Most of the tools a machinist or tool-maker uses have
nothing of great difficulty or mystery connected with their
making. Any good tool-maker, if necessity demands, would feel
competent to make for him self a twist drill or a micrometer
caliper, even though these tools are seldom made for personal
use, but are almost invariably purchased.
There is a different feeling in the case of files, however.
A good file is treasured by the man who owns it. He looks upon
it with friendliness and respect as well, for while he can buy
files by the thousand (good, bad and indifferent) from people
who make a business of making them, he would not be able to make
The matter of cutting those fine teeth, so well formed and
regular, and yet so delicate as to be in the finer sizes almost
invisible, and afterwards the hardening of the tool to the
proper degree without injuring the sharpness of these multitudes
of little teeth, he feels to be beyond the range of his ability.
File makers, in general, have rather catered to this idea of
mystery. Their shops are surrounded by high fences and the
visitor gets no further than the office. Their catalogues
are full of little hints and suggestions of the complicated
special machinery used, and the secret and mysterious formulas
and processes followed in the annealing and hardening