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What is the difference between wood files and metal files

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In general, all files work for metal or wood.  However, very coarse files, such as rasps, are not useful for metal because if the bit at all they would require a lot of force to push.  Rasps, are used for removing a lot of wood fast, but the surface will be rough, as in relatively deep gouges, or badly torn up is cutting across the grain.  


Very fine toothed files tend to clog up when cutting soft metals such as brass and aluminum: an old trick is to rub some chalk into the file before working.  It also helps to reduce friction.


For filing small metal parts, you'll need a fine tooth file, otherwise it will "catch" if there are only one or two teeth cutting.  I find that the diamond coated files work well for these situations - they are more like sandpaper than files.  Inexpensive sets can be found that will last long time unless you want to work in hard metals.

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Chalk board chalk works, keep a box of it in the shop it is a harder form, chalk line powder and the bee hive shaped marking chalk you can obtain in lumber stores also works well, comes in several colors. Have used my metal marking chalk, it is hard but also waxy, could be a form of clay, comes in flat stick refills for holders.

jud :pirate41:

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Another tip for file and rasp use is to always push the file into the work and not drag them backward. Dragging them backward will dull them quickly. Its always a good idea to keep the files in a sheath of some sort if only a plastic tube to keep them sharp. Rattling against other metal objects in the toolbox will dull them. Bill

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