Files and Filing


Files and Filing

  • Despite advances in machining technology we still sometimes rely on hand tools and basic layout practices.
    • Deburring
    • Fine fitting
  • Files can allow the user to hand cut and shape material accurately
  • Files are made from carbon steel, that has been hardened.

File Types

  • Mill and Saw files
  • Machinists’ files
  • Swiss Pattern (Needle Files)
  • Curved Tooth and rasps

Basic degrees of roughness

  • Rough > Coarse > Bastard > Second Cut > Smooth > Dead Smooth

 File size

  • Size is determined by the length of the file measured from point to heel.
File size

File size

File Shapes

  • Flat, Pillar, Square, Knife, Three-square, Half-round and Round
Flat, Pillar, Square, Knife, Three-square, Half-round and Round

Flat, Pillar, Square, Knife, Three-square, Half-round and Round

Single or Double Cut?

  • Files may be single or double cut. Single cut files are best for achieving a smooth surface finish. Double cut files remove material faster.

The Care and Use of Files

  • Files may have one or more “safe edges”.
  • General safety rules still apply. Always wear safety glasses and safety shoes.
  • Always use a handle.
  • Use a file card to clean files. (Chalk may inhibit “Pinning”.)
  • Do not bang against bench or vice. (Files are brittle.)
  • Do not use as a pry bar.
  • Beware of sharp burrs.
  • Do not use as a screw driver or chisel.
  • Do not stack files one on top of another.
  • Do not hammer with or on a file.
  • Do not wipe sweaty hands over the workpiece.
  • New files may not cut well.
  • Remember, files normally cut on the forward stroke. Reduce pressure on return stroke.

 Draw Filing

  • Draw file to get a smooth surface.
  • Use this technique to remove high spots.
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