The joy of filing

NigelW

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Jan 2, 2015
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I was filing a square on some silver steel rod at my club yesterday to make a fly cutter blank which will fit into an arbor used on one of their milling machines with what I thought was a normal sized file (left in picture). This was proving to be a slow process so I rooted around for something heftier in the drawer of files reserved for steel (which the club colour codes with blue handles - those reserved for brass have yellow ones) and found this giant (right in the picture) - a vintage 16 incher made in Sheffield from best cast steel. This file has seen better days (one side would barely cut) but what a magnificent beast! With the work held in a large engineers vice at the correct height it was joy to use, if you ignore the blister which developed on my right hand. My tutor, who is usually very sparing with praise, even complemented me on the flatness of my strokes.

I am not sure I really need one of my own, but I do need to refresh the files in my workshop at home. Regrettably files are no longer made in Sheffield from cast steel, but what is a good modern brand? I have found a 16 inch by Kennedy which I am tempted to try.

20191125_160309.jpg
 
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novicetimekeeper

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Jul 26, 2015
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When I was a student apprentice at Rustons many moons ago we shared the enormous apprentice facilities with the craft apprentices.

Their first job was they were given a piece of round bar and told to make it square, and I do mean square. When after enormous amounts of blood sweat and tears and a deafening amount of chiseling and filing they presented their now perfect fine tolerance square bars to their tutors they were told to make them round again.
 

gmorse

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Jan 7, 2011
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Hi Nigel,

Regrettably files are no longer made in Sheffield from cast steel, but what is a good modern brand?
Nicholson are good, as are Vallorbe, especially in the smaller sizes, but be prepared to spend a little more for this sort of quality.

Regards,

Graham
 

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