Must have tool: bastard file

I have found a bastard file indispensable for removing fully cured epoxy drips, even high spots. Anyplace where you would spend a lot of time and sandpaper. Bastard files are coarse, aggressive and intended for working metal. But once you try it you'll become a believer. While you're buying tools, pick up a File Card. Designed to clean out a file. Especially useful if you're epoxy drips are not yet rock hard. 

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RE: Must have tool: bastard file

A Shinto Rasp does the same but with less clogging and the clogs can be blown out if they happen. But if you don't have one, then the bastard file is a very good substitute. And it works way better on steel :-)


RE: Must have tool: bastard file

I'll add my 2nd to Laszlo's Shinto Rasp suggestion.

Bought my first one almost 50 years ago, came with a removable handle thing that I tossed decades ago. Easy enough to grab either end for what's in store.

I almost bought a new one when I began my Waterlust project late in '19. Never got around to that, the first one's still quite effective.

A couple of traditional files I've found useful are a 3/8" rat tail (coarse-tooth, tapered, long) and a chainsaw file (fine-tooth, no taper, shorter than a rat tail) which works really well for knocking the fuzzy edges off puzzle joints w/o rounding them over too much if you think that'd bother your intended 'look'.

RE: Must have tool: bastard file

   Well, there are two bastards. The single cut and double cut bastard file is good file. Get the flat/half round combination double cut bastard file. It has served me well since my aircraft mechanic days.  But it just isn't that good for wood. 

I use a combination double cut and rasp, flat/half round. I got mine when I was about 12 and its done well ever since.  It is similar to this........

The rasp works good to rapidly knock down drips and ridges in wood or epoxy. The file end does good clean up work. 

RE: Must have tool: bastard file

   Nick has a discussion of rasp use.  Starts at 2:16 min.

He gets a little OCD sometimes, but he has decades of experience and it  is a pretty boat for a customer. 

RE: Must have tool: bastard file

The Shinto rasp is an invaluable tool for many things, but my go-to expoxy drip fixers are now cabinet scrapers! I bought some on a whim about 2 years ago, not understanding quite how they could work, and they're now what I always reach for to deal with errant epoxy. I'm still surprised that something so simple could be so effective

RE: Must have tool: bastard file

I'm with Pippy. Cabinet scrapers - indeed pretty much any piece of decent steel having a keen edge formed and that won't cut you during use - can be an effective tool for removing errant epoxy once it's cured. Fast, easily applied to just the epoxy & not the surrounding material, I've used cabinet scrapers, wide chisels, even single-edged razor blades & bits of broken bandsaw blades formed into a loop depending on what I'd confronted myself with either in haste or inattention.

All the tools in our kits have a specific purpose behind their design but it's the creative aspect of expanding the range of a tool's applications that I take as a pleasure in their use. One example being how I found a simple 3/16" chainsaw file an invaluable aid for removing the 'wire edge' left on puzzle joints about to be assembled.  

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