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  • Bent Files

    I am doing a steam engine and working on a few parts that I want to put a nice finish on. While working on a bearing block that is steel on the bottom and brass on top I did not like the finish the mill left so I decided to spend a little quality time with a cigar, some classical music and a file. Started with a mill bastard, went to a second cut and finished with a mill smooth. I have had these files for about a year, they are all Nicholson. Working with the smooth file I noticed I was attacking the center more with one side and the edges more with the other. Laid a straight edge along the file and there is a bow, checked the other two and have the same bow. Tried a search on the net and Machinery's handbook but could not find any info. Are files made with a curve? Or did I just get 3 bad ones from Enco?

  • #2
    I think you are SOL here. Hard if not impossible to heat treat 10 inches of relatively thin steel and not get some warp to it.

    You might overcome this a bit if you take the dished side to be up and your hand pressure on both ends "might" take enough bow out to be relatively flat.

    Anyhow, if you use the file right, you can still get the flat and finish you desire. Look at some of the pics Evan has posted. Look to be polished.

    Cheers,

    George

    Comment


    • #3
      You Think You Have Problems...


      Seriously though... a proper job made by ESC Sheffield, one place I would want one like this is for the steam chest on a Savage's Fairground Centre Engine !
      Mark
      What you say & what people hear is not always the same thing.
      www.remark.me.uk

      Comment


      • #4
        Wow, over 300 views and 2 replys.

        Come on guys, I will call this:

        tech training-101: basic hand files
        //--------------------------------- //

        OK, I will try to give explanation.
        Firstly, gr8life, There is nothing wrong with your T.V. set. Do not attempt
        to adjust it. I will control the horizontal and verticle as well as the focus of this episode.
        Although "Nickolson files" are a good choice of purchase there are better.
        Enough on that.

        Metalworking files most commonly used are:
        Bastard file:
        2nd. cut file:
        1st cut-also known as a smooth file

        They are designed with a curved arch. The radius of the arch determines how aggresive or non aggresive they are when whichever side is being used.
        The concave side,(inside of arch) is the more aggresive side to the file and inversly, the convex side is the lessor.

        Though it is very hard to see without knowing, this curvature changes the rake attitude of the cutting teeth.

        Picture this:
        \/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/[==================

        Forgive my drawing for the above.

        What you see is a file with uniform cutting teeth and at this time presumidly
        just a straight piece of file stock. (another subject lesson for this type will be
        called: "File Rasp-101")

        Now, as designed, picture this file in an arched position.(bend)
        The concave side will close up bringing too a change in the teeth rake and become more positive.
        This is the aggressive side to the file.

        Now, as designed, picture the opposite side of the file. This is the convex side.
        If you can see it in your mind, you would see the rake of the teeth change to a lessor rake angle and you will also note the lift.
        The lift is very important. It is the the 2nd cut to whatever file you are using. As the file is used on this side, similiar to an adjustable reamer, the first and few teeth are less aggressive then the next few and so on.
        In perspective view, .0001, .0002,.0003,.0004 of the length used. It is the fine operation to this particular side.
        This is the less aggressive side of the same file.

        Usage of the file and whatever side is dependant on what type of operation is being performed.

        A few things to keep in mind:

        A file can be used to straighten and flat a surface. It's done all the time but,
        remember and keep in mind what side is being used.
        Concave side can leave your piece curved(edges) and the convex side can hollow(center).
        Careful attention and the use of an dial indicator or caliper will provide much help.

        Files have a bias directional cut to the teeth. This provides, unlike a rasp, a shearing of the product being cut.

        Proper name of the "cut" is called a "peel".
        The file is the name of the tool not the product.

        It seems a bit humourous when sometimes said, "I need peel a piece of round stock or I need to face peel a flat".
        But, alas, the usage of the language is sometimes lost.
        Hell, lets just say, "I'm gonna file the damn thing".

        Understanding the two sides is very benificial.
        There is another file called a "broad file". They are very wide. Try using one of these one day for and hour or two and the difference of the sides become all to well known.
        Ever seen a blacksmithy with small forearms?

        Lastly, often, a file is construed as being the right tool for the job when something is being trued. But, the final and proper tool is called a "Scraper".
        Unlike a file, their design and usage is to provide a straight and/or flat surface.

        I am now returning your control of the T.V. set.
        You may utilize the dials(files) in whatever mannor you may choose.

        Best of luck and usage and hope I didn't confuse you.

        Patch

        Comment


        • #5
          Awsome post Patch - thanks for that. Alot of that information I had no idea about. I've been through three machining text books, and although they talk about using files and the different varieties of files, they never mentioned the differences in the sides or the directionality of a file! (Of course, the directionality should be pretty obvious after a few strokes )

          I have noticed that different sides of the same file cut differently, I always figured I was either crazy or that my file was oddly dull on one side.

