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If I can buy only one file

I have Friedrich Dick files which are marked #4, which is really
"Swiss Cut #3" according to the Rio Grande catalog. A flat hand
file and a 1/2 round ring file.

The instructor at Wm. C. Holland recommended for a basic file set
Grobet flat and half round files in both the #2 and #4 Swiss Cut.

So I have essentially the equivalent of a #3 Swiss cut in both the
flat and half-round files, and I can only afford to buy ONE more
file. I think it should be a ring file because at least a ring file
has at least one flat side, and I would still have the round side for
working on rings.

The question is, should I get the Grobet #4, or go to the Friedrich
Dick German Cut #4 (which is really a Swiss Cut #5) at any rate its
a finer file by 2 grades. So go finer by 2 grades or by one grade
from the FD #2s that I have, that is the question…

Thanks

Sojourner
Who has her tool order down from $1345 to $890 now…

For this question you will get as many different opinions as there
are replies - what file to buy depends entirely on what work you are
doing. I have about fifty files, old and new, and every single one of
them is Grobet. In my needle files I have some equaling files (flat),
but I do not own a large flat file. Why? Because, as you say, one
side of the 1/2 rd. is flat. My suggestion, though, depending on your
work, is don’t buy a finer file - use abrasives instead. Buy a #1
file for a quicker knockdown before fine filing…

    the question is, should I get the Grobet #4, or go to the
Friedrich Dick German Cut #4 (which is really a Swiss Cut #5) at
any rate its a finer file by 2 grades. So go finer by 2 grades or
by one grade from the FD #2s that I have, that is the question....

If you need to remove material, a #2 would be faster. I consider
both files that you have to be fine cut. I even have #0 cut file. I
do like the half found ring file as a size and versatile shape.

marilyn

My suggestion, though, depending on your work, is don't buy a finer
file - use abrasives instead. Buy a #1 file for a quicker knockdown
before fine filing....... 

What “abrasives” are you suggesting I use instead of a finer
file? Emery paper? Or something else?

Sojourner

Well, Zen, you see, as I said, all of this depends on what sort of
work you are doing. Keeping that in mind, though, and the issue
being that you can only get ONE more file, no more, then: You have a
#3 file, which could even be towards a #4 cut as it is marked. I
use a #2 as my finest file to begin with, this being for work in gold
and platinum.

In skilled hands a #2, and certainly a 3 or 4 will be quite flat (in
a flat space----) and fairly smooth - about comparable to 100 grit
sandpaper or so. But let us suppose that you are finishing a raw
casting, or filing edges flush after soldering, which are two common
tasks one would use a file for. Are you going to set out removing the
sprue remnant with a #3 file?

It will take you 1/2 hour, and put excessive wear and tear on that
poor little file. A #3 or #4 is intended to true up edges that are
already “in place”, not for roughing. In short, you could call them
finishing files. So, my thought (not so far as actual “advise”) is
you go rougher with the files, even to #0, and, since your #3 is
comparable to 100 grit, give or take, then use sandpaper or Cratex
or the like from there for the finish.

Plus, there is not a lot of difference between #3 and #4, and #6 is
so fine that you can barely feel the teeth on it - very few people
actually need a #6 - superfine modelmaking and high precision work,
like aerospace stuff. Some might like to use them, and have plenty
of files, but to buy only one more?

In a nutshell - getting a #4 that’s not so different from what you
have is redundant, and only marginally useful. Buying a #1 or #0 will
speed your work greatly and give you other options - carving away
material that you might not attempt with a fine file, for instance.

Or - spring for two files and get both… Finally, don’t listen to
anything I say.

LOL… Go into the file store, pick them up, feel the teeth and
ask yourself, “Is this useful to me in the work that I am doing?”

Dear All

I just came back from San Francisco and displayed to my group my
selection of setting files that I use regularly…One file? Hardly!

I use Pillar #1 and #2, then a 20 cm. in length needle file of #1,
#2, #3 and a #4. I never throw any older files, I use those when I
file against a genuine stone…(20 cms. is equal to 8 inches in
"total" file length!). So how many files do I have on
hand?..many!..Gerry!

for rough work I get a cheapie nicholson type of file from Ace
Hardware (or Home Depot or Lowes…) for flat work. (read made a
mistake and have to take off a mm or so of excess in a place a saw
has no business being) for round, depending on the job, a chainsaw
file works, and sometimes automotive places carry 1/2 round files.
But as I said, this is for all rough work, they are cheap, and if
they quit working, you don’t have to feel bad about throwing them
away. I do have several finish files, grobet and fredriech dick, and
for finish and repairs they seem best. I also never underestimate
the power of silicon carbide wet sandpaper in 6-7 different grits.
for rough filing, I also have a tungsten carbide cutter from dremel
to really cut the edge down when needed.

Frank A. Finley

poor in Montana, where the fires are still burning, but I finally
got moved and into my new studio. Now the sorting and arranging
begins in earnest!!!