is more thought given to files in your small paragraph then most people give files in a life time. Undoubtedly, the most mis-abused tool in any collection, the least considered for which style is right and the idea that a file is a file is a file.

Unfortunately, cant help you with what you may need, seems you are on the correct track in giving consideration to what is needed, you cannot have too many files is my opinion, I use them ALL the time. My most used is likely a set of jewelers files. Do not know what to add to this, other then to say, as many as you think you may need and only purchase high quality files. Files can get you hurt real quick when used on rotating objects so for those unaccustomed to using them, learn how to use them properly and safely.

Ken

BadDog
12-28-2008, 02:34 AM
Answering that question could fill a book the size of TMH, though I'm far from qualified to write it.

I would suggest starting with one of the nicely priced 9 piece Nichol's file sets. Add to that a 12" Nichols Lathe Bastard (one of the most used in my shop), if you have a lathe. A set of good needle files is a must. Then add to that a variety of second cut, smooth, shaped, safe edged (often made on a belt sander), and so on as you find them cheap, or find the need. I've got something like 100 files, and they all have a purpose, and all get used from time to time...

Ian B
12-28-2008, 05:07 AM
Tony,

Reading John S's memoirs reminded me of how my technical school workshop did things with files. When a new file was bought, it received a yellow handle (a real wooden one painted yellow, with a ferrule - not one of those poncy plastic things).

The idea was that the files with yellow handles were only to be used on brass and bronze. When a file became too dull for these metals, it received a plain wooden handle, and it was perfectly adequate for use on steel.

My only other bit of advice would be to get bigger files than you think you need - they're easier to handle and more stable. The same applies to kitchen knives. For me, anyway.

Ian

Ian B
12-28-2008, 05:09 AM
Oh, yes - and when you buy a file with a safe edge, run a fine stone flat over the safe edge - not all edges are as safe as you'd expect...

rockrat
12-28-2008, 09:47 AM
Answering that question could fill a book the size of TMH, though I'm far from qualified to write it.

I dare say that a PHD could be gained from a good writeup on files. I have read so much good information on files and the uses. An old die maker that I knew showed me a 1-2-3 block set that they had to make with a file while training in Germany. It was lovely and I was impressed. The time it must have taken.

Personally I have about 10 files that I use regularly, all Nicholson.
3-6", 3-8" and 3-10" plus a rasp looking file. The three are mill, lathe and 2nd cut. I cant tell you which is good for what but, when I started a job they gave me a set like this for work. I test one on what I'm doing, if it produces the desired result with out damage to the file or me I use it, clean it and return it to the drawer.

One of the gents 'round here suggested a flattened copper tube end to clean the file with. I have used this tip for some time with great results.

My biggest issue is that I still have them lying in a drawer with no divider. They all lay flat and rarely hit each other but I'm sure that they do touch on occasion. I have been meaning to fix that.

Nicholson makes more files than I can afford. And as it turns out, Nicholson makes a machete too!
http://www.cooperhandtools.com/_cache/f9fb9abb1764907cf84dfe94275b9bf6.jpg
rock~

Mcgyver
12-28-2008, 10:20 AM
I have this sort of idea that, especially among the newer practitioners, that the file is overlooked. If that's the case, hit it head on as its a basic and essential bench tool - not having it in your repertoire will hold you back. I've probably got 40 or 50 (plus needle files) hung in two racks over my main bench across the window...wasn't' sure which was more important, light or files. lol. Whether its breaking a corner or removing tool marks, I don't know how one would make stuff with out the use of files - here's some random do's & don'ts

I agree with Bad dog, get one of the selections, It will get you started - kbc amongst other sell the Nicholson sets which are good files. Do not buy junk and store them properly - they are cutting tools so the edges deserve some respect. Keep a couple separate for brass, ones used on steel they are no good for brass. Get file handles - good news is the good ones are cheap. I love the lutz ones that screw on, they have a hardened socket that bites into the tang. They're only a couple of bucks each (and do benefit from an extra coat of varathane or such) so there is little pain in putting a good handle on.

I still have the files I bought when starting. Its really hard to wear out a good quality file properly cared for in the amateurs shop. A couple of the more common finishing ones might be getting a little dull after 15 years, but still serviceable. Another tips is chalk, the big dia. kids playground stuff - chalk the files and it'll stop chips from becoming lodged - pinning.

