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Bedford Files

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MC Black 223/06/2020 00:17:50
99 forum posts

I discovered half a dozen unused Bedford half round files (with Lion Brand logo) at the bottom of a cupboard. They were wrapped in what looked like corrosion retarding paper.

I was surprised to see that they were all marked “3” and wondered if that was a description of the grade and, if so, where “3” fell in the normal “Bastard”, “Second cut”, “Smooth” sequence.

The next job is to obtain a couple of handles and I shall try to buy plastic ones with holes already made. I hang my files on the inside of a cupboard door in the hope that their lives will not be shortened by banging about in a drawer.

Has anybody found a supplier of plastic file handles by Mail Order, please? (I have no intention of leaving my home until I have been vaccinated against COVID-19 or it has been eradicated worldwide.)

My previous experience of plastic file handles is that they split when I fitted them to the tangs - so I need to talk through tang sizes, et hoc genus omen, with the supplier. I feel that EBay doesn’t offer that facility.

Best wishes and thanks

MC Black

Enough!23/06/2020 01:38:25
1719 forum posts
1 photos
Posted by MC Black 2 on 23/06/2020 00:17:50:

The next job is to obtain a couple of handles and I shall try to buy plastic ones with holes already made.


... an ideal project for a 3D printer - trust me, I know.

Speedy Builder523/06/2020 06:44:16
2408 forum posts
191 photos

Was the 3" a description of the radius / diameter of thereunder profile ?

Got a lathe? Turn up some wooden ones. Wood chips won't spoil your metal working lathe.

Michael Gilligan23/06/2020 07:25:40
avatar
18932 forum posts
943 photos

Cousins : **LINK**

https://www.cousinsuk.com/product/straight-plastic-swiss-made

MichaelG.

Journeyman23/06/2020 09:14:43
avatar
1033 forum posts
199 photos

The '3' possibly refers to the grade of file. This is from my website Journeyman's Workshop:-

"It is interesting, if not slightly confusing, that there are two different systems for grading files American and Swiss. American Pattern files are generally available in three grades of cut Bastard, Second Cut and Smooth. Swiss Pattern files, used in the main for smaller files, are available in seven cuts, 00 to the finest 6. The ranges overlap with Bastard≈00, Second Cut≈0 and Smooth≈2. The cut on American Pattern files also vary with length so a 14" Bastard file is coarser than a 8" Bastard file! "

John

MC Black 223/06/2020 09:57:16
99 forum posts
Posted by Bandersnatch on 23/06/2020 01:38:25:
Posted by MC Black 2 on 23/06/2020 00:17:50:

The next job is to obtain a couple of handles and I shall try to buy plastic ones with holes already made.


... an ideal project for a 3D printer - trust me, I know.

Thank you for taking the time to respond.

Are you offering to make a couple for me?

I do NOT have a 3D printer; I have enough problems with an ordinary Black & White laser printer.

Oldiron23/06/2020 10:07:10
850 forum posts
23 photos

Many different sizes on Ebay Plastic handles  <<< UK supplier

I do find that wooden handles are much nicer to work with for long periods.

regards

Edited By Oldiron on 23/06/2020 10:13:49

MC Black 223/06/2020 10:54:25
99 forum posts
Posted by Speedy Builder5 on 23/06/2020 06:44:16:

Was the 3" a description of the radius / diameter of thereunder profile ?

Got a lathe? Turn up some wooden ones. Wood chips won't spoil your metal working lathe.

Thank you for taking the time to respond.

I don't know if I can find a Radius Gauge with a 3" leaf - but that's an interesting thought. I'll see if it matches the radius of an empty soup tin!

I have a Wood Lathe as well as a metal lathe but the difficulty is making a neat transverse hole in the handle to hang it up on a hook.

MC Black 223/06/2020 11:01:50
99 forum posts
Posted by Oldiron on 23/06/2020 10:07:10:

Many different sizes on Ebay Plastic handles <<< UK supplier

I do find that wooden handles are much nicer to work with for long periods.

regards

Edited By Oldiron on 23/06/2020 10:13:49

Thank you for taking the time to respond.

