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What to Do with Worn-out Files

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Forum topic by Dave Rutan posted 654 days ago 1791 views 1 time favorited 21 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Dave Rutan

222 posts in 687 days


654 days ago

Topic tags/keywords: files worn out old used question

I inherited a bunch of old files from my dad, but they’re pretty worn out. If I can’t find a way to renew them to usefulness, how does one dispose of old worn-out woodworking files?

Thanks,
Dave

-- Ni faru ion el ligno!


21 replies so far

View Sawkerf's profile

Sawkerf

1730 posts in 1567 days


#1 posted 654 days ago

Scrap metal prices are really good right now – or you could sell them to a knife maker.

-- Adversity doesn't build character...................it reveals it.

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

109219 posts in 2076 days


#2 posted 654 days ago

I’ve heard soaking them in muratic acid renews them. Of course you need to be very careful using acid wearing goggles rubber gloves and a respirator and it’s know to create rust on any other near by metal tools etc. I”ve never tried this myself but it’s worth a try rather than scraping them.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View Loren's profile

Loren

6738 posts in 2147 days


#3 posted 654 days ago

You can get them resharpened by sending them out or get the
stuff to do it yourself. This is probably more appropriate for
fine specialty files than the common abused old files.

You can make lathe scrapers from them if turning interests
you. The steel in files is very good.

View Elizabeth's profile

Elizabeth

724 posts in 1642 days


#4 posted 654 days ago

Yup, a woodworking friend of mine makes custom shaped lathe tools out of old files.

View lew's profile

lew

9827 posts in 2254 days


#5 posted 654 days ago

Ditto what Loren and Elizabeth said about the lathe tools.

Some one, here, cautioned me about lathe tools made from files can be brittle and might scatter if a major “catch” occurs while turning. So far I’ve been lucky, I guess.

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View bandit571's profile

bandit571

5380 posts in 1182 days


#6 posted 654 days ago

I’ve also seen some plane irons made from old files. Antique store down the road has a handful of old files made into lathe tools.

Skip the Muratic Acid BS. Use a vinegar soak. It will sharpened them up, and is a lot safe to use than something designed to clean off concrete…

-- A Planer? I'M the planer, this is what I use

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

3185 posts in 2459 days


#7 posted 654 days ago

I though that ya used phosphoric acid. I’ve wondered about this issue too. Wish somebody who has done it would chime in.
Bill

-- bill@magraphics.us

View Greg The Cajun Box Sculptor's profile

Greg The Cajun Box Sculptor

4735 posts in 1807 days


#8 posted 654 days ago

I delete my old files.

-- Every step of each project is considered my masterpiece because I want the finished product to reflect the quality of my work. http://www.FineArtBoxes.com

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

109219 posts in 2076 days


#9 posted 654 days ago

Hey Bill
here’s another thread on the subject from folks that have renewed there files, reading down the comments it looks like
vinegar is a safer way to go gather than the “muratic acid BS”

http://www.sawmillcreek.org/archive/index.php/t-166743.html?s=3a44a5fc6fafed396856ba94764152d6

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View Loren's profile

Loren

6738 posts in 2147 days


#10 posted 654 days ago

I knew a luthier who had both sent out and acid-sharpened
his files himself. He said it was not cheap to do but it
extended the useful life of the files. You may want to
consider that luthier files are both not cheap and receive
very focused wear.

View MonteCristo's profile

MonteCristo

2088 posts in 687 days


#11 posted 654 days ago

Can’t see cleaning files unless they are expensive ones that are just dirty (which shouldn’t be happening to an expensive file !). If you look at a file with a 5x magnifer and can see the edges are dull, like others are saying I’d switch to using it as a scraper.

-- Dwight - "Free legal advice available - contact Dewey, Cheetam & Howe""

View mtenterprises's profile

mtenterprises

784 posts in 1192 days


#12 posted 654 days ago

Jim, very interesting site you posted. Time for some experimentation.
MIKE

-- See pictures on Flickr - http://www.flickr.com/photos/44216106@N07/ And visit my Facebook page - facebook.com/MTEnterprises

View bobsmyuncle's profile

bobsmyuncle

109 posts in 1190 days


#13 posted 654 days ago

There is a company that will acid sharpen files for not much money. They claim even new files will come out sharper. It’s been a while since I sent a bunch in, but they used to do the first couple for free. They will not sharpen any beyond repair and only return them if you ask (to save return shipping charges).

I recommend them:
http://www.boggstool.com/

View woodworkerscott's profile

woodworkerscott

352 posts in 1313 days


#14 posted 654 days ago

Boggs Tool & File Sharpening has a great rep. You might try them.
If the teeth are pretty rolled or flat, then yeah, it’s over as a file. The recommendations of using them for other tools is the best bet.
Selling them or any metal as scrap metal is not worth your time and gas unless you have a truck load of metal.

-- " 'woodworker'.....it's a good word, an honest word." - Sam Maloof

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

3185 posts in 2459 days


#15 posted 654 days ago

So the question continues????
Do I find a local horse, get some citric, some vinegar, or go for muriatic in the neighbor’s yard?
Bill

-- bill@magraphics.us

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