Another thing to remember is the teeth size varies with file length. A 4" smooth will have super fine teeth for the most delicate of work whereas a 16" smooth is almost a roughing tool. Multiply all the different shapes by all the different cuts by all the different lengths and you'll see there are a lot of possibilities!....but its I think a little like woodcarving...a master carver will have hundreds of tools but could still turn out beautiful work with a modest set.

PS, on safe edges, it helps to put one on a couple of common files. take the file, grind off the teeth on one edge then stone smooth

GadgetBuilder
12-28-2008, 11:18 AM
Get a couple Nicholson pillar files, a #2 8 inch is one of my most used files. Often used to chamfer items in the lathe as well as for general filing. They seem to last forever.

Pillar files are narrower than most and have 2 safe edges. Often found at flea markets where they're cheap because most people don't realize what they are.

John

loose nut
12-28-2008, 11:23 AM
Don't forget the square, round and triangular files in different cuts, they come in very handy.

Herm Williams
12-28-2008, 11:41 AM
Don't forget thread files and knife files, use daily in machine repair. Also files can be sharpened if not too rustied away, acid etch.
re

lane
12-28-2008, 12:53 PM
My suggestion is to start collecting files when you find them. They are not really cheap , but look for good ones at bergen prices. You cant have enough and they come in many shapes and sizes.

miker
12-28-2008, 03:59 PM
Tony, dont forget Warding and Cantsaw styles as well.

http://www.cooperhandtools.com/brands/nicholson_files/index.cfm

As others have said, on a brand new file with a Safe Edge,
rub the Safe Edge across a soft piece of metal and you will probably see two parrallel lines. Not really Safe!! Stone that edge until it truly is flat.

On the rusty files, I have brought a couple back to as new condition by soaking in CHEAP white vinegar for a few hours. Overnight at most. A piece of two inch poly pipe with an endcap for a base works to stand them in with the vinegar. I stressed cheap vinegar as it seems to be more acidic.

Rgds

Forrest Addy
12-28-2008, 04:49 PM
I use mill smooth for most de-burring. If tricky filing is calls for (localized filing, flatening a surface) I lean towards a square or a triangular file second cut in longer lengths. These have a "belly" in them permitting concentration of metal removal to specific site. When you're fettling (detailing and contourihg surfaces - a nice handy Brit term) the file sets are handy. Experience will lead you to preferences. Sooner or later you may decide to buy them by the box.

Finally worn files are worn files. Even worn files have their uses such as dressing raised metal off machine tables, gliding them over surfaces to detect flaw and burrs, when broken into pieces they can be used in extremus under clamps to prevent skidding etc. You may be able to ressurect worn out files by various means but sooner or later you will have to give up on them. Use them for scraper shanks and as a source of high carbon steel for forged welded cutting edges. Or just toss them. OTH I still have files issued to me when I was an apprentice in 1962.

lane
12-28-2008, 07:39 PM
Just a few of the many types of files to have.
http://i178.photobucket.com/albums/w277/lane5263/Files/filesandsquarechecking001.jpg

http://i178.photobucket.com/albums/w277/lane5263/Files/filesandsquarechecking002.jpg

http://i178.photobucket.com/albums/w277/lane5263/Files/filesandsquarechecking003.jpg

Al Messer
12-28-2008, 08:21 PM
Well, the now defunct Belknap Hardware Co. in Louisville used to have a very good supply, but now-----? I don't know, but, PLEASE, if you find a source of goods ones, please post the info for the rest of us.

