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Thread: Current files of choice

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    Default Current files of choice

    I need to re-up all the shop files, big, small - what's the file choice nowadays, mostly 6-14" 1/2 rounds and 10-14" rounds?
    - Garro.
    Steve Garro, Coconino Cycles.
    Frames & Bicycles built to measure and Custom wheels
    Hecho en Flagstaff, Arizona desde 2003
    www.coconinocycles.com
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    Default Re: Current files of choice

    Quote Originally Posted by steve garro View Post
    I need to re-up all the shop files, big, small - what's the file choice nowadays, mostly 6-14" 1/2 rounds and 10-14" rounds?
    - Garro.

    Steve,

    I went through this a while back myself and experienced some frustration. I have been using the Simonds red tang files, which luckily for me were carried by a hardware store here in town. Their stock has become more limited though, and shifted from Simonds files that were domestically made, to ones that were made offshore. Not a deal breaker for me but I did notice that the non US ones didn't seem to last as long.

    They also carry a German brand called Pferd, which I like quite a lot. They didn't carry a full size run in bastard and 2nd cut so I looked to the web, but without much luck. Most Ebay sellers seem to sell by the box from what I remember, and I don't need that many.

    MSC carries Nicholson in full size runs bastard and 2nd cuts, but I had heard that the Nicholson's don't hold up too well, so I ordered what I needed from McMaster, who don't list brand names in their online catalog but in my experience don't carry crappy products. I figured whatever I got from them would be good. Files arrived, and the were Nicholson...

    My conclusion from all this is that either A. Nicholson files aren't as bad as some say, or B. The availability of files today is so limited that a company like McMaster would carry a so so product, just to have it at all.

    Nicholson does seem to have the best variety of sizes and cuts, from the looking around that I did anyway.

    That's all I've got,

    Alistair.
     

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    Default Re: Current files of choice

    I gave up on Nicholsons when I realized the poor quality I was getting was related to the Made In *Not* USA stamp that was on the tips. I'm no flag waver, but when I had the domestic ones, man those fukcers had no equal. Especially the 6" and 8" half-round smooth cut files.

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    Default Re: Current files of choice

    Quote Originally Posted by e-RICHIE View Post
    I gave up on Nicholsons when I realized the poor quality I was getting was related to the Made In *Not* USA stamp that was on the tips. I'm no flag waver, but when I had the domestic ones, man those fukcers had no equal. Especially the 6" and 8" half-round smooth cut files.
    Yeah - why I ask - quality seems to fluctuate with files, and I heard Simonds went to India, or is it Schmidt, or..........?

    Hence the Q to see if anyone had re-upped recently with good luck.

    Tried to order from UBT but they didn't have enough of a run of sizes in stock to justify an order, sadly.
    - Garro.
    Steve Garro, Coconino Cycles.
    Frames & Bicycles built to measure and Custom wheels
    Hecho en Flagstaff, Arizona desde 2003
    www.coconinocycles.com
    www.coconinocycles.blogspot.com

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    Default Re: Current files of choice

    Quote Originally Posted by steve garro View Post
    Yeah - why I ask - quality seems to fluctuate with files, and I heard Simonds went to India, or is it Schmidt, or..........?

    Hence the Q to see if anyone had re-upped recently with good luck.

    Tried to order from UBT but they didn't have enough of a run of sizes in stock to justify an order, sadly.
    - Garro.

    MSC carries the Simonds red tang with the "Maxi-Sharp" black oxide coating in Bastard and Smooth cuts. These aren't bad, but not as good as the US made regular un-coated files that they used to make (imo). If these were available in a 2nd cut as well as the two already offered, they wouldn't be a bad way to go.

    FB's that I've asked this question to have all told me that they do the Ebay thing, sourcing files here and there as needed. This is a pain, time consuming, and gets expensive, shipping wise. Still, it is one way I suppose.

    Whenever I've asked other FB's about a one stop shop for a good selection of good quality files I've come up empty. The path of least resistance seems to be the Nicholsons at McMaster/MSC/Enco, or the Simonds Maxi Sharps at MSC.

