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Filing machine uses?

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Mike Hurley06/06/2021 10:35:27
325 forum posts
87 photos

Noticed a filing machine in the ' for sales ' . Must say it's one machine I've never had any experience of, but was struggling to think of what purposes / advantages it would have over traditional lathes, mills or shapers?

I've made one off roller guides to aid filing small parts consistently in the past, and am still an advocate of manual filing at times - sometimes being quicker than setting up a machine tool for a one-off.

Anyone got any thoughts?

Philip Rowe06/06/2021 11:17:52
230 forum posts
31 photos

There were two filing machines in the toolroom when I started my apprenticeship nearly sixty years ago. I never remember them ever being used for a "proper" job, but as apprentices we all had instruction in their use followed by a short period of practice just so the appropriate box on our progress cards could be ticked off. There have been a few occasions through the years in my own workshop when I have thought that one would be useful but I've always found another way to do the job.

Phil

Former Member06/06/2021 11:28:13
1085 forum posts

[This posting has been removed]

not done it yet06/06/2021 12:08:48
6880 forum posts
20 photos

Smoothing rough edges is the most likely use, I would have thought?

geoff adams06/06/2021 12:53:51
211 forum posts
201 photos

we had one in the toolroom was always called die filer used for putting the clearance angles on the back of press tool dies

Geoff

Ady106/06/2021 13:12:05
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5161 forum posts
738 photos

Very useful when you need it, probably highly skilled in the right hands

The caveat I found was that machine files are almost non existent nowadays

Mike Woods 106/06/2021 13:43:13
40 forum posts
1 photos

Out of interest I looked on ebay to see if die filing machines were appearing for sale. The very first advert that popped up was a home built one, based on a Singer sewing machine. An interesting idea particularly as used sewing machines are often available for quite modest prices. I am resisting temptation to creep off to the hobby room to investigate as the inevitable questioning may be hostile.

Bazyle06/06/2021 16:17:04
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6379 forum posts
222 photos

There is also a kit available I think in the USA. The only non tapered files you can now commonly get are shainsaw sharpening files. Queue someone saying the y just picked up 50 for tuppence at a car boot sale yesterday.

Former Member06/06/2021 16:57:59
1085 forum posts

[This posting has been removed]

Bob Mc06/06/2021 20:16:42
231 forum posts
48 photos

Made one a while back, uses a small 2 stroke engine as the crank and file holder with extra upper vertical support,

the file used is a flat diamond file with round section handle fitted to piston head...driven by electric Singer motor, its good for making round holes into square after some initial hand filing and it keeps the sides straight .

You could use the blowback from the piston to blow filings away. Bob.

filingmachine.jpg

Mike Hurley07/06/2021 09:33:48
325 forum posts
87 photos

Bob - cunning use of the 2 stroke engine! I really like that, well thought through.

I can appreciate the use for making neat square holes in the absence of broaches etc.

all the best. Mike

Bob Mc07/06/2021 11:01:39
231 forum posts
48 photos

Thanks Mike...

although off topic .. just for anyone's interest I also used the same idea to make a reciprocating saw, a bit Heath Robinson but the metal to be cut doesn't know that !

The the saw frame is fitted to the piston head and in theory there is no need for the saw frame to slide in runners but I added a rectangular section to the cylinder head to give extra support... it is actually an rf waveguide fitting.

I set the vice on a substantial cross slide so I can adjust the blade to sit exactly where I want it...comes in very handy. rgds..Bob.

dsc_0143.jpgdsc_0144.jpg

Iain Downs07/06/2021 19:28:30
860 forum posts
756 photos

Check out some of Clickspring's videos on Youtube. He uses a filer quite a lot and the results are impressive.

Iain

Chris Gunn07/06/2021 21:28:18
430 forum posts
27 photos

I had one which was rescued by my father from the scrap heap at work. We converted it to take a short piece of bandsaw blade, and it was quite handy for cutting plate. I never did use it to file anything.

Chris Gunn

john carruthers08/06/2021 08:22:25
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616 forum posts
180 photos

Clickspring uses one for clock wheels and frames.

Mike Hurley08/06/2021 08:50:15
325 forum posts
87 photos

I saw the Clickspring video use of a fine filing machine, seemed perfect for the job, but seemed a much smaller, precision instrument than the one I commented on.

