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Needle file carding uses


#1

Hello group,

What do you use to card needle files and/or any file with a fine
cut? I have not really seen anything out there for this purpose.
There is no way you can use a regular file card and a gunsmith
stainless steel toothbrush is only partially effective at removing
soft metals, silver, gold, copper. Pictured is a 4", #2, cut crossing
file loaded with gold together with the aforementioned toothbrush and
file card, to give you the idea…

http://images47.fotki.com/v1463/photos/9/267549/7256872/FileCard-
vi.jpg

Anyway, it goes without saying to this group that if you can’t get
your files clean, they won’t remove metal well, will scratch the work
and cross-contaminate your metal salvaging.

What magic tool or trick do you use?

rc2


#2

Hi Bob:

Two tricks: First, take one of those little brass bristle brushes
for the flex-shaft, the ones where the wire is in a steel cup, all
pointing forward. Get a short one, and put it in a pin-vise, and
you’ve got a pretty good little file comb for small files. (A new
one. Used, and they bristle out too much.) This one’s also great for
cleaning carving wax out of burrs.

Second trick: Take a piece of scrap brass/copper/whatever sheet. Clip
one edge so that you’ve got a straight section 6-8mm wide. Place the
straight section down against the file, and slide it across the file,
such that it slides parallel to the main cut of the teeth. The idea
is to let it slide along the teeth, and let the teeth create grooves
in the metal. After a couple of strokes, the grooves will be deep
enough that the metal reaches down into the bottoms of the file
teeth, and rakes out any metal stuck in the grooves between the
teeth. You then just rake out a section, move the rake up the file a
bit, and keep going.

The advantage to this method is that you’re creating a custom rake
that exactly fits the file in your hand, and it absolutely will
clean out the teeth accurately.

The drawback is that it takes a minute or two to completely rake out
a file, and it doesn’t work all that well on the convex side of half-
round files.

I can completely rake an 8" silversmith’s file in 30-40 seconds, so
the time isn’t that big of a deal, but it’s not instant either. These
things are pretty much one-shot deals. Make them as you need them,
and then chuck them back into the scrap bin. The effort of saving
(and then remembering) which rake goes to what file is far greater
than the 5 seconds needed to make a new one.

Two tips that make the rake trick easier: (A) use a wider strip of
scrap to make the rake. (drawback: the wider it is, the harder it is
to get even pressure.)

(B) if you have time, curve the rake surface ever so slightly before
you groove the teeth in. This lets you rock it a bit, and get a
wider path covered without the pressure issues of a totally straight
wide rake. Makes it easier to step it up the file too.

The rake trick is pretty much the only way to get things out of #6
files, or escapement files. They’re just so fine that nothing else
really gets into the teeth.

FWIW,
Brian.


#3
Anyway, it goes without saying to this group that if you can't get
your files clean, they won't remove metal well, will scratch the
work and cross-contaminate your metal salvaging. 

The same ultrasonic cleaner and steam cleaner you might use on the
jewelry, will also clean up your files. The heat of the steam
cleaning leaves the file warm enough so residual moisture evaporates
quickly, but to be safe against rust, I sometimes give the file a
quick spray of WD-40, and then wipe off what I can. But not always,
and frankly, my files don’t seem to get any more rusty from this
than the coarser ones I use a card on. You may also find the small
rotary wire brushes you put in your flex shaft to be useful, though
not so much on the finest file teeth sizes. Brass brushes take out
coarse bits stuck in the teeth but leave a bit of brassy color on the
steel. Nickle silver or steel wire works a bit better. The action of
the flex shaft driving the brush gives it a lot more effective action
than a manually driven brush, and it’s quicker too. But again, for
the cleanest file, I just use the ultrasonic and steam cleaners.

Peter


#4

i use a small pice of pine dowl and push it across the teeth of the
file while i roll it up the lenth of the file. round pencils and the
back end of a soldering pic both work to. i was told to use scrap
copper to clean files but that seems like a quick way to
contamination and a dull file.

Chris


#5

Find a scrap piece of metal such as a rod of brass or copper and in
a lateral direction you push the metal out of the grooves using the
end of the rod or scrap piece. If that does not work attach a sewing
needle into a pin vice and scrape the grooves out. What do you use to
card needle files and/or any file with a fine cut? I have not really
seen anything out there for this purpose. There is no way you can use
a regular file card and a gunsmith stainless steel toothbrush is only
partially effective at removing soft metals, silver, gold, copper.
Pictured is a 4", #2, cut crossing fil e loaded with gold together
with the aforementioned toothbrush and file card, to give you the
idea… Anyway, it goes without saying to this group that if you
can’t get your files clean, they won’t remove metal well, will
scratch the work and cross-contaminate your metal salvaging. What
magic tool or trick do you use?


#6
partially effective at removing soft metals, silver, gold, copper. 

Even more so with platinum, Bob. Use a file pick, which old file
cards used to come with - maybe some still do. It’s just a mild
steel point - like a standard nail ground to a point. Pull it along
the teeth - run it down the groove - and it will pluck off the stuck
metal. The card and/or ultrasonics will get the crud out, but the
pick will get those stuck bits of metal.

http://www.donivanandmaggiora.com


#7
What do you use to card needle files and/or any file with a fine 

the small wood handled brushes, brass bristles, NOT STEEL, very
fine bristles a brass point or sharp edge to push material off the
file that the brush does not get, done with magnification


#8

To clean out files I use a retractible brass brush (it looks like a
pencil). The brass wire bristles are smaller in diameter than a
carding file- and they work nicely.

Have a great day.
Kate Wolf in Portland, Maine hosting wicked good workshops by the bay.
www.katewolfdesigns.com www.wolftools.biz


#9
The same ultrasonic cleaner and steam cleaner you might use on the
jewelry, will also clean up your files. 

i have to agree with this, if you have never tried it, it’s amazing


#10

I use a square rod of brass and put a 45 degree angle on the end. I
then run the sharp point over the file, parallel with the teeth so to
cut ridges into the rod. Using this method you can quickly clean
multiple teeth with each swipe.

Jeff Herman