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View Full Version : Nicholson -"The Guide To Files and Filing"



Mike Burdick
07-01-2015, 12:18 AM
Interesting info about files...

http://www.nicholsontool.com/MagentoShare/media/documents/nicholson-guide-to-filing-2014.pdf

Joe Rogers
07-01-2015, 06:04 AM
I wonder if they will ever get the off shore files quality back up??
Joe

loose nut
07-01-2015, 09:47 AM
Doesn't matter if they do, the damage is done.

PixMan
07-01-2015, 09:53 AM
Agreed.

When they moved file manufacture to Brazil and elsewhere, the quality sank and it would never recover. If they moved it back here and sourced the steel here, the quality would be bound to improve but unlikely they'll ever have their market share back.

radkins
07-02-2015, 09:44 PM
I have over forty files not including the rifflers and most are USA made Nicholsons, I had my doubts when the Mexican/Brazilian files hit the market and I wasn't wrong! The Mexican version seems to be better than the Brazilian made ones but that's not saying much.

Actually some of the very best files I have (I have only three of them) are no-name files that were made in Poland, I got them as part of a "grab bag" of files that I bought to get some Nicholson riffler styles that were included. When I saw them (all three 8" flat files) I just tossed them aside with my worn or otherwise damaged tooling until I read on another forum about some that sounded similar. I dug one of those things out a few months ago and in just a couple of minutes I was thinking "Whoa here, these things cut like razors" and that they do! They are double cut style but leave a much smoother finish than any double cut file I have, I have no idea where these come from or who sells them but I would sure like to find some new ones.

Lee Cordochorea
07-03-2015, 10:38 AM
Thank you, Mike! The pamphlet has good information in it.

Mcgyver
07-03-2015, 12:40 PM
Agreed.

When they moved file manufacture to Brazil and elsewhere, the quality sank and it would never recover. If they moved it back here and sourced the steel here, the quality would be bound to improve but unlikely they'll ever have their market share back.

or not. Companies that make these sorts of decisions often fail to account for the level of 'organizational knowledge' required to do what they're doing. What are the odds that the brain trust that previously existed (or even the specialized machinery) is sitting around waiting for the call back?

Mind you they may have had no choice if high priced files aren't selling.

Sim
07-03-2015, 01:20 PM
What exactly is wrong with the files from Brazil or Mexico ?
Or what is different from when they were made in usa ?

outtathegame
07-03-2015, 01:24 PM
Interesting comparison regarding Nicholson long angle lathe files...

I have a bastard cut, 10" I bought a couple years ago. US made. The end tapers like a mill file shape. The cut teeth do not extend all the way to the end. This is all normal in my experience.

I just bought the same file in smooth cut version. Foreign made (Brazil? can't remember). Cuts just as well as previous versions so far*. Of course, it is brand new, so I already hear the naysayers there. BUT-- the thing that was strange to me was that the end is square. No taper as before. At first, I couldn't place what was making me feel strange about it, but then it hit me. The shape is different. I found that strange, even if it makes no practical difference in use.

Which leads me to an old question... why both "mill files" and "rectangular flat" files are made? The former has a tapered end (thickness doesn't taper, only width). The latter has a fully square end. Where would the difference have any real purposeful meaning? i.e. why not just make them all with the same taper? Why not make them all square ended and as an operator, use a smaller file where it is required for width? It always seemed a meaningless nuance in the product line to me.

*I've read all the rhetoric before, but have found no practical difference in file performance or cut in direct comparison between US/Portugal/Brazil (don't think I've personally used a Mexico one) files. In fact, one of my favorite file series is the foreign made Simmonds black-oxide coated ones. Excellent files for my use, clean well, long lasting, good cut, etc.

loose nut
07-03-2015, 03:33 PM
When Nicholson first went to Mexico, I think that's were it was, the files were soft as butter. That may have changed but the Nicholson reputation for quality has been permanently damaged, even if the quality may have come back. No one said all foreign made files are garbage, I like Simmonds also.

