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Technical Shop Class Basics #2: Proper Storage of Files and Rasps

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by phartman, May 20, 2019.

  1. Heck, before now I just thew them all in a drawer. I didn't know that was a no-no. Here are two videos on storage racks, but please post other ideas about clever ways to hang or rack files and rasps.



     
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  2. Stogy
    Joined: Feb 10, 2007
    Posts: 11,570

    Stogy
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Not only that using them is an art...I remember getting shit from a seasoned aircraft worker with a trades ticket about dragging the file back over the metal being worked with an explanation of course...AND don't forget to clean your files with what I believe is called a File Card...the stuff you clean out could damage your work...

    This really is Skilled Trade related knowledge...great stuff @phartman...
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2019
  3. Chappy444
    Joined: Jan 27, 2012
    Posts: 716

    Chappy444
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    1. Maryland HAMBers

    Damnit... Why do I open these threads?!?! I was blissfully unaware that my drawer full of files was less than optimal...
    Now I will be trying to figure out some wall space to mount some file storage.
    Chappy
     
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  4. Skilled trade knowledge is correct. Complicated stuff. Somebody want to walk me through what is going on here in this file restoration video? Accidental chemical poisoning isn't really attractive- neither is electrocuting myself.

     
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  5. Stogy
    Joined: Feb 10, 2007
    Posts: 11,570

    Stogy
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Well Chappy one advantage will be you'll be able to find it quicker and they'll last longer to boot...Win, Win...
     
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  6. continentaljohn
    Joined: Jul 24, 2002
    Posts: 4,099

    continentaljohn
    Member

    Cool stuff and videos love Tech tips.
    I would like to add a few tips I learned thru the years. The file card is good but dulls the file over time. We like to use a piece of brass and rub it with the cutting edge and will clean your file better them the card will.
    At the one tool and die shop I worked at we used to send the files to get acid etched . They came back sharp but not for very long and we used them on aluminum parts mostly after the etch. I will Only buy quality American files such as NuCut or Nicholson and can find them new here and there . A good file will last a long time if not life time if care for. The new box of 12 NuCut files is dated 1948 and got them off ebay for 25 bucks.. image.jpg image.jpg image.jpg
    Also I recommend using a handle at all time because the tang will do damage to your hand or body if the file kicks back at you or even long use will cause a blister, handles are cheap .
    My file storage lol and do keep new files wrapped in paper . image.jpg
     
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  7. alchemy
    Joined: Sep 27, 2002
    Posts: 13,588

    alchemy
    Member

    Most all of the files in my shop are wild (no handles on them), and they all get thrown into one box on top of the workbench. Thanks a lot guys, now I'm gonna be self conscious about my inadequate files. At least I do have a file card to clean them with.
     
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  8. J. A. Miller
    Joined: Dec 30, 2010
    Posts: 1,136

    J. A. Miller
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Central NY

    John, just curious about how the files were protected from each other in the box?
    I know I should take better care of my files, but then I wouldn't have any to make slapping spoons with.:D
     
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  9. Like you I was happily bliss not knowing how to properly take care of the files I have, my granddad High Pockets didn't know how to store them properly ether. HRP
     
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  10. Hahahahaha! I feel your pain, in addition to now realizing that having a file card is not the same as using a file card regularly. I am guilty, I am guilty....
     
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  11. dumprat
    Joined: Dec 27, 2006
    Posts: 2,164

    dumprat
    Member
    from b.c.

    Cheap plastic wrench racks work good for files.
    I have a couple of lathe files that are about $100 each. They live in a foam cut out in my tool box. Good files are getting really hard to get.
     
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  12. dumprat
    Joined: Dec 27, 2006
    Posts: 2,164

    dumprat
    Member
    from b.c.

    Not in love with the technique in the video. None of that is going to make the file sharp again. And file handles are cheap.
    Maybe a good molasses soak could bring back rusty files. Squashed copper pipe makes and excellent file cleaner. The old guys I apprenticed under used dead fuses, big round ones. A blade with a built in handle!
     
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  13. I got turned onto the brass trick decades ago. It will instantly clean any file. I also have only name-brand files, we used to get them free at work. When they got rid of the machine shop in 2004, many were up for grabs, some of them new in the wrappers.
     
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  14. Beanscoot
    Joined: May 14, 2008
    Posts: 883

    Beanscoot
    Member

    The files are individually wrapped in paper in the box as it comes from the factory.

    It's amazing how people who should know better will try to file on the back stroke, including some Machinists I have observed.

    If you have been filing with a dull file, or one from India etc. it is amazing to feel the difference when switching to a good, sharp, quality file.

    Besides US made files, those from Switzerland, Canada, Germany and England have been excellent in my experience.
     
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  15. ??? Please explain how to clean the file with squashed copper pipe. I happen to have some of that I was going to throw in the recycle bin.
     