          Thanks again!

          Comment


          • #6
            Bent Files

            Thank you very much Patch. Great reply, answers a lot of questions and lots of new info. Also thanks for taking the time to explain a subject that is not covered well.
            ed

            Comment


            • #7
              I beg to differ with Patch. Files are not designed to be warped. They are not designed to cut differently on one side than the other, unless they have different cut on both sides. (Which I don't recall seeing.)

              Files are cut, heated, quenched. They are made in such quantity that I don't know if they vertically quench them, and even if they do, with agitated cooling brine or oil, they may still warp to one side or the other.

              Flat files are not designed to be agressive on the ends of the cut on one side and agressive on the center of the cut on the other side. ie, crown with one side, hollow on the other. If they were, they would be so marked.

              Old Biker,
              Mebbe tomorrow I'll scan a few crookedy files to show you some of the forms you can buy. Make that one seem like a "bit off". Die sinker files. Every shape you can imagine.

              Cheers,

              George

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by gmatov
                I beg to differ with Patch.
                Hello George, you may do so.
                Files are not designed to be warped.
                You're right. Incidense of the arch angle is an engineered design.
                They are not designed to cut differently on one side than the other, unless they have different cut on both sides. (Which I don't recall seeing.)
                (1st part)Well, not quite right. Your term "warped" is misleading.
                The incidense of the file arch is intended. It promotes inclusive benifits, (ref my previous post account, to lesson the force exerted by the user to secure a cut. This arch also adds greater benifit when the tool is used as a draw file. It lessons the draw force required George.
                (2nd part)seeing different rakes and shear angles from one side to the other is not a generality with a common file. These are found in specialty files intended for a specific type of work or requirement. They are available upon request from a manufacture or supplier.



                Files are cut, heated, quenched. Yes, they are George
                They are made in such quantity that I don't know if they vertically quench them, and even if they do,
                After heating they are indeed quenched. Even with a glass eye this is easy to see. George, notice the area between the file blade and tang.
                You can quite plainly see to what depth the file was quenched and hardened.
                Note as well, that with a pair of pliers you can easily bend the tang. Something you could not do if it were hardened. Too, they are preformed prior to quench.

                with agitated cooling brine or oil, they may still warp to one side or the other.
                boards warp, steel and iron deform. It is true, an unintential deformed file is of no practical use as such. Quality control by the manufacture would not permit its release if noticed.

                Flat files are not designed to be agressive on the ends of the cut on one side and agressive on the center of the cut on the other side. ie, crown with one side, hollow on the other.
                You misinterpret arch radious. George, the arch is contineous from tip to tang.
                If they were, they would be so marked.
                Given to you a sharpened pencil with an eraser on the end. I will not tell you to which end writes. Upon discovery, I hope you comprehend the intended purpose of the other end.
                --

                There are many different shapes, sizes and styles when it comes to files.
                Some so common while others are rare to see and use. Specialty files have an important part to play and without them machining and hand use practice would burdon.
                Files long or short, thin, twisted or bent can be custom ordered and made by a supplier. Too, it is possible for you as an individual to create your own type of file. To cut specific rakes, arching, angle of rake incidense is actually entertaining to one self and an asset of its use.

                Something too: Many times you will hear someone say, "darn, my file is totally wore out", they just toss it and get another one. I guess I would too if it was a cheap file. But, good files of brand are not inexpensive especially a custom file that could cost up to and over $100. Would you just toss it too?
                Well, files can be resharpened.
                Hoo boy, I can only imagine the response after I say that.


                Old Biker,
                Mebbe tomorrow I'll scan a few crookedy files to show you some of the forms you can buy. Make that one seem like a "bit off". Die sinker files. Every shape you can imagine.

                Cheers,

                George
                Well George, thank-you for your opinion of rebuttal. Opinions pro or con are always good.
                It's been a pleasure speaking with you on this topic.


                Patch
                Last edited by Patch; 05-08-2008, 07:32 AM.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Working with a mill-fine, finishing, I presume you are draw filing?
                  That, of course, can lead to all sorts of probs depending on technique.
                  You can correct 'umps and 'ollers with thumb and finger pressure.
                  You should also be chalking your file and cleaning every few strokes, on a file card or wire brush.
                  Just got my head together
                  now my body's falling apart

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Swarf&Sparks
                    Working with a mill-fine, finishing, I presume you are draw filing?
                    That, of course, can lead to all sorts of probs depending on technique.
                    You can correct 'umps and 'ollers with thumb and finger pressure.
                    You should also be chalking your file and cleaning every few strokes, on a file card or wire brush.
                    So true Swarf&Sparks.
                    Brass or copper wire brushes or a file card are not expensive. Yet, I could bet many times you will see someone banging the file against another piece of metal or even wood to remove swarf.

