Chalking files...need advice

Discussion in 'Other Tools' started by Ptpalpha, Aug 8, 2018.

  1. Ptpalpha

    Ptpalpha Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2016
    Messages:
    4,103
    Likes Received:
    16,535
    Location:
    Michigan
    Ok, I've never chalked a file until today. When I file metal, which is often, I card the file religiously, but never used chalk.
    Last night I took the plunge and tried to get a bit more life out of half a dozen or so old Nicholson's by soaking them in vinegar for 24 hours.
    Soaked, rinsed in baking soda water, brushed clean with a stainless parts brush, and dried quick with the heat gun to stop the rust flash.
    Then.... I literally rubbed them with regular old white chalkboard chalk, tapped them off and carded them.
    Everything I described above worked very well, and kind of got my feet wet with the chalk.
    Here's my question:
    When you are actually filing metal, what's your chalking/carding routine? Are you simply following up carding with chalking, and everything else remains the same?
    How much chalk is on the file when you're ready to start filing again?
    If someone who knows what they're doing would take a picture of a chalked file right before it's going to hit the metal I'd sure appreciate it. I can't believe that I'm supposed to file with the teeth filled with chalk.
    Sorry for the long post, but I need to know!!!
    Lol
    Thanks friends.
    -Paul
     
  2. cbrianroll

    cbrianroll Professional Tinkerer

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2017
    Messages:
    1,444
    Likes Received:
    5,899
    Location:
    wet western washington
    Watching....I've never done this.
     
  3. Ptpalpha

    Ptpalpha Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2016
    Messages:
    4,103
    Likes Received:
    16,535
    Location:
    Michigan
    While we're waiting, I will say that the vinegar cleaning worked miraculously. I know the method is subject to diminishing returns, but the files that I was about to retire feel sharp and ready to work.
     
    MrFixIt, SmilinJoe, Jim L. and 2 others like this.
  4. PAcanis

    PAcanis Supporter Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2017
    Messages:
    3,691
    Likes Received:
    16,944
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    I've heard that chalking prevents build up, but only tried it a few times and gave up on it. Heck, I file dry most of the time because I want to see what I'm doing and just card as needed. My filing experience is limited to 1911's.
    But I'm watching and curious, too.
     
    MrFixIt, OrienM, Jim L. and 1 other person like this.
  5. Jim L.

    Jim L. Supporter Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2011
    Messages:
    1,986
    Likes Received:
    9,348
    Location:
    Brunswick, Georgia
    DON'T USE CHALK. Unless you want to clean rust continuously. Use soap stone. It has better dry lubrication properties. Plus its hydrophobic.
     
    weltondl, MrFixIt, PAcanis and 3 others like this.
  6. Kelly W

    Kelly W Love the Axe Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2017
    Messages:
    1,285
    Likes Received:
    7,381
    I file a lot too @Ptpalpha. I don't chalk or stone mine. I use the brush all the time and only file forward with an obsession. I also keep them in a clean a dry environment. I bought 2 new sets of what I consider to be expensive files about 2 years ago and they still work great. I've tried cleaning old ones once they didn't seem to cut good any more and afterwards they still didn't seem to cut too good. I really just hope they keep cutting like they are now. The good news they are lifetime warranty through snap-on tools.
     
  7. Ptpalpha

    Ptpalpha Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2016
    Messages:
    4,103
    Likes Received:
    16,535
    Location:
    Michigan
    Well NOW you tell me! Lol, duly noted, and I'll be getting some soapstone tomorrow.
    So your files are Snap On brand? I've been wondering who makes really good files these days; I've got a few Bahco's and while they're certainly light-years better than the current Nicholson's they still don't last as long as the old Nicholson's.
     
    Jim L. likes this.
  8. Kelly W

    Kelly W Love the Axe Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2017
    Messages:
    1,285
    Likes Received:
    7,381
    My 2 newest sets are snap-on branded and they are the best I've used in some time. More than 200$ fo 8 files. I haven't had to exchange one yet (which I think is a good thing) but I expect it not to be an issue. I've bought from them for 30+ years and my only gripe has been the cost.
     
