Introduction: How to Make Files Last 30 Years.

Picture of How to Make Files Last 30 Years.

And I am not exaggerating, rather I am being modest. because some of my files have lasting thirty years, and perhaps they last so much.

The files, when they are well used, must last many years.

- Do'nt use them on materials that can fill them
- Do'nt use them on hard materials as foundry, hard steel or glass that can dent it
- Do'nt touch the dents with the fingers. The fingers always contain grease and harmful dirt.
- Do'nt to leave them to the bleakness
- Do'nt to wet them with water
- If they are wet, dry them at once
- Do'nt heat them too much. In fact, don't heat them ANYTHING
- Maintain them cleans

Step 1: The Secret: a Sheath.

Picture of The Secret: a Sheath.

Recently bought the file, and BEFORE beginning to use it, I make it a sheath that protects it inside the toolbox, because otherwise the close contact with the other tools dents him the edge. The sheath can be made of plastic, metal or any material. I don't believe more explanations are necessary, the pictures are self-explanatory.


Graham Lane (author)2014-04-04

How about...

- Don't use them.

They last ages then.

rimar2000 (author)Graham Lane2014-04-05

HAHA! But mmmmhhh, it is NO. They oxidize, rub against other tools, and lose its sharp edge anyway.

It is remarkable how a loose sheath reduces the amount of air that attack the file's surface.

latobada (author)2007-04-15

And Just a few More

Recently bought the file, and BEFORE beginning to use it, I make it a sheath that protects it inside the toolbox, because otherwise the close contact with the other tools dents him the edge. The sheath can be made of plastic, metal or any material. I don't believe that they are necessary more explanations, the pictures are self-explanatory.

Recently I bought a file, and BEFORE beginning to use it, I made it a sheath that protects it inside the toolbox, because otherwise the close contact with the other tools dents the edges. The sheath can be made out of plastic, metal or any material. I don't believe that they are more necessary explanations, the pictures are self-explanatory.

rimar2000 (author)latobada2007-04-15

¿¿¿??? Thanks anyway.

adamvan2000 (author)rimar20002007-08-03

Maybe for one of our esteemed repliers' next instructables, they can show us how to properly translate Castellan Spanish to English, if they have an abundance of time. Gentlemen, I speak no Spanish, yet I can clearly understand rimar's instructions. Sometimes a bit of clarification is ok in as much as it serves to further explain unclear concepts that might become lost in translation, but do we really need a complete grammar and spelling check? I hope those to whom this applies get the point.

mtngrown (author)adamvan20002012-07-09

I thought it was a great instructable. I speak no Spanish either, and found the instructions clear and concise, despite the language barrier. Rimar is absolutely right about the sheaths as well as the other tips. The fact that an Elder Maker has taken the time to share a bit of wisdom to help us along the way should make us feel proud and thankful, both of which I am. Thanks Rimar2000.

rimar2000 (author)mtngrown2012-07-10

Thank you, mtngrown!

I am not an Elder Maker, I am a young 67 years old boy, and fond of kludge...

xxmixkexx (author)adamvan20002008-03-29

ya i agree i understood it fine i thought they were good tips

heathbar64 (author)xxmixkexx2012-06-28

I totally agree with you!! come on people, get a life!! Rimar has some very practical and ingenius idea's. I applaud the fact that I can share idea's so easily with someone from another country and different lanquage.

rimar2000 (author)heathbar642012-06-29

Thanks xxmixkexx (somebody related to KEDIT inner languaje?) and heartbar64. I am improving my English, it is not easy but possible. Each time I can write more paragraphs without usind Google Translator.

