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Dale

Finishing finishing decorative filework

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I am leaning the basics of decorative filework. This practice piece (image) was copied from an 18th century folding fork. My questions are: 

1. how does one finishe the file cuts? Do you use a stone, burnisher? (I use a #4 file)

2. Can these cuts be made with diamond or other shaped wheels?

I thank you in advance for your any advice, info. Dale

20180303_163205.jpg

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Generally it's like everything else; sandpaper. Otherwise, the best bet is probably dremel bits: jewelers have a ton for every purpose imaginable. I don't do much filework but my go to would be rubber polishing bits, like this one: https://www.dremel.com/en_US/products/-/show-product/accessories/462-rubber-polishing-cone-point . Rubber polishing bits are generally just rubber imbedded with abrasives. It feels like magic when you use them. Only tricky bit would be to keep all the sand lines consistent, but it just takes a bit of practice. 

Yes, theoretically you could get good enough with a stone rotary bit or a grinding belt, but honestly if you're grinding on a stone (as opposed to a belt) it's faster, easier, and more accurate to use files anyway. Same with using abrasive belts, except it'd technically be faster. Never underestimate the file. 

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Sorry it took so long for me to respond. I have done a bunch of filework on handle frames, blade spines, spacers and other fittings. I cannot emphasize how valuable the DVD by Duane Dushane. There's a link to it in this thread.

I generally start with a chainsaw file or other rough cut/diamond file, sometimes a #2 depending on the pattern and work up to a #4. For the small notches in the pattern above, the #4 should get a good enough finish that a good buffing with black/red will work fine. The rounder and bigger areas will need some sanding before buffing. I use a steel rod wrapped in sandpaper (320-400-600). I have a bunch of steel rods in various sizes fro 3/32" up to 1/4". Large V-shaped notches I would do the sandpaper trick wrapped over the same size file I used to cut the notch, only I will have ground the teeth off the file to get a smooth side first. (I have several of these in various sizes too.)

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