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Butterfly Filer Vs Die Filer

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Susan_in_SF

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#1
Hi,
I couldn't find a simple answer off Google, so I'd thought I'd ask here. I know that "Butterfly" was a brand for a filier, and I know some people will use the terms, "Butterfly" and "Die", interchangeably.

Is a Butterfly filier the same as a die filer? If not what are the differences?

I think Butterfly filers don't have overarms from the few pics I've seen, but maybe I am mistaken.

My tool hoarding self, as you can tell, is craving a die filier, lol.

Thanks guys!
 

westsailpat

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#2
Well from what I can tell Butterfly was the manufacture's name for the machine http://machinisttoolslathe.com/2018...t-butterfly-bench-top-die-filer-file-machine/ Many beers ago when I worked for Rockwell we had a die filer , it looked like a band saw and there were flie segments attached to the blade . My guess to your question is the Butterfly filer is the type that has the single file and not the continuous band of blades . If I had the room I'd get one because it's cool .
 
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Susan_in_SF

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#3
Well from what I can tell Butterfly was the manufacture's name for the machine http://machinisttoolslathe.com/2018...t-butterfly-bench-top-die-filer-file-machine/ Many beers ago when I worked for Rockwell we had a die filer , it looked like a band saw and there were flie segments attached to the blade . My guess to your question is the Butterfly filer is the type that has the single file and not the continuous band of blades . If I had the room I'd get one because it's cool .
Thanks westsailpat,
I am wanting one because, yes, it is cool, and also since I would like to make small tools (or at least, that's my excuse).
I live to visit older machinists. One such machinist, Neil, showed me his die filer and told me how important it was to have such a tool. I remember him mentionin the word, "butterfly," a few times. However my couple hours with him was like a massive crash course in machining stuff. He even brought to my attention the importance of having a good lead hammer. I gave Neil a visit since he lived not too far from my old high school best friend in Arizona.
Neil sells small tools at: https://www.neilsniche.com. It's pretty cool in case anyone wants to check it out. I bought his "tailstock tap/die holder," and became friends with him after emailing him and complementing the instruction video he made.
Anyways, I didn't want to bother him with a phone call about this, and I like things in writing since my middle aged memory makes me damn near senile, lol.
One thing I have to question, westsailpat, is the term you used, "blade." Is it common to refer to files as blades? If not, your quote,

"My guess to your question is the Butterfly filer is the type that has the single file and not the continuous band of blades."

can be confused with a scroll saw, right?

Thanks
 

westsailpat

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#4
OK you do realize who you are talking to here right ? I don't even remember what I had for breakfast LOL . I went to Neils site , cool stuff . When I used the term blade , for lack of a better term I just meant that the blade was the carrier for the file segments . I forget how they were attached . They had to go around the wheels so they were in segments , when they came down the flat they had no gap . I messed up instead of saying band of blades I should have said band of file segments . Mark .
 

benmychree

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#5
I used (once) a die filer attachment on a 24" DoAll bandsaw, just like is described above, at Kaiser steel in Napa, Ca. The blade carrier was like a saw blade with no teeth, and the file segments were attached firmly at the leading edge and with a springy link further back, there was a grooved guide that attached in place of the regular blade guide, or maybe in addition to it, which backed up and guided the segments; you were working radially to the wheels when filing. These particular files were worn out, and the experiment was quickly abandoned.
 

dlane

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#6
This is a converted band filer to a band saw.
6485C30D-45E6-498E-9E6D-44E5762684A3.jpeg 930887AE-74C4-408F-AE92-9DAB85849ACF.jpeg
This is the guy that converted it, it’s a good saw now
FDC2946D-157E-48B6-9E21-30528E6F0454.jpeg
 

CluelessNewB

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#7

projectnut

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#8
I was looking to find or make a die filer several years ago. There were several brands and models available, unfortunately everyone selling them thought they were worth their weight in gold. I decided to try and find a scroll saw that could be converted. I was quite surprised to find in the 1940's and 50's Delta made a model 40-440 scroll saw that had a die filer attachment.

Here's what the scroll saw looks like:
https://www.ebay.com/itm/DELTA-SCRO...551526?hash=item23ad9c3766:g:GdcAAOSwTJtb1mia

As for the Harvey Butterfly it could be purchased with or without the overarm. There is currently one available on eBay with the overarm.
https://www.ebay.com/itm/Filer-Harv...=item41f12abd6f:g:J0wAAOSwcLxYGl6P:rk:33:pf:0

I was able to find a good example of a Delta 40-440 at a local used tool vendor. I spent a few dollars bringing it back to original condition and now have a scroll saw/die filer. The truth be known it's gotten far more use as a scroll saw than a die filer. Also be aware that files for die filing machines ( sometimes called parallel machine files) are getting more scarce and quite expensive for what they are. There is currently a vendor on eBay asking $14.99 per file. When I was stocking up most styles were less than $1.00 per copy. The tooth orientation is the opposite of a hand file. The teeth cut when the mounting/handle end is pulled rather than pushed.

