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File hash marks - What's causing this?


JustinR
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I am using hand files and getting file hash marks in certain spots.  I'm curious what is causing this.  Please see these 2 images on imgur (So we don't use CarvingPaths bandwidth on large images)

https://imgur.com/a/wUvTQc3

 

  • Is this the wood telling me to use a finer grained file?
  • Is it due to filing the end of the grain?  IE - The file digs out the softer wood but leaves the harder grain wood behind?
  • Something about my filing technique is wrong?

Also FYI this is basswood.  It's way too soft and I have switched to castello for newer pieces, but would like to finish up these old projects I started in basswood.

Thank you

-J

 

 

 

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Hi Ed!  Thanks, I'll certainly be sanding down a lot more then burnishing a bit to get it all smoothed out 😃

Are the hash marks from files a normal occurrence with coarser files? I was just wondering if I was doing it wrong, or using crappy files 😅

Thanks

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I'm sure someone with more experience could comment, but I've seen these on wood and metal alike. From what I can tell, changing the angle of the file and/or the pressure tends to make those go away, and I my feeling is that this happens when (even a slight) chatter and the angle of the file teeth get together "in phase".  Caveat: I don't really know what I'm talking about :blush:

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Hi Justin,

I think that these days bandwidth is not a problem now.  It would be good to see the images here if you can add them to your post.  


Does the chatter or hatchmark happen in one direction and not another?

Have you tried a finer file?  Jeweler's finest files possibly?  

The grain of the softwood might simply just do this, but possibly the file is going against instead of with the grain.  The shape being filed might be limiting the direction of the filing action, so a work around that is not a first choice might help.  Possibly sanding sticks like fingernail boards might help, going finer and finer, while being a flat tool might help.

Harder woods can be scraped smooth, but I doubt that basswood would like that.

I look forward to reading about what techniques you find success with.

 

Janel

 

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16 hours ago, Francis Gastellu said:

I'm sure someone with more experience could comment, but I've seen these on wood and metal alike. From what I can tell, changing the angle of the file and/or the pressure tends to make those go away, and I my feeling is that this happens when (even a slight) chatter and the angle of the file teeth get together "in phase".  Caveat: I don't really know what I'm talking about :blush:

Thank you Francis that explanation makes a lot of sense actually!  I'll try harder pressure while filing, or changing the angle with each stroke to see if that prevents the hashing.

 

47 minutes ago, Janel said:

Hi Justin,

I think that these days bandwidth is not a problem now.  It would be good to see the images here if you can add them to your post. 

The grain of the softwood might simply just do this, but possibly the file is going against instead of with the grain.  The shape being filed might be limiting the direction of the filing action, so a work around that is not a first choice might help.  Possibly sanding sticks like fingernail boards might help, going finer and finer, while being a flat tool might help.

 

Thanks Janel!  I will attach the photos below.

Yea I have a feeling it has something to do with the grain and varying hardness.  It seems to occur on the ends where the grain is stubborn.  I'm still learning the complexities of the grain and how to work with it rather than against it.  Also, I'll have to try those same files on the Castello wood and see if it reacts the same.

Thank you 😀

 

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I have carved a fair amount of Bass Wood, and if you are using knives and chisels ,make sure they are sharp and if they are with a little more practice you won’t have to file or sand so much . 
Sharp tools leave a better finish than one that is not as sharp. Do a little more honing on your tools for a smoother cut.

I use both a leather strop and I have one with leather glued to wood and I use the wood side to finish my honing.

the small one is wood and leather.

image.jpg

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That's a great point.  I think I'm due for some sharpening this weekend.  I have the Flexcut Slipstrop with various profiles for small carving tools.  I have noticed recently, especially for my very fine 1mm tools they aren't cutting cleanly and leave flaked/fragmented wood edges which are difficult to file/sand down.  Thanks Ed 👍

Once I'm done with this piece I'll be done with basswood for good though, just too flakey and soft for the detail I want.

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