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file & burr sharpening


Jim Kelso

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I just got a batch of files and burrs back from being sharpened by Boggs Tool. I first found this service 10 years ago after a shop and house fire left all of my files rusty and some annealed. I sent every one to them and they sorted the hard from soft and didn't charge me for the ones that were soft.

 

The batch I just got back was a mix of burrs and files. They can sharpen needle files as long as the cut isn't extremely fine. I'm not sure what the cutt-off point is. Here's a photo showing some of the returns. You can't really see the sharpness, but just imagine, "all new files". They are that sharp. Sorry the photo isn't sharper!

Harry Boggs is super nice on the phone and is very happy to talk file lore, and has helped me find hard to find files. The Nicholson "Super Shear" for example at the top of the picture was designed to cut soft metals, but is super for hard woods.

 

They use a "liquid honing" process which I think is high-pressure water or perhaps oil and a fine abrasive. Harry explained it, but I have forgotten the details. IT WORKS! Like new, or sometimes better Harry says and I believe it.

 

Needle files are about a buck each and up to $3.50 for the long shear. Burrs were about $2.00.

Compare to buying new. This is for real folks.

 

Boggs Tool & Sharpening

 

They also sell a wide variety of cutting tools and files. Indispensable.

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Wow! thanx Jim for the info!

 

I have some files that need sharpening, certain files (I swear) are hard to replace because of there feel and this would solve that! too cool!

 

BTW: I've gotten the "super shear" files from an equipment place if your interested? The super shear are amazing, I believe that I can remove more metal, more acurately with them, then with my big swing grinder!

 

 

Rik

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I've talked to Harry Boggs about it, and he thought he could get them for around $15-20 each. My memory is not so good. Maybe we could go in together on a box (12) and get a better price. If there's enough interest I'll look into it. I'll call him and try to pin him down on price. They're expensive, but with the sharpening service you get a new one for $3.50!

 

Also think about what size you need. Mine is a 10". I'll check on sizes too.

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You can see in the picture above. It's the big file at the top. It's like a series of planer teeth. They have chip breakers(little notches) to help keep it from loading. It gives quite a good finish, but on a large surface(like a box bottom) it can tend to gall. Galling is when the file clogs and makes scratches. It doesn't seem to be a problem on smaller areas.

 

I'll check on Monday aout size options. I think the smaller size would be better for netsuke size work.

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  • 3 weeks later...

What a coincidence. For years I worked with the Nicholson rasps wich my father once bought on a flee market . I never saw them again until now on this forum. I use them on wood and on soft metals. I have 1 worn and 1 as new. I also have a usefull holding device with a spanner. The blade can be bent this way so you can work on flat survaces. See photo.

 

Ko Baas

 

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  • 4 years later...

I'm reviving an old thread here... I've given my workshop a thorough cleaning this past weekend and am adressing some issues of tool upkeep. Can anyone tell me how to clean small needle files of accumulated gunk (aside from sending them out, as Jim suggested). I tried engine degreaser and it did clean them a bit, but not as thoroughly as I had hoped. Also, I've got some diamond burrs for the foredom that are all gunked with wood resin and antler. Any way of dissolving that? I've got a brass brush and it doesn't dislodge a thing on either the files or burrs.

 

Thanks!

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Well it really depends on what material has gunked them up.. but a soak in cellulose thinners usually does the trick and if you want to prevent some clogging up in the future gently run them over a piece of chalk before use.

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For what this may be worth.

One trick to revive dulled files & burrs, which I discovered in an old jewellers / watchmakers book of my father's and which I've had some positive results with, is to immerse the said tools in phosphoric acid. De-greased of course. Experiments differed with concentrations and length of immersion. Surprisingly efficient on 'dead' needle and hand files off the jewellery bench.

 

Donn

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"Err no."

 

 

Well, I learn when I ask questions... sometimes rather dumb questions at that. I know how to carve, but all the other information comes my way when I read, ask questions, or search for the answers somehow. Having had no mentor or teacher for this other information, you all are my teachers. Even now after so many years having worked with wood. :wacko::o:blush: It is a little embarrassing to reveal what I don't know to all of you!

 

Thanks for your patience ;)

 

Janel

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Ahhh.. just had an idea.. in Britain (don't know if you get in states but there's a powerful commercial cleaner called Cillit Bang.. every supermarket sells it.. it a blend of phosphoric and sulfamic acid.. Hmmm think I try it tomorrow.. will let you know how it works.

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Well I'm gonna just dunk a whole file in for 10 mins tomorrow.. will report back.

 

Oh and Janel.. you've known me too long to start going off all sensitive cos of a little sarcastic tease.. so don't or I tell everybody that years ago a taxi driver thought you where my mom. :wacko::o

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