Author Topic: Refurbishing Files  (Read 2487 times)

Offline WadePatton

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Re: Refurbishing Files
« Reply #25 on: June 04, 2018, 07:00:19 PM »
Not much could be easier to find, ready-made and inexpensive at nearly every vendor of groceries anywhere. 5% Acetic Acid -cleverly disguised as White Vinegar- that is.   ;D

TBT here I've picked up another stash of Black Diamonds  out of the rusty crud-stacks of the local antiques stores and have yet to dunk 'em.  Actually used a tri-corner Simonds already that didn't really need much.  But have other things pressing presently.

And I'll keep keeping my eye out for re-workable files from the Age of Domestic Industrial Cyanide:P 

Hoarders unite. :o
« Last Edit: June 04, 2018, 07:01:56 PM by WadePatton »
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Offline David R.

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Re: Refurbishing Files
« Reply #26 on: June 05, 2018, 02:35:15 AM »
I tried a couple files in vineager. I used cider vineager cause it was cheap. A 14” flat bastard and a 12” half round that were both pretty rough looking and rusty. Both cleaned up real nice. I took a piece of
1 1/2” pvc pipe with one end capped and hung it up by a wire. Put them in there Friday and took them out today  (Monday) and rinsed and scrubbed them. They look real good. I set them in the sun and oiled them good when they got dry
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Offline TMerkley

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Re: Refurbishing Files
« Reply #27 on: June 10, 2018, 10:26:53 AM »
Wade, I’ve heard that method for years, but never tried it. I have several “crash test dummies” available, so now it’s off to the shop and see what happens. I never throw away files...😉

Greg

If I were married, I wouldn't get caught rinsing them off indoors.

I'm not, and the dogs don't care, so I do. But it's some funky stuff.

I'm married, and I did, got some strange looks from the Mrs. and the step daughters. Oh by the way, those were farrier's rasps....  Their horses, they don't have much room to complain.... ;D

Offline Bob Roller

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Re: Refurbishing Files
« Reply #28 on: June 10, 2018, 07:41:16 PM »
I bought a gallon of new white 5% vinegar yesterday for redoing files.
It seems to work and I have a number of them that need all the help
I can give them.This is done in he shop and not in the house and I was
amazed at the rubbish left after the first batch was done.One was a #8
cut Swiss made thin pillar file.This is a very fine cut and according to the
maker has 233 teeth per inch.

Bob Roller

Online smylee grouch

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Re: Refurbishing Files
« Reply #29 on: June 11, 2018, 04:53:33 AM »
So is the plan of attack to soak in straight vinegar for a couple of days and then clean and oil?

Offline WadePatton

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Re: Refurbishing Files
« Reply #30 on: June 11, 2018, 06:28:54 AM »
So is the plan of attack to soak in straight vinegar for a couple of days and then clean and oil?

That has worked for me.  Seems that a couple of days is best to see where you're at.  Any sort of pre-cleaning might help speed it up, but I think that just adds work.  I use this for neglected tools too.  Anything I want to de-rust that I can cover in vinegar is game.  I've not "oversoaked" anything that I know of, but have "re-soaked" a few to get them cleaner. 

The black crud that comes off is not unlike the crud that comes off old iron from years underwater. Kinda funky. And yes they'll flash rust pretty quickly if you don't get the oil back on or get them thoroughly dried quickly, but the flash rusting is nothing compared to what usually comes off. 

What have you got to lose? Try some junkers.
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Offline TMerkley

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Re: Refurbishing Files
« Reply #31 on: June 11, 2018, 09:39:59 AM »
Wade,

I did Muriatic acid a few years back on some old files and rusty taps,  It worked within seconds but, had to put in oil right away to prevent more rust....  Worked really fast!!!! And really Sharp!!!!

One thing I learned with Working with Muriatic acid.... Once the bubbles stop, then remove the metal... that means the oxidation has been removed. Any time in after that is eating in to the metal itself. 

I have done an old 22 and an old Hawken barrel with a soak once, it was a good dip, however, it left a "greenish" tint to the metal.  I didn't sand the 22 barrel deep enough to remove the "green" however, the Hawken barrel I worked over with emery cloth and cold blue, it turned out dark blue.  Just looking at it, you would think it was factory "hot blue".


Online xx54

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Re: Refurbishing Files
« Reply #32 on: June 11, 2018, 11:16:35 PM »
I have been keeping up with this post. A while back my cousin mentioned refurbishing wood rasps and files, so I took some out and he soaked them in meuratic acid. They came back very sharp and looked like new. I couldn't believe that this made them usable again. I have noticed fish hooks that I have purchased before said " they were chemically sharpened". So anyone interested might try this.

Offline PPatch

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Re: Refurbishing Files
« Reply #33 on: June 16, 2018, 10:38:43 PM »
Okay, I bit the bullet and tried 10 files in the vinegar treatment, they soaked for a little over two days, and were turned over twice. When I removed them mid morning I scrubbed them with a steel brush, there was loads of "stuff" that remained in the vinegar. I then flushed them at an outdoor spicket and immediately dried them with shop towels and then my heat gun, and sprayed them with WD-40. I could see that flash rust beginning to form as I put the heat gun to them.

