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KJ1I
10-14-2014, 03:34 PM
I'm making a specialized tool for one of my Christmas projects. Found instructions for it in several different places. They all say: "cut the file to length", " cut off the tang", or something similar, but none explain how!

I always thought files were HARD, and you couldn't just cut it up with a hack saw.

So, how does one cut a file? I thought about notching it with a grinding stone, mounting it in a vise and breaking it, then grinding the resulting break smooth (making sure not to allow the heat to build up). But is there a better way?

bob_s
10-14-2014, 03:45 PM
The tang of a file is malleable.

Just cut it off with a hacksaw.

If you have to have a shortened piece of the business end, score with grinder, and snap it off in a vise.

Joe_B
10-14-2014, 03:46 PM
The tang is usually soft but if not, use a cutoff wheel on a pneumatic grinder.

cameron
10-14-2014, 05:25 PM
Even when scored, files have a tendency to break along a tooth line, and that could be a tooth on either side. If you want to be sure of a clean, square across break, score deeply enough, and on both sides.

mixdenny
10-14-2014, 05:39 PM
Carbide grit hacksaw blade or angle grinder with thin cutoff disc. Dennis

justanengineer
10-14-2014, 05:52 PM
If you have to have a shortened piece of the business end, score with grinder, and snap it off in a vise.

Or if its a Chinese file, grab an old Nicholson and file it off. :D

chucketn
10-14-2014, 06:25 PM
Or if its a Chinese file, grab an old Nicholson and file it off. :D

I don't care who you are, that there's funny!

Chuck

CCWKen
10-14-2014, 07:21 PM
Or if its a Chinese file, grab an old Nicholson and file it off. :D
It would have to be an "old" Nicholson. They're made in Mexico now. :eek:

boslab
10-14-2014, 09:15 PM
The tang, funny word innit, makes a reasonable little boring tool with a bit of hot bashing, I cut one off with a bolt cutters recently,
Mark

Black_Moons
10-15-2014, 04:13 PM
Angle grinder with cutoff wheel for all your hardened steels!

I have even cut HSS easily with cutoff wheels.

Frank Ford
10-15-2014, 04:44 PM
I do more work with shortened files than I do with full length, so I've broken lots of files to length. I just clamp one in the vise and smack it good and hard with a 16oz. ball peen. After doing a few, I learned to toss an old rag over the file before hitting it so the piece won't fly across the room and do damage. Then I just use my bench grinder to customize the ends or make safe edges as I need. Here's a shot of me using one of the shorties on a little production run of brass parts:

http://www.frets.com/HomeShopTech/ShopTips/195.jpg

I can hold the short file in my hand as I face the part, and then use it to debur without having to reach for a full size tool.

Yondering
10-16-2014, 01:52 PM
Angle grinder with cutoff wheel for all your hardened steels!

I have even cut HSS easily with cutoff wheels.

This. (or a chop saw)

I'm surprised this is even a question, and even more suprised at all the discussion before someone pointed out a cutoff wheel!

KJ1I
10-16-2014, 08:42 PM
I'm surprised this is even a question, and even more suprised at all the discussion before someone pointed out a cutoff wheel!

As I stated in my original post, I figured I would need to hit the file with a grinding stone (cutoff wheel - same difference) and break it. I was just hoping to find a more accurate / less risk of a bad break option. (And maybe a less noisy option). I appreciate all the responses, even though they are all some variation of my original thought.

Axkiker
10-16-2014, 09:25 PM
Well the only other way I can think of thats less noisy would be a torch. Fire up the ole smoke wrench and hack it off.

KJ1I
10-16-2014, 09:53 PM
See, I never even thought of using my plasma cutter. It just never occurred to me. Tomorrow night (after my wife leaves for work), I'll use a cutoff blade in my angle grinder to whack the file to size.

Black_Moons
10-17-2014, 02:42 PM
This. (or a chop saw)

I'm surprised this is even a question, and even more suprised at all the discussion before someone pointed out a cutoff wheel!

My cheap chop saw sucks. I have not even used the damn thing since I got a bandsaw. oh actually I used it once, I brought it out for my neighbor who wanted to cut a 1" thick rebar for making some silly project. took FOREVER to cut through and blew the breaker in the power bar it was plugged into several times in the process. Angle grinder cuts so much faster.