RetiredFAE
12-28-2008, 08:46 PM
Of the two old gunsmiths who taught me that trade, one was retired Master Tool and Die maker. He showed me "the correct way" (according to him at least) to use a file. Push it forward he said, lift it up for the return stroke, let the weight of the file do most of the work, don't bear down so hard. He also showed me his tricks for filing something flat instead of at a slant.
Then he handed me a block of mild steel and a file. Told me to come back when the block was a perfect 1 inch cube. Took me a couple of dozen tries to get it close enough for him to accept it.
Another of his tricks was to take an empty cartridge case (like a 30'06 or .308) and flatten the mouth of the case in a vise. Use that to clean the file he said. Draw it across the width of the file, the teeth will form matching teeth on the brass case, and they will remove the pinnings.
This he said, would not dull the file nearly as quickly as using a card file. He claimed the hard steel teeth in the card file would dull the file very fast, and that this was deliberate on the part of the file (and file card) makers so that you would end up buying more files.
Dunno if that's true or not, but for nearly 45 years I have used his tricks and not worn out too many files.
He used to use a new file for Brass and bronze until it was dull, then used it on steel until it was really too dull to work. Aluminum was left to a set of special Aluminum files with a different tooth pattern that didn't load up so fast.
Apple cider Vinegar was his choice for cleaning up a rusty file (and a swat to who ever let it get rusty) and files were stored so that they could not touch each other and get dulled or chipped. When they got to that point in life where they were just too dull to use on metal they were made into knives, or scrapers, or some other useful item.
Like so many others have said here, he always said you could never have too many files, and of all different cuts and shapes as well.

BadDog
12-28-2008, 09:10 PM
For reference, this is my primary file drawer. There is another that has overflow along with wood rasps, and riflers along with some wood chisels and scrapers. And then there are the ones that are mounted near machines/locations where they are often used, and a "new" Nichols set I bought just for use on brass.

I also use a spent 357 Magnum casing (I've got buckets) in a file handle for detail cleaning, though I'm not averse to the proper moderate use of a file card. Another good suggestion is to use a piece of 6061-T6 sheet, maybe 16ga, a few inches wide as appropriate, and use that as a cross rake on single cut files.

I also keep a whole raft of file handles (in various sizes) handy, plus permanent mounts on the primary "handy location" files. My favorite for mid to large files is a Blue Point with screw down clamps.

Click for larger image:
http://img4.pictiger.com/311/14437268_th.jpg (http://baddog.pictiger.com/images/14437268/)

rockrat
12-28-2008, 09:23 PM
For reference, this is my primary file drawer.

I'm jealous! Now I have another project. Nice little racks for the files.
I did like the golfball handles in another post. Best use for a golfball if you ask me.
;)
rock~

RetiredFAE
12-28-2008, 11:05 PM
I'm jealous! Now I have another project. Nice little racks for the files.
I did like the golfball handles in another post. Best use for a golfball if you ask me.
;)
rock~
Just be careful of the type of golf ball you use! I have a friend that I ended up taking to the hospital because of his selection of golf balls for handles. He was drilling out an old golf ball that had a liquid (and very caustic from what the Dr. said) core. It squirted out and got under his safety glasses and into one eye. I was a few feet away and turned when he screamed. This is a guy who I have seen barely grunt when he broke a leg (compound fracture no less) in a motorcycle accident. Screamed like a newborn when that stuff hit his eye. He went from 20/20 vision in both eyes to 20/200 in the left eye,after it healed up.
Dr. in the emergency room told us this wasn't the first time he had seen this same accident. Don't know what the liquid was inside the core, it was gray in color and fairly thick, about like 90 weight gear oil, but it squirted out with a fair amount of force. It also left "melted" spots on the safety glasses that Dave was wearing.

isaac338
12-29-2008, 12:55 AM
Just be careful of the type of golf ball you use! I have a friend that I ended up taking to the hospital because of his selection of golf balls for handles. He was drilling out an old golf ball that had a liquid (and very caustic from what the Dr. said) core. It squirted out and got under his safety glasses and into one eye. I was a few feet away and turned when he screamed. This is a guy who I have seen barely grunt when he broke a leg (compound fracture no less) in a motorcycle accident. Screamed like a newborn when that stuff hit his eye. He went from 20/20 vision in both eyes to 20/200 in the left eye,after it healed up.
Dr. in the emergency room told us this wasn't the first time he had seen this same accident. Don't know what the liquid was inside the core, it was gray in color and fairly thick, about like 90 weight gear oil, but it squirted out with a fair amount of force. It also left "melted" spots on the safety glasses that Dave was wearing.

My late grandmother owned a cottage which her family (including my father) had visited every summer for years.. in one of the bedrooms I remember specifically big white splotches of paint on the ceiling, and I was always told my dad had tried to dissect a golf ball with a knife and a hammer when he was ten years old; the thing exploded and covered the room with the pressurized paint from the center.

chief
12-29-2008, 06:06 AM
Files are like hacksaws, you can't have enough. I do a lot of file work simply because I have the time. Sometimes file work can be quicker than setting up a machine. I used to machine all the engine mounts for motorcycle engine swaps but now I file the mounts to shape after roughing them out with the bandsaw. Personally I find that file work is a great way to relieve stress. It also means you can work in the shop when the power goes out.

loose nut
12-29-2008, 09:43 AM
Just cave in and get one of each kind, sooner or later you will need them.

twopintsplease
12-30-2008, 03:03 AM
Other than regular use, what other methods are there to keep files from rusting up?

