Industrial Engineering

Understanding Filing tools

A file is used to cut, trim, or finish a metal or wood project in order to form it to our specifications, such as making it round, square, or angular. High carbon steel is used to make the file. The file is a cutting device made of strong steel with several cutting points. A file is used to cut metal into small or microscopic particles. As a result, a file is typically utilized to add the final touches to a metal or wood project. It is widely used in metalwork and woodwork field.

A metal job gets rough after chipping, and a file is used to smooth it out. When the part of a machine is greater than the required size, a file is utilized to reduce the size. A file is also used when other cutting instruments aren’t available. Files can also be used to sharpen the cutting edges of other cutting instruments.

In this article, you’ll learn the definition, applications, parts, diagrams, and different types of filing tools. You’ll also learn how to file and safety precautions when using files.

Types of files

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What is a file tool?

A file is a tool that is used to remove fine material from a workpiece. It’s widely used in woodworking, metalworking, and other comparable trades and hobbies. The majority are hand tools, constructed of a case hardened steel bar with a rectangle, square, triangular, or circular cross-section cut with sharp, often parallel teeth on one or more surfaces. At one end, a small, pointed tang is common, to which a handle can be attached.

A rasp is a type of file having separate, independently cut teeth that are used to remove huge volumes of material coarsely. Abrasive surfaces, such as natural or synthetic diamond grains or silicon carbide, have also been produced for files, allowing the removal of materials that would dull or resist steel files, such as ceramic.

Applications

Below are the common applications of files:

  • A file is used to apply the final touches to a metal or wood project.
  • A metal job gets rough after chipping, and a file is used to smooth it out.
  • When the part of a machine is greater than the required size, a file is utilized to reduce the size.
  • A file is also utilized in places where other cutting instruments aren’t possible.
  • Files can also be used to sharpen the cutting edges of other cutting instruments.

Parts of a file

The followings are the major parts of a file

  1. Handle
  2. Tang
  3. Heel
  4. Face
  5. Edge
  6. Tip or Point

Its tang is fitted with a wooden handle. Teeth are cut on the front and back to allow them to accomplish their function of cutting. The heel is the part of the body that has no teeth. The file’s thick side is known as the edge, while the file’s lower end is known as the tip or point.

Diagram of  a file:

diagram of a file

Types of files

There are different types of files out there with specifications. The following are the classifications of files:

  • According to the length
  • According to the shape
  • According to the grades
  • According to the cut.

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Classifications according to the length:

The length of a file is used to determine its size. This length encompasses the entire file except for the tang area, i.e. the file’s length from heel to tip. Files of a length of 100 mm to 450 mm are utilized in the fitter trade.

Classifications according to the shape:

Flat file

The cross-section of this type of file is rectangular. Both the breadth and thickness are somewhat tapered. On the face, double-cut teeth are cut, and on the edge, simple-cut teeth are cut. These are used to reduce the flatness of a surface by filing it.

Flat file

Round file

This file has a circular portion. It’s for rubbing or polishing small-diameter keyholes.

Round File

Half-round file

It’s a file that’s straight on one side and curved on the other. It has double-cut dents and is tapered, just like a round file. The damaged hole can be put back together with this file.

Half round

Triangular file

These types of files are in triangular form. It has 60-degree angles. This file is used to file “V” slots jobs, as well as square and rectangular jobs with angles more than 60° and less than 90°. Three square files is another name for it.

Triangle file

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Square file

It has a square shape with a slight taper. This file is used to file rectangular, square grooves, slots, and keyways.

Square

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Hand file

This file resembles the flat file in appearance. It’s utilized to file the job’s internal right angle side. This type of file is also known as a safe edge file.

Hand

Knife file

It has the shape of a knife’s edge. It has a 10° angle on its narrow edge. It’s for filing narrow grooves and slots with an angle less than 60 degrees. It’s commonly used to make keys in the lock industry.

 

Classification according to the grades:

The following is a list of the various types of file tools based on the number of teeth:

Rough File

The teeth in this type of file are large in size and few in number. Because of its harsh cutting, it is utilized to cut soft materials. It can’t be used on hard metal because of the rough cutting.

Rough

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Bastard File

This file’s teeth are considerably smaller than those of the rough file. Initially, it was used to shed enormous amounts of metal (through filing).

