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The Nicholson File Company (now owned by Cooper Tools) used to put out a pamphlet called “File Filosophy.” The book contains a short history of files, how files are made, types of files, terminology, and most importantly, the variety of methods employed when filing. The application of filing to a variety of tasks is covered, including several pages on sharpening saws and other tools. Rotary files (burs) are covered as well. They printed many editions of the pamphlet over the years. I figured it would be easy to come by, but I had to use my Google-fu to come up with some links.

The book is available used on Amazon and Alibris (and there may be a copy lurking at your local second hand book shop). Google books doesn’t have it scanned, although they do have the earlier work, “A treatise on files and rasps descriptive and illustrated” that is also worth reading. I finally found a scan on WEWilliams site (excellent stuff there). Nicholson does have a PDF of The Guide to Files and Filing, but at 14 pages compared to the 50 of File Filosophy, it lacks much of the information.

In any case, it’s a nice pamphlet to read, certainly has one of the best titles ever, and is a great addition to any book shelf or hard drive.

Via Amazon (Used) [What’s This?]
Via Alibris
Scanned Pages Via WEWilliams [PDF]


4 Responses to A Good Read: File Filosophy

  1. Jerry says:

    nteresting stuff. Especially the history of the company and the “pictures” of the factories. Surprisinf how large those factories were to produce files way back then. Great stuff, thanks for sharing.

  2. fred says:

    I’m guessing that your spam filter blocked my sending a link – but if you google “Heller Nucut Files” – you will find references to similar offerings (their catalogs and instructionalmanuals) from this company that was a major competitor.

  3. Gough says:

    I ordered up a copy in the ’70s after reading about it in the Whole Earth Catalog. I’ve still got it, along with the companion booklet Sawology.

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