Best file for cleaning up mortises

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Forum topic by spooled posted 01-31-2013 10:10 PM 1886 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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27 posts in 3058 days

01-31-2013 10:10 PM

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


2303 posts in 2507 days

#1 posted 01-31-2013 10:50 PM

I’d actually recommend a good sharp chisel instead.

-- Brian Timmons -

View spooled's profile


27 posts in 3058 days

#2 posted 01-31-2013 11:04 PM

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


584 posts in 2381 days

#3 posted 02-01-2013 12:00 AM

you want either a rasp or a float

example here

View AandCstyle's profile


3068 posts in 2279 days

#4 posted 02-01-2013 12:27 AM

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 (online now)


10476 posts in 3669 days

#5 posted 02-01-2013 12:56 AM

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


27 posts in 3058 days

#6 posted 02-01-2013 01:14 AM

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

-- Charlie,Treasure coast

View BobLang's profile


155 posts in 3422 days

#7 posted 02-01-2013 01:42 AM

View tenontim's profile


2131 posts in 3766 days

#8 posted 02-01-2013 01:42 AM

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 OggieOglethorpe's profile


1276 posts in 2132 days

#9 posted 02-01-2013 01:52 AM

+1 on a flat float

Lie Nielsen sells good ones.

View waho6o9's profile


8204 posts in 2598 days

#10 posted 02-01-2013 02:34 AM

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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