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Customs Files and lead filler

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by phantompjcoupe, Jul 13, 2019.

  1. phantompjcoupe
    Joined: Feb 15, 2012
    Posts: 47

    phantompjcoupe
    Member
    from chicago

    I’m doing some lead bodywork on my car, and the lead keeps clogging up my files.

    I’ve thought of spraying the files with WD-40 or Teflon spray, but I definitely don’t want any issues down the road with paint.

    Anyone have any experience with coating them with something?


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  2. I've learned two things over the year. A dull file will load up fast. Leaning hard on the file will cause it to load up also. Let the file slide and do the work. Your arms will thank you at the end of the day, keep your files sharp.
     
  3. catdad49
    Joined: Sep 25, 2005
    Posts: 3,288

    catdad49
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I saw the title and read it as, "Flies and Lead Filler"! Oh, Man. I gotta check That out. What a disappointment......... but instructional. Always keep your tools clean and sharp if possible, great tip.
     
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  4. vickckik
    Joined: Dec 21, 2011
    Posts: 61

    vickckik
    Member

    I use chalk on my files no matter what material I'm working on. It makes cleaning them much easier.
     
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  5. phantompjcoupe
    Joined: Feb 15, 2012
    Posts: 47

    phantompjcoupe
    Member
    from chicago

    What kind of chalk do you use? The only thing that comes to mind is the blue stuff that you squirt into a “chalk line” for house projects


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  6. phantompjcoupe
    Joined: Feb 15, 2012
    Posts: 47

    phantompjcoupe
    Member
    from chicago

    Letting up my pressure on the files have definitely made a difference! They still get clogged, but not like they were
    Thank you!


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  7. Hnstray
    Joined: Aug 23, 2009
    Posts: 10,431

    Hnstray
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Quincy, IL

  8. flatford39
    Joined: Dec 3, 2006
    Posts: 2,207

    flatford39
    Member

    As a kid learning this craft from my father it was my job to keep the files clean. I do remember him using soap on them also. Of course all we were shooting back then was nitro lacquer. Pretty forgiving.
     
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  9. dreracecar
    Joined: Aug 27, 2009
    Posts: 2,747

    dreracecar
    Member
    from so-cal

    To spread the hot lead, you dip the paddle into beeswax/tallow, which you have at hand and does not seem to effect the lead. Give that a try
     
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  10. gimpyshotrods
    Joined: May 20, 2009
    Posts: 16,007

    gimpyshotrods
    Member

    I hate to ask this, but do you have the correct files for working lead?
     
  11. phantompjcoupe
    Joined: Feb 15, 2012
    Posts: 47

    phantompjcoupe
    Member
    from chicago

    Yessir! I bought a lead body kit from Eastwood with 2 flat files, a “flexible body file holder” and a “half round” file/handle, and I even came across a file my dad had from when he did lead back in the 50s


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  12. nrgwizard
    Joined: Aug 18, 2006
    Posts: 1,067

    nrgwizard
    Member
    from Minn. uSA

    Ok, so now I have to display ignorance: just how, exactly, do you sharpen a lead file? I've never seen or heard of someone that can re-sharpen them, nor ever seen a picture of - much less the actual machine - that re-sharpens the files. The ones I have don't look like sharpening is a viable or reasonable alternative to new. They are the flat type, w/curved teeth. I rarely work w/lead, but have the files to use when I've come across it. I can see using a file card, a small pick, & even a brass or stainless toothbrush to clean out the teeth. I get not banging them around in a toolbox/etc.
    TIA.
    Marcus...
     
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  13. 19Fordy
    Joined: May 17, 2003
    Posts: 6,307

    19Fordy
    Member

  14. Weedburner 40
    Joined: Jan 26, 2006
    Posts: 590

    Weedburner 40
    Member
    from California

    When I was a lot younger, we did lots of lead work. We had a gentleman who came around about every couple months that did vixen file sharpening. He told us he sand blasted them. We never used anything on the files to keep them from packing, but lighter pressure does help.
     
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  15. nrgwizard
    Joined: Aug 18, 2006
    Posts: 1,067

    nrgwizard
    Member
    from Minn. uSA

    Hmm... Thanks for the info.
    Marcus...
     
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  16. Buddy Palumbo
    Joined: Mar 30, 2008
    Posts: 3,857

    Buddy Palumbo
    Member

    In my profession (vintage car restoration), I sling a lot of lead. I'll say that a good sharp file is the way to go, and treat it right. As with any file or drill, let the TOOL do the work (i.e. no need to push hard if it's sharp). There is also a special very short-bristled stiff brush you should be using when you notice any clogging. A couple swipes with the brush every once in a while will keep it going.

    And BTW - I have never, ever needed to add anything to my files, like oil, chalk or wax - and I've been doing this as a full time job for over 25 years.
     
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  17. ^^^^^ Friction = heat. How does lead get soft and molten?
     
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  18. LM14
    Joined: Dec 18, 2009
    Posts: 1,550

    LM14
    Member
    from Iowa

    I was told to use bar soap and nothing else. WD-40 or other lubes could mess with paint adhesion down the road.
    SPark
     
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  19. dirty old man
    Joined: Feb 2, 2008
    Posts: 8,061

    dirty old man
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Back in the mid to late '60s, I worked at the Fisher Body/Chev. plant in Atl in the "body in white" dept. Sometimes as a metal finisher and sometimes as a lead joint repairman who had to correct badly finished joints coming from the grinders working in the grinding booth finishing lead joints. If an inspector marked up a joint on my side of the line, it was my job to fix it if possible.
    We weren't in a grinding booth or wearing the fresh air fed hoods of the line grinders, so we had to do our work with files and boards with abrasive paper strips fastened on for the final finish. No grinding lead outside the booths.
    We used the same files used for metal finish on the body metal, and never put anything on the files but our hands and gloves, LOL. Once in awhile they did bring in some of the chemically resharpened files and sometimes they were OK, but some didn't seem to last as long or cut as well.
    Not to hijack this thread, but since we seem to have some guys on this thread who still use lead, I have a question(s) about modern day paints and body lead.
    Have heard, read, comments about incompatibility of lead and modern day paints and primers, and in fact on one segment of the old TV show "2 Guys Garage" where they were beginning the restoration of an AD seirs Chev, truck, they were actually melting all the lead filler out and torch wiping to clean out all the lead they could before replacing with plastic filler. Anybody have any FIRST HAND knowledge on this???
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2019
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  20. Buddy Palumbo
    Joined: Mar 30, 2008
    Posts: 3,857

    Buddy Palumbo
    Member

    At our shop, modern paint is applied over our leadwork all the time with ZERO ill-effects. There is NO NEED to remove correctly applied leadwork.
     
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  21. chrisp
    Joined: Jan 27, 2007
    Posts: 750

    chrisp
    Member

    I do a lot of lead too. The only issue that I know of is if the flux wasn't cleaned good after being applied, the acid has to be neutralized.
    We use current paint materials with 0 issues.
    I replaced my 20 year old vixen file last year. If cared properly they last a very long time.
     
  22. phantompjcoupe
    Joined: Feb 15, 2012
    Posts: 47

    phantompjcoupe
    Member
    from chicago

    Thanks (everyone) for the advice.
    I think my biggest mistake was putting too much pressure on the files
    As it was said- friction=heat
    And that says it all

    I lightened up, and the clogging is almost nonexistent compared to what it was doing
    Sometimes I let my impatience get the best of me, but I learned my lesson!



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  23. bill gruendeman
    Joined: Jun 18, 2019
    Posts: 48

    bill gruendeman
    Member

    I am happy you reported back on your findings
     
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