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What do you use diamond files for?


#1

What do you use diamond files for?

I have some, but I don’t feel as though they work well on metal. In
general, diamond-coated things are destroyed if not kept lubed
during use. Right? So, if you use them on metal, do you oil or wax
them? Or are they just for stone?

I don’t want to give students bad advice, so please help me out
here.

Thanks!
Noel


#2

Noel

Small diamond files are indespensible when doing inlay work…that
is if the artist wants to do a really good job. When inlaying stone,
I measure and mark my stones, rough cut with a trim saw and then
continue to reduce them with a diamond disc in my Foredom. However,
when doing the final inlay, I gently remove high (wide) areas with
diamond files to get a perfect fit. The goal is to produce a stone
that fits perfectly into the cell with absolutely no gap anywhere
along the edge.

They are great. I do not use them on metal at all…no need to…I
use normal steel files instead.

Cheers from Don at The Charles Belle Studio in SOFL where simple
elegance IS fine jewelry!


#3

Noel

Depending on grit, I use them for stone, high carbon steel, and
carbide tooling bits. I have heard that you do not want to use them
on soft steel and I have not, but it seems it would plug them up if
you did and I think they would be difficult to clean.

I just wet them when used it helps clear the grit of swarf. Seems to
work ok for me, I use water with tool cool, I don’t know if I need
to, but you know how habits go. I have the same opinion to keep a
fluid on them, just can’t say it is justified by any documentation.

When used with carbide, come from the back side of the edge, from
the front it seems to peal the nickel coating off. I suppose if you
did not put much pressure on the file it may not, but ruining a file
once, I have not done it since. Finer grits work well on carbide and
high carbon steel, such a knife blades and files, not so well on
rock, or at least it is real slow. Graduated to using power tools a
while back, and tried the ‘t’ shirt idea Han’s gave on the forum once
when a discussion came up on carving rocks. Worked very well once the
rough shape is obtained, and less expensive than the felt heads I was
using before.

Terry


#4

i use them, with liquid lube for fast cutting on metals, grooving
for bends, and finishing on many things before setting,they come in
different grits too, and different qualities 9 sintered on vs.
electroplated)…gotta go, no more sun, no power but will
continue,love 3m’s diamond sleeves for all types of sanding and
finish work…

RER


#5

Noel,

I look at diamond files as indestructible, rough cutting files for
both metal and stone. Now before all the skilled metalsmiths and
bench jewelers start attacking me for using diamond files on metal I
will agree that nothing cuts like a quality steel file. But a diamond
file can be left out on the bench and subjected to a lot of abuse
while quality metal files should be kept covered or in a drawer to
protect them. Also, I like to have a diamond file handy if I come
across a cab that doesn’t have an even bevel and I’m too lazy to get
up and walk over to the lapidary machines.

Also, diamond files cut bi-directionally where steel files only cut
in one direction. So a student may pick up bad filing technique using
diamond files.

Rick Copeland
Silversmith and Lapidary Artisan
Colorado Springs, Colorado
http://home.covad.net/~rcopeland


#6

Hi

I look at diamond files as indestructible, rough cutting files for
both metal and stone. Now before all the skilled metalsmiths and
bench jewelers start attacking me for using diamond files on metal
I will agree that nothing cuts like a quality steel file. 

I have been using a diamond needle file set for everything up until
this point. I guess when I bought them, I was thinking they would
stand up better. I live by the water and, generally, I’m rough with
tools due to impatience. The files themselves are standing up very
well, but am I using the wrong tools altogether? I have one large
steel utility file, but that’s it.

So a student may pick up bad filing technique using diamond files. 

The only thing I don’t like about my files is that they are smallish
and tend to slip away from where I want them to be.

Oh, why would someone attack someone for using diamond files? Have I
unknowingly committed some kind of major sin?

Kim Starbard
http://www.kimstarbarddesigns.com


#7
What do you use diamond files for? 

I use diamond files and sharpening plates for various things. My
primary usage is to create and sharpen carbide rod to make various
tools for zougan inlay work in stainless. Shape many rubberized
abrasives in the foredom unit to get the shape I need is a breeze
with diamond coated stuff. Ive even used diamond coated plates to
true up grinding wheels on a bench grinder. Not to mention regular
run of the mill file work, but only to rough out.

