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Draw filing

FreezerFreezer Posts: 2,752 Senior Member
I'm preparing to assemble  T/C Hawken Kit. The first step is to draw file the barrel and brown it. I don't want to use any of the old files I have and would like suggestions on what type of file to but. 
I like Elmer Keith; I married his daughter :wink:


  • Big Al1Big Al1 Posts: 8,811 Senior Member
    I'd start with a Nicholson smooth cut, depending on how deep the machine marks are on the barrel, you may have to start with a 2nd cut file. 
    You may have to stone the surfaces to get the file marks out. It's not as tedious as it sounds, you don't want to get the metal to shiny, the brown will "bite" better on a rougher surface.
    What kind of barrel brown are you using?? I've had good results with Laurel Mountain.

    If you can find any!!
  • tennmiketennmike Posts: 27,457 Senior Member
    edited December 2020 #3
    What Big Al said. Nicholson files are the gold standard of files; buy once, cry once. And for draw filing, and filing in general, get some sidewalk chalk and load the file teeth by rubbing the sidewalk chalk over the teeth. This does two important things. It keeps the filings from sticking in the file teeth, and this reduces the chances of a filing in the teeth from scratching the surface you're draw filing. And you also need a file card to clean the teeth occasionally, and then re-chalk the teeth.

    And what Al said about not wanting a mirror finish for browning is also true. Browning is a red rust finish and needs some pores in the metal to get a 'bite' to do its thing.

    Edit to add: Keep your files lightly oiled to prevent rusting. The oil is easy to clean off before use with carburetor or brake cleaner.

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  • FreezerFreezer Posts: 2,752 Senior Member
    Thank you for your advise. I've refinished a number of guns using a number of cold blues, Oxpho Blue, and Dicropan, This will be the first rust blue. I've watched hours of video on how to fit and finish a ML kit and I'm intrigued. The main reason to draw file the barrel from what I've learned is to level the surface. Most of them have some cupping. I'll be using a dye to show my progress. I was thinking of  finishing the metal to a 330 grit emery. Laurel Mountain is the company that makes Permalyn, a product I've used on a number of stocks with great results. I'll find some of the browning solution
    I like Elmer Keith; I married his daughter :wink:
  • FreezerFreezer Posts: 2,752 Senior Member
    A little more help please. I haven't done much metal work and see there are different smooth cut files, double and single cut. there are also different lengths, I 'm thinking a 6" would work well but have no experience with them. I was looking to buy from Amazon, could you take a look and suggest the correct file for me please?
    I like Elmer Keith; I married his daughter :wink:
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