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Kenon Rain.
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Are there any left hand cut files out there? I always hated file work growing up because I weild one lefty, and only switched it around to find that it is so much more effective used right handed. But sadly, I am far from ambedextrous, and at risk of butchering my bevels I think it'd be alot easier just to find some lefty files. Does anyone know where I can find them? or if they even exist?

 

I've wanted to try my hand at file cutting, but figure finding a source would be a heck of alot easier..

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i have a similar issue myself.

 

i asked a gentleman who was a metal grinder from the old ..

he told me that there was one company in germany that was making such a thing.

but, whenever i try and ask around to see if anyone can order one in, they laugh and tell me that ive been sent on a wild goose chase for a laugh.

-_-

 

if you check out some of the files used in automotive repair you can find a weird looking file like THIS

 

it doesnt matter if you are left or right when using this kind of file and it removes a fair amount of metal too.

so you should be able to do your bevels with it.

 

but really, i think its just going to be a matter of getting used to how files cut and setting up as best as possible.

 

im ambidextrous and end up having to work out which hand wants to do what in everything i do.

gets to be a real pita,

so i feel your pain.

deeDWF4.jpg

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Well, I never had much trouble with files, but maybe I need to try to reverse my grip?? When I do "simple" filing, I hold the base (handle) with my left hand, support the tip with my right, and single stroke from bottom-left to upper-right (southwest -> northeast, assuming left shoulder=west, right=east). This seems pretty effective. When I draw file, the hold is the same. But, the stroke is towards me, from extended-arm position back towards me (north -> south). Maybe I've never really "used" a file correctly--any thoughts/wisdom?

 

Thanks,

Brian K.

Rogue Amateur and Weekend Hobbyist

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You mean it's easier for a right handed person to file. Shoot now i never found it awkward and i'm a lefty. Which hand do you hold the tang of the file with?

 

Bob

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You mean it's easier for a right handed person to file. Shoot now i never found it awkward and i'm a lefty. Which hand do you hold the tang of the file with?

 

Bob

I'm left-handed too, and it never occurred to me that files are made for right-handed folk until now... I'll have to try it right-handed and see if it cuts better. Perhaps the difference is only noticeable with certain types (cuts) of files.

 

One thing that has helped me immensely with precision filing... I always file horizontally, adjusting the workpiece instead of the angle I file at. You may want to try it, it seems to help, but requires a flexible vise setup to be able to clamp the piece at any angle.

George Ezell, bladesmith

" How much useful knowledge is lost by the scattered forms in which it is ushered to the world! How many solitary students spend half their lives in making discoveries which had been perfected a century before their time, for want of a condensed exhibition of what is known."
Buffon


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I'm left-handed too, and it never occurred to me that files are made for right-handed folk until now... I'll have to try it right-handed and see if it cuts better. Perhaps the difference is only noticeable with certain types (cuts) of files.

 

One thing that has helped me immensely with precision filing... I always file horizontally, adjusting the workpiece instead of the angle I file at. You may want to try it, it seems to help, but requires a flexible vise setup to be able to clamp the piece at any angle.

 

Thanks George i will give it a try although i never found filing hard being a southpaw.

 

Bob

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I hold the file tang in my left hand and file away from me, if you look at the surface of a file, at least mine which I believe is a bastard cut, the cutting edges run pretty much parallel with the surface of the piece, and skate alot more than the would the otherway. I've never tried towards me but I guess that would do pretty much the same thing as switching hands :P

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I hold the file tang in my left hand and file away from me, if you look at the surface of a file, at least mine which I believe is a bastard cut, the cutting edges run pretty much parallel with the surface of the piece, and skate alot more than the would the otherway. I've never tried towards me but I guess that would do pretty much the same thing as switching hands :P

 

That my friend would be draw filing :o and i tried it but it did not work for me i had no control over the file, maybe it's a left hand thing :(

 

Bob

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A piece of flat bar with sandpaper works pretty good and doesn;t care about orientation . Just wrap the sandpaper

around the bar , and wrap it a little farther for fresh paper as needed . I've used this a lot on different projects . At least it might be a help until you find something better .

Ken Burbank

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I think the trick to file work is how the teeth of the file are oriented to the work.... I don't see how right hand or left hand means anything to the teeth cutting the metal.... I think for a lefty that when you are standing in front of the work the natural position you take to file in orients the teeth of the file parallel to the work .... if you imagine the work as narrow as the gap between the teeth then the piece will fall into the gap but if you angle the file slightly now one tooth can ride up on the work before the tooth in front of it falls off the edge of the work... at some point it becomes easy ( especially if the file is dull) for the a tooth to catch the edge and ride along it instead of across it... that's when the file takes off skating across all that nice finished surface you have been making ..mad.gif But if you stand off to the side some and run the file at more of a perpedicular angle to the work it stops skating ... or if you turn the file and draw file you accomplish the same thing... you can draw file in either direction.... when the teeth are cutting as you push away there isn't as much control to your stroke.... if you turn the file around there is much more control over pulling towards you... the Japanese tend to pull their tools we in the west push ours for the most part....

 

I do agree that the angle files are cut at are easier for a right hand person to use when standing in a "natural" position in front of the work .

but using files is pretty intuitive and we all gravitate to finding they work better in some positions than others...

 

 

 

I think it is harder to work opposite hand from what you are natural .... the file cuts just as good for me left hand or right hand if I have the file oriented to the work correctly .... I'm right handed so I have more control right handed ....

Dick

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Take a look at Nicholson Super-Shear and Magjicut files. Dee, the 14" one you linked to is similar to a Super-Shear: big, deep circular cut teeth.

The circular cut teeth work well at any angle. Super shear also has some cross cuts that keep it from filling up. I was pretty amazed the first time I used one. Mine still feels like a new file.

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