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Accurate Filing Technique


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I've just started in this study and need some input on good accurate filing technique. Task at hand is filing the end of a 4 mm X 75mm brass stock flat without shadow perpendicular to the stock so that can stand on end.

Using a #3 swiss file and pin vise with filing block.

Please tell me the best technique for this work.

D.A.

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Welcome Daphne, I like your avatar and what it says!

 

I hope you get input to your question soon from other, more experience members. I have no experience in what you request so I can't say much to help!

 

Cheers,

 

Bob

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OK you've had no takers on this one so here's one way to file a perfectly straight and square edge.

First scribe a line that you want to to file down to. Next file down to about 1/32" above the line keeping the cuts as square as you possibly can. Now clamp a piece of square or rectangular metal bar perfectly in line with your scribe mark, leaving the 1/32" protruding. Finally file the remaining excess off while keeping your file pressed down flat on the bar of metal until all the excess is removed. You will now have a perfectly straight and square edge the you required.

Oops, I forgot to say..............WELCOME TO THE FORUM! :)

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Welcome to the forum DaphneAnne.  I'm originally a Fitter and Turner by trade, and have done by fair share of filing ... to say the least.

 

Geo, as always, gave some excellent tips and the correct technique for filing down to a fixed length accurately.  I'd also like to add that "Draw Filing" the final few millimeters is a great way to avoid any rocking of your file: do a search on draw filing for diagrams and explainations.  In the end though it still comes down to practice, practice, practice.  The more you practice your filing, the more your skills will improve.  I've seen true master Toolmakers who don't use any guides when filing and their work is flat and flawless ... filing is 20% tools, and 80% muscle memory.

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Lawson said:

"I'd also like to add that "Draw Filing" the final few millimeters is a great way to avoid any rocking of your file: do a search on draw filing for diagrams and explainations.  "

 

When I was an apprentice ...many moons ago.... I was shown how to properly dress my screwdriver tips and was introduced to "draw filing "...It is a steady pull and you can't really rush it . You draw the file and check your surface for flatness and square a little at a time .

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Draw filling is indeed the proper way to finish off a filling job and a technique I use frequently. I was more focused on saying how a perfectly straight and square edge could easily be achieved. :)

The reason I suggested using the bar of metal as guide, is to make accuracy a lot easier for the inexperienced. I should have added the bar should be about 1/2" wide as it is the width of the bar that will prevent the file rocking and give an edge as square as you would get from a milling machine. I would also add that if two matching plates are required, clamp them together with toolmakers clamps, and file the two pieces at the same time.

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  • 2 weeks later...

on the topic of "draw filing" mentioned in the replies:

 

I found this link to explain

http://www.wonkeedonkeetools.co.uk/files/what-is-draw-filing

 

it shows a "work" that is long, requiring a fair amount of forward/backward movement to cover it.

what i am working on is the end of a short, 4mm Diameter round brass rod. (much smaller that the width of the file)

 

Am I incorrect or correct in thinking that a draw technique wont really be advantageous for this?

 

sorry for my long absence. (my work is stealing my life)

Daphne

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If it s a flat or a square on the and of a round rod you will have to use cross filing, just make sure you finish with a smooth file. The size you are dealing with is not going to leave much room for error though. Keep checking your work every few strokes.

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Hi Daphne ,  I don't mean to add confusion or necessarily counter what Geo has stated ...In my opinion and according to the link you have provided ,

"cross filing " is a left to right to left motion which I see as a less controlled "rocking motion" , where as draw filing , which I see as actually drawing or pulling motion is a smoother , controlled motion .

  Most importantly , as Geo and others have mentioned..."Keep checking your work every few strokes. ". The purpose is a smooth ,controlled finish product . Not the purpose of just removing material.

 Bottom line is that you will have to practice and "feel", to achieve the finish you require .

 

Practice a bit and tell us what you've concluded . We can also learn from your experience.

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ricardopalamino:

 

per your request, I want to tell you of something that may be trivial, or may not be.

 

as I was filing this piece this morning, while taking slow forward strokes, moderate to light pressure, I tended to notice a "smoothness" in the cut.

I've noticed it starts with a rough feel,(like you can feel the teeth bite), and about mid-stroke became smooth feeling, like you could not feel the cut.

weather that's desirable or not I'll let everyone here hash it out.

 

here is a link to some photos of my work so far.

constructive feedback from the experienced encouraged!

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.679176938894280.1073741834.100004059401321&type=1&l=9c3457faf0

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  I sure couldn't do better myself . What stands out is that the edges are not rounded .  And you can see the grain of the file cuts .

So far we all have just talked about technique which is , I would say , about 80% of the job.  We haven't talked about the tool . There are sooooo many types , cuts , shapes , materials , etc....did I say soooo many ?  Also I use a file card to clean my files when I have to do a lot of filing . You are working on brass and that will load up your files quick .

  For expediency  I just included the header of this article ..., go to Wikipedia and check out this subject  on files [tool] . I got stuck reading it because it reminded me how much I forgot about the different types of files .

 

  Your progress is great to see ,...Thanks for sharing this with us .

 

 

 

 

post-808-0-20294500-1429207360_thumb.png

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"cross filing " is a left to right to left motion which I see as a less controlled "rocking motion" , where as draw filing , which I see as actually drawing or pulling motion is a smoother , controlled motion.

Hi Louis, I totally agree that draw filing is the best way to finish off when the piece that you're filing has significant length. If in the case above, it is only a small flat on the end of a 4mm rod, it would be too small to draw file. If it is the complete length of the rod, then you could. The trouble is we are guessing a bit regarding exactly what is being produced.

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