Needle file question

Mike576

:::Pledge Member:::
::::Pledge Member::::
Joined
Nov 20, 2020
Messages
71
I just recently purchased a set of 12 #3 cut friedrich dick needle files. Needless to say they are fantastic when compared to cheap sets from harbor freight which i am used to.

The question i have is, how much thinner and smaller are escapement files when compared to standard needle files?

Im working on a project with very thin and small areas to file after cutting with a jewelers saw. I got 60% of the cleanup with files and for the rest used stoddard maxflex sanding strips which mount into a jewelers saw.

Im thinking now having a set of escapement files for next time might be handy. Thanks for any info!
 

Mike576

:::Pledge Member:::
::::Pledge Member::::
Joined
Nov 20, 2020
Messages
71
You can find the dimensions here:


Just select the file you want, in the description the dimensions are mentioned.

If you need more detailled information about the escapement files, I the set and can take measurements if You want.‘ve got

Cheers

Ralf
Thanks for the link, i see the round files are 2mm at the thickest point. Significantly thinner than the standard needle files which are closer to 3mm at the thickest point. Ill be picking up a set. thanks
 

horologist

Member
Joined
Oct 23, 2015
Messages
45
Location
Melrose, FL
There are no set standards for escapement files but a search for escapement files will at least get you headed in the right direction. I've seen them vary widely from tiny to almost standard needle file size. My all time favorite set was made by Nicholson and the tiny box had somehow worked its way behind the drawers of a watchmakers bench I was restoring.

It sounds like you might also like the brass semi circular rings in the photo below.
10778848114_477a46fc29_o.jpg

I got the idea for these tools from an article about Kees Englebarts in the Horological Times, there used to be a copy on the web but it seems to have vanished. They may look like saws but are actually used more like files. In one tool I can mount a short section of a standard jeweler’s saw blade, this is quite useful for getting into sharp corners or sculpting curved surfaces in areas that would be inaccessible or dangerous to the tips of my files.
The other half ring has a piece of diamond coated shim stock, I have found this tool to be of little use and a bit of a disappointment.
As far as I know they are not commercially available but they are a simple project. I made mine from a brass ring about 1 ½ inches in diameter.
 

mitch

:::Pledge Member:::
::::Pledge Member::::
Joined
Jul 23, 2007
Messages
2,597
I have a bunch of needle and escapement files that are ground finer/narrower to suit whatever i was working on. I also have some with “safed” sides that are ground, stoned, and polished to cut perfect inside corners. It’s often critical to file only one side of a space/gap/joint at a time.
 

Mike576

:::Pledge Member:::
::::Pledge Member::::
Joined
Nov 20, 2020
Messages
71
I have a bunch of needle and escapement files that are ground finer/narrower to suit whatever i was working on. I also have some with “safed” sides that are ground, stoned, and polished to cut perfect inside corners. It’s often critical to file only one side of a space/gap/joint at a time.
I read some things where people would modify their files, hard to do when the set is 100$ i guess if it gets the job done then its worth it!
 

Mike576

:::Pledge Member:::
::::Pledge Member::::
Joined
Nov 20, 2020
Messages
71
There are no set standards for escapement files but a search for escapement files will at least get you headed in the right direction. I've seen them vary widely from tiny to almost standard needle file size. My all time favorite set was made by Nicholson and the tiny box had somehow worked its way behind the drawers of a watchmakers bench I was restoring.

It sounds like you might also like the brass semi circular rings in the photo below.
View attachment 50672

I got the idea for these tools from an article about Kees Englebarts in the Horological Times, there used to be a copy on the web but it seems to have vanished. They may look like saws but are actually used more like files. In one tool I can mount a short section of a standard jeweler’s saw blade, this is quite useful for getting into sharp corners or sculpting curved surfaces in areas that would be inaccessible or dangerous to the tips of my files.
The other half ring has a piece of diamond coated shim stock, I have found this tool to be of little use and a bit of a disappointment.
As far as I know they are not commercially available but they are a simple project. I made mine from a brass ring about 1 ½ inches in diameter.
Very cool tool! ill have to make something similar, i ended up using a jewelers sae blade by hand slowly scraping in some of the tiny areas while looking through my microscope. it worked but took a while since the blade was all floppy. That tool would have come in handy under the scope. Thanks for the tip!
 

Chujybear

~ Elite 1000 Member ~
Joined
Nov 3, 2011
Messages
1,046
Location
Haida Gwaii
You can grind up the backside of your needle files if you have tighter spaces to fit...
I have also reshaped needle files with heat.. you have to regarded them after.. but I do have one that I didn’t even bother to reharden (a square that I bent on edge to score a kerf in a box I was making) and it still cuts fine decades later... more of a reflection of how often I make boxes than the quality of the metal tho
 

horologist

Member
Joined
Oct 23, 2015
Messages
45
Location
Melrose, FL
There is nothing wrong with modifying your files to suit an application.
There are a lot of interesting varieties out there in shape, cut, and safe surfaces. In my clock work I have decided that you can't have too many small files and I'm guessing I have over a thousand.
If you aren't in a hurry you might skip that $100 set and start scrounging. There are a lot of NOS or nearly new vintage files out there. I recently ran into a treasure trove of NOS boxed files that likely came out of a die making shop and regularly find files at NAWCC (National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors) events, some 50 to 150 years old. When clearing estates the tools with sex appeal get priced and sold individually and the more mundane stuff just gets thrown in a box for a trivial sum.
The old files are generally better quality, with the move to send manufacturing overseas it is getting difficult to find new files that are of good quality.
If you have no interest in clocks and NAWCC events are out of the question try flea markets, antique malls and there is always eBay. True, it is harder to sort out the junk when you can't see the files in person.
If you have the tool budget and need them now the ones mentioned above look fine there is also Jules Borel and Otto Frei.
 

Mike576

:::Pledge Member:::
::::Pledge Member::::
Joined
Nov 20, 2020
Messages
71
There is nothing wrong with modifying your files to suit an application.
There are a lot of interesting varieties out there in shape, cut, and safe surfaces. In my clock work I have decided that you can't have too many small files and I'm guessing I have over a thousand.
If you aren't in a hurry you might skip that $100 set and start scrounging. There are a lot of NOS or nearly new vintage files out there. I recently ran into a treasure trove of NOS boxed files that likely came out of a die making shop and regularly find files at NAWCC (National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors) events, some 50 to 150 years old. When clearing estates the tools with sex appeal get priced and sold individually and the more mundane stuff just gets thrown in a box for a trivial sum.
The old files are generally better quality, with the move to send manufacturing overseas it is getting difficult to find new files that are of good quality.
If you have no interest in clocks and NAWCC events are out of the question try flea markets, antique malls and there is always eBay. True, it is harder to sort out the junk when you can't see the files in person.
If you have the tool budget and need them now the ones mentioned above look fine there is also Jules Borel and Otto Frei.
Thanks for the tip, never thought to check antique stores and the like, i have a few in town i can take a look at soon.
 

Dave London

~ Elite 1000 Member ~
Joined
Nov 12, 2006
Messages
1,758
Location
Colorado
Rio Grande, Otto,etc sell small saw frames similar to those 1/2 round ones you made MTC YMMV
 

Latest posts

Sponsors

Top