Originally Posted by nemesis256
I'm feeling sharpness with the back of my nail. The sharpness and amount of nail filings isn't very consistent, which was also true before I started using the file. In most places I did file enough to remove the marker, but I guess it's possible there's a microscopic amount of marker left.
Back of the nail is a pretty imprecise test. A "sharp" edge with all burrs removed won't feel like a knife. My method is to lightly pull the lower (un-calloused) inside surface of my finger across
the edge (not along it) at about a 45 degree angle in several places. A sharper edge feels like it's scraping my skin, and I just look for consistency.
Are you saying swix 2nd cut is to find in general, or for resetting the edge? If you mean resetting, I did know that, but I was also expecting the edge to already be 2°. I had to do a lot more work than I was planning.
As you're finding, the 2nd cut file will reset an edge eventually, but a bastard/coarse file will get the rough work done quickly, at which point you can move to the 2nd cut and 1st cut files. Some people actually use a panzar file to reset edges, but I haven't tried that yet.
I was using overlapping strokes, doing a quarter or third of the ski at a time, brushing with a toothbrush (all I have at the moment) in between each. I then removed the file from the guide after every pass or two to clean better.
My guess is that you're not cleaning the file often enough and might not ever be getting it completely clean with a toothbrush; you need something stiffer, and overall your work will go faster if you stop and clean more often. Brush it every few strokes, whenever you don't feel it cutting, and/or as soon as you see any filings building up, especially with a fine file, because it doesn't take much to keep the teeth from cutting. If the brush isn't getting it all, try chalk (blackboard chalk will work). I don't get much utility from the cheap little toothbrush-shaped brass brushes, but the stiff nylon bristles on this file card/brush
make short work of metal file cleaning.
ETA: it just occurred to me that a household cleaning brush might be stiffer than your toothbrush, so check out the cleaning products section of the grocery/home improvement store next time you're there.