New files from any source are getting
worse and worse as times goes on. So few people understand files and what
they are supposed to do anymore. What you can and
cannot do with a file?
(Namely, files are supposed to be dumped
into the bottom of a dirty rusty toolbox piled high with
sockets and wrenches. Then banged around and the
lid left open in the rain some of the time. They are supposed to be used mostly with
quick short strokes in one spot all the time and then
thrown on the ground when finished. Pick them up
the next day and slam back into the tool box.)
The file makers are all making files to
fit the modern American psyche. Whether Peoria,
Geneva, Bangkok, or New Delhi they make files with fat
blunt teeth so they don't chip in moronically harsh
treatment. But this means they never cut for s--t
in the first place!
Think block plane with a 60degree bevel!
You can bang it down on concrete and it won't chip, but
its a poor tool to actually work with. Only files
made before 1960 (my own casual observation cutoff date,
I expect to be wrong a little) were made with much more
fragile, but infinitely sharper teeth.
So vintage NOS saw files, as high
quality saws are gaining more and more respect in the
world, will eventually rise in desirability and price.
But it will not happen unless enough people wise up and
go back to treating a file like the miraculous, but
fragile tool it really is. Then Nicholson and others will happily
go back to making great files and we won't need to
scrounge for the old stock so hard.
A fine file deserves a fine handle.
Having refined tools helps center your mind for fine and
demanding jobs. Rosewood, carved madrone, high
color tan oak, nothing is too good for your best work.
Needle files usually have one or two
detachable handles. I make clamping chucks from
brass pipe/tube fittings attached to wooden handles for
Files also need a home. Piling them up
is the same as grinding them into the dirt. And worse.
Nothing dulls a file like another file.
Blown out Levi's legs make perfect file
bags that anyone can sew up.
The backsides of
cupboard doors is otherwise wasted space that can safely
hold lots of files at the ready.
As you can see, making the handles
different from each other saves time hunting the one
file you need. Thin planks can be slotted to hold
needle fines and they stack in a drawer just right.