Ever since man first began to attempt to modify the shape of the things he found around him, he has used files in one form or another to help him do so. In the earliest times this would have been in the form of rough rocks which were used to smooth and polish pieces of bone or wood. These were not files you may say but, as soon as man began to select cetain rocks for their particularly useful shape or began to work the rocks into flat or other shapes, he was making files of a sort. With the advent of the metal ages these rough stones were replaced by man-made files of a type which would be more recognisable today.
From these earliest times right up until the task of shaping materials was largely taken over by machines in the early 20th century, the simple file was by far the most important tool in the shaping of a wide range of materials.
In this short discourse, I shall attempt to describe the main features of a file and its method of manufacture both historical and current.
This work is Copyright to Ian W. Wright 2003. You may use it for your own private purposes but reproduction by any means or its use for commercial gain is strictly forbidden without the written permission of the author.