    Jim L. and Ptpalpha like this.
  9. cbrianroll

    cbrianroll Professional Tinkerer

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2017
    Messages:
    1,444
    Likes Received:
    5,899
    Location:
    wet western washington
    Cool! Learning.. lol
     
    Jim L. likes this.
  10. Gruntinhusaybah

    Gruntinhusaybah Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2011
    Messages:
    2,295
    Likes Received:
    4,025
    Location:
    North San Diego county
    Pferd makes excellent files. They make all the files for Stihl.

    Are those Snap On files made by Snap On or just rebranded? I'd be willing to bet they are rebranded and then the 400% Snap On mark up
     
    Ptpalpha and Jim L. like this.
  11. DavidJAFO

    DavidJAFO Guide

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2013
    Messages:
    4,500
    Likes Received:
    14,943
    Location:
    "Remember, no matter where you go, there you are."
    hello,
    It's an age old method to prevent 'pinning' in which you rub a piece of standard chalk along the teeth of the file before using it on the work-piece. The chalk coating will help to keep the file from clogging up = pinning. I was taught this at school. :)
    Regards
    David
     
    Jim L., Kelly W and Ptpalpha like this.
  12. Jim L.

    Jim L. Supporter Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2011
    Messages:
    1,986
    Likes Received:
    9,348
    Location:
    Brunswick, Georgia
    @Ptpalpha , the wide marking stones that welders use are what I use to "chalk" my files.

    I couldn't say for sure, but I use it for sanding paper too. It seems to make the paper last a few strokes longer.
     
    Kelly W and Ptpalpha like this.
  13. PAcanis

    PAcanis Supporter Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2017
    Messages:
    3,691
    Likes Received:
    16,944
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    Yeah, soapstone. That's what I've used.
     
    Jim L. and Ptpalpha like this.
  14. Ptpalpha

    Ptpalpha Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2016
    Messages:
    4,103
    Likes Received:
    16,535
    Location:
    Michigan
    Jim L. and Kelly W like this.
  15. Daniel Klinglesmith

    Daniel Klinglesmith Ornory Old Dog Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    1
    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2018
    Messages:
    1,034
    Likes Received:
    5,726
    Location:
    Louisville, KY
    I never do anything but card my files when I see them starting to clog up. I've got a few older ones I've been meaning to soak, but haven't done it yet.
     
    Jim L. likes this.
  16. natechuck

    natechuck Tracker

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2014
    Messages:
    97
    Likes Received:
    206
    Location:
    Michigan's upper peninsula
    I use my kids side walk chalk, but it will hold moisture, so i try to card it all out when i'm done. How much? maybe two passes? I have found the biggest benefit from the chalk when i'm working softer metal, it tends to clog the teeth more than say an axe head or saw teeth. soapstone sounds like a good option.
     
    Jim L. likes this.
  17. Kelly W

    Kelly W Love the Axe Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2017
    Messages:
    1,285
    Likes Received:
    7,381
    That link is a very good read for any filer, @Ptpalpha

    I file all the axes I repair/restore, usually with pretty good results. I feel filing is the only way to really return then to their true potential. There are some tips in the various links that are well worth absorbing.
     
    Jim L. and Ptpalpha like this.
  18. Jim L.

    Jim L. Supporter Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2011
    Messages:
    1,986
    Likes Received:
    9,348
    Location:
    Brunswick, Georgia
    The "chalking" of files with the soap stone reduces the build up that results in a clogged file. It won't prevent an eventual clog, but it will reduce its occurace.
     
    Ptpalpha and PAcanis like this.
  19. USMCPOP

    USMCPOP Scout

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2017
    Messages:
    502
    Likes Received:
    1,412
    Location:
    Virginia
    Soft soapstone is largely talc (talcum).
     
    Jim L. likes this.
  20. MoxemDeliph

    MoxemDeliph Guide

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2009
    Messages:
    1,372
    Likes Received:
    13
    My background with filing is that of a metalsmith, as such I've worked with copper, silver, steel, iron, brass, bronze and a few Japanese allows that are either mostly silver or copper. My experience with chalking is that it extends the amount of time before you have to card. It prevents a lot of galling that "sticky" metals like nickel and copper and silver and brass tend to do.

    It's kind of like spraying a tent with sealer but you still need to really hit those seams every once in a while...not the best analogy, but it's easy maintenance before the more difficult maintenance.
     
    whtshdwwz and Jim L. like this.

Share This Page