Bastard

Second cut File

This is a medium-grade file. This file is usually used in the filler trade to bring the project in the right size. When compared to the bastard file, filing with this file results in a plain surface.

second cut

Smooth File

In addition to making a work of correct size by filing, this file makes the surface fairly plain.

smooth file

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Dead Smooth File

In these types of files, their teeth are quite close together, and it only scratches off a small amount of metal. It is used to provide shine to the job once it has been finished.

 

Classifications according to the cut:

The following are the various types of file tools based on the cut:

Single Cut File

Parallel lines of teeth run diagonally across the face of this file in only one direction. The metal surface is rubbed in a small amount, and the result is a smooth surface. As a result, it’s employed for finishing and hard metal.

single cut

Double Cut File

Two rows of teeth cross at an angle of 40° to 45° on this file, while the other row has angles of 70° to 80°.

double cut file

This file cuts metal swiftly due to its twin teeth, however, it cannot produce a particularly smooth surface. As a result, it’s commonly employed for standard filing, as demonstrated in fig (B).

double cut file

A coarse type file is another name for it. As indicated in fig. 1, one row is 30° to 35° and the other is 80° to 87°. (C).

Curved Cut File

The Vixen file is another name for it. The curved-cut file is used to file soft metals such as aluminum, zinc, copper, and brass that have large surfaces. As illustrated in fig. 1, it has round teeth.

Curved cut file

Spiral Cut File

Round or semi-round files are used to cut these teeth. Their teeth have a thread-like appearance.

spiral cut file

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Rasp Cut File

This is a particular thick-toothed file. These teeth are shaped like a triangle and are bulging. It’s used in jobs involving wood, plastic, fiber, hard rubber, and animal horns and hoofs.

Rasp cut file

Other common types of files include:

  • Barrette files
  • Checkering files
  • Crochet files
  • Crossing files
  • Dreadnought (curved teeth) and millenicut (straight teeth) files
  • Equaling files
  • Farrier Rasp files
  • Fret files
  • Half round ring files
  • Joint round edge files
  • Knife files
  • Nut files
  • Pillar files
  • Pippin files
  • Plane maker’s float Floats are straight, single-cut files
  • Round parallel files
  • Saw sharpening files
  • Slitting files
  • Warding files

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How to properly file tools

The following steps explain how to perform filing operation properly:

  • Depending on the job, select the appropriate file type.
  • On the tang of the file, there should be a handle.
  • In tiny files, a small handle should be used, while in larger files, a larger handle should be used.
  • Otherwise, money and power would be squandered unnecessarily.
  • Hold the file’s handle in your right hand while keeping the file’s end balanced in your left.
  • When filing, the left leg should be in front and the right leg should be a bit behind.
  • When moving the file forward, not when driving it back, apply pressure on it.
  • Only your hands, not your entire body, should move with the file. Keep the rest of your body as still as possible.
  • The file should be moved at a speed of 30 to 35 strokes per minute.

Watch the video below to learn how to properly use file tools:

Safety Precautions using s File

The followings are the precautions for using a file:

  • Choose the appropriate file for the job.
  • Do not utilize a file that does not have a handle.
  • The entire handle should be fixed on the file according to the size.
  • A new file should first be used on soft metal before being used on solid metal.
  • If a large amount of material needs to be cut, chipping and filing should be done first.
  • The task should be fixed in a vise with wood on both sides for filing sheet metal jobs.
  • It’s also important to make sure the sheet isn’t higher than the versa.
  • We should cut a sheet in length while filing it.
  • To prevent the job from being pinned, we should apply chalk.
  • A brush should be used to remove any metal particles from the file.
  • Keep it apart from the rest of your tools. They should not be piled on top of each other.
  • Heat should not be applied to the file.
  • The file should not be oiled or greased.

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Conclusion

A file is a tool that is used to remove fine material from a workpiece. It’s widely used in woodworking, metalworking, and other comparable trades and hobbies. The majority are hand tools, constructed of a case hardened steel bar with a rectangle, square, triangular, or circular cross-section cut with sharp, often parallel teeth on one or more surfaces. At one end, a small, pointed tang is common, to which a handle can be attached. That is all for this article, where the definition, applications, parts, diagram, and types of file tools are been discussed.  Safety precautions and how to properly use files are also explained.

I hope you learn a lot from the reading, if so, kindly share with other students. Thanks for reading, see you around!