Give your needle files a new lease on life.

From Sandpaper blocks to 3D printers, what is helpful and what is a waste of money
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#1 Give your needle files a new lease on life.

Post by bernomatic » Wed, 15 Feb 17, 04:47 am

After a few weeks of filing Bondo and wood filler from areas on my builds, my needle files just don't grind like I would hope. I take a wire brush and brush them down, but they just don't bite like they use to. Having a limited income, I went in search of a way to sharpen the files on Youtube. Well if you think the discussion about the Alpha Rocket's fin shape was a contentious subject, just search for sharpening files.

From one gentlemen (obviously a lot wealthier than I) who stated that once a file was truly dull you should just toss it as trying anything else was just good money after bad, to others using caustic solutions to get that new file feel, you will run the gambit. Well I found one that was somewhat eco-friendly (not that I care much about the ecology, but my nose and lungs could do without any more fumes than the dope and other paints I airbrush), cheap and easy.

First off let me point out that this does not sharpen your files. As the gentlemen above stated, once a file is truly dull, it ain't worth trying to sharpen it. However, if your file is in fairly good condition,this method will help refresh the file.

Step 1) using a file card or wire brush, brush down the grooves.

Step 2) find a container that will hold your file(s). Fill said container with White Vinegar to cover your file blades. If you have one, a cover for the container will help cut down on some of the vinegar smell.

Step 3) Let soak overnight. I wouldn't let them soak for more than a day, but your mileage may vary.

Step 4) Pull the file out of the vinegar and again brush with file card or wire brush. I then rinse the file in the vinegar again.

Step 5) Wipe off file and give a coat of light oil. Once I get a can, I'm going to try use the Ballistol oil, but any light machine oil should do. Wipe off the excess and enjoy an almost new grating experience.

I have only steel files, no high end diamond or other types and do not know how this method will affect those types, but for my low end, putzer set, it has made quite a difference.
Chief Cook -n- bottle washer

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