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Importance of Files in the Workshop

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Downwindtracker2

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#1
I'm working on a little Baimbridge 101 bandsaw. It's an early American made 4x6. Eldest son gave it to youngest son, as a Christmas present years ago. I'll fix it up and get it out of here. It was in the shed and I was tripping over it. I don't restore, I'm not a museum curator, I'm a retired millwright, I fix and modify. Like other 4x6s, the stationary jaw of the vise pivots for angle cuts. Being an inexpensive saw, the angle iron was held in place by 2 bolts. I loath having to get a wrench under things to tighten. I've seen too much of that in my working life. In this case a carriage bolt with their wide heads and square shanks should work in the slot. So that's the picture.

1) the slot is wide, over 3/8" for a 5/16" bolt. When they made it, they didn't have to worry too much about fits with the aluminum casting. A 7/16" bolt almost fits, a few passes with a half round file and it did. The bolt was shiny so it was likely a bumper bolt, same sort of thing.

2) to get the square shank to the end of the slots, I used a square file to square the ends.

3) I drilled the angle iron out to 7/16" from 3/8" . They had also used 3/8' hole for the 5/16" pivot bolt. Of course it didn't line up with slot, I did say it was inexpensive didn't I. So with a round bastard I slotted the hole a touch.

There, I used three files. It was just a few minutes work.
 
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RJSakowski

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#2
I like using files. There is a certain visceral satisfaction to hand filing.
 

Shootymacshootface

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#3
The use of a hand file on a lathe is so underrated.

An old friend once told me that if he were put on an island and could only have a few basic items, he would choose a file and a pile of metal.
 

wrmiller

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#4
Most of what I do involves quite a bit of hand fitting and file work. Wouldn't have it any other way. :)
 

Cadillac

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#5
Acouple years ago I had a thing for files. Bought everyone I saw for acouple years. I have files for just about any situation.
image.jpg
Theirs nothing like a new file when sharpening a chainsaw. One or two swipes and 72 teeth later like a razor. And I love that their called a bastard where that come from.
 

[X]Outlaw

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#6
I use files for a good bit of my fitting and finishing work. Love using them. A few months ago I replaced my worn out files with a couple vallorbe sets. A needle file set and a machinist set. Man they cut so beautiful! There is a feeling you get from file work that I can't quite explain.
 

benmychree

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#7
The bastard cut was a fineness gradation between two other cuts, one that was too fine, the other too coarse, and the bastard was just right! The mill bastard turned out to be the "go to" file for the machine shop.
 

westerner

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#8
I like using files. There is a certain visceral satisfaction to hand filing.
Aint it so! If you are a member of this forum, you work with your hands to SOME extent, yes? Personally, I truly love cutting a straight line with a razor knife, or a hacksaw, or a wood saw. Or following a line with a skilsaw. Or following a curve with a jigsaw, band saw or scroll saw. A file is just the finer, more skilled and patient application of the same skill. As Merle Haggard said, " I will be a working man, as long as these two hands are fit to use".
 

silence dogood

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#9
The first year of high school I had to take machine shop for three months. The instructor divided us into three groups. The first group started on the lathe. the second on the grinder and the third started with the file. At the time being a 14 year old kid did not seem very glamorous to have to take a 1/2" by 2" by 3" block and get all six sides square and to the proper measurements. From there went to drill press, grinder, and that glamorous lathe. I was one of the few guys that able to get that far( some lathe guys never did finish their project). Years later, I figured out that learning to file was one of the most valuable lessons in machine work. I also fine it satisfying and relaxing.
 

hman

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#10
An old friend once told me that if he were put on an island and could only have a few basic items, he would choose a file and a pile of metal.
I'm reminded of Savarin's sig line: "Asian 9x20, some rusty files and a hammer" ... and the truly magnificent work he does with them.
 

Guv

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#11
The first year of high school I had to take machine shop for three months. The instructor divided us into three groups. The first group started on the lathe. the second on the grinder and the third started with the file. At the time being a 14 year old kid did not seem very glamorous to have to take a 1/2" by 2" by 3" block and get all six sides square and to the proper measurements. From there went to drill press, grinder, and that glamorous lathe. I was one of the few guys that able to get that far( some lathe guys never did finish their project). Years later, I figured out that learning to file was one of the most valuable lessons in machine work. I also fine it satisfying and relaxing.
I also had to file a block of steel to all sides square and it is not that easy if you are a14 year old student. But today I can file and do it quite often in my home hobby workshop making various tools and projects. I must also say that filing is a very satisfying skill to have and having a mill as well as several grinding equipment I normally finish my project with a file .
 
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