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-   -   Dull Nut Files (https://www.acousticguitarforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=569467)

Wooly 01-16-2020 07:32 AM

Dull Nut Files
 
I bought a set of these nut files. I have had approx 6 or so uses from them and it seems they have become quite dull. Maybe the quality is not up to par but how long, in general, should nut files last?

http://www.japarts.ca/Uo-Chikyu/Uo-C...-Nut-Files.asp

HodgdonExtreme 01-16-2020 09:01 AM

I've setup (NOT started from scratch) 5 nuts with my set and they seem to be cutting just fine.

When you say "quite dull", are they unable to cut? Is it taking 5 swipes instead of 2?

I ask, because in my (limited) experience in reworking nut slots, I'd rather have a file cut away material more slowly.

charles Tauber 01-16-2020 09:01 AM

They should last for many years.

The fine teeth of the files do clog with whatever material you are filing. That might be what you are experiencing. I use a thick/plush piece of carpet to lay guitars on while working on them. I wipe the teeth of the files across the surface of the carpet and find that doing so cleans the material out of their teeth.

The teeth can potentially get gummed up if you are filing uncured glue such as epoxy or CA glue.

Frank Ford 01-16-2020 09:23 AM

Watch out for STAINLESS steel nut files - those I've seen are not fully hardened as standard steel files. They hav an extremely short life. . .

redir 01-16-2020 09:31 AM

Do an Internet search on "Chemical Sharpening." I've never done it with nut files but it can work a charm on regular files.

Bruce Sexauer 01-16-2020 10:11 AM

It may seem remedial to you, but when using a file it is important to put down pressure on it ONLY on the push stroke, and lift it slightly on the pull stroke. Otherwise the cutting edges will get turned and dull the file. Learned this in 8th grade shop, a program which is less prevalent these days, Iím told. I have been using the same StewMac nut files for 25 years and have done many hundreds of guitars and basses with them.

John Arnold 01-16-2020 10:36 AM

I have used the Stew Mac files for close to the same duration as Bruce. One of them (0.032) wore out after a few years, but the replacement is holding up like the others. These are the flat sided gauged files that are the same width on both edges. I also have the thicker ones with the tapered sides; those are different gauge on the two edges. I have not used them nearly as much, but they seem to be just as durable.

JCave 01-16-2020 10:40 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by charles Tauber (Post 6266636)
They should last for many years.

The fine teeth of the files do clog with whatever material you are filing. That might be what you are experiencing. I use a thick/plush piece of carpet to lay guitars on while working on them. I wipe the teeth of the files across the surface of the carpet and find that doing so cleans the material out of their teeth.

The teeth can potentially get gummed up if you are filing uncured glue such as epoxy or CA glue.


Piece of scrap copper cleans them nicely. A file cleaning brush is also available. I use both but actually prefer copper. "Good" files usually last about five years in my jewelry studio working silver, gold, and copper. YMMV...

Carey 01-16-2020 10:45 AM

I've been able to extend the life of some files, including my nut files, by first cleaning them
well, then soaking in household vinegar overnight.

charles Tauber 01-16-2020 10:52 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JCave (Post 6266722)
Piece of scrap copper cleans them nicely. A file cleaning brush is also available. I use both but actually prefer copper.

The "file card" I have is too course for the fine teeth of nut files. I've also used an old tooth brush as well as commercial copper-bristled brushes. I find the carpet is handy and works very well for bone, plastic and wood dust.

I haven't tried copper: thanks for the tip. It might work well for other files with metal filings, such as fret "dust".

Frank Ford 01-16-2020 10:56 AM

Every so often I box up a load of files and send them off for sharpening to

Boggs Tool Co.

All I have to do is give them a note with a count of the number of files in the package. They sharpen them all and send them back with a modest bill.

After they use their 120-year-old steam/'abrasive blast process to sharpen the files they give them a quick test. Those that don't pass the test get red paint on the end, and come back at NO charge. Even those that don't pass are far sharper than they were before.

They will do ANY kind or size of file - nut, fret round, rasp - whatever.

Wooly 01-16-2020 12:34 PM

Thanks to all for the info. I learned something today. Especially putting pressure on the down stroke only. I will try cleaning these as some had suggested and see how that works.

JCave 01-16-2020 12:55 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by charles Tauber (Post 6266735)
The "file card" I have is too course for the fine teeth of nut files. I've also used an old tooth brush as well as commercial copper-bristled brushes. I find the carpet is handy and works very well for bone, plastic and wood dust.

I haven't tried copper: thanks for the tip. It might work well for other files with metal filings, such as fret "dust".

Agreed on the file card which is why I use copper. Even then small particles can adhere to the fine file teeth. A big needle works great digging that stuff out. Tricks of the trades..... :D


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