View Full Version : Good file set for basic fitting of parts.

Master Blaster
March 20, 2001, 08:25 AM
What is a good basic file set for fitting of gun parts.
I have done wood working for many years and I know that using a quality/right tool for the job makes a difference.
I know a Mill Bastard file is not the right one for removing very very small quantities of metal and a dremel tool is a disaster waiting to happen. What are Swiss Pilar files??
What kind of stones do you use for fine fitting and polishing?


George Stringer
March 20, 2001, 08:48 AM
MB, Brownells sells a "file starter set" that is very good. Swiss pattern files have longer thinner tapers, are a little slimmer and come in more and finer cuts than American files. They will give a smoother finish and are better all around for fitting parts IMHO. As for stones I like the ceramic stones sold by Brownells. George

Ken Cook
March 21, 2001, 12:42 AM
You can get Craftsman "Needle" files (pretty much same as Swiss pattern) at Sears, and because they are Craftsman, if you break one, (it happens sometimes) you can take it back.

For working hones, check into Smith's Abrasives (they're online) for slips and stones. There are slips in many shapes and variations that come in very handy for some of the more exotic work.

March 23, 2001, 12:13 AM
The file grading of American pattern files from the most aggressive to the smoothest is: "Rough - Coarse - Bastard - Smooth - and Dead Smooth". I'm not sure if I missed one, but there may be a "Fine" between Bastard and Smooth.

As others offered, a small set of Swiss-pattern needle files are handy, as are stones. I have switched to diamond stones from that company in Mass and have really been impressed. Good luck!!

March 23, 2001, 07:19 AM
Don't forget to get a good file brush to keep the teeth clean. You can get a very good finish with a clen file.

March 23, 2001, 08:49 AM
File card (brush) & file chalk both go a long way toward protecting your investment. Cheap too.

March 26, 2001, 02:16 PM
As no one mentioned it, one of the tricks taught at CST for cleaning files is an empty brass rifle case, crushed at the open end. The brass is very soft and removes tiny chunks of metal or burrs that a file card won't.

As you said the correct tool for the job always make the job easier and quicker. The mantra we seemed to repeat the first month or so was "My files are my friends, my files are my friends,..." (repeat until you feel one with your files).

My file collection has now exceeded forty files. Four different sizes, plus india stones from brownells. You would be surprised how many different styles, lengths, cuts, etc there actually are. I have a six or eight page article on files, and that's the short version.

March 27, 2001, 11:58 AM
You can probably go with Swiss pattern pillar files in #00, #02 and #04 to cover a good portion of the work you might do and get Swiss pattern needle files in the same pattern to reach the smaller areas.