Jump to content

Files for Minis


Recommended Posts

I'm not really interested in getting expensive files. I just want something cheap and local. Where do you guys suggest? The only place I've found files suitable for mini's was at a hobby shop that isn't around here. Does Micheals? If anyone around Minnesota can answer more specifically, that would be sweet.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 15
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

in oregon, we have a discount tool place called Harbor freight. You can pick up a decent set of metal grade needle file (like 8 in the set) for under $8.00.

Don't know if you have anything like that out your way or not...if no luck in that area, let me know, Igot an extra set I can mail to you.

Todd

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Almost anywhere that sells tools should be able to hook you up with a basic set of needle files. Ace generally carries the X-Acto brand of them. I think Walmart has Stanley - Sears of course will be Craftsman. All of them should be for at or around $15-20.

 

Not sure what part of Minnesota you are from - but there are a couple Harbor Freight stores over that direction too. You can also generally find stuff at the other stores in the China Bins (catch all of cheap tools - generally $4.99 type stuff).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm not really interested in getting expensive files. I just want something cheap and local. Where do you guys suggest? The only place I've found files suitable for mini's was at a hobby shop that isn't around here. Does Micheals? If anyone around Minnesota can answer more specifically, that would be sweet.

 

Oddly enough, I buy a lot of my tools at a swap meet. There always seems to be that "Tool Guy" who sells cheap tools and equipment. In my case (Orange County, CA) there's also a stall that specializes in jewelry tools. That's where I picked up a peg clamp that I use as a painting rig, rubber motor tool burnishing tips, diamond and more conventional needle files...and finger nail clippers ::D:

 

I love swap meets! Definitely visit ones around your area, you'll be surprised at what you'll find there.

 

Thanks

AWhang

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Oddly enough, I buy a lot of my tools at a swap meet. There always seems to be that "Tool Guy" who sells cheap tools and equipment. In my case (Orange County, CA) there's also a stall that specializes in jewelry tools.

The OCSwapMeet 'rocks'... ::):

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Artists

I'm sure I sound like a total moron, but could someone elaborate about files and oiling? With what, how often, what's the hard way you'll find out if you don't? I'm clueless about tools and the like, and will be grateful for any information people can pass on about using them more correctly.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Couple things with files and oiling...

 

Good quality tool steel will not readily rust, however the cheaper tools (Harbor Freight specials or China Builts as they are often refered to) will rust if you look at them wrong. Keeping a light coat of oil on the exposed metal portions of the tools will go a long way towards keeping your tools rust free and in good general condition.

 

The other reason you want to oil files is the same reason you want to grease pans before you cook with them - in order to prevent stuff from sticking. The small teeth on needle files will clog up quite quickly if you are not careful with their use, and a bit of oil will help to prevent this from happening.

 

What oil to use can be a bit of an exhausting topic. For most people, a small can of WD40 is more than enough to handle all their needs. You can give them a quick squirt before you use them (not so much that they look wet...but enough to get coverage) and than another squirt after you clean them up and get ready to put them away. The squirt before you put them away is really important if they get put up for months at a time.

 

Proper use of files depends on the file type. For grit files like diamond or silicon dioxide you can use them pretty much however you like. Forwards backwards and sideways. Metal files that have teeth though work a bit different. Most metal needle files that you will find are push files. That is you will want to push them acrossed the surface to be filed and not pull them. Push, lift, push, lift... From time to time you might find a pull or draw file in a needle file (mostly specialized jewelry files or in large file sets). On those you pull them with the handle as opposed to pushing. It makes a difference because the file's teeth are cut in only one direction. This makes it difficult to remove material well and will cause the files teeth to clog a bit faster. Also, remember to let the file do the work. You do not need much pressure at all in order to remove a lot of material very fast with pewter.

 

Once you get the bulk of the material down and you want to just remove and machining marks or perhaps you don't want to take off much material, you can either use your file backwards (pulling as opposed to pushing) or better yet keep a bit of piano wire handy. Use the wire like it were a file. Instead of filing off material it will smooth things out and remove the marks left by the file. The correct term for that would be burnishing.

________________________

 

A lot of the times when you get needle files they don't come with a handle and it is just the bare metal shank. I like those, but to make it a bit more comfortable, I like to use the tool grip stuff (many different brands...basically a latex rubber type stuff) to coat my handles. Normally you can find it in the paint section of your local hardware stores. Dip the handle in and let it dry. Much more comfortable than the metal alone for those marathon preparation nights.

________________________

 

The WD-40 is handy for more than just your files. Keep your drill bits, jewelers saws and nearly everything else well oiled in order to keep them long lasting and useable. If you have the space what works even better is a large container filled with sand and a bit of oil (normally I'll use about a gallon of sand with 8 ozs or so of oil). Mix it up really will and use that to store your files in. The sand will help to clean the teeth when you stick the file in it and the oil will keep them looking and working like new.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Couple things with files and oiling...

 

 

You can give them a quick squirt before you use them (not so much that they look wet...but enough to get coverage) and than another squirt after you clean them up and get ready to put them away. The squirt before you put them away is really important if they get put up for months at a time.

 

 

 

 

Clean them clean them clean them. No good if you do not knock the crud out of your file fairly regularly with a tooth brush (or a file card if you are realy picky.)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...