    Hard to believe there aren't better options. I hope they are out there, but I haven't found them yet.

    Alistair.
     

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    Default Re: Current files of choice

    Can you get Valorbe in the States? I've found them to be excellent - though to be honest I often just get Bahco and chuck them when they get dull.

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    Default Re: Current files of choice

    Quote Originally Posted by Alistair View Post
    Hard to believe there aren't better options. I hope they are out there, but I haven't found them yet.
    Alistair.
    The demand for files has gone way down as machine shops have moved to cnc to break the edge on machined parts. And then they throw the parts in a vibratory tumbler. No machinists sitting by the machine with a file anymore.
     

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    Default Re: Current files of choice

    Quote Originally Posted by bencooper View Post
    Can you get Valorbe in the States? I've found them to be excellent

    Yes, they are available, only in Swiss pattern though, through the jewelry supply houses typically. Very expensive here in the US from what I remember, but maybe worth it in the long run?

    I prefer the shape of American pattern files for mitering tubes, and Swiss pattern for detail work like lug shaping/thinning, but I'll definitely keep the Valorbe brand in mind in the future.

    Thanks for the tip.

    Alistair.
     

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    Default Re: Current files of choice

    Reed supply has been my source. I was very pleasantly surprised price-wise at my last order.

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    Default Re: Current files of choice

    What about Friedr. Dick precision files. I've got the cheaper mid-range ones in couple sizes and cuts. And even they are quite well made and for my purposes completely sufficient.

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    Default Re: Current files of choice

    Quote Originally Posted by Jonathan View Post
    Reed supply has been my source. I was very pleasantly surprised price-wise at my last order.
    I looked and saw no files?
    Not on the WWW page or what?
    Cool site though - there has to be a good file source or I'm quitting framebuilding & selling files!
    - Garro.
    Steve Garro, Coconino Cycles.
    Frames & Bicycles built to measure and Custom wheels
    Hecho en Flagstaff, Arizona desde 2003
    www.coconinocycles.com
    www.coconinocycles.blogspot.com

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    Default Re: Current files of choice

    I have bought quite a few from them.

    Files
     

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    Default Re: Current files of choice

    Quote Originally Posted by rellis View Post
    I have bought quite a few from them.

    Files
    Thank You!
    J. typed "Reed" and there is a Reed abrasives - and, a cool site at that.
    http://reedsupplyco.com
    - Garro.
    Steve Garro, Coconino Cycles.
    Frames & Bicycles built to measure and Custom wheels
    Hecho en Flagstaff, Arizona desde 2003
    www.coconinocycles.com
    www.coconinocycles.blogspot.com

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    Default Re: Current files of choice

    Thanks!

    - Garro.
    Steve Garro, Coconino Cycles.
    Frames & Bicycles built to measure and Custom wheels
    Hecho en Flagstaff, Arizona desde 2003
    www.coconinocycles.com
    www.coconinocycles.blogspot.com

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    Default Re: Current files of choice

    Oops, Reid Supply.

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    Default Re: Current files of choice

    The prices at Reid are great, but I haven't found those Grobet files they carry to be very good. I ordered a half dozen a couple of years back, and found them to pretty crappy.

    Maybe it's just me, or maybe they were from a bad batch, but I'm just throwing that out there.

    If others since have had good luck with the American pattern Grobets that Reid carries, then maybe I should give them another shot?

    Alistair.
     

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    Default Re: Current files of choice

    Quote Originally Posted by Alistair View Post
    The prices at Reid are great, but I haven't found those Grobet files they carry to be very good. I ordered a half dozen a couple of years back, and found them to pretty crappy.

    Maybe it's just me, or maybe they were from a bad batch, but I'm just throwing that out there.

    If others since have had good luck with the American pattern Grobets that Reid carries, then maybe I should give them another shot?

    Alistair.
    I have not been disappointed, bet hey, maybe I've never used a file from the golden age of files.

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