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Rejuvinating Your Files

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  • Rejuvinating Your Files

    After reading the previous post on cleaning alum. out of the file, I was wondering if anyone has ever tried to rejuvinate a dull file??
    A long time ago an old timer neighbor used to soak his old dull file in muratic acid for a few min. and it restored the edge to almost new.
    I've tried it several times and it really works. Turns the file a bit on the orange side but it will clean up.

    JL..................

  • #2
    Yes I was recently given a whole ammo box full of rusty old files. I'm not sure how they cut previously but they sure didn't look like they were in good condition. I figured I had nothing to lose so hit them with acid and was amazed at how well they came out. They all seem quite sharp and there's some very unusual files in there that are very handy.

    Pete

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    • #3
      Muratic acid, hmm, I think I will try that as I have some files that have rusted somewhat.

      How long did you soak them? Is muratic acid the best?
      It's only ink and paper

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      • #4
        You don't really need to soak them much, it all happens very quickly. But be very careful of the fumes as they are nasty. Not sure if it's the best, it's certainly fast though. Phosphoric acid may be more suitable, but I didn't have any to hand then and not sure if it would do quite the same job. Apart from the rust removal I wonder if the acid slightly etched the steel, thereby making the teeth sharp again???

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        • #5
          Thanks Pete, I'm going to try the Muratic acid trick and I will do it OUTSIDE of my shop.
          It's only ink and paper

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          • #6
            I recently picked up about a shoe box full of files at a shop auction. Many were a bit rusty. I soaked them for a day in vinegar, rinsed them off, and then soaked them in oil for a few minutes. they came out nice and sharp, rust free, but with a blackish patina.

            Then I made covers for most of the excess ones that are getting boxed for storage. Larger covers were made of folded thin cardboard (filing folders, really) wrapped in electrical tape, smaller covers were made of 1/2 or 5/8 clear plastic hose.

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            • #7
              I would usually soak the files for about 20 min. or so, and yes do this outside as the fumes are quite nasty. I'm wondering now if you can still buy muratic acid?? I got my last gallon at the local masonry supply place several years ago.

              JL..................

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              • #8
                Originally posted by JoeLee
                I would usually soak the files for about 20 min. or so, and yes do this outside as the fumes are quite nasty. I'm wondering now if you can still buy muratic acid?? I got my last gallon at the local masonry supply place several years ago.

                JL..................
                Any big box home center or a pool supply should carry muratic acid.

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                • #9
                  I have been buying it by the galon at Lowes. I use it to remove the
                  mill scale from Hot Rolled steel before doing any milling on it, saves
                  the edges on cutters. BUT do it out side. :-)
                  ...lew...

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                  • #10
                    Work with nuratic acid out doors. You do not want acid fumes (chloride ions) drifting in your shop. Whereever they settle they cause peristant rust.

                    Also neutralize anything ferrous you pickle in muratic or sulphuric acid in hot soda solution. Otherwise it will bleed rust forever.

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                    • #11
                      But Forrest, you didn't comment on the main topic, your thoughts please, yea or nay on sharpening files with acid. I have done this with old abused files, Nickolsons, and it worked well. But of course then end result doesn't always mean it's right way to do it.



                      .
                      Last edited by dewat; 06-11-2010, 03:44 PM.

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                      • #12
                        Read/heard somewhere,back in the day,blacksmiths would toss a file out in the grass during periods of heavy dew.......just enough of a burr edge rusting to put some life back into them.I've done it but usually forget where they got chucked.BW

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                        • #13
                          Cheapest White Vinegar works very well.

                          A short length of plastic drain pipe with an end cap for a bottom. Soak for a couple of hours.

                          Rgds
                          Michael

                          Australia

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by miker
                            Cheapest White Vinegar works very well.

                            A short length of plastic drain pipe with an end cap for a bottom. Soak for a couple of hours.

                            Rgds

                            OK, vinegar. Does it also work to descale hot rolled? And do you still need a soda wash to neutralize it?
                            Paul A.
                            SE Texas

                            Make it fit.
                            You can't win and there is a penalty for trying!

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                            • #15
                              I have not tried to descale hot rolled, but did read somwhere that it does work for that.

                              By Soda wash I guess you mean Bi Carb Soda?

                              I just wash under the tap (faucet), then dry and light oil.

                              Vinegar and bi carb makes big stinky foam!!!

                              Rgds
                              Michael

                              Australia

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