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Thread: Draw filing

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    Default Draw filing

    My father was a machinist by trade, and one of the many skills that he passed on to me was how to draw file. I find uses for it all the time. Things like getting an edge ready to sharpen, flattening the backs of chisels and plane blades,etc. I also find it very calming, it slows me down and gives me much needed lessions in patience.
    What do you guys think of this technique?

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    Use it almost daily. Great way of flatening stock, or keeping stock flat or keeping/making a consistant angle. Personaly I prefer draw filing over using a grinder.
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    I use it a lot making stuff flat.

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    I find that it's a good way to get extra use out of a file that is too worn for much else. Also, draw filing with a fine cut file such as a raker file really gets an axe edge ready to finish off with a fine stone.

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    How about a description of the technique, for The Rest of Us - The Great Unwashed ..
    .. Thnx

    Joe

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    Essentially, you use a file as you would use a drawknife on wood. Hold the file in both hands at whatever angle is suitable and draw toward you with slight downward pressure. As with all file work, at the end of the stroke pick the file up and move it to the beginning. Don't scrub back and forth.

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    This is probably why the Japanese saws are so popular. The control gained by "drawing" just seems to be much easier to maintain. And if your arms get tired, you can use a rocking motion to assist.

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    To build on the description of the technique, you need to pay attention to the direction the teeth cut. Assuming your file has teeth that only slant in one direction, you need to check which direction the teeth are cutting. If you hold it by the handle, tip out, you draw your finger across it horizontally. First left-to-right, and then right-to-left.

    Odds are, your file is slanting upwards from left to right, and when you move your finger from left to right, it "catches" a little. When you move from right to left, your finger will just glide over it without catching a little. This lets you know the teeth are cutting away from you, and to the left.

    If you hold the handle in your right hand, tip of the file in your left hand, you can push the file over a metal surface and it will cut or shave metal off.

    If you put the handle in your left hand, and tip of the file in your right hand, you can draw it toward you, and it will cut or shave metal.

    When you do this, the top (or up-side) of the file will look wrong, but the bottom (down side) is actually correct.

    If your teeth are aligned in a different way, test it out to figure out which way the teeth are cutting, and think of it like a knife. You want to push the edge into a piece of wood, not the spine.

    If you are draw filing correctly, you will feel the file bite into the metal. If it just glides over the metal, and shaving are not produced, then you are probably doing it wrong, and you need to check where the teeth are, and figure out how to hold it to make the teeth dig in.

    Warning: some metals, particularly harder stainless steels, seem very resistant to draw filing. The file just seems to glide over them no matter how I hold it. So, I use the grinder on those.

    Have fun!!! This is an excellent technique!

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    I do it all the time. And I'm a machinist.

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    I usually use file cabinet over a draw


    But seriously, yes very often, its a great technique

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