File Basics: How to select and use files for metalworking

A file is one of the most useful tools you can have in a workshop, but they’re rarely fully understood and appreciated in our modern mechanized age.

Files have been around for over three thousand years, and before machine tools became available they were one of the primary means of making precision objects!

In this video I show the basic types of files, the differences between them, and how to use them.

Here is a nice set of files to get started with:

Make sure to get a file card for cleaning your files:

I also highly recommend a sturdy vise when using files:

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Files, Rasps & Rifflers – Basics & Tricks Of The Trades / How to

Filing basics for carpenters, machinists, mechanics, welder / fabricators, tool and die makers, hobbyists and more.

Transcript provided for the hearing impaired:
Alright so today on Repairs101 I’m going to go over some of the basic things you need to know about files, rasps and rifflers for wood, metal, plastic and stone.
A file is a sophisticated rasp and a riffler is a specialized rasp with ends curved and profiles varied to follow shapes and contours and create detail.
Always use a handle so your hand or wrist doesn’t get impaled by the file’s tang.
Protect your files by storing them so they don’t contact each other or other metal objects.
Keep the teeth from clogging with debris by using ordinary chalk.
Keep your files clean using a file card or failing that a wire brush.
Rasps and rifflers are great for wood, plastic and softer stones.
Files are used on wood, plastics, metals, as well as other materials.
They come in single or straight cut … and double or cross cut and have different shapes.
Cross cuts are far more aggressive.
Diamond files are good for metals and stones.
Keep the surface wet with Windex or soapy water to float away cutting debris.
Vary your cutting pattern by using a figure eight motion.
See how no two figure eights are exactly the same?
Rotary files are used with a pneumatic die grinder.
So, the thing about cutting faces is – the longer the file the bigger the teeth and therefore the coarser the cut.
So even though two files may be classified as having the same face the smaller one will deliver a finer cut.
Alright, thanks for watching and don’t forget to subscribe!