                    Simply amazing.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      "Yet, I could bet many times you will see someone banging the file against another piece of metal or even wood"

                      Ouch!

                      Good files are too bloody expensive and shatter like glass.

                      I guess they are not paying for the files?
                      Just got my head together
                      now my body's falling apart

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Need More Information

                        PATCH Posting
                        OK, I will try to give explanation.
                        Firstly, gr8life, There is nothing wrong with your T.V. set. Do not attempt
                        to adjust it. I will control the horizontal and verticle as well as the focus of this episode.
                        Although "Nickolson files" are a good choice of purchase there are better.
                        Enough on that.

                        Metalworking files most commonly used are:
                        Bastard file:
                        2nd. cut file:
                        1st cut-also known as a smooth file

                        They are designed with a curved arch. The radius of the arch determines how aggresive or non aggresive they are when whichever side is being used.
                        The concave side,(inside of arch) is the more aggresive side to the file and inversly, the convex side is the lessor.

                        Though it is very hard to see without knowing, this curvature changes the rake attitude of the cutting teeth.

                        Picture this:
                        \/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/[==================

                        Forgive my drawing for the above.

                        What you see is a file with uniform cutting teeth and at this time presumidly
                        just a straight piece of file stock. (another subject lesson for this type will be
                        called: "File Rasp-101")

                        Now, as designed, picture this file in an arched position.(bend)
                        The concave side will close up bringing too a change in the teeth rake and become more positive.
                        This is the aggressive side to the file.

                        Now, as designed, picture the opposite side of the file. This is the convex side.
                        If you can see it in your mind, you would see the rake of the teeth change to a lessor rake angle and you will also note the lift.
                        The lift is very important. It is the the 2nd cut to whatever file you are using. As the file is used on this side, similiar to an adjustable reamer, the first and few teeth are less aggressive then the next few and so on.
                        In perspective view, .0001, .0002,.0003,.0004 of the length used. It is the fine operation to this particular side.
                        This is the less aggressive side of the same file.

                        Usage of the file and whatever side is dependant on what type of operation is being performed.

                        A few things to keep in mind:

                        A file can be used to straighten and flat a surface. It's done all the time but,
                        remember and keep in mind what side is being used.
                        Concave side can leave your piece curved(edges) and the convex side can hollow(center).
                        Careful attention and the use of an dial indicator or caliper will provide much help.

                        Files have a bias directional cut to the teeth. This provides, unlike a rasp, a shearing of the product being cut.

                        Proper name of the "cut" is called a "peel".
                        The file is the name of the tool not the product.

                        It seems a bit humourous when sometimes said, "I need peel a piece of round stock or I need to face peel a flat".
                        But, alas, the usage of the language is sometimes lost.
                        Hell, lets just say, "I'm gonna file the damn thing".

                        Understanding the two sides is very benificial.
                        There is another file called a "broad file". They are very wide. Try using one of these one day for and hour or two and the difference of the sides become all to well known.
                        Ever seen a blacksmithy with small forearms?

                        Lastly, often, a file is construed as being the right tool for the job when something is being trued. But, the final and proper tool is called a "Scraper".
                        Unlike a file, their design and usage is to provide a straight and/or flat surface.

                        I am now returning your control of the T.V. set.
                        You may utilize the dials(files) in whatever mannor you may choose.

                        Best of luck and usage and hope I didn't confuse you.

                        Patch
                        Could you give us a source for the above information. I would like to expand my knowlege on the subject.

                        Have fun,
                        Bob G

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Bob G
                          PATCH Posting


                          Could you give us a source for the above information. I would like to expand my knowlege on the subject.

                          Have fun,
                          Bob G
                          Bob, don't hold your breath. I suggest taking this information with several grains of salt.
                          Jim H.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Bob G
                            Could you give us a source for the above information. I would like to expand my knowlege on the subject.

                            Have fun,
                            Bob G



                            JCHannum:
                            In reply, your comment is not worth the effort it took me to write these few words.




                            Bob G:
                            Thank-you for your interest on this topic. I hope what has thus been said was benificial.
                            Please "Private Message" me your questions of interest regarding what area(s) and direction(s) you wish the forthcoming dialogue should include. It is vast.

                            Patch

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              So if I accidentally come across a file that is flat, should I take it straight back for a replacement and ask for a bent one?

                              I'm with Jim & George on this one, unless something more than anecdotal comments shows otherwise.

                              Peter

                              Comment

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