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Thread: Files for tang hole

  1. #1
    Senior Member Geo87's Avatar
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    Files for tang hole

    Just wondering if there is a certain brand of file you guys use to file out the tang hole in wa handles.

    I'm using a cheapie set of small files I picked up for $20 from the hardware store and it's taking me an hour or so to file the hole. Is that a normal amount of time or could I do it faster with better files?
    It seems so time consuming! Someone needs to invent a power tool to do it. Or is there one already?

    Edit: should have mentioned this is in regard to a dowel constructed handle with a void in the dowel for the tang. Just talking about files to make the slot in the end of the ferrule.

  2. #2
    The best thing I've found is a needle rasp set from Woodcraft--it's much much faster than needle files. Two problems: one, it's expensive, and two, it's no longer available. I would go down to your local Woodcraft store and see if they have any left. Most of the stuff on eBay is junk.

    http://www.woodcraft.com/Product/01X...-set-of-6.aspx

  3. #3
    I use a set of micro-rasps I got from Woodcraft. Amazon has a set for under $15, should work fine if you're not doing a whole bunch of handles.

    Be well,
    Mikey
    Rule #1- Don't sweat the small s%&t, rule #2- It's ALL small s%&t
    Mikey

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    I've experimented with all kinds of tools to find a fast and easy method... and I've yet to settle on just one method.

    For shallow areas like just the ferrule I've used a dremel like tool (foredom/dremel etc) with a handpiece/flexshaft. I'll use a really small precision cutting head meant for jewelery. I use the same for some inlay stuff on other projects. It's relatively quick and precise. The negative is I can't go more than maybe 3/4 inch to an inch deep this way.

    for files - fastest and best cutters I've seen are Roczo needle rasps, as opposed to files. They are pretty expensive though. In the US, Highland Hardware carries them but not sure of other vendors globally.
    More reasonable and much cheaper - I like an Italian brand called Corradi. They make a needle rasp (equaling rasp model) that I think works well. They have their own webstore but also sell some of their products through woodcraft and other vendors.

    In my experience, good rasps do help speed it up but it can still be a pretty slow process ...Suppose it depends on what wood you are working with.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Geo87's Avatar
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    Thanks guys, sounds like I need to get some needle rasps.
    CPD: do you have a photo of the attachment you use with your rotary tool? I've always thought there would be a suitable attachment but never looked into it.

  6. #6
    Das HandleMeister apicius9's Avatar
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    Not much to add - drill press for pilot holes, Foredom for opening it up more, Woodcraft rasps for fine-tuning. And yes, it is tedious... Power tools are at least as dangerous as they are helpful, very easy to slip and mess it up completely - ask me how I know... Also interested in the bits you use. I use a 'cutting' drill that comes very thin but it is hard to get clean straight lines with it, I use it more to clean it out and connect the pilot holes.

    Stefan

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    Quote Originally Posted by Geo87 View Post
    Thanks guys, sounds like I need to get some needle rasps.
    CPD: do you have a photo of the attachment you use with your rotary tool? I've always thought there would be a suitable attachment but never looked into it.
    This is one of the burrs I like. I have a few different ones, but the difference is size/shape. Burrs from jewelery maker tool shops tend to be much more precise (and available in smaller sizes). http://media1.riogrande.com/Products...rge/342020.jpg

    The handle I use is just a standard flex shaft. Brands like foredom come with this sort of pen-like stylus holder to begin with. For dremel's it's an easy screw on addition. Don't have a pic but just google flex shaft and dremel if not familiar.

  8. #8
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    Stefan - think you were posting at the same time I was. didn't see yours right away. +1 to your method. Only difference for me is hand-cut rasps. Their are a few brands and they tend to be much more expensive- maybe $30-75 for one instead of a whole set at that price or less - but the hand cut rasps cut faster and cleaner. Liogier and Auriou are two other top makers.

    re burrs - check out the selection at riogrande.com There are a variety of shapes and sizes. A lot of the tools on that site are highly specialized for jewelers...and the precision and small size requirements for that use can translate really well for detailed woodwork.

  9. #9
    Das HandleMeister apicius9's Avatar
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    Great, thanks! I ordered from Riogrande and other jeweler places before. That bit does look interesting. I have so many handles to work on right now, it is the perfect time to order a better tool if I can find one...I also had looked at the Auriou rasps, and I think I have one but it is a little too large. Will have to look at the measures again.

    Stefan

  10. #10
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    A broach made from a ground down jigsaw blade fitted in a wooden handle is the best way I've found for forming the slot, followed by filing.
    At some point im hoping to be able to use a milling machine to make up a few broaches of different thicknesses to reduce the filing required.
    Also have a piercing saw on the Christmas list as I think that would be a good way to do it

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