As for lubrication on diamond coated abrasives. The only time I
would say its absolutely necessary is if you can generate enough heat
to break down the bond that holds the diamonds onto the plate or
file. Other than that, it really is your call.

To add, the only time ive worn down diamond abrasives is when
using it on carbide.

P@
www.patpruitt.com


#8

I use diamond files with my diprofil.


#9
The files themselves are standing up very well, but am I using the
wrong tools altogether? 

Well, Kim, if you’re getting the results you want, nobody can tell
you you’re doing it wrong!

I think most of us are tool-aholics (I know I am), but I would not
be without at least a nice 8" half-round #2 file, a good set of
steel needle files, and I love my set of teensy 4" needle files for
confined areas. I also have a (quite expensive) full-sized crossing
file (curved on both sides) that I love, but cannot now find in a
catalog.

Of course, I have many other files-- riffler, flat, fine, coarse–
but I could get along with just the half-round #2 and the needle
files, if I really needed to. As long as I still had all those nice
3M abrasive papers, and my flex shaft with all its burs and wheels,
AdvantEdge, Shofu, Mizzy…I would like a file with a
cross-section like a tear drop without a point-- all differend
curved surfaces-- or like my crossing file, but with rounded
edges… oval, but with two different curves… something like that.

Noel


#10

Kim,

Oh, why would someone attack someone for using diamond files? Have
I unknowingly committed some kind of major sin? 

Steel files are more precise than diamond files for filing metal. A
steel file in the hand of a skilled metalsmith can really do amazing
work (I’m not including myself in this group as far as filing
technique). A couple years ago I was doing some silver work for an
Italian trained goldsmith. He abhorred rubber abrasive wheels and
diamond files and insisted that I only use split mandrills with
sandpaper, hand sanding, and steel files. I did improve my filing
technique but never caught on to the benefit of split mandrills.

Rick - Still using rubber abrasive wheels and loving it - sorry
Adam.

Silversmith and Lapidary Artisan
Colorado Springs, Colorado
http://home.covad.net/~rcopeland


#11
What do you use diamond files for? 

One last thing - it knocks down an enameled surface like a champ -
no grit residue, either…


#12
I use diamond files with my diprofil. 

And what is diprofil? I Googled it, but… A brand of tools?

Noel


#13

I use them to trim the corners of freeform cabs when there is a
knife edge cut stone that will chip easily when set. I have used
them a lot to trim out galleries.

Eric


#14
What do you use diamond files for? 

I mainly uses my diamond files for glass or stone using lube to also
draw off removed material. The other use of Diamond files is for
getting into tight spots, where their omni-directional cutting nature
makes steel files difficult to impractical. Certainly diamond files
are faster than steel, as you can cut in both direction, half the
strokes, half the time, fatigue, etc… Just my two pennies worth.

Ed
Ed Wales


#15
And what is diprofil? I Googled it, but... A brand of tools? 

This is the company’s catalog:

http://www.diprofil.se/files/pdf/diprofil_catalogue_2007.pdf

The one I use in an older model attached to my flex shaft Looks like
this:


#16

Noel,

Try http://tinyurl.com/ytthzk

Best wishes,
Ian
Ian W. Wright
Sheffield UK


#17
A fishing hook sharpener with a diamond grit surface can be used to
reclaim CNC cutting tools in an "emergency".They're like a
sharpening stone with a "V" groove running down the middle. They
can be used to hone a sharp edge on other small tools as well.
Fishing hook sharpeners go for about $8-10, online. 

If I have to sharpen a cutting bit, I test it by milling several
closely spaced 1 mm cylinders on some scrap wax, then I mill away
most of them so I can get in and measure one cylinder to see if the
re-sharpened tool cuts accurately.

I’ve actually gotten very smooth surfaces with a resharpened tool,
because the corners of the tip tend to get rounded off, producing a
ball end mill effect…but since the “rake”, and the angle of the
cutting edge of the re-sharpened tool is off, it doesn’t cut very
well beyond a few millimeters of depth. A roughing pass with a larger
tool must be done first, to clear out the bulk of the material.

Given the choice, I’d rather wait for an order of new tools to come
in, but sometimes you have to make do.

Regards,
Jesse
http://jdkjewelry3d.blogspot.com