I watched a couple videos, while I like their designs, I feel like making it out of steel would be far more durable, and I just happen to have the metal on hand to build it
I know what draw filing is, and how to do it. I would also suggest that a lot of people may be doing it wrong. Regardless of how you do it, a file's teeth are still meant to only cut in one direction, even when draw filing. The side of the file doesn't matter. Teeth are cut the same direction on both sides, so that if you hold the tang/handle in your right hand, you push to cut, regardless of which side you have facing down, or whether it's angled at the piece, or perpendicular to the piece for draw filing. If you want to cut on the pull stroke, the tang/handle should be held in the left hand.Huuuh????? google "draw filing" and watch the videos of folks pulling towards. I was shown that method by a German master machinist years ago. which hand is on the handle depends on which side of the file you are using. draw filing using a pull stroke is very effective in starting a bevel when using flat stock.
I would say it's acceptable to not completely break contact, as long as you lighten pressure on the "return" stroke. To bring back the similarity with a hacksaw blade, you wouldn't typically lift the saw blade out of the material to pull it back, but if you're using it properly, you're putting pressure on the forward stroke only, I just see a lot of "filers" keeping pressure the whole time and wondering why the file isn't cutting hardly at all. They also wonder why the piece starts dishing in the middle, instead of remaining flat. Well.....great primer on filing, guys...specially you Andrew.
One rule I routinely "break" is on draw filing...I do not lift the file at all...I relax the pressure a bit on the non-cutting stroke, but that's about it. Reason is: On draw filing I'm usually going for finish and lifting and then finding the "flat" again is difficult for me without putting pressure on one edge or another. So I keep the file down but lighten up a bit on the return stroke. If it affect my files it's not much...I have mill files I've used for 30 plus years.
I've used chalk, soapstone, teflon spray, they all work fine...lately I started using LPS Tapmatic Edge which is a dry lube stick for cutting metal. looks like a grease tube with a waxy substance in it. Is it better? Dunno...lol...just easier for me to find because of the label and size. (i love it for bandsawing blade material though!)
It could be a psyche thing...but i think the files I get from industrial supply houses (Like graingers and McMaster Carr) are higher quality than Home Depot's...it's not a wear issue but a quality of cut issue....I would at least check out a mill file and compare them....that's where the finish counts. Like I say....could be all in my head.....the Home Depot files i've bought do not seem quite as nice? Anyone have an opinion on this?
the human tendency to unmerited bias is always tricky with files, lol. i quit buying Grobet needle files YEARS ago because harbor freight's last half as long and cost about 1/10 as much and seem to cut decent (great economy!)...now they feel disposable to me rather than family heirlooms in the making....but I will use them for things i never would have used a nice Grobet for....even grinding them down for hard to reach jobs.
reasonable price. here is a source https://www.victornet.com/alphabetic/Files-Mill/956.html. not the best, but less than $5 for a 12" mill file is a good price. they also have handles and cardsThe Nicholson files I bought were $17 each
little steel brushes work ok...The file card is stiff...and cleans more of the file (quicker).I have also been using a steel bristled toothbrush like brush to clean the teeth of my file that works very well, I could see how a file card being bigger with shorter possibly stiffer bristles would work better