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Shopmade Luthier Tools #2: I can handle this file!

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Blog entry by Dave Rutan posted 01-03-2017 12:26 AM 1435 reads 0 times favorited 1 comment Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: Series Intro Part 2 of Shopmade Luthier Tools series Part 3: Tiny chisel/scraper »

One of the tools I’m going to need for my (hopefully) career in instrument repair is a common file. Judging by the photos of appropriate tools I’ve found on the internet, this one should work well. It was a spare I had, possibly one I got from my dad’s estate. I cleaned it up and decided to put a handle on it.

I grabbed a scrap of walnut and cut it to appropriate length. Then I drilled a hole in one end to accept the tang of the file. Then I drove the file into the hole and cracked the wood. No worries! I took the file out, rounded off the hole end of the handle and found a piece of plumbing to use as a ferrule. I put the file back into the hole. It stuck and feels solid.

Then I rounded and shaped the handle with a small block plane, rasp, and my random orbit sander. The cracks stayed, but that’s okay. The handle is solid and everything looks like a pre-antiqued old-timey tool. I gave the handle a good wipe down with boiled linseed oil for the finish.

Lesson I learned: install the ferrule BEFORE driving in the file!

(I should really make handles for the remaining collection of my files AND make a convenient place to put them that is NOT in a pile in my cabinet.)

Check out the other luthier tools I’ve made here:[link]

-- Ni faru ion el ligno!



1 comment so far

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

1054 posts in 392 days


#1 posted 02-19-2017 10:56 AM

A problem I have with pre-made file handles is that in some cases, the hole drilled is too big for the file. Guess I’ll be following your lead and making some of my own handles in the future. Thanks for the inspiration.

-- Dave - Minneapolis

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