Break In and Care
Files are of hard and
brittle steel and new files have a slight wire edge on their
cutting teeth. Using a new file fresh from its wrapper to cut
hard materials is a mistake, as this wire edge can break and
take part of the cutting edge with it.
A better practice is to
break the file in…removing that wire edge…by filing lightly on
brass or bronze before proceeding to steel. Files should never
be used with force, as too much pressure causes the teeth to
clog quickly and causes the file to rock and round the corners
of the work piece. Also take note of the fresh file brush and
blackboard chalk that live with the files.
Keeping the work
surface wiped clean of shavings and the teeth of the file clean
and unclogged will prevent those disastrous deep scratches that
are the bane of finishing work. Chalking the file makes it
easier to clean and lessens its tendency to clog with shavings.
Files should not be
stored loose in drawer or toolbox where they touch each other… I
prefer to store them either hanging by their handles or upright
with their tangs in a holed block affixed to the back of the
Yeah, I know…the files in my picture are dirty and
rusty…I should clean them before storage and then again before
and as I use them.
But what’s important is clean teeth touching
the work piece, and out of laziness I skip a step and clean them
thoroughly with WD-40 and the file brush and a dental pick if
necessary before use and with chalk and the file brush and
Removing the scope
mount on this first-year Remington 141 restoration was an
unpleasant surprise… small, 6-48 holes are filled and the repair
hidden relatively easily, but these larger, off-center 8-40
holes will be difficult to repair without the repair showing.
What a rat’s nest!
And the aftermarket
sling swivel mounted off center will also be removed and the
original finish restored, and I’ll do that job first. These are
threaded studs and are screwed in and sometimes also soft
soldered as there is very little thread bearing surface in the
thin band it is mounted to. This one is soldered. I can either
unscrew it using 450 degrees of heat and pliers then fill the
hole or I can simply grind and file it flush, which has some
disadvantages you will see below.
I grind off the stud
on the buffer grinder and crossfile with a single cut mill file
until I am close to the original surface….
…then I draw file the
stud flush with the surface…
…. followed by
aluminum oxide wet-or-dry paper lubed with WD-40 and a sanding
block in 180 through 600 grits without skipping a grit to