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Thread: file sharpening
09-13-2010, 09:40 AM #1
Has anyone here had files sharpened? Happy with result?
I found two companies that do it. One replied to my inquiry with very reasonable prices, but unsettled me by saying that I do not have to sort the files because they will run them all through the process and then their inspectors will determine which ones they "had success with".
He claimed his was an abrasive process,. "the same as used to sharpen new files"....but I thought that files were made by essentially raising burrs with a sharp chisel, no sharpening involved.
Perhaps someone here can explain the details of the sharpening process, and/or can correct my misunderstanding of how files are made in the first place.
09-13-2010, 09:46 AM #2
I always thought they were done by a quick dip in an acid.
09-13-2010, 09:52 AM #3
I am completely satisfied with files I've sharpened with a 24 hour soak in vinegar.
Clean them first. I use a .30-06 case with the neck smashed flat to push through the teeth.
After the files come out of the vinegar, they will be covered by black scuzz that can be wiped off with a brush with very fine brass bristles. I use some random brush I've had for years, not a file card.
Then they need to be flushed in clear water and oiled to stop new rust.
The files with damaged teeth get no more than a good cleaning with the brush, there's no point in investing lots of time.
Now that I'm a convert to chalk, I'll recommend that, too. Might as well keep the file teeth clear from the start than go through the trouble to fix an avoidable problem later.
Some people use muriatic acid to do this at home, and the commercial companies also use acid, although I don't know if it's sulfuric, nitric, mixtures, or something else, and don't care because I'm not going to use the service even if it amounts to less than a dollar per file.
Abrasive blasting doesn't sound like a process I would pay for. Hopefully they're using a mild process that cleans the file without dulling the teeth.
09-13-2010, 10:05 AM #4
All of the files that I tried sharpening with nitric acid are now parallels. I never had any luck with it.
09-13-2010, 10:09 AM #5
I dont know how other companies do (did) it. But at Simonds, the teeth where chisel cut on a cutting machine, the files were heat treated then run through a sharpener that used steam to pass an abrasive over the teeth. At one time you could send files back to Simonds for resharpening. Machine looked like a sand blast cabinet. I know the gentleman that bought the resharpening equipment at the sale, but last I heard he wasn't resharpening any.
09-13-2010, 10:11 AM #6
I have read that some sharpening companies use abrasive blasting and others use acid. I have not had either one done by those companies.
I have blasted some files myself, but it was a long time ago and I don't recall the results. I have hundreds of files, so I tend not to keep track of what I might have done to them in the past.
You may run into files that are stamped, "Recut" and have the original maker name ground off. I am not sure what they have had done to them.
09-13-2010, 05:20 PM #7
I've always soaked them in battery acid overnight. No problems, just stinks!
09-13-2010, 06:48 PM #8
I have sent file to sharpen by "hydro-honing" and they come back a good as new. The company I use is Bogg's Tool and they sort the files AFTER sharpening. From vixen files to extra fine they have done great work. To make it economical you should send at least a dozen files.
Liquid Honing in Depth
09-13-2010, 07:03 PM #9
09-13-2010, 07:26 PM #10
09-14-2010, 08:05 AM #11
Gee I was thinking it might be better just throwing the file out and getting new. but the prices seem reasonable
09-14-2010, 10:26 AM #12
If you throw them out. throw them my way. Good files are getting hard to find new!
09-14-2010, 12:06 PM #13
1) I've not used Boggs service, but have heard rave reviews of them on the OLDTOOLS mailing list with one caveat: Remove _everything_ stuck in the teeth _before_ sending them in to Boggs. (Do a search in PM to learn why AeroE's brass "pusher" is by far the way to go - do NOT use filecards, they dull the file.)
2) Muriatic Acid is HCl and has no place around steel due to the Chlorine, which chemically combines with steel and rusts it forever. Gotta use something else - battery acid is H2SO4, a much better choice. I believe a STRONG solution of Citric Acid would sharpen a file.
3) Discarding old files is a terrible waste! There are more uses for that high-carbon steel than you can count! Scrapers, for example. Tooling. Yes, I realize it is not high speed steel, but on the other hand you must certainly have some applications where you don't need HSS.
09-14-2010, 12:18 PM #14
Picked up a collection of flea-market lathe bits once that contained a few form bits made from old files. They work well on brass. Haven't tried them on anything else.
But after this thread, File cleaning question I won't be throwing away any old files!
09-14-2010, 12:49 PM #15
09-14-2010, 01:05 PM #16
They make good wood lathe chisels too. I've used them to free hand cut acrylic for handles.
01-19-2012, 01:04 PM #17
Boggs Tool Co. can provide you with 6mm - 25mm chucking reamers at a fraction of the normal cost. Let us know if you need American or can do with foreign. There is a significant price difference. Feel free to visit us on the web at BOGGS TOOL & FILE SHARPENING COMPANY - WELCOME or give us a call.
01-19-2012, 01:21 PM #18