Cheer
Fred

Your Old Dog
12-30-2008, 08:02 AM
........, though I'm not averse to the proper moderate use of a file card.

When did you get religion? :D I remember a post about file cards wherein you said and I'm quoting here " I hate'em, I hate'em, I hate'em" You made me feel guilty everytime I picked up my file card !

To the OP: I didn't know what to buy either so I bought every file in everysize flat files Enco had when they were on sale. Bought 5 sizes of each of the 3 grades. I think it cost something like $125 and now I have a nice new set of fresh files properly stored for use on my projects. I should have bite the bullett 15 years ago. It's great to have exactly what you want for the project at hand. It was nice to be able to relegate the old ones to the junk box.

Question for anyone here. Why the difference in cutting brass and steel with the same file? I've done it all my life, not saying it was the correct thing to do.

BTW, I'm not going to bother to collecrt a full set:

(from wikipedia)

"
Hand files are parallel in width and tapered in thickness; they are used for general work.
Joint round edge files are parallel in width and thickness, with rounded edges. The flats are safe (no teeth) and cut on the rounded edges only. Used for making joints and hinges.
Half round ring files taper in width and thickness, coming to a point, and are narrower than a standard half round. Used for filing inside of rings.
Barrette files are tapered in width and thickness, coming to a rounded point at the end. Only the flat side is cut, and the other sides are all safe. For doing flat work.
Checkering files are parallel in width and gently tapered in thickness. They have teeth cut in a precise grid pattern, and are used for making serrations and doing checkering work, as on gunstocks.
Crossing files are half round on two sides with one side having a larger radius than the other. Tapered in width and thickness. For filing interior curved surfaces. The double radius makes possible filing at the junction of two curved surfaces or a straight and curved surface.
Crochet files are tapered in width and gradually tapered in thickness, with two flats and radiused edges, cut all around. Used in filing junctions between flat and curved surface, and slots with rounded edges.
Knife files are tapered in width and thickness, but the knife edge has the same thickness the whole length, with the knife edge having an arc to it. Used for slotting or wedging operations.
Pippin files are tapered in width and thickness, generally of a teardrop cross section and having the edge of a knife file. Used for filing the junction of two curved surfaces and making V-shaped slots.
Square files are gradually tapered and cut on all four sides. Used for a wide variety of things.
Triangle files, also called three square files, are gradually tapered and come to a point. Used for many things, cutting angles less than 90 degrees, etc. It has been pointed out that there's no such thing as a "three square". Triangle files are 60 degree angles, and "square" is 90 degrees. All this is true, but triangle files are often called the term simply as a matter of slang.
Round files, also called rat-tail files, are gradually tapered and are used for many tasks that require a round tool, such as enlarging round holes or cutting a scalloped edge.
Round parallel files are similar to round files, except that they do not taper. Shaped like a toothed cylinder.
Equalling files are parallel in width and thickness. Used for filing slots and corners.
Slitting files are parallel in width with a diamond shaped cross section. Thinner than knife files and use for filing slots.
Pillar files are parallel in width and tapered in thickness for perfectly flat filing. Double cut top and bottom with both sides safe, these are long, narrow files for precision work.
Warding files are parallel in thickness, tapered in width, and thin. Like a hand or flat file that comes to a point on the end. Used for flat work and slotting.
Dreadnought (curved teeth) and millenicut (straight teeth) files both have heavily undercut, sharp but coarse teeth. Both can be used for rapidly removing large quantities of material from thick aluminum alloy, copper or brass. Today, the millenicut and dreadnought have found a new use in removing plastic filler materials such as two-part epoxies or styrenes such as those commonly used in automobile body repairs"

BadDog
12-30-2008, 12:59 PM
Me? I do change my opinions/views over time, but I don't recall ever feeling that strongly about file cards. Got me confused with someone else? I used them for years, and did stop using them for a time because of all the bad press, but then I started using them again just because they are quite convenient and efficient for everything but removing hard pins (which I use the 357 shell for). I don't use them as I once did, but I do use them (it rather) frequently...