WhistlePig (author)2008-10-10

Thanks Rimar, while I too take good care of my files I never gave it a thought as to how long I would actually own one. Aluminum and soft metals are OK to file just use some kerosene on the file and it'll keep it from clogging. Not sure how long the file will last over those 30 years as kerosene always has a bit of sulfur in it: but it does make it last longer vs. not using it. I own a file card but lately I have been using a brass bristle brush with some more kerosene to clean my files, I find it works better than a file card. If you end up ruining a file, don't thrown it away. Save it and when you have a charcoal barbeque throw the files in afterwords and leave them in until the fire is out and cold. I later grind them into bench knives and affix handles on them and then temper the blade with a torch and some mapp gas. Well, if you worked in a shop for low wages and long hours you'd certainly know what bleakness means... I think it describes the condition perfectly. ;-)

TIGguy (author)WhistlePig2008-10-20

You can also spray them with WD40 and it keeps them unclogged.. Also go get a filecard (tool for cleaning files)

rimar2000 (author)TIGguy2008-10-20

I didnt know it, but it does not surprise me because WD40 is MAGIC!

Thanks for the info.

pfred2 (author)rimar20002011-06-26

If you want to see magic get some of this:

I know the stuff looks like a ripoff joke but it is good. The only downside is the smell. It is pretty strong.

rimar2000 (author)pfred22011-06-27

I live in Argentina, this product it is not here. Maybe it is hydrochloric acid.

pfred2 (author)rimar20002011-06-27

You should become the importer of it then you could be king!

rimar2000 (author)pfred22011-06-28

Believe me, that treatment with strong acids is older than the injustice and practiced worldwide. Here in Argentina, few people would buy a product like that, I think.

Terranan (author)rimar20002012-04-20

I work at an auto shop, we use pb blaster all of the time. It also goes by the name of "penetrating fluid", and it works wonders on rusted moving parts. Magic indeed!

rimar2000 (author)Terranan2012-04-21

I don't speak English, please explain me what thing is "pb blaster". Can be it replaced with WD 40?

pfred2 (author)rimar20002012-04-21

On a scale of 1 to 10 with 1 being bad and 10 being the best WD-40 is about a 3, Liquid Wrench a 5, and PB Blaster is a 7

rimar2000 (author)pfred22012-04-22

Thanks, Fred. I think that PB Blaster is difficult to get here.

TIGguy (author)rimar20002012-04-21

Yes, WD-40 works good if you need to file a soft metal. But you still need to get a file card. Its like a little paddle with short wires that cleans the grooves of the file. If you clog a file with aluminum its a pain to get it all out. I typically use a rough file and then sandpaper to smooth it. The WD-40 works well with wet dry sandpaper for aluminum as well.

rimar2000 (author)TIGguy2012-04-22

OK, thanks. I think that little paddle is not easy to get here. But a steel brush maybe can do the work, too.

rimar2000 (author)WhistlePig2011-06-28

"Believe it or not", yet just now I see your comment. Thanks for it.

rimar2000 (author)WhistlePig2008-10-10

Yes, my father always used the wasted files for to make other tools. He used the forge, I only use the grinder. I tried steel brush to clean the files, that method function something. Pardon my English, I speak Spanish.

pfred2 (author)rimar20002011-06-26

I keep wanting to re-manufacture a dull file, you know anneal it, then resurface it with a chisel like how they are made, then harden it again. I kill a lot of files. One of these days I am going to have to try.

rimar2000 (author)pfred22011-06-27

I think that must be very difficult. The world belongs to the brave!

pfred2 (author)rimar20002011-06-27

I don't know smacking stuff with a hammer and a chisel is almost second nature to me. I think it may be one of those things that just sounds hard. I've seen videos of people doing it and it doesn't look that difficult to me.

I've also heard that leaving a dull file outside to rust sharpens it but I find that one difficult to believe myself. Would be a lot easier to try though.

WhistlePig (author)rimar20002008-10-13

Thank you Rimar, Your English gets your point across perfectly, no need to apologize. I wish I new enough Spanish or Catalan to be able to apologize for it!

rimar2000 (author)WhistlePig2008-10-14

I use, it is very good. Some times I should do some corrections or to rewrite my phrase in Spanish to elude ambiguities, but in general I take the translation such as leaves (as this)

Mr Steve (author)2011-01-03

I did not read all comments so I hope this is not a repeat. A piece of old canvas hose works best for file protection.

rimar2000 (author)Mr Steve2011-01-03

I would not say "works best", I would say "also work". Anyway, thanks for the comment.

