File manufacture

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Posts: 12
Joined: Sun Mar 10, 2013 5:41 pm

File manufacture

Unread post by KNelson » Sat Oct 04, 2014 5:35 pm

A recent discussion about which -- if any -- files are still manufactured within the United States brought to mind a paper I downloaded years ago, about recreating the medieval process used to make the file in the Mastermyr chest. Luckily I still have the paper, and was able to find a link to it on the internet:

So, if you really want a 'Made in the U.S. A." file, you can take a shot at making one yourself (in proper viking fashion).

This year has been too crazy to even get my forge out, but next year I want to give this a try.

Martin Pansch
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Joined: Thu Feb 14, 2013 10:44 am
Location: Young America, MN

Re: File manufacture

Unread post by Martin Pansch » Sun Oct 05, 2014 8:52 pm

At a class a few years ago Peter Ross brought an excellent video of an retired file make from England showing how he hand cut files. It showed everything from cutting to heat treating including salting his quench water until an egg would float. I guess the man was making them that way until the 1950's. I just now searched for the video again and again couldn't find it. I did find a YouTube video with an American demonstrating cutting file teeth.

This was very similar to the Englishman though I believe he cut the teeth starting on the end near him and working away versus starting at the far end and working towards him like the guy in this video.

I also found this website on file making while I was looking. ... cutter.htm

I would love to give file making a try sometimes. I am a little wary though as Tom Latane told me he tried it before and didn't come out of it with a usable tool. Still might be fun to give it a go though.

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Joined: Tue Aug 19, 2014 2:51 pm

Re: File manufacture

Unread post by bartelfitzneel » Mon Oct 06, 2014 9:26 am

I've made a few files. One from a car spring that looks remarkably like the mastermyr file. But it wasn't hard enough to cut iron/steel. And some small ones that were made by reworking worn commercial files. I have trouble finding needle files the shape I want sometimes. Steel selection seems to be a bigger issue than chisel blade angle. or so it seemed to me. It is a fun project if nothing else

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