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Mill Files

petertha

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#1
I keep hearing that if you have to use a file on the lathe, its best to use a 'mill file'. Maybe I buggered that up - are they called lathe files? Anyway, the difference to a conventional file is described as the cut lines are at a shallower angle relative to the file edge. Makes sense to me, I'd like to try some. But I have not seen them available in many typical machinery supply outlets. Any leads or recommendations?

Disclosure: Not that I'm looking to spend extra money, but I am now a self-confessed file snob. After years of buying typical 'brand name' hand files I tried a few Swiss files. OMG they cut & finish so nice, its like night & day.
 

Bob Korves

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#2
A lathe file is what you want to use on a lathe, and yes, it has shallower angled cuts on it compared to a mill file. I am still using mill files, so I want to get at least one myself. I will be watching this thread...
 

petertha

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#5
Yup, that looks like what I saw. Thanks! At least I know a part code now. They designate it LAL.
 

petertha

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#10
Good point. My swiss files have a safe edge too. But another thought - holding a dedicated LAL / mill file square to X axis lathe bed (parallel to chuck face) as its intended to cut, as opposed to at some angle to compensate the tooth pattern of a regular file is probably net safer. Anything that points inward towards the chuck, either the end of file or a supporting hand, is kind of flirting with danger.
 

Randall Marx

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#11
I have 2 long-angle lathe files, one 14-inch and one 10-inch. I found them and started using them before I had a lathe. They seem to cut faster and cleaner than a mill file while leaving a better finish. On the lathe, there is just as much of a difference. I love them and intend to get more. I absolutely recommend them to anyone!