Cleaning small files

I have a file card that is used for cleaning “full size” files, but
how does one clean small filesi Thanking one and all in advance for

I have a file card that is used for cleaning "full size" files,
but how does one clean small files.

I use the brass brush on my drill on low speed. Even ultrasonic
works too. I can t see any reason for the file card not to work
though, the bristles arent that wide not to fit into the grooves.


I hold mine in the ultrasonic then steam them off and after, drown
them in a solution of Brown’s Snake Oil and let 'em “dry.”


I use a piece of rifle brass and run it across the edges, works
well, cheap, and it works better than my file card when I get metal
trapped on the larger files.


I’ve got a scrap of shim brass about half the size of a playing card
that I rake across the file teeth to un-gunk them.

Ron Charlotte – Gainesville, FL

Some department stores sell “suede brushes”, used to clean suede
clothes and shoes. They have metal bristles that are finer than the
ones on most file-cleaning tools.

how does one clean small filesi 

I use a retractible brass brush (they look like a pen). Extend the
brass bristles just a bit, so they don’t bend over and they will
last longer, too. It works so well, I use it for all my files. It’s
not as hard on the files as a file card.

Kate Wolf in Portland, Maine hosting wicked good workshops by the

One tool that had been used in years past during the years of
"actual" work (i.e. before retirement) was called a “brass
toothbrush.” It looks just like a standard toothbrush except it could
have either a plastic or wood handle and the bristles are brass.
There might be a version that has steel bristles but I have not seen
that one. The brass toothbrush is used in the same manner as the card
file, and if the file is not very clogged up the results will be very
much the same.


I clean my files in the ultrasoic (collecting any gold dust), then
steam them and dry them with a hair dryer. Works great!

Hi All,

This is actually sort of a system. Starting with new files or you
can recondition old ones. Use a piece of copper sheet (20g or 24g
shaped like a U. Run it against the file with directions of the
teeth. The copper will conform to the teeth and make a counter rake.

After the file is clean, dip it in some none oil base cutting fluid
from a machine shop supply. It should only be slightly wet, not
dripping when you file the material. During the filing process it
easy to clean the file with a soft brush. (Copper or Bristle) If the
file loads again and it can if it dries out. You just start all over
again with the copper U.

Jim Zimmerman
Alpine Custom Jewellers & Repair