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  16. Fordors
    Joined: Sep 22, 2016
    Posts: 1,755

    Fordors
    Member

    Hmmm, in the first video we learn about making and using handles on files for safety, from a guy using a vise that is not fastened to the bench. How about first things first?:eek:
     
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  17. Fordors
    Joined: Sep 22, 2016
    Posts: 1,755

    Fordors
    Member

    I would hold the copper at an acute angle to the file and drag the smashed tip of the pipe through the teeth of the file. Not across the teeth as if you were filing something, but like if you were coming your hair. Also, the metal backed file cards come with a sharp pick useful for clearing clogged teeth that result from filing aluminum or plastic for example. Obviously you can use a substitute pick if you don’t have one, just be careful not to damage the file.
     
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  18. indyjps
    Joined: Feb 21, 2007
    Posts: 3,572

    indyjps
    Member

    Fold a piece of cardboard in half, fold the other side over and duct tape it. You now have a file holder to protect the blade.

    Most of my files are junkers and sit in a drawers. Body work files, slappers, dollies all have some kind of cardboard holder to protect the surface. Doesnt mean I know how to use them all correctly....
     
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  19. Yes, and I notice in one of the videos the gentleman is performing all sorts of operations on metal with power tools and not wearing safety glasses. I wear a full shield now after getting a very small piece of metal in my eye while wearing safety glasses that I thought were adequate. It hurt like nothing ever felt before.

    No exceptions, I don't care how small the job, I wear the safety gear.

    Ear protection, too, when operating all power tools, as well as some metal hand operations that are noisy. Tinnitus- due in my case to poor decisions in the past- is no fun. The dental hygienist just this week told me that hearing damage is prevalent among that occupation, too, due to high pitched drills and cleaning devices. My damage occurred so slowly it never dawned on me what was happening until too late.
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2019
  20. continentaljohn
    Joined: Jul 24, 2002
    Posts: 4,099

    continentaljohn
    Member

    image.jpg The files are wrapped in heavy paper and had some wrapped in news paper as well

     
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  21. woodiewagon46
    Joined: Mar 14, 2013
    Posts: 1,301

    woodiewagon46
    Member
    from New York

    True, the best way to screw up files is to store them in a drawer, touching each other. I bough 1" shrink tubing and slide my files in pieces of tubing to store and protect them. Any thin tubing would work even cardboard sleeves.
     
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  22. CA. 280
    Joined: Jan 8, 2010
    Posts: 189

    CA. 280
    Member

    Cheap and effective. Second highest thing that would bring the wrath of God (my machine shop instructor) down on you, throwing files in a drawer. First was trying to wear gloves and use the bench grinders.
     

    Attached Files:

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  23. KevKo
    Joined: Jun 25, 2009
    Posts: 225

    KevKo
    Member
    from Motown

    I keep mine laying flat on a piece of cardboard. But that takes up a fair amount of space so I might try that thin cardboard sleeve suggestion.
    BTW, my Dad gave me some of his old files when I was a kid working on model cars. He was Journeyman Tool & Die Maker. He's been gone 30 years, but I still have and use those files.
     
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  24. Have you never broken a file? HRP
     
  25. I don't know about the rest of you, but my files are staying in their drawer... Storage space is already at a premium in my shop, trying to do what's 'recommended' would be impossible.

    I will point out that if you work with non-ferrous metals much, Nicholson makes 'aluminum' files that don't clog like ones for steel do on those metals.
     
  26. I always wondered what that marking on some files meant, "Mill Bastard." It got many snickers in high school shop class. Here you go, from this article below:

    "The cut of the file refers to how fine its teeth are. They are defined as (from roughest to smoothest): rough, middle, bastard, second cut, smooth, and dead smooth."

    More here:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File_(tool)
     
  27. I guess using a wire brush to clean them is out. Damn now I got to find some brass & get a dedicated storage area. My screwdrivers are going to miss them.
     
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  28. yep those little key files that come in the red plastic holder. Don't take much pressure to break one.
     
  29. rgdavid
    Joined: Feb 3, 2014
    Posts: 326

    rgdavid
    Member

    A file isa wonderfull tool,
    I spent the first month of my apprentisage at 16 yrs old just fileing,
    Something that i will never forget.
    Used correctely it can give superbe flat mateing surfaces.
    Dont let 1 file touch another, it kills them.
     
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  30. RidgeRunner
    Joined: Feb 9, 2007
    Posts: 768

    RidgeRunner
    Member
    from Western MA

    A couple of tips that have worked well for me taken from an old English book on setting up a home M/C shop many years ago.

    Rubbing chalk on the file prior to use on some materials can sometimes reduce "loading up" of the teeth.

    Mounting my vises so the jaws are the same height off the floor as my elbows when I stand in front of it has improved the quality of my work. The resulting natural motion helps keep things square. Helps with hacksaw work as well.

    Ed
     

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