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Filing down a square surface #4857188
09/01/18 01:00 PM
09/01/18 01:00 PM
Joined: Apr 2012
Posts: 2,853
West Michigan
buck91 Offline OP
buck91  Offline OP

Joined: Apr 2012
Posts: 2,853
West Michigan
So, maybe not strictly a tooltime topic but it does relate to USING tools so I thought it was appropriate.

Anyways, doing some tinkering at home and I need to file down some aluminum surfaces to get everything toleranced. Basically, they are cylinders 19.5mm diameter x 13mm tall which I need to take 3mm off the height of. Managed to get one done pretty good using my eye and my hand on a big [censored] file and cleaning up with a ceramic sharpening stone. Had a very hard time keeping the working surface square and even. I suspect that due to imperfect pressure using my hands to hold everything it tended to file/grind/abrade unevenly. I also tried using my grinder on the flat side of the wheel which was much quicker and easier.

Any suggestions for keeping everything square? Its too small to mount up, and I can't really see a jig design that would work...


2011 F150 4x4 5.0L
1996 Mustang GT 5spd/ragtop
Re: Filing down a square surface [Re: buck91] #4857221
09/01/18 01:59 PM
09/01/18 01:59 PM
Joined: May 2010
Posts: 10,252
out there
spasm3 Online content
spasm3  Online Content

Joined: May 2010
Posts: 10,252
out there
If you start off square, sandpaper on glass. I've done aluminum intakes and an oil pump housing by sliding them on sandpaper on top of a thick sheet of glass.


13 elantra 78k 5w30 synpwr
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Re: Filing down a square surface [Re: buck91] #4857225
09/01/18 02:04 PM
09/01/18 02:04 PM
Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 4,838
Central Texas
sleddriver Offline
sleddriver  Offline

Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 4,838
Central Texas
I've done similar using a Taig lathe.


1998 Volvo V70 T5 228,880 mi. Original Owner.
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"It's never a mistake to buy tools, defined broadly. They're not a cost, they're an investment." - J.B. Peterson
Re: Filing down a square surface [Re: buck91] #4857291
09/01/18 04:47 PM
09/01/18 04:47 PM
Joined: Jun 2013
Posts: 1,249
iowa
Traction Offline
Traction  Offline

Joined: Jun 2013
Posts: 1,249
iowa
I will wrap things with wide masking tape, and if the ends line up overlapping, then it's pretty square.


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Re: Filing down a square surface [Re: buck91] #4857339
09/01/18 06:15 PM
09/01/18 06:15 PM
Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 22,007
MA, Mittelfranken.de
Trav Offline
Trav  Offline

Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 22,007
MA, Mittelfranken.de
For stuff like this a surface grinder is the correct tool but most people don't have one in the garage. A small stationary belt sander with a fine belt works well too if you have one.
You could probably do it with a orbital sander by holding the piece against it and moving it around slowly, start with 180 grit until its almost there than switch to a fine grade. A pic of what you want to do would help.


ASE L1, Master. Deutsch Meisterbrief.
Re: Filing down a square surface [Re: buck91] #4857353
09/01/18 06:35 PM
09/01/18 06:35 PM
Joined: Jan 2011
Posts: 3,895
PV Az @ 5000'
AZjeff Online content
AZjeff  Online Content

Joined: Jan 2011
Posts: 3,895
PV Az @ 5000'
If you can scribe a line that you can file or sand to it will help, similar to the masking tape suggestion.


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Re: Filing down a square surface [Re: buck91] #4857405
09/01/18 07:41 PM
09/01/18 07:41 PM
Joined: Jul 2003
Posts: 5,220
New Zealand
Silk Offline
Silk  Offline

Joined: Jul 2003
Posts: 5,220
New Zealand
Keep moving the cyl around, or move around the work yourself. Use a draw file technique - grab that barstar* like a pair of handlebars and push away from your body.


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