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How big are the largest files???


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Just a random question.  How big are the biggest files??  I make my knives from old files (like most beginners).  So, I have been acquiring files at garage sales and estate sales.  Today I bought a file, that for me, is gigantic.  With the tang it is almost 2 feet long.  It's bigger than a farriers rasp.  I almost feel bad about the idea of grinding or cutting it.  

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I remember seeing some real old ones that were wider and thicker. 17" is about max length. What brand is the file? If it is a good file they can recut the file. I can't remember the name of the company but if you want I can look for it!!

Edited by C Craft
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I recall an anecdote about the British machining expert, Joseph Whitworth, where an elderly factory foreman remembered him working as a mechanic in his early years, where according to the old man Whitworth was "Good with all hand tools but simply a wonder to watch with an 18" mill file."

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They used to make them up to 24 inches, but 16 is the biggest these days.

 

If you can use that as a file please do, it would be a shame to waste it aa a blade.  That sharpening service is by www.boggstool.com .  I have yet to use them, but they get great reviews.

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5 hours ago, Rob Davis said:

C Craft, I touched it up with a wire brush.  It appears to say DISSTON USA BITE-RT

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That is an old one.  My dad used to have some Disston triangle files for sharpening hand saws! I am not sure when Disston quit the files, but I haven't seen a Disston in years! That is too good a find to make a knife out of!! I'd use it till it wouldn't cut anymore and then send it out for new teeth! :D Like Alan said,  https://boggstool.com/

 

When you were asking about how large old files were made. My FIL had one that had been cut down to make a cold chisel. It was close to 2" wide and 3/8" - 1/2" thick, as for length I don't know how long it originally was because some one had cut it down to about 6"! He used it for cutting the tops out of 50 gal. drums. I used it one time by hand to cut out a drum and missed the chisel by the time I got three fourths of the way around the barrel. Hit my hand with a two pound sledge. I had to use vice grips to hold it after that. I just couldn't make my hand stay there and take a chance on hitting it again!  head shake.gif

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Along these same lines of quality old files and rasps. Can anyone tell me about the quality of old horse rasps by Save Edge Rasp or Bellota Farrier Rasps. Are either of them of any quality steel??

 

Edited by C Craft
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Those are both decent, at least the old ones.  Some newer Bellota rasps are case hardened, but all the 10+ year old ones I've used are good.

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I spoke with a man from BOGGS TOOL COMPANY today.  What a cool company.  I was concerned about how much it might cost to have them fix up this old file.  He quoted me a price that was some number (I don't recall) of cents per inch.   So it' going to cost less than $4 to sharpen up this file.  What a very cool company.  The man added that if they can't sharpen in to meet their standards they will only charge me 25 cents.   Amazing!  Now all I have to do is find a container that the file will fit in.    Thanks for the recommendation!!  

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i have a large file that someone else cut in half but it was a good old nicholson so i used a triangle diamond file to resharpen it and it was well worth the effort, it might take a couple hours on a file that big, it probably took me an hour to do 8 inches.

 

recutting a file would take annealing, grinding, and then chiseling on new teeth which most files arent thick enough for. i guess thats why some old files are so thick. 

 

if you had a way to heat treat such a thing, you could make a file 48" long 1/2" thick and 2" wide for about $50 in steel and a shop made chisel. imagine using that on a filing jig...

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