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Best Metal Files (hand powered)

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  • Best Metal Files (hand powered)

    I am not sure how many of you still use plain old hand powered metal files, but if you do, what brands and types do you recommend to people as a sort of basic kit for those don't necessarily want to be throwing sparks and wearing ear plugs all the time with our grinders?
    Lincoln 175HD
    Miller Thunderbolt AC/DC
    Smith AW1, Dillon (Henrob) Mark III & Smith Quickbraze Little Torch

  • #2
    files

    Aluminum or steel?

    If Aluminum I love supershear files frol england

    For steel Nicholson makes fine files in different cuts. They can even be sharpened when dull.

    -Aaron
    "Better Metalworking Through Research"

    Miller Dynasty 300DX
    Miller Dynasty 200DX
    Miller Spectrum 375 extreme
    Miller Millermatic Passport

    Smith, Meco, Harris, Victor, Prest-o-lite, Marquette and even a Dillon O/A torch

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    • #3
      I love Nichelson (sp?), and always have a few real good ones handy
      Proud owner of Bushwacker Mobile Welding
      Pictures

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      • #4
        Best place to buy em?
        Lincoln 175HD
        Miller Thunderbolt AC/DC
        Smith AW1, Dillon (Henrob) Mark III & Smith Quickbraze Little Torch

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by smyrna5 View Post
          Best place to buy em?
          I've seen them at either Home Depot or Lowes or maybe both...
          Bill C
          "The more I learn about welding the more I find there is to learn..."

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          • #6
            Originally posted by BillC View Post
            I've seen them at either Home Depot or Lowes or maybe both...
            I was at Lowes today. They had a really awful selection of metal files.
            Lincoln 175HD
            Miller Thunderbolt AC/DC
            Smith AW1, Dillon (Henrob) Mark III & Smith Quickbraze Little Torch

            Comment


            • #7
              I've always bought & liked Nicholson files myself. They've been owned by Cooper Tools for a while now. Cooper also owns Crescent and several other familiar brands. I sometimes see packaged assortments of Nicholson files or other Cooper Tools at Costco. I'm not certain because my memory is not as good as it used to be, but I seem to remember looking at the package and being disappointed that it said "Made in China". Or maybe it was on a package of Crecsent brand tongue & groove pliers. It was one of them though.
              HH210 w/spool gun
              HTP Invertig 201

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Aerometalworker View Post
                Aluminum or steel?

                If Aluminum I love supershear files frol england

                For steel Nicholson makes fine files in different cuts. They can even be sharpened when dull.

                -Aaron
                How do you sharpen a file?
                Nick
                _____________________________
                Miller 252 Mig
                Miller Cricket XL Mig
                Millermatic 150 Mig
                Syncrowave 200 Tig
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                2- O/A outfits
                Spot welder
                Jet Lathe and Mill
                Jet 7x12 horiz/vert bandsaw
                DeWalt Multi Cutter Metal Saw
                Electric Hydraulic vertical press
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                www.nixstuff.com
                www.youtube.com/watch?v=jTu7wicVCmQ

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                • #9
                  sharpening files

                  How do you sharpen a file?
                  With a chemical etching, provided the teeth arent all bent up from people back-stroking them.

                  -Aaron
                  "Better Metalworking Through Research"

                  Miller Dynasty 300DX
                  Miller Dynasty 200DX
                  Miller Spectrum 375 extreme
                  Miller Millermatic Passport

                  Smith, Meco, Harris, Victor, Prest-o-lite, Marquette and even a Dillon O/A torch

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by smyrna5 View Post
                    I was at Lowes today. They had a really awful selection of metal files.
                    Then it must be Home Depot...
                    Bill C
                    "The more I learn about welding the more I find there is to learn..."

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                    • #11
                      Nicholson is the best. IMHO

                      Use the right file for the job and keep them clean. I also oil them down regularly. Rust will ruin the cutting edge quick. Light coat of oil will make the chips clear the teeth easier. Use a file card often.

                      I get them at the local machine tool supply store or from MSC.

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                      • #12
                        I've only ever used Nicholson but results have been good.

                        The big box stores do carry them, but I think for more of a selection you'll have to go to an industrial supply store like Fastenal, Enco, or McMaster-Carr, etc...

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                        • #13
                          The Tin Man (Kent White) sells steel files for working aluminum at his website:

                          http://www.tinmantech.com/

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                          • #14
                            You also may want to consider "chalking" the files. This fills the teeth with soft chalk that will encapsulate the metal filings, reducing the chance of scratching your work and making it easier to clean the file with a file card. This is something that gunsmiths do all the time since they are often using files as a step towards a finished polished surface. Buy quality files, use chalk, don't backstroke them, keep them clean dry and rust free and you will be amazed at how well they work. And you don't need an outlet or cord!
                            Last edited by Blacksmith; 02-23-2007, 01:55 PM.
                            Blacksmith
                            Stickmate LX AC/DC
                            Big cheap (Chinese) Anvil
                            Hand cranked coal forge
                            Freon bottle propane forge
                            HH 210 and bottle of C25

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Blacksmith View Post
                              You also may want to consider "chalking" the files. This fills the teeth with soft chalk that will encapsulate the metal filings, reducing the chance of scratching your work and making it easier to clean the file with a file card. This is something that gunsmiths do all the time since they are often using files as a step towards a finished polished surface. Buy quality files, use chalk, don't backstroke them, keep them clean dry and rust free and you will be amazed at how well they work. Andyou don't need an outlet or cord!
                              I learned sometihng new today, thanks for the post!
                              HH210 w/spool gun
                              HTP Invertig 201

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