A file tool is used for shaping up or giving a smooth finish to any piece of material. It is generally made of a hardened steel bar in a rectangular, square, or triangular shape, with sharp parallel teeth cut into at least one of its sides. Files are commonly used woodworking and metalworking tasks.
When working with a piece of metal or wood, fine amounts of material is left along the edges after it has been cut or sharpened. Files are helpful in getting rid of the fine material that is left behind along the corners. This process is known as ‘deburring’.
Certain file tools, like a slim taper file, are also used to sharpen other tools such as saws and knives. Saw files, also known as sharpening files, are primarily designed for sharpening bladed metal tools. They are usually shaped in triangular or diamond form, designed as such to fit between the teeth of a saw.
Taper saw files are tapered towards the point, which assists in starting a clean and even stroke. They are available in various widths, ranging from regular to extra slim size. A standard file comes in lengths from 100mm (4 inches) to 250mm (10 inches). A slim or extra slim file will come in the range of 100mm (4 inches) long to 200mm (8 inches) long. A slim taper file is suitable for delicate and precise work such as sculpting. It can also fit between the teeth of finer saw blades.
1. Secure Saw Blade
With the teeth pointing upwards, clamp your saw blade into a vice using a file block. Keep the teeth as low as they can be without being blocked by the edge of the vice. This is to reduce any unwanted vibrations in the saw blade as you’re filing.
2. Level Off Teeth
Use your mill file to run across the top of the teeth of your saw while applying light pressure. Once done, all the flat spots between the teeth will be of the same size.
Use your slim taper file for this. Hold the handle with your dominant hand and grip the pointed end of the file with your non-dominant hand. Once you have got the position right, stroke the file twice in the gap between each of the teeth. Using the same number of strokes each time will give you consistent, neat teeth.
4. Evening Out
If any of your teeth still have a wide flat spot on the top, use the back of your file until they come to a point.
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