Originally when I saw the item for sale I got the impression it was a much heaftier piece of kit, so not in the ordinary clockbuilding arena? Still I suppose in the past, they had to have a way to cut similar sized square holes in much larger gears i.e. for big church / town hall type jobs?

Michael Gilligan08/06/2021 09:17:15
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20289 forum posts
1064 photos
Posted by Mike Hurley on 08/06/2021 08:50:15:

I saw the Clickspring video use of a fine filing machine, seemed perfect for the job, but seemed a much smaller, precision instrument than the one I commented on.

Originally when I saw the item for sale I got the impression it was a much heaftier piece of kit, […]

.

I’m sure you are correct, Mike: **LINK**

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/194185868595

MichaelG.

the artfull-codger08/06/2021 17:29:59
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296 forum posts
28 photos
Posted by Bob Mc on 06/06/2021 20:16:42:

Made one a while back, uses a small 2 stroke engine as the crank and file holder with extra upper vertical support,

the file used is a flat diamond file with round section handle fitted to piston head...driven by electric Singer motor, its good for making round holes into square after some initial hand filing and it keeps the sides straight .

You could use the blowback from the piston to blow filings away. Bob.

filingmachine.jpg

Got a pleasant surprise when I saw your filing machine Bob,I too made one similar about 45 yrs ago, mine was an old 4 stroke lawn mower engine & ,with the piston having clearance [slop] I bolted a plate on top of the barrel & soldered a large bronze bush to it to take a 1" dia shaft with a flange on the bottom bolted centrally to the piston,& made side cheeks so the table on top can tilt up to 45degrees,I cut a large "tube" of foam rubber to go round the exposed part of the shaft & bush well oiled so no filings reach it & wear it,it'll never wear out as the crankcase has oil in it, I used to do a lot of intricate brass work which is why I built mine,I have a opus 120 now,great machine but still love the home made one for really fine work.

Bob Mc08/06/2021 21:22:03
231 forum posts
48 photos

Replying to 'Artfull Codger'

Thanks for your posting which got me thinking.... and an apology for going completely off topic Mike, although you did say "anyone got any thoughts" YES! I am sure there must be many examples of 'Artfull Codgership' where an old machine of no apparent use would normally be sent to the scrapyard but to someone with a little imagination having an eye to see that something could be made from it or put to some good use.

At the moment many codgers are keen to take on an old lathe and we see old rusty lathes now going for ridiculous prices, I think it is the challenge of sorting out the problems which creates the interest and seeing the end result of what may be a lathe that is more than fit for purpose as it was originally intended, in fact some of these refurbished machines are a thing of beauty.

But I am not thinking just about lathes, in my little workshop I try to think about ways to enhance what machinery I have got using bits and pieces that would be criminal to throw away, or on seeing part of a machine or a tool trying to imagine what use it could be put to with some engineering or metal bashing thrown in, by the way it doesn't have to be related to engineering machinery, there must be lots of other items ..household..garden..diy..automobile..other hobbies etc which could benefit from some imagination.

I don't think suppliers need worry that business will be going downhill, quite the opposite, I recently made a new tailstock barrel for my 80yr old lathe using a morse taper straight sleeve, not easy when you have drill an inch through hardened steel then find a way of grinding down to size .. but did require some diamond drills, a new MT2 sleeve and other bits & pieces, however I now have a nice looking bit of gear which would never be found as new.

Apart from the filing machine and the reciprocating saw mentioned in the post, I have used old sewing machine handles for my milling machine rather than the flimsy aluminium ones supplied, I have used the end bearings and housings from a motor for a third pulley on my Dore Westbury and all sorts of other bits & bobs.

What I am saying is... could there not be a section in ME for this sort of thing perhaps now and again, surely there must be many model engineers out there who have resorted to using odd items in an odd way using "Artfull Codgership"

..Bob..

the artfull-codger09/06/2021 13:32:43
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296 forum posts
28 photos

Hi Bob,

Good idea, you're a man after my own heart, in the days of Westbury,Chaddock, Tubal cain [not the american]allthough he is good & others,we had to make do & re-purpose things because there wasn't the equipment available or the info like there is now,even so I still like "re-purposeing" things & can't bear to throw anything out or refuse "gifts" from people,& lots of our stuff has been repaired, I hate the throw away society,sadly it's often cheaper to buy new than repair,

Graham.

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