Author Topic: Making a dovetail file?  (Read 1138 times)

Offline Treebeard

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Making a dovetail file?
« on: September 07, 2017, 09:12:05 PM »
I have about wore out my two dovetail files from Brownells. I believe I have heard that some take a regular three sided file and remove teeth on two sides. My question is how best to do this?

Offline Dennis Glazener

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Re: Making a dovetail file?
« Reply #1 on: September 07, 2017, 09:43:32 PM »
A belt sander worked for me but watch the tips of you fingers :'(
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Offline PPatch

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Re: Making a dovetail file?
« Reply #2 on: September 07, 2017, 11:15:12 PM »
I just did one this morning and used a bench grinder. Does a quick job but watch out that you don't overheat the file and like Dennis said - watch those fingers and wear eye protection by all means.

dave
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Offline Tim Crosby

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Re: Making a dovetail file?
« Reply #3 on: September 07, 2017, 11:30:33 PM »
 Why Two sides, don't you need just one safe side?

   Tim C.

Offline Joe S.

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Re: Making a dovetail file?
« Reply #4 on: September 08, 2017, 12:04:21 AM »
I found using a belt sander wanted to put a slight radius on the safe side while trying to hold it by hand.I ended up making a jig that held the file true to the table and other file edges.This made for a perfect,flat safe side with nice sharp,crisp edges.You do have to pay extra mind to not over heat the file,take it slow.

Offline P.W.Berkuta

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Re: Making a dovetail file?
« Reply #5 on: September 08, 2017, 01:05:49 AM »
I use a belt grinder or bench grinder to get most of the teeth off on one side then I use a coarse stone then a fine diamond plate to finish it off.
"The person who says it cannot be done should not interrupt the person who is doing it." - Chinese proverb

Offline Treebeard

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Re: Making a dovetail file?
« Reply #6 on: September 08, 2017, 08:11:38 AM »
Thanks for all the input- I am now experimenting with both a grinding stone and belt sander as has been suggested. Tim the Brownells dove tail files come with only one side with teeth so thought I would duplicate that. I may try doing just one side.

Offline D. Taylor Sapergia

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Re: Making a dovetail file?
« Reply #7 on: September 08, 2017, 07:55:04 PM »
You only need to remove the teeth from one side of a three sided file.  I use my 6" x 48" belt grinder, holding the file vertically pointing the file down from the top end of the grinder.  Otherwise, it's easy to get the file tipped a bit, and it no longer gives a 60 degree corner.
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Offline Treebeard

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Re: Making a dovetail file?
« Reply #8 on: September 09, 2017, 05:19:10 AM »
I used the belt sander today to smooth just one side of a file. Used it to do a rear sight dovetail.
A lot cheaper than store bought! Thanks for all the input.

Offline flehto

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Re: Making a dovetail file?
« Reply #9 on: September 10, 2017, 02:40:22 PM »
I "safe" only one side and do it on a bench grinder which yields a hollow ground surface which stays flat when filing, Enough steel is removed so that the corners are sharp......Fred

Offline Treebeard

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Re: Making a dovetail file?
« Reply #10 on: September 11, 2017, 08:44:08 PM »
I will be modifing three sided files from here on out and appreciate the tips. I am lucky that Kansas has a lot of estate sales where I can pick up files as low as 50 cents.

Offline D. Taylor Sapergia

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Re: Making a dovetail file?
« Reply #11 on: September 12, 2017, 08:14:01 AM »
There is nothing like a brandy new triangular file, one side ground down to expose sharp corners, to cut a dovetail.  Makes for accurate and clean dovetails, with as little effort as possible.  A worn or old file doesn't cut it...sorry about the pun.
D. Taylor Sapergia
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Offline Bob Roller

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Re: Making a dovetail file?
« Reply #12 on: September 12, 2017, 02:17:05 PM »
Find IF possible a three cornered file with SHARP.not radiused corners.
It will make the job MUCH easier.

Bob Roller

Offline Treebeard

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Re: Making a dovetail file?
« Reply #13 on: September 15, 2017, 01:22:50 AM »
The advise about sharp corners abd non rediused corners is well taken. I will be on lookout for quality files to use next I need them. I really liked my Brownells but they only last so long.

Offline T*O*F

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Re: Making a dovetail file?
« Reply #14 on: September 15, 2017, 03:48:47 AM »
Quote
I really liked my Brownells but they only last so long.
You can send them to Boggs to be resharpened.  Considering what the Brownells ones cost, I would.

Dave Kanger

A dedicated person with just a pocketknife can accomplish more than a lazy person with an entire toolbox.

Offline Treebeard

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Re: Making a dovetail file?
« Reply #15 on: September 16, 2017, 01:57:58 AM »
Quote
I really liked my Brownells but they only last so long.
You can send them to Boggs to be resharpened.  Considering what the Brownells ones cost, I would.

I'm not familiar with Boggs. Does he have a website or store with contact info.

Offline T*O*F

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Re: Making a dovetail file?
« Reply #16 on: September 16, 2017, 02:40:58 AM »
Use the search function to find threads about them.  Lots of kudos from guys here.

http://boggstool.com/
Dave Kanger

A dedicated person with just a pocketknife can accomplish more than a lazy person with an entire toolbox.