Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Diamond Files


Diamond files are made for lampworkers and glass blowers--I think to smooth the sharp parts that occur from breaking off of blowpipes and the like.  But these amazing li'l suckers will grind down flash too!  Why not?  Diamond abrasive is diamond abrasive and it scratches the heck outta glass, whether or not its attached to power source.  The only difference between sandblasting and filing is one is powered by squirrels on a treadmill in your basement and the other is powered by YOU!  (OK, there's more differences  than that, but you get the  picture).
I have noticed blue flash files with the smoothest tones.  Red is more inclined to be less tonal.
Here's a link to Wale Apparatus who stocks the files.  This link should take you to "Judith Schaecther's Preferred File"
But sometimes the links at Wale change so just in case, they call it  a"Starpad Deluxe Diamond Rectangular Hand File 2 1/2 inch X 1/4 inch, Item 350085"
I use the roughest grit--120, methinks.  The smallest file is 1/4" and you can shape the tip with an exacto or sandpaper for extra insane minute attention to detail...always desirable to the Militant Ornamentalist!

The image above shows the lovely tonal variations possible from filing blue flash.  Remember!  Sandblast first or your ARMS WILL FALL OFF!!!!!

9 comments:

Vitreosity said...

Great Stuff all around, Judith.

I've never tried the diamond file, though I've been using the flex shaft engraver quite a lot recently.

Jx said...

I don't have a sandblaster, but I have found that going over the surface with a silicon carbide wheel on the Dremel roughs up a small area quite nicely and makes it much easier to work on with diamond burrs.

Thanks for the file info. Still can't find them here in the UK, but there are similar things quite cheap on ebay, so will give them a try.

The shading on the above pic is astonishing - surely you didn't do it ALL with a hand file?

Judith Schaechter said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Judith Schaechter said...

Jx--you could try using one of those products like jack frost or armour etch too.
But the carbide wheel sounds fine!

The figure (which is from"Joan of Arc") is mostly filed, yeah!! Some sandblasting and engraving, but mostly filing.

Dave said...

Judith-

Thanks for sharing your knowledge. I just recently went to the Corning Museuum of Glass and after seeing "Caught in a Flood", I feel a bit like I'm talking to a rock star. I appreciate reading about your techniques and processes. I remember looking at "Caught..." and thinking "How did she do that?"

I am curious about your painting technique. Do you use water, oil or vinegar to trace with? Do you combine your fire polish firings with your painting firings? And lastly do you mix up fresh paint everytime, rewet existing paint on your pallet or save mixed paint in a baby jar?

Judith Schaechter said...

Hi Dave--
At some point I will do a complete post about painting alone--with step by step photos.
I am not a traditional matter/tracer person....


Do you use water, oil or vinegar to trace with?
Water! Sometimes a little glycerin.

Do you combine your fire polish firings with your painting firings?
I cannot be trusted to fire polish! But, the answer is sometimes.


And lastly do you mix up fresh paint everytime, rewet existing paint on your pallet or save mixed paint in a baby jar?

I re-wet existing paint on the pallet--I don't mix up too much at once.

Jx said...

Judith, when I come to this page I laugh out loud as Joan of Arc's expression is the double of your profile pic's. And then I get the shivers because I'm laughing at the face of someone burning at the stake. And then I think, hah, I'm just like my granny who used to take her knitting to wrestling matches (and craftily jab the wrestlers she didn't like when they fell out of the ring.) I bet her ancestors used to take the family to public hangings for a nice day out.

How can one woman's work be so bloody provocative WITHOUT EVEN TRYING is what I want to know ;-)

Anonymous said...

Hi Judith,

Sadly (but great), I get caught up in reading your blog and I am on it for hours.
I would like to see a demo on the flexible shaft engraver and diamond file....if possible? And thanks for the info on where to get a diamond file.
I love your witty ranting and raving so please don't stop.
You never cease to amaze me.

A friend in Philly,
PY

Judith Schaechter said...

Hi PY--
well above this post is a demo on the diamond file...