Oh, and on brass/steel, brass is a bearing material, so it would rather slide the file than cut. To file it, you need a VERY sharp file, as in virgin new edge. Once a file is used to work steel, that sharpest edge is brittle and will begin to break down quickly to a longer wearing edge. You can't really even tell much difference on steel, but you will on brass. It will still work, but you need much more pressure to get it to scoop under the brass surface. A file that has never seen steel (or iron) will cut brass quite nicely with a relatively light touch, but a smooth single cut file that has been used on steel "a bit" will do a better job of finishing brass/bronze than a new one. It takes off the tops of ridges left by earlier filing, but won't cut hardly at all.

RPM
12-30-2008, 01:22 PM
For some time now I have been looking for a triangular (3 square?) file with a safe edge on it. Does anyone know if these are actually made, or should I just go ahead and make my own?
Richard in Los Angeles

Swamp Donkey
12-30-2008, 01:48 PM
I have a Snap-On tool box with enough tools to bail out the big 3 automakers.

Anyone in my shop is allowed to use any tool in it.

Except....

One small drawer that has 6 files.

No one is allowed to use those files.

BadDog
12-30-2008, 01:57 PM
For some time now I have been looking for a triangular (3 square?) file with a safe edge on it. Does anyone know if these are actually made, or should I just go ahead and make my own?
Richard in Los Angeles
I don't believe I have ever seen a new triangular file with a safe edge. I have one, but it's home made...

tony ennis
12-30-2008, 02:04 PM
I appreciate your opinions. But there is no end to my ignorance. :D

Ok, Nicholson seems to be the brand.

9 piece (http://www.use-enco.com/CGI/INSRIT?PMAKA=893-1321&PMPXNO=12456062&PARTPG=INLMK32)

7 piece (http://www.use-enco.com/CGI/INSRIT?PMAKA=619-0321&PMPXNO=16718052&PARTPG=INLMK32)

7 piece with card (http://www.use-enco.com/CGI/INSRIT?PMAKA=382-1308&PMPXNO=950820&PARTPG=INLMK32)

and finally

5 piece (http://www.use-enco.com/CGI/INSRIT?PMAKA=893-1320&PMPXNO=12456061&PARTPG=INLMK32)

Are the molded handles an abomination or something that should have been done long ago?

BadDog
12-30-2008, 02:16 PM
For file selection and function, that 9 piece looks like a good start to me. But I don't care for the plastic handles. Maybe it's just me, but I prefer the feel of a wood handle. I seem to "feel" the work better, plastic just feels "wrong". <shrug> All I know is I like the wood handles. Not having gotten used to wood handles, you might like the plastic just fine...

Oh, and I would hate to have a handle on every file I own. Storage density goes WAAAY down.

Your Old Dog
12-30-2008, 02:31 PM
For some time now I have been looking for a triangular (3 square?) file with a safe edge on it. Does anyone know if these are actually made, or should I just go ahead and make my own?
Richard in Los Angeles

I ended up making my own. I took a new file and ground off most of one side but I feathered the edge. I buffed the safe edge pretty bright and now I can use it as a burnisher or, if pushed far enough, a lite cut file.

Sorry Baddog, must have confused with someone else. Thanks for the explanation on the brass files. I got some virgen ones that I can dedicate to that purpose.

Ken_Shea
01-06-2009, 12:25 AM
Cannot seem to find any information on a file that I have, or it's specific purpose, OAL is about 17" long, the width of the file about 1 1/4" wide, it is a fine double cut, bottom only, with a slight curve length wise. Marked "Heller", a stamping of a pony and the number 3001.

Had found where Heller was an old Ohio based company from the mid to late 1800's but this file is surely not that old. The one pictured is unused, the one that is used is with out a doubt the finest/easiest cutting file I have ever used.

http://i187.photobucket.com/albums/x175/Ken_Shea/DSC00300.jpg

http://i187.photobucket.com/albums/x175/Ken_Shea/DSC00301.jpg

http://i187.photobucket.com/albums/x175/Ken_Shea/DSC00303.jpg

Thanks
Ken

JDF
01-06-2009, 01:42 AM
This gets it a bit closer to current times, if not quite:

http://simonds.cc/company/history14.php?menu=../mnu/mnuCompanyHistory

So '53 or so, though it seems they could easily still be using the Heller name today. As to the purpose... no idea.

