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Author Topic: Do modelling files get "blunt"?  (Read 1554 times)

Offline bobwithasilentc

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Do modelling files get "blunt"?
« on: September 10, 2017, 04:48:18 AM »
Hi all,

So for the last 5 years or so I've been using one set of modelling files to clean up metal minis. I've noticed in the last few weeks that it seems to take a lot more effort to file flash from minis. I was wondering if it's possible for files to get "blunt" (or whatever the correct term is). Should I just get new ones?

Cheers,

Andrew

Offline gnomehome

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Re: Do modelling files get "blunt"?
« Reply #1 on: September 10, 2017, 05:26:44 AM »
Do you clean the files from time to time ? If not, that might do the trick.
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Offline MartinR

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Re: Do modelling files get "blunt"?
« Reply #2 on: September 10, 2017, 07:45:08 AM »
If they are very fine the teeth can get clogged. Try cleaning them.
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Offline DivisMal

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Re: Do modelling files get "blunt"?
« Reply #3 on: September 10, 2017, 08:42:48 AM »
I made the same experience. So thanks for the answers.
But how do you clean them? With a wire-brush?

Offline Etranger

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Re: Do modelling files get "blunt"?
« Reply #4 on: September 10, 2017, 09:14:48 AM »
Assuming that you're filing white metal (the 'lead' alloy that most figures are cast in), then it's a very soft metal whose 'swarf' clogs the file up. A metal brush will help, as will filing down a piece of harder scrap metal such as brass. Ultimately though you may find that the file loses its usefulness & you have to get a new file. I use 'good files' for brass etc & the older, tattier ones for WM.
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Offline Rich H

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Re: Do modelling files get "blunt"?
« Reply #5 on: September 10, 2017, 10:11:17 AM »
As above a good wire brushing.

Offline DivisMal

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Re: Do modelling files get "blunt"?
« Reply #6 on: September 10, 2017, 05:02:13 PM »
Thanks, I think I now got the point!

Offline Hammers

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Re: Do modelling files get "blunt"?
« Reply #7 on: September 11, 2017, 01:53:41 PM »
When they are badly clogged a wire brush will not help much. I n such cases I use a no 11 scalpel blade and drag its point along each grove.

Offline madman

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Re: Do modelling files get "blunt"?
« Reply #8 on: September 11, 2017, 06:18:03 PM »
There is a special hardened wire brush just for cleaning files. I got mine from an industrial supply house. The individual wires have a bend so there is an optimal direction to brush. Since the wires are hard it cleans out any metal including steel. I have yet (30+ years) had to replace a file.

Here is a typical example. Many companies make/carry them.

http://www.nicholsontool.com/nicholson-21467-10-file-card-and-brush.html

Offline Hammers

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Re: Do modelling files get "blunt"?
« Reply #9 on: September 12, 2017, 07:35:51 AM »
Do they work on needle files?
« Last Edit: September 22, 2017, 08:22:24 AM by Hammers »

Offline Fitz

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Re: Do modelling files get "blunt"?
« Reply #10 on: September 12, 2017, 08:54:07 PM »
Although clogging is the most likely culprit, files also get blunt through simple oxidation as the edges of their striations just crumble away at the microscopic level. Admittedly, this generally happens only over many years if they're looked after, and is only likely to be an issue in the short term if you're seeing visible rust on the file. Once a file gets rusty, it's on a rapid downward path to uselessness.

Offline Major_Gilbear

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Re: Do modelling files get "blunt"?
« Reply #11 on: September 13, 2017, 12:50:13 PM »
If you rub a little white chalk on your files, and then brush it off with a soft brush to leave a small residue, this helps to prevent them getting gummed up with soft metals.

With plastics and resins, swooshing them periodically through some clean pure acetone works wonders in dissolving any accumulations from them.

In any case, the usual sorts of advice for most tools applies:

1) Prevention is better than maintenance. Hence the chalk suggestion. You might want to consider keeping your files in a soft wallet too, so that they don't rub against each other in storage.

2) Good regular maintenance is better than occasional grand moments of maintenance. Cleaning off the files after each session is quicker and better than waiting until they feel blunt. A small soft brass brush is usually best for this in my experience.

3) Good tools are worth paying for in my experience. Cheap files made of poor material and with so-so cutting faces will not stand up to much or hard work. If you just need a get-you-by tool, then they may suffice. However, if you use them regularly, you might want to consider investing in some better quality ones.

If you live in an area with high humidity, and oiling tools is not a practical option (and it rarely is when using them for miniatures), you might want to look at getting some of those little packets with desiccating granules in them to put in your storage drawers and tool boxes. Whilst these are not a proper substitute for cleaning down tools or anything, putting a few in with your tools (and replacing them occasionally) will likely help them to stay brighter for longer - especially for tools like blades, files, and drill bits.

Offline bishop odo

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Re: Do modelling files get "blunt"?
« Reply #12 on: September 14, 2017, 10:06:26 PM »
I use diamond files, but i have a set of jewelers files that are tooled steel, for those you need the miniature equivalent of a card file, so I use a steel and brass wire brush, you can get a set at Harbor Freight,  go with the grain of the files, use the brass first and the wire only in extreme need.

Offline bobwithasilentc

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Re: Do modelling files get "blunt"?
« Reply #13 on: September 22, 2017, 07:30:26 AM »
Thanks for the info everyone. I'll see if I can get a brass wire brush to clean them. They were only a cheap set anyway, so if cleaning doesn't work I'll upgrade to a better set.

Offline Michi

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Re: Do modelling files get "blunt"?
« Reply #14 on: September 22, 2017, 07:43:06 AM »
DO they work on needle files?


Not really. I clean mine with the tip of a scalpel. I hate that.

 

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