Small File Cleaning

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gjbickfo
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Small File Cleaning

Post by gjbickfo » Thu Apr 19, 2018 11:18 am

I clean my files with a file card brush. But what about very fine needle/jewelers files?

Mr Ron
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Re: Small File Cleaning

Post by Mr Ron » Thu Apr 19, 2018 1:24 pm

gjbickfo wrote:
Thu Apr 19, 2018 11:18 am
I clean my files with a file card brush. But what about very fine needle/jewelers files?
Good question! I would like to know that myself, especially when filing aluminum. I once heard that you can sharpen files by soaking them in weak sulphuric acid. Maybe that can remove stuck chips as well.
Mr.Ron from South Mississippi

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BadDog
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Re: Small File Cleaning

Post by BadDog » Thu Apr 19, 2018 1:43 pm

I would never use a file on another file. Maybe if I had a really stubborn "pin" to extract, just a targeted approach, but even then I would use a small pick or something, unless a needle file was all I had. But that would be a last resort.

File cards get a lot of bad press, and I can see how they could be bad. But used with some finesse along the the bias they've worked for me and many others. However, the best option to get it clean without damaging the edges would be to use something softer. I've seen/read/used hardwood slats/wedge along the bias. And I have a lot of spent brass, so I keep a few flattened and annealed cases that work very well.
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Harold_V
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Re: Small File Cleaning

Post by Harold_V » Thu Apr 19, 2018 3:32 pm

The use of dilute sulfuric could be quite useful in cleaning, as it also sharpens a file. I've used vinegar for the same purpose, always with success, but the condition of the file determines the outcome. If a file is badly dulled, the end result, while showing some degree of improvement, won't be as good as with files that are dulled, but not well rounded.

Because of the hardened condition of files, hydrogen embrittlement is a consideration, but, thus far, I have not had any problems with files so treated.

I use a piece of 1/16" thick titanium alloy for removing pinning from files. The piece looks very much like the blade of a spatula (but no handle). It readily conforms to the file when stroked parallel to the teeth, with the titanium piece held at an angle, roughly 45° so the titanium displays positive rake. Even tough pinning is removed quickly.

H
Wise people talk because they have something to say. Fools talk because they have to say something.

asallwey
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Re: Small File Cleaning

Post by asallwey » Thu Apr 19, 2018 7:29 pm

I use a piece of 1/2" copper pipe. Easier to find than Ti. My father told me about it 50+ years ago. Just flatten about 1/2" and push it across the file. Quickly removes any pins and is too soft to hurt the file.

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SteveM
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Re: Small File Cleaning

Post by SteveM » Thu Apr 19, 2018 7:40 pm

If you rub chalk into the file BEFORE use, it can help keep the teeth from loading up in the first place.

Steve

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ctwo
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Re: Small File Cleaning

Post by ctwo » Thu Apr 19, 2018 11:00 pm

I've used copper, plastic, and hard wood before. Often I'll try a brass brush first or while I'm looking for copper if I need it. I think I will soak some files in vinegar too.
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earlgo
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Re: Small File Cleaning

Post by earlgo » Fri Apr 20, 2018 9:11 am

What SteveM said about chalk is what we learned at the Gunsmithing part of the Colorado School of Trades. It works, but is a bit messy, but it sure saves time.
--earlgo
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Mr Ron
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Re: Small File Cleaning

Post by Mr Ron » Fri Apr 20, 2018 3:27 pm

It doesn't sound like the responses are addressing small precision needle files, but larger machinist files. Are you saying to use Ti or flattened copper pipe on needle files?
Mr.Ron from South Mississippi

Harold_V
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Re: Small File Cleaning

Post by Harold_V » Fri Apr 20, 2018 3:54 pm

Mr Ron wrote:
Fri Apr 20, 2018 3:27 pm
It doesn't sound like the responses are addressing small precision needle files, but larger machinist files.

That's certainly true of my response. I sort of got carried away.
Are you saying to use Ti or flattened copper pipe on needle files?
No, although that's my opinion only, certainly not based on experience. The needle files I have would not respond well to the pressure required to clean them with a scraper. It would also be difficult to keep the scraper on the relatively narrow surfaces of the files. Strange as it may sound, I just live with what ever condition I find mine to be in, giving them a brushing with the bristle part of a file card, but nothing more. I have never tried a vinegar treatment, either. It most likely would yield results, though.

I'll be interested in hearing how others deal with theirs.

H
Wise people talk because they have something to say. Fools talk because they have to say something.

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ctwo
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Re: Small File Cleaning

Post by ctwo » Fri Apr 20, 2018 7:22 pm

small brass brush - quick, one direction movements...
Standards are so important that everyone must have their own...
To measure is to know - Lord Kelvin
Disclaimer: I'm just a guy with a few machines...

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SteveHGraham
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Re: Small File Cleaning

Post by SteveHGraham » Fri Apr 20, 2018 10:06 pm

How about a shot of that titanium thing?
Every hard-fried egg began life sunny-side up.

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