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ISO Best Files for Draw Filing

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I've been making kiridachi lately, and I'd like to finish the tops of the blades (which is wrought iron) with a draw filed pattern. I've been using a fairly course Nicholson 12 or 15 inch cross cut file, which produces an acceptable, if somewhat subtle pattern of parallel lines/ridges.

 

So, does anyone have any suggestions about how to go about getting a more pronounced effect? I'd like to be able to produce deep, even, parallel lines that almost look like they were cut in with a graver. Is there a particular file type or shape that works best for this sort of thing? Any helpful wisdom out there?

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I have been wondering about that myself. Checkering files would work, but there must be a Japanese solution.

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There are some really coarse files from a place that Kris Skelton found. They seem to leave pretty deep marks. I don't know about comparing them to others, but I know they are pretty deep. I think its Victor Machine Co. or something like that.

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I would try the edgfe of a horshoe rasp. The edges have a cutting surface that run 90 degrees to the length of the rasp. They are fairly deep and are about 20 teeth to the inch (it varies from mfg to mfg). Aligning the teeth for several passes would be difficult but I guess we call that craftsmanship :261:

 

Hope this helps, I'll try to get a picture posted

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what about using a wide flat chisel..... and hammering it in...perpedicular to the work.. ... this should give abit of height....as your not removing metal..... just pounding in a groove

 

it maybe tedious to do each line, though :unsure:

 

Greg

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David,

I've been draw-filing a lot lately. While shaping an inside curve I kept forcing the edge of the file into the metal. It created a pattern of deep, parallel grooves. Try holding the file so only the edge (corner) is in contact. Just an observation, hope it helps.

Edited by Tracy

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I`ve been using a 9 inch bastard file to domost of my draw filing. I found that when I would cross file (if thats what you call it) I developed a rythm and was able to set the file down in the same spot- a sort of feel as I set the file back down and with light pressure I would start the motion, same direction until the teeth would grab and then I`d bear down. The end result was a very uniform parallel set of deep lines (as deep as the cutting teeth would allow. If I can find where my 6 year old has hiddenmy camera I will try andtake some pictures ofmy nextproject at that stage so you can see

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I once got a nice effect of parallel lines using a very coarse rat-tail file in a draw-filing motion. The round shape seems to concentrate alot of action in a small space.

 

I recall reading that one modern Japanese smith was using small sections of various sawblades to achive deep parallel 'file' marks...

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I have no idea.... really... But, I've tried the using the sides of a rough file at an angle and that will work a bit. I'm thinking lately about making a chisel with a lot of fine teeth and trying that. I figure something shaped something like a wide flat bottom face with fine serrations cut in. Hammer or scrape with it... Have no idea if it would work but the theory has some potential, maybe, where very coarse lines or patterns are wanted....

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I do pretty much what Tracy said above. I use the edge of a single cut bastard mill file to create either parallel grooves along the length or diagonally. I almost never cross file with the flat of the file anymore; I use the corners and sides of the file to develop the bevels from the nakago to the point. Once these are established, I clean up the file marks on the blade by draw filing with the flat of the file, but leave the nakago alone. It takes practice to be able to file diagonally with the edge of a bastard file without crossing or jumping out of the groves. The file marks left in the nakago tell you a lot about the skill of the smith and the attention to detail and care taken in making the blade.

I have read several places that the file marks in the nakago were traditionally made as a finishing touch, but I don't think this is necessarily true. I think they are left over from the final shaping of the blade before heat treating and making the habaki.

I could be wrong though... it just seems logical.

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If you want coarse and parallel, try a thread restorer file...

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I have also used a thread cleaning file and have done some interesting patterns. You get 8 sizes on each file to use. I bought the file thinking it could be used somehow somewhere. If you tape up the end your holding onto it will not leave micro slices on your hand.

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Make you own. I have made my own files for cutting convex sufaces. I made them from w-1. you could also grind off an old worn out file. then you need to anneal the steel and grind it smooth so you have white steel..... then raise some burs using a sharp cold chisel or graver tool. once you are happy with the pattern you have raised harden it using some Keepbrite to protect the steel . very light temper. 350? and use. you can get the Keepbrite from MSC 1 800 645 7270....... if you have salt pots you probably don't need the keepbrite and can harden directly in the salt bath.. I didn't have salt baths when I made my files and the keepbrite worked great to keep my steel oxidation free during hardening

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I think those are saya makers tools for wood working. I could be wrong, though.

 

The way Sadahito showed us to do it at a class was to sharpen one edge of a bastard file to something less than 90* and cut them one at a time with that sharp edge on the file. It is time consuming and takes practice (and not what I do). I use a bastard file and a diagonal filing motion, and with practice, this will cut nearly like a checkering file once you are onto how to do it. 8" bastard from the Tru-Valu hardware store (it's a Nicholson in disguise).

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The second set of files down the Fukazawa list (Edocraft) is for sword work but nothing specific to yasuri-mei. Kind of an interesting set of sites to wander around too. 60-70 bucks for a file is a bit much though when you can modify something and make your own.

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You might try this for deep cut parallel lines.

 

Take some hack saw blades and break them into sections about 2" long and then grind all the teeth off except 1 on each section. Leave the one in the middle long and clamp/epoxy them together to make a cutter with 6 teeth spaced a couple millimeter apart. Fine teeth work better and the blades can be pretty much worn out or you can splurge and use new blades. Makes really cool, parallel lined cuts but aligning them is the hard part.

 

Brian

Edited by Brian Vanspeybroeck

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