I spent some time looking at Ebay yesterday but the specification didn't tell me the size of the hole and I've had problems in the past with plastic file handles splitting.

So I would want to have a sensible conversation with the seller about whether the handle will split when I fit my file (with tang of a stated size). Then if it does, it will not be fit for purpose and be returned.

So I need a supplier with good customer service rather than just a cheap price.

Some of my files came with plastic handles ready fitted and I don't find them uncomfortable.

KWIL23/06/2020 11:34:09
3422 forum posts
66 photos

There you go, European maker and well priced with hanging hole!

https://www.fine-tools.com/feile6.html

Nick Clarke 323/06/2020 11:43:44
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1253 forum posts
50 photos

I have bought files and what are probably cheap handles at exhibition and to avoid splitting I have found it essential to drill 2/3 and 1/3 of the way down with 2 graduated drills so there is still a tight, but not excessive fit on the tapered tang.

MC Black 223/06/2020 13:37:11
99 forum posts
Posted by KWIL on 23/06/2020 11:34:09:

There you go, European maker and well priced with hanging hole!

https://www.fine-tools.com/feile6.html

Thank you for taking the time to respond.

Those handles looked very good, until I saw that they charge 19 Euros for carriage!

Michael Gilligan23/06/2020 17:14:34
avatar
18932 forum posts
943 photos

Was my link to Cousins of no interest ?

MichaelG.

Bill Phinn23/06/2020 19:23:59
573 forum posts
86 photos
Posted by MC Black 2 on 23/06/2020 00:17:50:

My previous experience of plastic file handles is that they split when I fitted them to the tangs -

MC Black

Whether the handle is plastic or wooden, you will still have to ensure that the hole in the handle is correctly drilled out to accommodate the specific dimensions of the tang on the file you want to mount. I have rarely found the holes in off-the-peg file handles to be a good match as they come for the tang of the file (or anything else) I happen to want to fit into them. The holes are, understandably, most often too small. If you leave them unenlarged, this is usually the perfect recipe for splitting the handle when you try to drive the tang home.

And then there is the related and arguably worse fault of not driving the tang home but leaving a fair part of it protruding. This is a recipe for breaking the tang at some later date when in the middle of a job and possibly having a nasty accident.

MC Black 223/06/2020 19:46:52
99 forum posts

I found a tray with a number of file handles this afternoon.

All of them had round holes for the tang.

Most of my files have Python Handles but drilling a transverse hole so I can hand it on a hook is a challenge,

But the immediate problem of having to find a file handle for a flat tanged file is on the back burner.

I will look at the file again but despite the "3", it doesn't seem to be smoother than "smooth"

With best wishes and thanks again.

MC

Grindstone Cowboy23/06/2020 20:06:35
709 forum posts
58 photos
Posted by Michael Gilligan on 23/06/2020 17:14:34:

Was my link to Cousins of no interest ?

MichaelG.

It was to me, thanks, placing an order for some handles now yes

All the best,

Rob

Mike Poole24/06/2020 23:47:21
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Moderator
3071 forum posts
72 photos

I have always fitted wooden file handles by heating the tang to red heat and enlarging the pilot hole by burning, this should result in a tang shaped hole which after everything is cool will hold very well with a moderate tap.

Mike

john willman 127/06/2020 21:56:02
5 forum posts

I had always fitted file handles as described by Mike Poole, although it does not have to be red hot. All the files issued to us as apprentices were fitted using heat.

Neil A27/06/2020 22:55:19
101 forum posts

I gave up on file handles that you had to drive onto the file tang after I found Vallorbe blue plastic "Crocodile" handles at one of the Model Engineer Exhibitions about 40 years ago. These handles have a hardened metal insert that you just screw onto the tang and it cuts its own thread, they can also be easily removed when you replace the file.

I bought a set from No1 to No 6, although I notice that I have never used the No 6 when I checked just now. The file it would fit still has a good well fitted wooden handle on it so I never changed it.

Cousins stock these if you want to give them a try.

Neil

Nicholas Farr28/06/2020 07:30:45
avatar
2987 forum posts
1352 photos

Hi, I'm the same as Mike Poole.

Regards Nick.

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