Our next 3 projects all involved mastering our filing skills and also moving to a material thats slightly more difficult to work with, steel. The Tri-Square and Flat Gauge have proved invaluable in our subsequent projects and exams.
The brass gauges were made by drilling a hole in piece of steel and then cutting straight through the centre of the circle to form a steel gauge. We used this gauge to check if the ends of the brass we were filing were perfectly round. After rounding both ends and blending them into the straight sides, it was given a grained finish. Quite difficult to complete and definitely tested my filing skills!
The Tri-Square was cut out by hand from a sheet of steel and then all the edges filed flat and parallel to each other. This was obviously extremely important as the flat sides and 90 degree angle had to be perfect. Once this was achieved we drilled a hole in the 90 degree angle and then cut through it. This was to remove any burrs from the corner and make sure a perfect angle was achieved. As this would be a working tool and time was getting tight, I left the top surfaces unfinished but I may come back to this at a later date. It was a pretty tough task and our first real experience of working with steel which is obviously a lot harder than brass but once again a good end result was achieved.
We moved on once again to the Flat Gauge which once again we had to make flat and square, our task was to then file a specific angle on each end complete with slopping angle on opposite sides of the flat surfaces. This was our most difficult task to date, as you would expect with each new project raising the difficulty levels, it actually took me a couple of attempts to get a finished piece that matched the specification.
As you can see, things were really coming together by now and our skills had improved dramatically in short space of time. We had completed a number of projects all increasing in difficulty and we were getting the sense that we could learn and achieve anything. We were told there would be one last filing project before we moved on to lathes, this was something we had all been dreading due to its ‘Legend’ at the school, the steel cube.
Anyway I’ll save that for my next instalment, here is a recent picture of the 3 completed projects unfortunately now complete with fingerprints and rust…