Best file for cleaning up mortises

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Forum topic by spooled posted 539 days ago 899 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View spooled's profile


25 posts in 1634 days

539 days ago

I just finished building a Morris Chair with mortise and tenon joinery. This was my first venture into mortise and tenons. I felt like a good wood file would have made the job easier. My only files are for metal and did not work well at all. The local big box store didn’t have anything better. Where is a good source and which one works best for wood? Thanks.

-- Charlie,Treasure coast

10 replies so far

View BTimmons's profile


2078 posts in 1083 days

#1 posted 539 days ago

I’d actually recommend a good sharp chisel instead.

-- Brian Timmons, Big T Woodworks - -

View spooled's profile


25 posts in 1634 days

#2 posted 539 days ago

I have a very good set of chisels which I used on the project but felt a good file might work better especially on the thru mortises.

-- Charlie,Treasure coast

View DocBailey's profile


369 posts in 958 days

#3 posted 539 days ago

you want either a rasp or a float

example here

View AandCstyle's profile


1249 posts in 855 days

#4 posted 539 days ago

I agree with Doc, a rasp will do the job for you. Just be careful to keep the outside edges square, sometimes they can be quite aggressive.

-- Art

View Loren's profile


7231 posts in 2246 days

#5 posted 539 days ago

Iwasaki files. Woodcraft has them.

Bastard files are pretty useful for woodworking. Finer
files aren’t so effective on wood.

I haven’t bought one of these yet, but I intend to:


View spooled's profile


25 posts in 1634 days

#6 posted 539 days ago

Thanks for all the help guys I will check these out.

-- Charlie,Treasure coast

View BobLang's profile


96 posts in 1998 days

#7 posted 539 days ago

View tenontim's profile


2131 posts in 2343 days

#8 posted 539 days ago

I have a flat bastard cut file and a flat Japanese Milled-Tooth File, from Lee Valley, that I use to clean up mortises.

View CessnaPilotBarry's profile


877 posts in 708 days

#9 posted 539 days ago

+1 on a flat float

Lie Nielsen sells good ones.

-- It's all good, if it's wood...

View waho6o9's profile


4747 posts in 1175 days

#10 posted 539 days ago

An awesome thread addressing your concerns as well. I like using wood files
to clean up tenons and the floats mentioned above look like a great idea.

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