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  • #16
    I think it was Evan who mentioned that files used on aluminum, brass and other non-ferrous metals be kept away from steel. To that end I have put a band of yellow tape on the handles of my stash of new files which are used only on aluminum and brass. They will graduate to steel use as the need arises.

    The other type which is handy for lathe work is the "long angle" style, sometimes stamped "lathe file". They are single cut and leave a great finish.

    Geoff

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    • #17
      One of the handiest files I have but rarely use is a thread file(or so I was told). I use it on the threads to clean up damaged areas. Faster than running a die over it.

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      • #18
        Originally posted by mototed
        My favorite file handles are golf balls drilled 3/4 through for the tang.
        Ted

        Im going to have to remember that, I can see that working out just fine and if you keep your eyes open for free...

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        • #19
          "don't drag 'em backwards" is worth a lot more than $0.02. Can't tell you how many times I've seen "machinists" not pick the file off the work for the next cutting stroke.
          gvasale

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          • #20
            Originally posted by A.K. Boomer
            Im going to have to remember that, I can see that working out just fine and if you keep your eyes open for free...
            don't, haven't you heard the stories? certain types have a liquid centre under pressure, drilling them is risky...make sure you wear eye protections. But why mess around? the good lutz wood handles that screw on are only a buck or two each, come in the range of sizes needed and give the proper grip.

            Files are the basic machinist tool - there's a reason apprentices learned to used them. I've got and use lots - for finishing, deburring, fettling, rounding off parts, and even precision work such as odd internal shape (hex holes etc)....they last almost forever if taken good care of. Do not let them bang around in a drawer. keep separate ones for brass - once used on steel they're near useless for brass. Be creative - use blue for precision work - ie making a square hole a perfect to a mate. There are instances where it is the only way to machine something.

            Best filing story: A firm had a large marine crankshaft, triple throw 10" dia crank pins, that need to be reduced to 9. To big for any lathe they had. They set work up and apprentices filed the pins to size. Seem impossible? Precision work can be done with the humble file! They filed a perfect flat on one pin such that it was not only dead flat (using a reference with blue) but so that was exactly 9.5" from the round opposite side of the pin - the flat then was parallel to axis of the pin. Next the shaft was rotated and a flat parallel to the first was filed - you guessed it, so the to flats were 9" apart and parallel. This continued around the pin until was faceted almost to a cylinder then then last bits were filled off before wrapping it in emery and polishing. iirc, it took 3 months to complete...I wasn't one of the filers, it was recounted to me by an old boy who was


            My files hang over the bench in front of a window. A piece of angle iron with slots milled in it screwed to the window frame. At each end where it touches the frame, a penny shims the bottom so its at a slight angle preventing the files from falling out from vibrations etc

            Last edited by Mcgyver; 10-27-2011, 11:23 AM.
            in Toronto Ontario - where are you?

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            • #21
              I never seem to have enough handles (guess I'm too cheap to buy a quantity of them), so in a pinch I simply use either a big Gray or bigger Blue wirenut screwed onto the tang. Reds and yellows also work well on smaller tangs.

              Cheap bastage that I am....

              Mark

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              • #22
                Mike,
                That's a cool picture. Deserves to be on the cover of a Lee Valley catalog.
                Dave

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                • #23
                  They come in one colour ...that colour is rust brown

                  They come in diffferent sizes and shapes.

                  Sometimes they come with a handle ..but that is rare

                  I could pick up at least ten every week, if i wanted to, for less than 50 pence each.

                  I stopped collecting them when i filled an 10 inch deep by 10 inch wide by two foot long draw with them.

                  in car boot sales they are more common than ...hmmm..let see... than homicide in north America

                  all the best markj

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by DFMiller
                    Mike,
                    That's a cool picture. Deserves to be on the cover of a Lee Valley catalog.
                    Dave
                    thanks, thats the old shop layout....far too much wasted space. Reconfigured things to be more effiecient....only problem now is the camera and I won't both fit in there at the same time
                    in Toronto Ontario - where are you?

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                    • #25
                      Ok Mcgyver - Now I have a serious case of file and file rack envy, great picture, thanks for sharing.

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                      • #26
                        i am into valorbe files (as one might suspect). what does a "swiss pattern" file actually mean?

                        what i always wondered, but never found out, is how flat a file really is.

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                        • #27
                          Originally posted by Mcgyver
                          My files hang over the bench in front of a window.
                          That is a great photo! I like the way you just highlighted the files, while keeping any mess in the dark.

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                          • #28
                            Originally posted by Frank Ford
                            Old dead files live again in my shop as scrapers, specialty chisels, etc.
                            Yeah, I grind the teeth off (laborious) and make wood turning scrapers and form tools out of them.

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                            • #29
                              Don't buy cheap one, the ones from India are the worst, they aren't worth bring home. Don't throw the old ones out, they are a good source of quantity tool steel. Nicholson are best Simmons are next.
                              The shortest distance between two points is a circle of infinite diameter.

                              Bluewater Model Engineering Society at https://sites.google.com/site/bluewatermes/

                              Southwestern Ontario. Canada

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                              • #30
                                Originally posted by Chris S.
                                That is a great photo! I like the way you just highlighted the files, while keeping any mess in the dark.
                                lol, yeah its constant battle...I find blinders helps . The more crowded my shop becomes, the more a necessity it is to try and keep it tidy. its usually pretty good between projects, in the middle of, its a hurricane
                                in Toronto Ontario - where are you?

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