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Cleaning Fine Files


Andrew

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I have used oven cleaner for the really nasty clogs. This works on burrs as well. Word of caution, do not let the cleaner stay on the file or burr to long as it will actual eat the metal. A minute or two should be more than enough. Use a brass brush or fine file brush to work the clogs gently out of the burr or file.

You can use the cleaner to actually sharpen burrs by putting the tool in the oven cleaner and letting it sit for around 5 mintues, repeat until you get an edge. I use it to refurbish old carbide burrs. It does take some experimentation.

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With the really fine cut 'Swiss files' I think it is not a good idea to use any abrasive method of cleaning. Personally, I just spray them with WD40, which is largely parafin, and leave them overnight for the stuff to penetrate well and then carefully wipe off.

 

Note; the use of an acid compound such as oven cleaner will likely not hurt the files,...My grandfather regularly 're-sharpened' his ancient files by careful immersion in battery acid. According to him this was once normal practice in England before WWII. Apparently even engineering firms did this to get the most wear from files. Certainly, files used to be quite expensive tools so it would make sense.

 

The acid works more on the peaks of the teeth than on the 'valleys' so the file is sharpened to a degree....

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For my fine files I keep a small brass wire brush, and for my other files I keep a file card. This is a block of wood with stiff short wire like a wire brush. Both work well to clean across the files and rasps. I use some WD40 with the brushes. Clean them often just like sharpening.

Ed Twilbeck

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Good tips.

 

I think I've mentioned elsewhere about a file sharpening service that I cannot recommend too highly.

 

Boggs Tool

 

They use a "Liquid Honing Process" which I think is extremely high pressure light abrasive in water, or perhaps light oil(just guessing). The files come back in some cases sharper than when they were new. It is very cost effective, considering the cost of new files. I love my files and highly recommend this service. Nice people too.

I found them after a fire I had 12 years ago and was so thankful that so many of my files were recovereable.

 

Even fine needle files(perhaps not the very finest) can be resharpened. Also burrs of all types.

 

Do yourself a favor and try them. Let us know your experience.

 

Jim

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I find that I can clean my #6 and even #8 files(and coarser cuts as well)

by using a piece of silver sheet solder and a good fine oil such as eucalyptus. I stroke across the file diagonally to follow the machined cuts - the soft metal develops teeth within a few strokes and can then be worked up the file - it seems much more effective than any brush I've tryed and doesn't dull the files. Does not work so well on half round files. I've heard of resharpening files by acids and the like but have never tried them myself. Thanks for the Boggs Tool connection Jim.

Magnus

P.S.

I think we could do a whole thread in the Way forum on the pleasure of a brand new file!

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  • 1 month later...
  • 1 year later...

Andrew,

I have the same problem.. the bone likes to cake up in the files. I soak my files in vinegar for a day or two. It helps to have another set of files to use and there's that, "one" that is always in your hand helps to have a few of that one on hand.

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  • 1 year later...
Does anyone have any handy tricks for cleaning the gunk out of really fine files?

I have tried everything I can think of with little success.

Thanks

Andrew

 

 

 

 

 

Best tips i got were to use metal working solder like for plumbing on the big mill files, take a peice about 1 inch of it and form a loop.

the loop is hardened by bending it. The loop part can then be used to clean the furrows of the file.

works great with mill files and crosscut. The solder cleans out the file then i soak in vinegar.

 

 

 

for handcut files like i use air compressor and it cleans the tines off. I try very hard not to stress tines of handcut files.

AIR ONLY for them is best route.

 

 

For super fine crosscut files , Water jets for cleaning teeth work great if you fill it with warm water -----

and you can use it like a mini pressure washer.

You have a choice -----most benign is hot water, as evaporates faster than cold water.

 

 

I filled the WATERPIK with denatured alcohol a couple of times

and this works better in some cases for when you need a solvent.

denatured alchohol evaporates pretty quick

 

On a 6 or 7 setting it like a gentle pressure washer. DO not spray your eyes. :D

spray into a bowl. test the setting before use.

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Hello,

 

I use a piece of hardwood and sort of push the gunk out towards the sides of the file, also just a bit of kerosene if its really stuck. I cant recomend using a steel card file, in my opinion it dulls the files.

 

 

Samuel

I use apiece of brass or copper.

That i think is the best.

yloh

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