TO FILING TECHNIQUES
to filing is designed to give you the information you will
need to practice filing before you attend my 1911
The biggest problem you will encounter in my school
is filing surfaces of the parts that you are fitting
accurately so that they will fit correctly.
By practicing and learning the techniques of filing
you will greatly enhance your ability to concentrate on
learning all of the tasks of building a custom 1911
instead of trying to learn to file at the same time.
will need to build or purchase a good solid bench that
will not wiggle when you are filing.
You will need to bolt the bench to the wall and
floor to keep it from moving during filing. The height that you set the bench top to is extremely
important to proper filing.
The piece that you will be filing should be placed
at the same level, as your forearms would be when you
stand with your feet shoulder width apart with your arms
at your side with your forearms and hands extended
parallel to the floor.
This means that the top of the vise on your bench
should be at this level.
So, you will need to purchase a good bench vise
before you build or buy your bench so that you can
determine the proper height of the bench top.
Now, lets talk about vises.
The old adage, you get what you pay for,
definitely holds true when you are purchasing a vise.
I recommend that you buy the best vise you can
very good vise manufacturers are Wilton and Record.
They are both available through MSC Supply Company.
The Record is an English made vise and I believe
the best buy for the money.
The Wilton top grade machinist vises are quite
expensive. You need to buy a vise that has jaws that are at least 4
wide but 5 to 6 is better.
The vise must have a swivel base that can be locked
down securely. The heavier the vise is the better as it resists movement.
Ok, lets assume that you have your bench and your
vise has been mounted to it so you are ready to go.
Now we need to discuss the file and accessories.
You need to purchase an 8, 2nd cut mill file
made by the Nicholson file company.
Do not purchase any other brand of file.
They just wont stay sharp as long or file as
must also purchase a good file handle for your file.
Never ever try to file without a handle on your
only will you not have good control of the file, you can
jam the file shank through the palm of your hand if the
file sticks to the work piece while you are filing.
You can permanently damage your hand if this
will also need to purchase a file card.
This is a special wire brush made to clean the
metal chips from the teeth of your file.
If you get a metal chip caught in the teeth of the
file, the metal chip will cut a gouge in the part that you
are filing each time you take a stroke with the file.
You will also need some common black board white
coat the file teeth with the chalk and this keeps the
metal filings from sticking in the file teeth.
The next item you need to find is some metal to
practice filing on. I
recommend that you buy several pieces of 1 round cold
rolled mild steel 11/8 long.
You can find this steel
at any machine shop. You can use round cold rolled mild steel in ½, ¾
also. You will just have a smaller piece when you get done
I want you to make your piece of round stock into a
cube. Now you
will need to do some calculations to determine exactly
what size of cube you can make out of the piece of round
stock that you have based on the diameter of the round
stock that you have.
Once you have determined the size of the cube you
can make, you can get started filing.
The object of this practice filing is to teach you
how to file flat and perpendicular to another surface.
A cube has 6 sides that are either parallel to the
opposite side or perpendicular to the others.
The filing that you will be doing when fitting a
match barrel will require that you be able to file fit a
surface that has to be square, flat and perpendicular to
another surface. It
is recommended that you be able to file well before you
attack your $200 Bar Sto Match Barrel in the class!
You will need to place the flat ends of your piece
of round stock in your vise jaws to start filing the first
flat on the round surface. Remember, you will have to keep each of the 4 flats that you
file at a perfect 90 degrees to the flat ends of the piece
of round stock that you started with.
Once you have filed 4 perfect flats that to make
your cube you then have to file the two end flats so that
the end flats are the same size as the 4 flats you filed
into the round surface.
Trust me this exercise will take you many hours of
filing to complete. You
should not file for more than 30 minutes at a time.
Your muscles will become tired and you will begin
to make mistakes.
You must develop the technique of keeping your file
parallel to the work piece at all times.
You will have at tendency to want to roll your file
up hill at the beginning of the stroke and down hill at
the end of the stroke.
This error in technique will result in a convex
surface instead of a flat surface.
Another trick you must master is picking up your
file at the end of each stroke high enough, while you are
returning the file to the rear for the next stroke, so
that you can observe the file marks that you made during
your last file stroke.
By observing where your last file marks are you can
make a determination on how accurate the surface is to
flat and where your next file stroke must be to make a
correction if needed.
I know that this sounds really hard but you will
catch on quickly after you have practiced awhile.
You must also remember that the file only cuts on
the forward stroke. You
must pick up your file when returning it to the rear for
the next stroke. If
you try to file on the backstroke you will dull the teeth
of your file very quickly.
Well, there you have it, all you ever needed to know about
learning how to file.
Actually, I have just touched on the subject.
I could probably write a 100 more pages on the
subject and still not cover it all.
And, I am sure that there are others who know much
more on the subject of filing than I do.
Remember, take your time, analyze what you are
doing to correct your mistakes, and have fun learning
something and trying to be good at it. I guarantee that this practice will pay off in spades when
you come to my 1911 school.
Cylinder Slide Inc.