As a side note the price of the die filer I linked to is nearly the same as it was when I was looking. The price of the scroll saw is nearly triple what I paid.
 

Downunder Bob

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#9
when I was an apprentice early 60's we had a couple of die filers in the toolroom, and although we did have a few files that were made for it we often made our own because they were too expensive to buy, especially special profiles, We would just shape the ends on a grinder to fit tha holders and then go for it, but they were always in use.
 

C-Bag

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#10
I was looking to find or make a die filer several years ago. There were several brands and models available, unfortunately everyone selling them thought they were worth their weight in gold. I decided to try and find a scroll saw that could be converted. I was quite surprised to find in the 1940's and 50's Delta made a model 40-440 scroll saw that had a die filer attachment.

Here's what the scroll saw looks like:
https://www.ebay.com/itm/DELTA-SCRO...551526?hash=item23ad9c3766:g:GdcAAOSwTJtb1mia

As for the Harvey Butterfly it could be purchased with or without the overarm. There is currently one available on eBay with the overarm.
https://www.ebay.com/itm/Filer-Harv...=item41f12abd6f:g:J0wAAOSwcLxYGl6P:rk:33:pf:0

I was able to find a good example of a Delta 40-440 at a local used tool vendor. I spent a few dollars bringing it back to original condition and now have a scroll saw/die filer. The truth be known it's gotten far more use as a scroll saw than a die filer. Also be aware that files for die filing machines ( sometimes called parallel machine files) are getting more scarce and quite expensive for what they are. There is currently a vendor on eBay asking $14.99 per file. When I was stocking up most styles were less than $1.00 per copy. The tooth orientation is the opposite of a hand file. The teeth cut when the mounting/handle end is pulled rather than pushed.

As a side note the price of the die filer I linked to is nearly the same as it was when I was looking. The price of the scroll saw is nearly triple what I paid.
A couple of years ago a mod of a scroll saw to die filer was posted on another site and I thought that to be a possibly useful tool as I don't do much in wood. I see a lot of old cast iron scroll saw's on CL for <$100, sometimes as low as $30. Of course it's missing like the motor for that price, but no biggie as it would seem these would be a prime candidate for a treadmill motor. But with the constant reminder you can't take much stock off with a die filer and after watching This Old Tony's vid on his dream come true of this really high end die filer I wonder what everybody uses these for? I get its terminally cool but since everybody's focus is different, and I don't do any die work, are they good for like gun work or? Just curious.......
 

Susan_in_SF

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#11
As for myself, despite my youthful girly looks ;-) , I have advanced rheumatoid arthritis where most of the bones in both wrists have fused (of course, I would want to persue metalworking, lol). So, anything that can help me not have to use my hands as much is appealing. Plus, die filiers are cool !
 

Silverbullet

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#12
Hey Sue, how about the kit to build your own , there not to costly and not hard to build . I had have planned to do since used ones sell for twice there value it seems. Of course a jig or sawzall mounted under a plate would work too.
 

Eddyde

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#13
Plus, die filiers are cool !
Yep that's one of the reasons I bought one. while It does come in handy on occasion, I wouldn't say it's a must have machine, at least for my perspective.
Also, proper die-filer files are very hard to find and very expensive when you do. The other option is to grind a smooth shank on the ends of regular files to fit the clamp.
 

C-Bag

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#14
Yep that's one of the reasons I bought one. while It does come in handy on occasion, I wouldn't say it's a must have machine, at least for my perspective.
Also, proper die-filer files are very hard to find and very expensive when you do. The other option is to grind a smooth shank on the ends of regular files to fit the clamp.
Ye, it is cool and it's good to know what I'm looking at when garagesaling, but for the kinds of prices they demand I guess I'm lucky my hands still work ok. After rigging my die grinder as a stationary unit I'm good for the kinds of stuff I do. But it's good to know if I'm missing something, so that's why I asked.
 