I tested one 8" file this afternoon and it cut better than it had been. Which is not bad at all as the files were, in my mind, goners and had been sitting in the back of my file drawer for ages.

Wade; it works. Thanks man.

dave
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Offline WadePatton

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Re: Refurbishing Files
« Reply #34 on: June 16, 2018, 11:52:29 PM »
I bought a gallon of new white 5% vinegar yesterday for redoing files.
It seems to work ...This is a very fine cut and according to the
maker has 233 teeth per inch.

Bob Roller

Bob I'm especially happy to have shared something new with a fellow who has seen so much (and has helped me/others with his vast knowledge). And certainly it's the odd or expensive (or just "good old hard" files) that make this such a good one.



Okay, I bit the bullet and tried 10 files in the vinegar treatment... not bad at all as the files were, in my mind, goners and had been sitting in the back of my file drawer for ages.

Wade; it works. Thanks man.

dave

Dave/all, It's great to "give back" a little. So many various "new" and otherwise things in our constant stream of info overload these days, that I'm happy to have struck on something that a few of us can really put to the test, particularly given the removal of cyanide from steel processing.

Sure, with regard to some comments on other chemical processing and processing services: These have been around for some time-but one may have to either source the "new" chemical and learn how to use it safely. Or he'll have to package and post and pay and wait for any remote service (or deliver/retrieve if local).  With the Acetic Acid treatment there is: No packing, no shipping, nothing you can't make pickles with, not much waiting, and you can watch the bubbles if your "vat" permits it (can see the foam at the very least).  Can be a touch messy, but most serious file-users can deal with it.  ;)

Also that vinegar has been around some great time and has a history of being home-made.  Not to fail to mention that Iron Acetate is used by some to stain their wooden bits and stocks. And one who refurbs his files this way shall have no shortage of Iron Acetate. 

I tend to pour the clear liquid off, dump the sludge and reuse the clear part, adding fresh vinegar as necessary. I know this dilutes the acidity, but that hasn't been an issue so far and of course once can re-soak if necessary.

I've not fooled with iron acetate and wood for a while, but ain't above it... 8)

« Last Edit: June 16, 2018, 11:53:20 PM by WadePatton »
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Offline Mauser06

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Re: Refurbishing Files
« Reply #35 on: September 14, 2018, 08:41:25 AM »
I finally got around to trying it on my chest of old files. 


I bought 3 gallons of vinegar and put them all in a 5 gallon bucket.  Should have bought 4 gallons...lol.


I took a batch out after 3 days and the difference is incredible.  I still have a lot of them in there that were a little worse off but seem to be cleaning up nicely. 

Surprisingly, they aren't all the same stitch like I thought.  Have a pretty nice variety. 2 knife style files for screw heads...a bunch of small rounds and triangles.  Even found a real nice riffler. 

Seems junk tools weren't common or maybe not even on the market when this guy collected his files. All good old Nicholson's, some Simmonds, some American made ones I've never heard of...a couple marked "Austria" which seem like they are quality as well. A few dollars in the chest full of files and another few bucks in vinegar and I have plenty of usable files.


They are coming out much sharper than new Nicholsons. 

Offline WadePatton

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Re: Refurbishing Files
« Reply #36 on: September 14, 2018, 02:49:31 PM »
Giving new life to old tools is handy and helps getter dunn.

Kinda hard to grasp the transformation until you do it.  Makes the junk bins (at the junk store, as well as our own) more interesting for sure. Glad I could help spread this practical knowhow.   8)

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Offline J Henry

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Re: Refurbishing Files
« Reply #37 on: September 14, 2018, 03:55:59 PM »
    I was/am wondering,would this rust remover work on a rusted barrel or lock!!

Offline g.pennell

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Re: Refurbishing Files
« Reply #38 on: September 14, 2018, 05:40:09 PM »
I don’t see why not. I’ve done a couple batches of files so far, and it’s an absolute miracle. I’ve cleaned up some rusty pliers and a vintage pair of Wiss tin snips that were so rusty they wouldn’t move...after a week or so in vinegar they came out nearly perfect.  A little paint on the handles, and they’re good to go for another 50 years. I have several more old tools soaking right now...

Greg
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Offline WadePatton

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Re: Refurbishing Files
« Reply #39 on: September 15, 2018, 05:54:36 AM »
    I was/am wondering,would this rust remover work on a rusted barrel or lock!!

It's my experience that whatever melts away in the process was oxidized beyond repair/recognition anyway. I've never (yet) put anything in the vinegar and later regretted it. 

Acetic acid is my go to for anything rusty, period. I found a hammer that'd been lost under as house where water had been standing long enough to cause black mold. Rusty as heck.  Two or three days in the soak and now a have a gray hammer with some rough spots, but no nasty rust-and I used it today or yesterday. It's an Estwing. 

If something is rusted up, you ain't going to hurt it with vinegar, of that I'm about certain. You'll likely help it.  And it beats the doggie doo out of trying to clean rust up with a wire wheel or higher-tech buffing apparatus. 

There may be better easier chemical concoctions, but there are none cheaper or lower toxicity. 

Also, I'm not affiliated with Big Vinegar and I paid regular money for my supply.  :P ;D

« Last Edit: September 15, 2018, 06:02:51 AM by WadePatton »
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