Hand Tools Archive


Bill Tindall, E.Tn.
I don't own any safe files. But I proceed the other way from what you describe. For example, I face case pieces to cover up the dovetails. My family regards exposed dovetails with the same disapproval as just wearing underwear in public. I spent extra time making presentable drawer divider dovetails on a dresser for son in law. While it was under construction he asked if the dovetails could be covered up like on his wife's dresser. Sigh. I make the facing about 1/32 wider than the thickness of the frame and dividers. After the glue dries the overlap needs to be cleaned up. I use a 14" file, often the same one I sharpen lawn mower blades with.

I start in the middle of the drawer opening and work to the case side. As I approach the side I am filing against a shoulder, which offers resistance. It is a simple matter to be careful and file to the corner. That said, I am sure there are operations where a safe file is beneficial, if not essential. I just don't encounter the need, yet.

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