Ken_Shea
01-06-2009, 01:48 AM
Just ran across that site myself tonight JDF, although vague, this excerpt seems to age these from perhaps 1960 or older.

"The combined file businesses of Simonds and Heller were now #2 in the world, second only to Nicholson. Simonds continued to produce files in Fitchburg until 1960, when all file manufacturing was consolidated in Newcomerstown. And that is the story of another of the great American tool brands - Heller files."

JDF
01-06-2009, 02:07 AM
http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&ct=res&cd=1&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.boe.ca.gov%2Flegal%2Fpdf%2F67-sbe-0065.pdf&ei=ZwBjSZCkO43Btgfh__2uCQ&usg=AFQjCNH3f-nji1p1IK9FuuX5vwXqozVKXQ&sig2=NNrnTysSQm8YgqUtmXZCIw

Might have seen that too Ken... nothing really helpful, just some legal mumbo-jumbo related to Simonds acquisition of Heller. From my very quick and loose reading, it seems to confirm '59, '60 or so as the last days of Heller. Doesn't mean they didn't keep using the name of course. Either way, the file you've got there could be NOS for '60 or so, no problem if packaged well.

Anyway, I just googled a bit on what you presented as I was rather curious about the shape too... it looks like a great shape to remove some metal. I've got a couple similarly shaped that I believe mad dad bent up. Pleasure to use. Hopefully someone can shed some light.

Oldguy
01-06-2009, 03:36 AM
Just a wild guess - but when I first saw the photo I thought "body file", as in auto body work.

Glenn

JCHannum
01-06-2009, 09:18 AM
Two of my grandchildren are Nicholsons, so I always recommend their files even though they are under the Cooper umbrella.

Nicholson published a pamphlet in the 40's titled Filing Filosophy that is a very good basic treatise on the use of files, their care and manufacture. It shows up on eBay relatively frequently for a couple of dollars. It is a big help in selection and use of files.

Brownells does sell a three sided file with one or two safe edges for cleaning up dovetails, but it is not inexpensive. A file is a cutting tool, and no different from any other consumeable. They can, and should be ground to shape for a specific task, heated and bent and rehardened for a specific shape.

I have no idea how many files I own, well over a hundred I would guess. I usually have a 10" flat mill file on the bench for breaking edges and general straightening up of work. I happily use it on the material I happen to be working with, steel, CI, brass, aluminum, wood, plastic or whatever else is at hand. I have never had any complaints form either the file or the filee.

Heller was a manufacturer, primarily of blacksmith files, hence the horse logo. They made the Nu-Cut file with a bit of a different cut that Simmonds now makes. That is what the file in the photos appears to be. It is fast cutting and leaves a smooth finish.

nykaver
01-06-2009, 09:48 AM
Can someone enlighten me on the differences between American and Swiss pattern files and the benefits of each? Thanks!

Ed Tipton
01-06-2009, 10:00 AM
In looking through the long listing of the different names of file types, there is no mention of the infamous "Bastard" file. I am totally maive on the entire subject of files, and wouldn't know one type of file from another, but I am curious since I've heard this term since childhood. Any ideas?

Ken_Shea
01-06-2009, 10:04 AM
Had overlooked that JDF, was kind of interesting to scan through.

Glenn, don't believe it is body file as it s a bit fine of a cut from the ones I have seen.

Jim H, I recall reading something on the Nu-Cut and it does cut as you describe, that is fast and sooth.

You have a lot of files, but did you read where Richard Carlstedt (current winner of the Joe Martin Foundation) had he guessed about 500 of them.

Ken

JCHannum
01-06-2009, 11:16 AM
Can someone enlighten me on the differences between American and Swiss pattern files and the benefits of each? Thanks!
Welcome to the board.

Swiss pattern files are generally of a finer cut and more precise than American pattern files. They are used in the jewelry business as well as for fine work such as tool & die making. They come in a slightly different variety of shapes then American pattern files although the various shapes have kind of blended over the years.

Everywhere I look, I have some files stashed. I will buy a lot at an auction for a couple of dollars, sometimes only because they have good handles. I junked a couple of hundred pounds last summer when scrap prices were high.