BGHansen

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#15
Good luck on your pursuit of a die filer. I picked up an Oliver S-1 a couple of years ago off CL for $100. Spent over double that in die files since and have found it to be a very useful tool for my type of projects. I've used it as a "true" die filer a couple of times working a crazy-shaped punch to fit a die. Most of my projects involve working sheet metal, so instead of me working a needle file back and forth I let the tool do the work.

As mentioned by Eddy above, you can grind a regular file to file the filer. I've also read here where guys/gals have silver soldered a rod to the end of a file. Cut a slot in the rod to fit over the end of the file and silver solder or TIG in place.

Sorry about the arthritis, the golden years aren't always that golden . . . Plus side of retirement is more time to shop for stuff like die filers and spend more time in the shop! There are a few die filers on CL in your general area down below.

Bruce

https://sandiego.craigslist.org/esd/tls/d/milwaukee-die-filer-machine/6724482617.html
https://losangeles.craigslist.org/sfv/bfs/d/oliver-die-filer-filing-for/6735976134.html
https://sacramento.craigslist.org/tls/d/milwaukee-die-filer/6740642000.html
 

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projectnut

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#16
Good luck on your pursuit of a die filer. I picked up an Oliver S-1 a couple of years ago off CL for $100. Spent over double that in die files since and have found it to be a very useful tool for my type of projects. I've used it as a "true" die filer a couple of times working a crazy-shaped punch to fit a die. Most of my projects involve working sheet metal, so instead of me working a needle file back and forth I let the tool do the work.

As mentioned by Eddy above, you can grind a regular file to file the filer. I've also read here where guys/gals have silver soldered a rod to the end of a file. Cut a slot in the rod to fit over the end of the file and silver solder or TIG in place.

Sorry about the arthritis, the golden years aren't always that golden . . . Plus side of retirement is more time to shop for stuff like die filers and spend more time in the shop! There are a few die filers on CL in your general area down below.

Bruce

https://sandiego.craigslist.org/esd/tls/d/milwaukee-die-filer-machine/6724482617.html
https://losangeles.craigslist.org/sfv/bfs/d/oliver-die-filer-filing-for/6735976134.html
https://sacramento.craigslist.org/tls/d/milwaukee-die-filer/6740642000.html
Where have you been able to find files for your machine? I've used a couple vendors over the years, but recently the prices seem to have sky rocketed. I went to buy some last week and everyone wanted between $12.00 and $15.00 per copy. This may be the going prices now, but it's quite a shock from paying less then $2.00 a copy in the past.
 

BGHansen

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#17
Hi projectnut,

I've bought them from Falcon tool in Traverse City, MI. Also, Artco in CA. Bought some off eBay. Also had a retired machinist friend give me over 25 of them (I owe him big time). They are getting hard to find.

Bruce
 

C-Bag

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#18
Good luck on your pursuit of a die filer. I picked up an Oliver S-1 a couple of years ago off CL for $100. Spent over double that in die files since and have found it to be a very useful tool for my type of projects. I've used it as a "true" die filer a couple of times working a crazy-shaped punch to fit a die. Most of my projects involve working sheet metal, so instead of me working a needle file back and forth I let the tool do the work.

As mentioned by Eddy above, you can grind a regular file to file the filer. I've also read here where guys/gals have silver soldered a rod to the end of a file. Cut a slot in the rod to fit over the end of the file and silver solder or TIG in place.

Sorry about the arthritis, the golden years aren't always that golden . . . Plus side of retirement is more time to shop for stuff like die filers and spend more time in the shop! There are a few die filers on CL in your general area down below.

Bruce

https://sandiego.craigslist.org/esd/tls/d/milwaukee-die-filer-machine/6724482617.html
https://losangeles.craigslist.org/sfv/bfs/d/oliver-die-filer-filing-for/6735976134.html
https://sacramento.craigslist.org/tls/d/milwaukee-die-filer/6740642000.html
Bruce, do you have pic's of your punches? This kind of punch and die stuff I had guessed is why it's called a die filer. I also assume it has to do with making parts for your Erector sets?
 

BGHansen

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#19
Hi C-Bag,

Here's one post showing the die filer in use for an oddball punch. You are correct, was used on an Erector set reproduction of a parachute jump guy. I used to print the images on our color laser and glue them to chipboard, then cut them into strips with a paper cutter and hand cut them with scissors. Callused up my hands cutting them out, plus the curves on the perimeter weren't as nice as I'd like. The punch/die make short work of them now. I could have attempted the detailed inside corner work on the punch with needle files, but it'd be really hard to hold the files perfectly parallel or even undercut a little bit for some relief angle. My Oliver's table has angular adjustments like tilt and nod on a mill, so it's pretty easy to undercut a surface if needed and it goes back/forth right on line.

