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Thread: Which type files to get

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    NW Fla

    Which type files to get

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    Hi Folks,
    I have searched through several pages and haven't found the right answer. I got a gift card for Lowes for Christmass so that is probably where I'll go to to buy some files for stock removal.

    What kinds of files should I be looking at? Bastard, ball, mill, rasp, straight, common...... names I have seen used for different types of files. I have read that Nicholson files and simmons(?) are two of the better brands, but what next? I don't know if they have Nicholson, but I did see Kobalt brand (lowes brand I think). Are they made by Nicholson? Are the kobalt files good to use?

    What types of files should I be starting off with? I was thinking of one that is long and wide of a "coarse" type "grit" and one of the same grit that is narrower and shorter. Then a medium "grit", same sizes as above.

    Would someone please let me know the proper names for the files I should be buying?
    Why is a bastard file called bastard? Always wondered about they........

    Forgot to mention, Hope everyone has a merry christmass!!
    Last edited by Railrider1920; 12-25-2010 at 01:52 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Ontario, Canada

    If you are buying at Lowes, the selection will be limited to what the "normal" people buy

    I like half round files for working radius, but they are not at all common in a hardware store.

    Get a couple of the ones you do buy.
    then take one to the grinder and grind the small edge smooth.
    This is a safe edge and will let you file up into a corner on one side without removing material from both sides.

    This is especially helpful on guard fitting in small files
    Grind one file safe on the short edge, one edge safe on the flat side.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Get the biggest Nickolson Flat Bastard file you can for gross stock removal, and then a good second cut file for smoothing out.
    Read this sticky,twice.It will give you a good start.
    Have fun,thats the main thing.
    Aspire to Inspire before you Expire

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    NW Fla
    Thank you gentleman. I don't really ever use wickipedia and didn't even think about googleing types of files. I guess I'm in the "I don't want to look, just tell me" mode. I need to get out of it.........

    The lowes website has nicholson files listed. If they do in fact have them in the store, would they be the ones to use use, if they have bastard, second cut etc?

    Bastard then second cut. After the second cut, should I move to a smooth to get rid of the scratches made by the second cut file? Wouldn't that help out in the sanding process?

    Incase anyone else is interested, it's called a bastard file because:
    A bastard file is a file whose teeth configuration is in between a rough or coarse file and a 'second cut' file. In precise terms therefore a bastard file is one which 'is one cut finer than that of a coarse file'. may also allude to something that is unusual, irregular or disproportionate. It is this....meaning that is employed in the term bastard file, not the former.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 1998
    Bridgewater, MA
    Sears Craftsman files are reqlly quite good, and, if you wear them out, they will happily replace them for free......Forever.

    They usually have a nice selection of larger flat files in smooth and bastard cut, as well as round chain saw files.

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