I get an antique tool newsletter from Martin Donnelly, an auction house up north, it always has something of interest to me in it and this week he is showcasing ,as each newsletter does, a tool that sold in an earlier auction. A full filemakers kit, I have been curious how would you make a file? especially a rasp, without heavy machines. Do you heat the iron red-hot and hammer the teeth in? that doesn’t seem realistic so I assume you use really hard tools on soft steel then temper and anneal or is it the other way around? (it’s getting late) and what do the tools look like? There is a great description of this picture on the Martin J. Donnelly . The tools look barbaric, as they should.
Old spent files make great hand tools for the do it yourself person, they can be heated in a makeshift forge pounded into the shape of a gouge or a mortise chisel or many other tools, annealed in peanut oil or lime stone dust and let sit in a toaster oven for an hour.Tempered too hard and the cutting edge is brittle and breaks, too soft and it wont hold an edge.Years ago I took a class from Frank Turley in tool making at CW, I still use the gouge,cold chisel, bottle opener and carving knife that I made in that class, it’s fun stuff and when I can come up for air again I’m gonna do some here. I have a ton of files that I bought at auctions, they were in the box with the item I wanted, that’s happened a couple times.