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Couple of questions on files..And epoxy


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Files

I'm just about to start doing my first blade but i'm not sure what the best files are for draw filing I have heard that Nicholson files are not very good anymore so i'm not sure which ones to buy.

Epoxy

There are so many types of epoxy i'm not sure which is good or bad for handles. Any suggestions?

Edited by Conner Michaux
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I've found that Pferd brand files are good and you can find them on amazon. Get at least a 10" bastard cut. I have a 14" one that I got on amazon that's just about as good as my nos nicholson. The thing I learned about files is that technique is more important than the quality of the file. Files cut in one direction. Don't apply pressure on the back stroke or you will dull the file by breaking the teeth. Store them like you would any cutting tool, that is to say, don't throw them in a drawer and let them bang around against other tools or they will get dull quickly.

There are a lot of suitable epoxies for knife making. I use acraglass based off the recommendation of several other knife makers. Once again, though, technique is more important than brand or type. All surfaces to be glued should pre-fit so that there are no gaps. If it is a hidden tang knife than the tang should have notches for the epoxy to grab and if it is a full tang there should be holes drilled though or a scallop ground down the center. And most importantly, the tang should be degreased with acetone or denatured alcohol and then not touched with your bare hands before you glue up the handle.

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Eyyyyy thats me up there! 

I just got my gflex, havent used it yet tho so no verdict from me there. 

As for files, if you get nicholson, MAKE SURE you get the made in USA ones... The mexican and brazilian ones are crap, as in they dull before youre done filing blade #1. So don't waste money on inferior tools, spend the big bucks on the good files, they'll definitely be worth it.

Also remember to get all the scale/crap off the blade first, only file clean steel. Scale will dull a file faster than hardened steel

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8 hours ago, ethanknott said:

The mexican and brazilian ones are crap, as in they dull before youre done filing blade #1.

It isn't entirely accurate. My main stock removal file is a large 14" rectangular bastard by  Nicholson Brazil. I did remove a fair amount of stock with it and there's very little wear so far. Appears USA ones are best, Brazil are the OK second and mexican are junk.

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Steel from a factory comes with a mill scale on it. It can be rough on abrasives. I usually take a grinder with a nice rounded wheel on it to take the mill scale ofd and then you can use a file or belt grinder to remove material.

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2 hours ago, Conner Michaux said:

Where do you recommend buying the American made Nicholsons?

Ebay is the only source I know. Search "NOS Nicholson USA."  NOS means new old stock.

 

2 hours ago, Conner Michaux said:

Does steel come from the factory with scale on it?

As Jeremy said, unless it's precision ground it will have mill scale on it.  Grind that off.  Or if you forge it it will fall off and get replaced with forge scale.  

I should clarify: Steel comes in a few flavors: Hot Rolled or HR, has mill scale.  It is the cheapest grade for any given alloy.  Cold rolled or CR, may or may not have a little scale.  Almost only found in mild steel.  Blanchard ground: no scale.  Precision ground: no scale.  Centerless ground: round bar only, no scale.

Most tool steel is available as HR or precision ground.  Stainless is usually precision ground for the high tech stuff, but you can find 400-series in HR.

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