Bruce

https://www.hobby-machinist.com/thr...-number-nu-parachute-men-punch-and-die.59615/
 

C-Bag

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#20
Thanks Bruce. I'm floored, that is beyond impressive. Your attention to detail and documenting it all is deeply appreciated. It also demonstrates directly the behind the scenes to produce just one assembly that would most never even think about. Thanks again for sharing,this clearly demonstrated what a die filer was meant for.
 

BGHansen

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#21
Hi C-Bag,

Not a problem. I've tried to do a better job writing up work instructions for my shop, but have gone to reviewing the posts here instead. I can type a lot faster than write plus can add photos here instead of the hand sketches in my shop instructions.

Bruce

P.s. Sitting with my 82-year old dad (stroke victim 5 years ago) at present so mom can go to a 10 year knee replacement surgery follow up appointment. My dad was the epitome of being anal about projects. He didn't get them done the quickest, but always did the extra step if he thought it'd be a problem. Takes longer but you don't have to repeat it if it's done right the first time. I have a lot of work to do to get to his level.
 

C-Bag

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#22
My dad was the exact opposite. If it held together at all it was good enough. So what if it was ugly, it was done. I learned to get it right from the guy who taught me to rebuild engines. Most were just interested to get it done as fast as possible and good enough to get it beyond the 3,000mi warranty. My old boss was all about it should last as long if not longer than the factory original. And for that it's those last details that take time to get right if it's not. This just got demonstrated over and over through my career by those around me when they would get comebacks. I HATE to do anything twice so that made me not be the fastest on the line, but I had 0 comebacks. The old saying "the devil is in the details" is so true and is what separates the workman from the craftsman IMHO.
 

Susan_in_SF

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#23
Good luck on your pursuit of a die filer. I picked up an Oliver S-1 a couple of years ago off CL for $100. Spent over double that in die files since and have found it to be a very useful tool for my type of projects. I've used it as a "true" die filer a couple of times working a crazy-shaped punch to fit a die. Most of my projects involve working sheet metal, so instead of me working a needle file back and forth I let the tool do the work.

As mentioned by Eddy above, you can grind a regular file to file the filer. I've also read here where guys/gals have silver soldered a rod to the end of a file. Cut a slot in the rod to fit over the end of the file and silver solder or TIG in place.

Sorry about the arthritis, the golden years aren't always that golden . . . Plus side of retirement is more time to shop for stuff like die filers and spend more time in the shop! There are a few die filers on CL in your general area down below.

Bruce

https://sandiego.craigslist.org/esd/tls/d/milwaukee-die-filer-machine/6724482617.html
https://losangeles.craigslist.org/sfv/bfs/d/oliver-die-filer-filing-for/6735976134.html
https://sacramento.craigslist.org/tls/d/milwaukee-die-filer/6740642000.html
Thanks Bruce. I love how you included San Diego and Los Angeles as my, "general area," lol.
Actually, I did drive down to southern CA (350-400 miles away) to buy this big boy for $175 off craigslist. I normally wouldn't travel that far for tools, but I really wanted a big bullet, and normally would not be able to afford such a 5" vise.
20181012_190521.jpg
 

C-Bag

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#24
Thanks Bruce. I love how you included San Diego and Los Angeles as my, "general area," lol.
Actually, I did drive down to southern CA (350-400 miles away) to buy this big boy for $175 off craigslist. I normally wouldn't travel that far for tools, but I really wanted a big bullet, and normally would not be able to afford such a 5" vise.
View attachment 279410
Wow, you are dedicated. You living in the Bay Area you are immune to the traffic. Even though I see good deals in SF&LA (but nothing like you find regularly!)they might as well be on the moon. Traffic now is like a scene from Road Warrior in those cities to a country mouse like myself. It's not the distance it's 80mph bumper to bumper or a parking lot as far as the eye can see that gets me.
 

Susan_in_SF

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Wow, you are dedicated. You living in the Bay Area you are immune to the traffic. Even though I see good deals in SF&LA (but nothing like you find regularly!)they might as well be on the moon. Traffic now is like a scene from Road Warrior in those cities to a country mouse like myself. It's not the distance it's 80mph bumper to bumper or a parking lot as far as the eye can see that gets me.
You ain't lying about the traffic here. I moved to San Francisco in 1995, and I have witnessed it get worse with each year. I bought a library card catalog thingy with drawers today where I needed to cross the Golden Gate Bridge. Took me half an hour in city traffic before I finally got onto the bridge!
 
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