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Thread: Files for a newb

  1. #1
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    Default Files for a newb

    I am just starting on getting into this whole thing on a very hobby basis. I will be starting out just doing lugs. I have access to a torch, a vise, and I can make some tubing blocks. I have most of the normal hand tools that one would have, hacksaw, hammers, wrenches, and such. I am doing this jigless and without holesaws. Therefore, I will need some files.

    Of course, once I get going I am sure, like all of you, I will come to find my favorite sizes and styles for particular applications. I am not at that point yet. What I am looking for is a decent set or maybe I will need a couple of sets (large and small) of basic files that will get me started. I know there are some quality differences with these and the research I have done has told me to steer clear of Nicholson (unless I can still find some made in US) and that Grobet (sp?) is a good brand to start off with.

    With all this in mind, can anyone point me in the direction of some starter sets so I can start hacking up some random tubes and burning shit with fire? Thanks!
     

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    Default Re: Files for a newb

    Try MSC or your local supplier. I agree steer clear of the Nicholson you find in the big box hardware stores. I've had much luck at local flea markets. I find swiss made and bluegrass files on most every trip. I now have a 'tool guy' at the flea market searching for me. I have a list of files to start off with if you would like it. I started with a 6,8,10,12 half round bastard two swiss cuts and a 10 rat tail bastard. I've found chainsaw files to be useful.
     

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Files for a newb

    I have a 14" half round that is almost the perfect radius to match a 1.5" head tube. The kind I like is also referred to as a 'pipeliner' file, and any welding supply will have them. I rough my head tube miters with it, and it takes just a tiny bit of cleanup with a smaller 2nd cut file. You might find it useful.
    Eric Doswell, aka Edoz
    Summoner of Crickets
    http://edozbicycles.wordpress.com/
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    In Before the Lock

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    Default Re: Files for a newb

    Look for simonds red tangs. They are lovely files.

    I'll put another vote in for scrounging at your local flea markets/etc. I bought about 90 files in a lot on ebay a few years ago that included very few doubles, and most of them turned out to be totally useful. There will be a few you use all the time, but having a go-to file for every small job is a really great feeling. I don't use the triangle shapes much, but the assortment of chainsaws, half rounds, knifes, rat tails, etc, etc, etc has been endlessly helpful.
    michael catano humble frameworks
    chicago, il, usa merci

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    Default Re: Files for a newb

    Go to your local welding store and buy a selection of various files. Get a 8" half-round bastard file and some others that look "good" to you and try them out and see what works for you.

    If those don't work try some other ones. You've got to find what works for you. What works for me, I like smaller files in general, may not work for you so you've got to experiment.

    Files wear out and you'll have to get new ones so don't get too bogged down - it's an iterative process.

    Conor
     

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