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Clean Files

Jim L. Sep 15, 2016

  1. Jim L.

    Jim L. knifemaker Knife Maker or Craftsman

    How do you clean your files and keep them from binding up working on different projects.

    I read an article about draw filing that advised using chalk. I use this method but with limited success; I'm still having to brush debris quite frequently.

    I did buy a brush made specifically for this but it doesn't work nearly as well as a steel bristle brush from the Dollar Store. Plus the money spent could have almost bought 2 new Nicholson bastard files.

    I don't know, maybe I'm using it wrong. Comments welcome.

    Jim L.
  2. PolishAvenger

    PolishAvenger Average member

    Jim, sometimes success with chalking changes with the kind of file you're using. Chalking, in my experience, sure isn't a cure-all, but it's better than doing nothing. As for cleaning, I just use a plain steel brush, not a file card like they taught me in shop classes back in the stone age...works fine for me. Remember to work the file card INTO the teeth with the angle of the cut (if that makes sense).
  3. Jim L.

    Jim L. knifemaker Knife Maker or Craftsman

    I just tried something a little different. I had a piece of salvaged soap stone "marker" and for sh**s and giggles applied it as I would chalk to a dead-ish file.

    Though it didn't cut like new, it performed much better and longer. The teeth didn't bind up nearly as much and the unloaded much easier with the steel brush.

    Some one please correct me if I'm wrong but soap stone is hydrophobic. This may result in a lot less rusting as well.

    I'll keep ya'll updated.

    Jim L.
  4. Bango Skank

    Bango Skank Level: True Devil

    Maybe other forms of dry lubricant would work. Graphite and what not.

    I do a lot of file work, possibly more than anything else. I will use a steel brush. That seems to work well. When I am in the process of filing I normally just smack the file against something hard. It seems to clear out all the crap built up in the teeth.

    I have not broken a file yet. Not even cracked.
  5. daninghram

    daninghram I am a lurker and need to introduce myself!

    Run a scrap of aluminum with the angle of the teeth. Cleans them nicely .
  6. El Gringo

    El Gringo dashing devil

    When sharpening machetes , axes, or big old cleavers I'll use a big cheap wire brush... tried the file card and found out its crap. I tried loading with chalk but wasn't that impressed. Now I keep a can of Ballistol handy and spray the file and blade edge down and file 'wet' ...seems to work good for me.
  7. Jim L.

    Jim L. knifemaker Knife Maker or Craftsman

    I just tried something. I had some "dead" files that pretty much skated over mild steel. I figured "what the hell" and dunked them into containers of citric acid for a good soaking for a few hours.

    I'll be damned if after wire brushing and rinse they're usable. Not sharp by any means but very usable for other than reserve steel. Huh.

    Jim L .
    desmodus likes this.

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