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When you first get your tools, they are not quite ready for use. The creation of the tool gives it the strong, tempered metal and the shape required for the work you want them to do. The factory does not soften the sharp edges that can damage the wire and metal you are working with. It is necessary to apply files to the sharp edges in order to round them. By rounding the edges on your tools, you will eliminate accidental nicks and dings. A common mistake is to just get the obvious edges on the gripping pliers.. In the pictures below, you will see arrows pointing to all the edges on the three most common pliers.

Round nose pliers Chain nose pliers Flat nose pliers

 

Filing the Edges

 

In the picture on the right I have displayed a variety of files you can use to modify your tools with.

1.-3. are 2-way bastard files of various grits.
4. & 5. are triangle taper files good for getting in tight places
6. is a square taper file that is wonderful for corners
7. is a jeweler’s file (or spark plug file) that is pretty universal for jewelry making.

I use several of these files, but you don’t need to have all of them. Push comes to shove, the jeweler’s file is fine for all your filing needs.

 

For the round nose pliers I use a triangle file to get the inside edges and corners at the base of the beaks. At the top of the box join I use the square taper so I can effectively get into the corners. Go back up the page and look at the picture again to refresh your mind on where you will be filing.

Grab the pliers in your non-dominant hand by one handle and push the other handle so the beaks opens wide. Brace the tip of the handle you are not holding on the table to hold the pliers steady. Push the file  away from you. It will “catch” the first couple times. When it stops “catching” you can saw back and forth. Tilt the file at different angles every five or six strokes. It doesn’t take much effort to round the edges.

 

For the chain nose pliers I like to use a medium grit bastard file for the beak edges as it is easier for me to handle. Go back up the page and look at the picture again to refresh your mind on where you will be filing.

Hold one end of the file in your non-dominant hand and place the tip on your knee or workbench to keep it steady. Grab your pliers by one handle and push the other handle so the beaks open wide.

Take your pliers to the file. Tilt one of the beaks so you are on a sharp edge and then pull the pliers toward you two or three times. Work through the “catch” and saw like you did with the round nose pliers.

At the top of the box join I like to use either a jeweler’s file or the square taper. The square taper has a rougher grit so it gives me a bigger bite out of the steel than the jeweler’s file. Hold and place the pliers the same way as the round nose pliers. Push the file away from you until it stops “catching” and then saw back and forth.

 

For the flat nose pliers I use the medium grit bastard file to round the edges on the beaks and, if necessary, the tips of the beaks. Go back up the page and look at the picture again to refresh your mind on where you will be filing. For the box join I use the jeweler’s file. Follow the procedures given above for the round and chain nose pliers.

 

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Thank you for your stopping by! Please enjoy these free tutorials. You may print them, use them as your own teaching aid and/or share them as you please. You may not sell them.

 

1) Coathanger Christmas Tree
2) Coathanger Wreath
3) Origami Giftbox
4) Tiny Hinges

5) How to blow an egg
6) How To Modify Your Jewelry Pliers

 

Copyright 2010 - 2013 Colleen D Bergeron
Email me: webmistress AT sunnibergeron DOT com