tomblik (author)2010-08-13

Proper use of a file is also very important. I have used files on soft materials without any problems. Just remember never to drag your file across the surface on the back stroke. Push your file forward to remove material. Pick the file up off of the material. Reset. Repeat as needed. When finished, use a file card or wire brush to clean any metal filings from the file and return to its proper place in your tool box. If you treat your tools well, they will return the favor.

weaponscollector94 (author)2009-11-16

are you supposed to use them on aluminum? i always wire brush them after use

If you file carefullyaluminum without exerting much pressure, the file is not dull.

thanks for the advice! :)

alexhalford (author)2009-04-03

I can pardon a spelling error / grammatical slip-up once but the same error 6 times is going a bit far. 'Do not' is abbreviated as: Don't. It is not abbreviated as Do'nt.

rimar2000 (author)alexhalford2009-04-03

Oh, that is terrific for me. Pardon, pardon, pardon, pardon...!

frankly1970 (author)2007-08-08

possible addition: Make sure not to file Aluminum with your precious files. If you do make sure to run them over hard wax to cake up the crevices. this will prevent the soft metal from damaging your file. I have managed to clean mine using a steel brush and going with the groves to remove build-up. Somtimes you just have to file a soft material. Any advice on sharpening drill bits? Thanks.

rimar2000 (author)frankly19702007-08-08

Thanks, I will add your comment to my instructable. It is true. Regarding sharpening drill bits, it is an entire topic. There are in the market small devices that they make it acceptably. I sharpen my own drill bits, but they are sometimes worse of that than they were. Pardon my English.

momule (author)2007-08-02

I try to keep everything in my life, including myself, far away from the "bleakness" (whatever that is.....sounds bad though). I'm guessing you mean humidity? Thanks for the laugh.

rimar2000 (author)momule2007-08-03

Pardon, I speak spanish, not english.<br/><br/>Results for <strong>Google define:bleakness</strong> in my Firefox:<br/><br/>Definiciones de bleakness en la web en inglés:<br/><br/><ul class="curly"><li>a bleak and desolate atmosphere; "the nakedness of the landscape"</li></ul><br/><br/>In spanish, this means "intemperie"<br/>

Elastometer (author)2007-04-18

Mines last forever - I never file a damn thing with them.

binnie (author)Elastometer2007-04-27

same here its just sits in a shed hehe still in the plastic :)

rimar2000 (author)Elastometer2007-04-18

Sure, that it is the best strategy. I forgot to add it in the recommendations.

awoodcarver (author)2007-04-15

los traductores en línea no funcionan muy bueno y mi español es malo....Good idea I use cardboard for my wood carving knives and gouges....hope I spelled the Spanish right

rimar2000 (author)awoodcarver2007-04-18

Tu castellano (spanish) es mejor que el de muchos de mis compañeros de oficina, profesionales ellos. Algunos no saben formular una frase. Veo que ahí no es diferente.

Your Castilian (Spanish) it is better than the one of many of my office partners, professionals them. Some don't know how to formulate a sentence. I see that there it is not different.

LarrySDonald (author)2007-04-16

It is a good idea, I usually keep files in the plastic things they come in nowadays. It does wear them out slower. Though frankly I admit my ancestors would probably cry blood seeing me brush the dust of with my fingers, whack them against the table, use them on insanely inappropriate materials and then say "Whatever, I got it out of the bargain bin for two bucks anyhow.. People make a living making more of these for me ya'know". I guess I really am part of the generation that so scorn me via my kids..

Vendigroth (author)2007-04-16

a simple sheath makes your files last for up to 30 years? Makes sense, i spose, if the files are knocking against each other, they'll chip away, cos they're brittle.

rimar2000 (author)Vendigroth2007-04-16

The files, when they are well used, must last many years. Do'nt touch the dents with the fingers, do'nt use them on materials that can fill them, do'nt to leave them to the bleakness, do'nt to wet them with water or if they are wet to dry them at once, not to heat them too much, etc. (I will add this later to my text)

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