Cleaning Needle Files

Spent the morning going through my tools and doing some cleaning and general housekeeping. Now for the files. Other than the "file card"
does anyone have any tricks to clean up my needle files as well as the larger ones. They have really loaded up with plastic and even some resin. Thanks (:>
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com says...

    They make small wire brushes for this very purpose. You should be able to find them at a hardware store. (Think small bristle brush with brass wire bristles.) You can also use a B-B-Q wire bristle brush (for cleaning off all the cooked on gunk on the grill if you can't find something at the hardware store.
    Hope that helps,
        Myrmidon
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wrote:

Brass bristle brush, the kind used to freshen up suede. Works like a charm.
M. J. Rudy http://www.geocities.com/mjrudymodels/index.html mjrudy AT hotmail DOT com
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wrote:

Soak them in lacquer thinner overnight.
--
Al Superczynski, MFE, IPMS/USA #3795, continuous since 1968

My "From" address is munged - use 'modeleral (at) swbell (dot) net' to respond
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Count DeMoney wrote:

The file card is the best , it's specifically made for the job.
--
Kevin (Bluey)
"I'm not young enough to know everything."
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Kevin(Bluey) wrote:

That's true for larger files. Some of the tiny needle files I have are so finely cut that the file card's wires are too thick to clean out the grooves. For those I use small stainless stell brush with plasic handle (like others here have mentioned). That brush has much finer wires which can clean out the small file's grooves. Yes I do have file card and I know it doesn't work well on my tiny files.
For really stubborn metal filngs which don't want to come out I use older #11 Exacto knife blade. I just place the blade's point in the groove and pick out the stubborn filing.
For really stubborn styrene you can soak the file in lacquer thinner or acetone overnight. It will dissolve the plasic.
Peteski I've also heard that packing the file with chalk prevents it from getting clogged up.
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| > Count DeMoney wrote: | > > Spent the morning going through my tools and doing some cleaning and | > > general housekeeping. Now for the files. Other than the "file card" | > > does anyone have any tricks to clean up my needle files as well as the | > > larger ones. They have really loaded up with plastic and even some | > > resin. Thanks (:> | > >
The best implement I've found for cleaning needle files is a small brass brush. The bristles are much finer than on the file card. Brushes like these are available in brass, tin, and steel at your local hardware store.
Norm
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Shoe stores also sell brass-bristle brushes. They're for cleaning suede shoes, but work well for small files.
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Count DeMoney wrote:

I use an old tooth brush or if its real stubborn a small brass wire brush. Many many years ago in HS we were told the way to keep files clean was to run them thru chalk which seems to keep a lot of the pieces from sticking. This for metal but may work for plastic too. John D.
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John DeBoo wrote:

I spent the first three months of my apprenticeship filing a metal block into a cube and learning how to file square and flat while earning many blisters. The chalk trick is apply the chalk to the file while using it , to prevent pinning ,which is the ability of some metals to trap particles in the file ,which causes bad scoring of the surface you are filing.
I'm not sure if it works with plastic.
The best practice is to clean the file regularly while using it so it dosen't load up with filings to the point where it becomes filled with the material you are filing.
--
Kevin (Bluey)
"I'm not young enough to know everything."
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Count DeMoney wrote:

I use a wire toothbrush (I get them at gun shows) for heavy cleaning of files, and a regular stiff nylon toothbrush for unclogging them during use.
--
- Rufus

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wrote:

The brass suede brush, lacquer thinner and an x-acto knife for really stubborn chunks are all good advice,
Do NOT use a file card made with steel wires. I've seen them, but don't know why. Maybe they are cheap, but will dull the file.
I haven't tried the chalk trick, but I do recommend filing plastic with a little water. Works just like wet sanding. Keeps the file from loading up. As long as you pat dry the file and store it with all sides exposed so it can air dry quickly (like with the tang down in a hole) it won't rust. Done it for years and never had a problem with loading or rusting.
Another tip. Needle files, which most modelers have on their benches, are availible in different "grits". The most common is #2. Look around at better tool supply stores and you'll be able to find #0 (coarse) and #4 (fine). The numbers should be stamped on the tang.
Greg Reynolds, IPMS
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Greg wrote:

That's a good idea. I've found wet-sanding with Squadron or Flex-i-File sanding sticks produces an excellent finish - the Tri-grit stick can be used this way to polish transparencies.

I have several #6 files, which are finer still and produce a very smooth finish. I don't know if there is a #8 cut.
http://www.kassoy.com/benchtools/files01.html
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