Needle files

20 posts in this topic

Posted · Report post

sorry for all the dumb questions , i am looking at needle files and there are way to many to pick from ,,,,,,, if you guys could tell me what brand or a kit number would be great , my budget on a set of files is 40 dollars Thanks Anne

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Posted · Report post

Any brand will do the job , just stay away from the $5.00 sets advertised everywhere , they won't last . I recently bought a set of Squadron files from my LHS for about $12 , 10 files in the set . I also keep a small wire brush handy to clean them regularly .

The last set I bought lasted me almost 20 years , well worth the price !

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Posted · Report post

Riffler files can be very handy.

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Posted · Report post

ok Thanks Bob ,, done and ordered , i sure hope there good , it's on you now :lol:

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Posted · Report post

Funny Anne .

Bob is right do not let them get clogged up they will last a long time if you treat them right.

Be careful around glue and filler that has not cured yet. I have messed up a few trying to hurry the process along. That stuff will stick to the file like you never would imagine .

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Posted · Report post

They should last you forever! I have small files inherited from my grandfather that I still use and now I'm a grandfather! :D

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Posted (edited) · Report post

well i saved 28 dollars , my budget for files was 40 lol

Edited by CrazyGirl

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Posted · Report post

If they ever do get clogged with filler or putty try holding it over a candle for a few seconds and hit it with your wire brush .

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Posted · Report post

Like fordpickup said try and stay awaybfrom uncured glue and putty...but if you do clogg em up i find that if you soak them in a jar of laquer thinner then hit them with the wire brush cleans em up real nice and prevents rusting.

Saved alot of files this way.

I had a file that was so clogged with milliput i stopped using it. About 6 months later i pulled it out andbsoaked it and its now my favorite file again!!

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Posted · Report post

IIRC my set came from radio shack. I bought them for my real job and they migrated to my hobby table over the years.

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Posted · Report post

Since you saved....now get a set of rifflers.....almost the same, but used for curved areas

diesinkers.jpg

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Posted · Report post

Yeah, and some other really handy tools for making nicely radiused cuts in panels, or nicely radiused wheel-openings in the rear to clear slicks on drag cars can be made by simply wrapping sandpaper around a wood dowel, handle, or anything of about the right diameter. Sometimes glue it (or use the self-adhesive real autobody stuff), sometimes not. Nail files work well in some places, and straight, flat paint stir-sticks make perfect sanding blocks.

I'll often cut a sharp end on a nail-file to get in tight areas, and when it clogs, just cut it back again.

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Posted · Report post

a strip of brass makes a good file cleaner

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Posted · Report post

I'd use a wire brush for cleaning the files.

Generally, I prefer Stanley, Craftsman, and other name-brand tools. As observed here, and speaking as a one-time aspiring IA teacher, buy the good tools, they'll last a long time.

Lacquer thinner, with the brass brush for cleaning out tough clogs is a good option. To help control corrosion, especially if, like me, your basement gets a little moist, a VERY light coat of sewing machine oil will help protect them.

Be sure the files are absolutely dry before oiling, and let them sit at least overnight to allow the oil to absorb into the metal so they won't be greasy and goop up your model or become hard/dangerous to control.

Charlie Larkin

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Posted · Report post

To Anne and all the folks reading these tool questions. If you are fortunate enough to have a Harbor Frieght nearby, go there for things like these files. You'll save a ton of money for the same things found online. Most small hobby tools can be found at less than $5 a pop.

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Posted (edited) · Report post

Anne, I would not recommend applying ANY type of oil to ANYTHING on or near your modeling area as suggested post #14. Most oils and paints do not play well together

Edited by JunkPile

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Posted · Report post

I have considered needle files to be an expendable tool for most of my adult life, given that even when they might cost $12 for a set of 10 files, those are cheap files. Even if needle files are made from hardened steel (almost always they are). styrene plastic is actually very abrasive, abrasive enough to dull them in fairly short order especially if a lot of file work on plastic gets done with just one or two files in a set.

For this reason, I keep my eyes open for needle file sets all the time, at hardware stores, Harbor Freight when I get to one, and hobby shops. One of my favorite hunting grounds for them is at real car swap meets, and the tool dealers that show up at them. One of my most recent finds at one of those was a set of 3-inch miniature needle files, which intrigued me enough that I bought 3 sets of them, at about $6 per set of 8.

For cleaning clogged plastic from them, I simply drag that out of the teeth with the tip of another very expendable tool: Xacto knife with a #11 blade. Quick, clean and simple!

Art

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Posted (edited) · Report post

I agree with Art about them being expendable. I tend to use the Chinee cheapos on the hardware store clearance tables. For whatever reasons, mine rarely need aggressive cleaning and seem to last a long time, though I do a lot of custom work. When they get clogged, an old toothbrush, or at most, a fine brass-wire toothbrush does the trick.

I also recommend NOT oiling them. Any mystery lubricant introduced on to the surface of a model is just begging for fish-eyes in the paint at a later date.

brass_double_sided_brush_7%2522%20.jpg

Edited by Ace-Garageguy

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Posted (edited) · Report post

taught to my 40 years ago by a master :rub your files with a filecard first and then good old chalk that will keep them clean and empty from crud

30417d1318963749-sharpening-file-0000212white_blackboard_chalk.jpg

Edited by G Holding

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Posted · Report post

Never heard the chalk tip before. Cool. Will definitely try it.

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