Mcgyver
07-03-2015, 03:37 PM
No one said all foreign made files are garbage,

agreed, the Swiss have managed to eek out the odd good one over the years. :)

outtathegame
07-03-2015, 05:30 PM
Yes. I thought we were talking about American pattern type. An esoteric fact, Grobet-Vallorbe (Swiss) do make American pattern files too. Their terminology is slightly different, though, and they are officially classified as "Engineer's Files" instead of "American Pattern." Can't say I've used one, but they are available in the States through Artco (http://www.artcotools.com/american-pattern-files/). My uses do not warrant such discerning artisanship ;)

radkins
07-03-2015, 05:47 PM
When Nicholson first went to Mexico, I think that's were it was, the files were soft as butter. That may have changed but the Nicholson reputation for quality has been permanently damaged, even if the quality may have come back. No one said all foreign made files are garbage, I like Simmonds also.


And that's the difference! I suppose as long as they are used mostly on soft steel they should do ok but the imports I have didn't last nearly as long when used on harder steels -big difference actually.



Thank you, Mike! The pamphlet has good information in it.

Most of it anyway but I take exception to use of a file card, I will never again use one of those dang things on any of my files! In the first place they simply don't work well at all, they do not get the teeth clean all the way to the bottom and they are hard on the file teeth they are supposed to be used on. The bristles in a file carding brush are necessarily hard and obviously they can't reach down into the teeth very far (look at the blunt ends of the wire) and thus skip over a lot of the clogging nor are they particularly useful for dislodging stuck chips which not only prevent proper cutting action but often leave deep gouges in the filed surface! I spend a lot of time shaping with my files (lately it's been 4140 HT) and finish is of utmost importance so a clean file is an absolute necessity. If you have a file card do yourself and your files a big favor and relegate the stinkin thing to the trash can where it belongs and get yourself a piece of hardwood instead, even soft wood like Pine works better than any kind of steel wire brush. Push the end edge across the teeth and the wood will instantly form-fit to the teeth and clean those tiny grooves all the way to the bottom, much faster and MUCH cleaner than with a file card and it won't harm the file. But wait! How can wood get out stuck chips from between the teeth? Well usually it can't but then neither does a file card, in the case of a stubborn chip I use a tiny pick and slide it along the groove which will normally dislodge about anything stuck in there. Don't believe the wood will work better? Just give a loaded file a brushing with a file card first and then follow up with a piece of hardwood to see all the junk the file card left behind.

Frank Ford
07-03-2015, 06:10 PM
Push the end edge across the teeth and the wood will instantly form-fit to the teeth and clean those tiny grooves all the way to the bottom, much faster and MUCH cleaner than with a file card and it won't harm the file.

So true! I like bamboo for cleaning files:

http://www.frets.com/HomeShopTech/Tooling/FileCleaner/filecleaner.html

radkins
07-03-2015, 06:27 PM
For really tough stuck chips (a file shouldn't even get into this condition but it happens sometimes) I sometimes resort to a brass cartridge case. I simply flattened the open end of a 45/70 case and use it in the same manner as the wood, the brass won't hurt the file teeth but it too form-fit after a pass or two and will successfully dislodge some really stubborn chips!

radkins
07-03-2015, 06:33 PM
So true! I like bamboo for cleaning files:

http://www.frets.com/HomeShopTech/Tooling/FileCleaner/filecleaner.html



Now that's neat! I now have a new project to tend to real soon, I just got to have one of those file cleaners!

Thanks for posting that.

miker
07-03-2015, 06:38 PM
Mike, Thanks for posting the Nicholson pamphlet.

Michael

Gravy
07-03-2015, 10:10 PM
Now wait just a doggoned second here... Whatever happened to the Nicholson classic "File Filosophy"?

loose nut
07-04-2015, 11:02 AM
Scroll down to the MISC. listing, it is there to be downloaded. (1920's vintage)

http://www.wewilliams.net/OMLibrary.htm