Results 1 to 14 of 14

Thread: how do you clean your files?

  1. #1
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Big Stone Gap, VA
    Posts
    2,187

    Default how do you clean your files?

    I have dedicated files for use for instrument work, some are small width files in different cuts, ranging from Coarse, Medium, Fine, and Extra Fine, and a couple diamond coated files for frets, saddles, etc

    I have a brass and steel brush I clean them with after use, attempt to follow the pattern of the teeth. lately I've noticed some small patchy areas of build up(almost looks like JB weld was dropped on the file teeth and smoothed out-but that didn't happen) and I cannot get it free. I need to take some pictures but will have to do that late tonight or tomorrow.

    so what/how do you keep your files clean?

    thank you
    d

  2. The following members say thank you to darylcrisp for this post:

    MrMoe 

  3. #2
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    S.W. Wisconsin
    Posts
    5,570

    Default Re: how do you clean your files?

    I sometimes have something similar and use a sharp awl. Pick the spot out of your file.
    THE WORLD IS A BETTER PLACE JUST FOR YOUR SMILE!

  4. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to pops1 For This Useful Post:


  5. #3
    Registered User Charles E.'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Saint Augustine Beach FL
    Posts
    4,774

    Default Re: how do you clean your files?

    Sharpened popsicle stick for mill files, for rasps a wire brush.

    After a quick search, people recommend CMT 2050 blade and bit cleaner...

    https://www.amazon.com/CMT-Formula-B.../dp/B000BJJY5C
    Charley

    A bunch of stuff with four strings

  6. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Charles E. For This Useful Post:


  7. #4

    Default Re: how do you clean your files?

    For wood rasping, I mainly use vixon and plas-ti-cut files that have have quite large (and sharp) teeth, for them the standard file card makes quick work of it. For nuts, saddles, and fret ends I use a lot of small jeweler's files and specialty files, for them I keep an old toothbrush handy.

  8. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Rob Roy For This Useful Post:


  9. #5
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Location
    Conway, Arkansas
    Posts
    59

    Default Re: how do you clean your files?

    A soft common nail can clear hardened stuff between the file teeth.

  10. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to bpatrick For This Useful Post:


  11. #6
    Registered User tree's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    northern Virginia
    Posts
    1,433

    Default Re: how do you clean your files?

    I have a file card, which sometimes isn't enough. One of the "tricks" I've tried is a scrap of hard wood, which sometimes isn't enough. Hadn't thought of a soft common nail, not a bad idea.

    I suspect my troubles would be mitigated if I kept the files in a manner where they didn't come into contact with each other and the cutting surfaces were protected. I have designs on an expensive hand cut wood rasp; if I ever pull the trigger on that I will probably make either a sheath for it or a special protected place to keep it.
    Clark Beavans

  12. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to tree For This Useful Post:


  13. #7

    Default Re: how do you clean your files?

    Pitch and resins on files and power saw blades can usually be dissolved with laundry detergent. Soak for an hour, brush or filecard clean, then oil for rust protection. If you have commercial blade cleaner (citric acid, I think), it’s also pretty safe to use, but any kind of acid will also tend to sharpen file teeth a little. Any acid bath has to be followed with neutralization and oiling.
    Etching old dull files, which is a classic form of sharpening, can be done with a variety of benign and nasty acids, and there’s even low-angle grit blasting to erode one face of each tooth. In a machine shop, with maybe a hundred or more file types on hand, you just toss the file before it becomes annoying.
    Hand cut rasps (from France, I remember) are part of the boutique tool inventory, motivated by some theory about non-periodic (random) spacing of teeth that minimizes vibration or more likely, bank balances.

  14. The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to Richard500 For This Useful Post:


  15. #8
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Big Stone Gap, VA
    Posts
    2,187

    Default Re: how do you clean your files?

    I should have mentioned the files I'm speaking off are only used on bone, and occasionally on tusq (graphtech)-the synthetic man made alternative to bone.
    I get that load up irregardless if it's bone or tusq. It really ends up looking like small areas of jb weld, and seems just as hard-lol.
    Thanks for all the answers. I have a small awl I'll try, and the nails sound like the trick also.

  16. #9

    Default Re: how do you clean your files?

    Tusq is a proprietary item, no composition available, no msds, but probably a phenolic. Likely known under other names. As such, very limited solvent possibilities. Ashing it will convert it to carbon char, but you wouldn’t have the equipment to do this without risking detempering the files. Bone, of course, can be dissolved. Next time, soap the files.

  17. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Richard500 For This Useful Post:


  18. #10
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Big Stone Gap, VA
    Posts
    2,187

    Default Re: how do you clean your files?

    soft common nail worked perfect, thanks bpatrick!

    d

  19. #11
    Registered User tree's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    northern Virginia
    Posts
    1,433

    Default Re: how do you clean your files?

    Richard500, have you ever used a hand cut rasp?
    Clark Beavans

  20. #12

    Default Re: how do you clean your files?

    Quote Originally Posted by tree View Post
    I have a file card, which sometimes isn't enough. One of the "tricks" I've tried is a scrap of hard wood, which sometimes isn't enough. Hadn't thought of a soft common nail, not a bad idea.

    I suspect my troubles would be mitigated if I kept the files in a manner where they didn't come into contact with each other and the cutting surfaces were protected. I have designs on an expensive hand cut wood rasp; if I ever pull the trigger on that I will probably make either a sheath for it or a special protected place to keep it.
    My old Colton's file card has a small pick contained on the back of the card. Great for coarser files. Finer files I use a little brass brush.

    Got some 2x4s cut to size and drilled holes to stand the files up separately by the tail. Protecting them from each other is key. Knives too.

  21. #13
    Registered User tree's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    northern Virginia
    Posts
    1,433

    Default Re: how do you clean your files?

    This thread motivated me to address the lack of file protection in my shop, woohoo!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

Name:	IMG_6200.jpg 
Views:	49 
Size:	2.18 MB 
ID:	187363  
    Last edited by tree; Jul-16-2020 at 10:02am. Reason: add photo
    Clark Beavans

  22. The following members say thank you to tree for this post:

    MrMoe 

  23. #14
    Registered User MrMoe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2018
    Location
    Columbia, MO
    Posts
    39

    Default Re: how do you clean your files?

    Thanks contributors for this helpfull thread. I am learning not to abuse mine as well. When mine get really bad, dull, or rusty. I send them to Boogs Tool and File Sharpning. They come back like new and the cost is reasonable.

    https://boggstool.com/

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •