Sharpening a File With Vinegar - Cuts Like A New Black Diamond!

junquecol

Bruce
User
I have a Nichilson BD 12" file that is all most 50 years old. It has been used to sharpen all kinds of things, bush axes, axes, lawn mower blades, etc over the years. Saturday went to use it to sharpen lopping shears, and it just wouldn't. So Saturday night and Sunday, it spent the day in a bath of white vinegar. Took it out this morning, and rinsed with water, then took torch and dried it off. Next sprayed it with WD-40 to prevent rust. Now it cuts like a new Black Diamond file! For more info, search "using acid to sharpen a file."
 

Roy G

Roy
Senior User
Bruce, that looks like something I might have to try. I have quite the collection of older files that don't cut like they should. Thanks for the tip.

Roy G
 

sawman101

Bruce Swanson
Corporate Member
I remember file sharpening kits that were offered about 25 years ago, they consisted of an acid and a cylinder to soak the files in. Glad to have that memory brought back, and glad to learn of your success in bringing new life to an old tool Bruce. Good files are not cheap!
 

bbrown

Bill
User
How does this work? Does the vinegar just remove gunk build-up, or is there something else involved?
 

junquecol

Bruce
User
Acid actually eats away the metal, making tops of teeth sharper. Google "Using acid to sharpen files" for more info. For container, I used a Lay's "Stacks Potato" chip can. I had to do half of it's length, and then invert to do other end. When first end came out, dried it, and sprayed it with WD-40. Freshl out of acid, rinsed,and dried, file will flash rust while in your hand.
 

spartyon8

Peter
User
I saw a video online where they used pvc tubes with white vinegar to clean glue off clamps. I tried it and it works really well. The glue softens enough to just wipe right off.
 

mkepke

Mark
Senior User
I'll have to try the vinegar. One of my Nichols bastard files appeared all rusty one day and my son explained he used it to file down the salt he was using as filler in the fishing lures he's making...

Salt+summer humidity..mmmm..rust

-Mark
 

23tony

Tony
User
I haven't tried it on my files yet, but I just did a vinegar soak on some old hardware for a table I'm restoring and it worked wonders at cleaning things up.
 

Yelverton

Mitch
Corporate Member
Same thing here - I used vinegar to clean up two old vises and it did a great job. The key for me was rinsing everything in a baking soda bath after to prevent surface rust.
 

Jeff

Jeff
Corporate Member
Same thing here - I used vinegar to clean up two old vises and it did a great job. The key for me was rinsing everything in a baking soda bath after to prevent surface rust.
The baking soda just neutralized any remaining vinegar but a thorough rinsing in plain tap water would do the same thing. It's water that makes the rust so rinse everything well with DNA to remove the water.
 

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