View Full Version : cleaning old files

Stephen Sebed
04-08-2003, 6:18 PM
I have 2 old files one is a mill bastard file and the other is a round file. Both are rusty and have something between the teeth of the files. I have tried using a wire brush to clean it out but I still can't get much of it out. Is there another way to clean these up? I don't mind the rust as long as the file is usable.


Kevin Gerstenecker
04-08-2003, 7:07 PM
Grab your safety glasses and try a wire wheel on a bench grinder. If you can identify the material clogging the file that may help in the cleaning process. Is it Metal, or something else? Sometimes, folks will clog up a file with Aluminum, but that should come out with the aid of a card file. (Wire brush for files.) You could try sandblasting, that would clean it off, and if you don't get crazy with it, it won't hurt the file. Maybe some Paint Stripper or Solvent will cut the gunk also. Good Luck!

Ray Thompson
04-08-2003, 10:41 PM
Sandblast it. You will get a file sharpening for free.


Stephen Sebed
04-09-2003, 4:46 PM
Ok, I sprayed wd-40 on the files and used a wire brush and I got the mill bastard clean enough to use. The round file is clean also but the teeth are rounded over and are not sharp. I don't have access to a sand blaster and I'm think that It is not worth it to have it sharpened as a new one is only $7. Thanks for the advice.

Stephen Sebed
04-09-2003, 5:45 PM
After thinking about the mill file, How hard would it be to take the rust off? I don't have a wire wheel or a sand blaster so I would be trying this with only solvents and a wire brush. I will try letting the WD-40 soak on the mill file overnight and then try using the wire brush. Any other suggestions?
Thanks again.

Stephen Sebed
04-10-2003, 5:46 PM
I just finished wire brushing the file again and most of it cleaned up really well, there is only light rust that is still on it. Near the end of the file there is still something that is stuck in the teeth of the file, WD-40 and a wire brush will not get it out. Is there a stronger solvent I could try without damaging the teeth?