“Hole saws & Files”


The other day I was replacing my Nicholson 6″ half round bastard file [which I go through about every two months] and noticed that the new one looked a little different…and found that it is now made in Brazil!

Nicholson files were made in Providence RI up until 1972 then bought by Copper Hand tools, who continued to have the files made in the USA. These files  are favored by craftspeople from all over. This was one of my favorite tools and it worked very well. I guess the Brazilian one works fine too, but it still made me upset and I called Cooper Tool to complain. I told them that I know that is too late to bring this tool back, but if they could re-consider this for any future decisions. I said the file is still the same price [$12], but I would be glad to pay twice to keep it made in the USA.

I went through the trouble to contact them because several months ago this same thing happened with my Starrett holes saws [another New England Company]. I went to install a new saw and see on the box “Starrett CO LTD China” which used to say “Starrett CO Athol, MA.” I never called them. I just found another brand that is made in the USA [Lennox].

I will do the same for the files. I think my Grobet files are still USA made, but I need to look into it. They are definitely good though.

My powder coating oven blew out some bulbs again! I had been meaning to buy a new heating system for it and completely re-build the whole thing. But never did, because it kept working and there are many bikes to build. The old system has a short too and I was concerned about getting zapped [in a big bad way]. I got buzzed a few months ago and really wanted to get going on this, but NAHBS, orders etc…got to work;)  So I am glad that it destroyed itself to force me to buy a new system and spend a lot of time re-building it. I was up until midnight last night doing the final test on it. I am now happy to have a good working and safe oven! This put a big hold on everything, but now back in business.

"What a mess"

"What a mess"

My friend/customer Steve loaned me his wife’s camera [doe’s she know?]…all well he bought hersome socks;) It was very nice of him and I finially read the manual and downloaded the software. It is a nice tiny Canon and was better than my Fuji. This helps me a lot, because I had to deal with my oven [$450.00] and will give me some time to find a new one.

I am thinking of staying with the point and shoot camera like the Canon G10 

This would be a somewhat low cost set up with a good lens. I know getting a good SLR would be best, but those are like $1,000 and would take me some time to learn how to use them. I am sure I will get some advice on this;)

Ok..oven fixed, blog updated…back to making bikes:)


About antbikemike

Bicycle frame builder
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12 Responses to “Hole saws & Files”

  1. Jim says:

    I have a Canon G10, and it is a great camera. I almost never use my more expensive SLRs now. The only advantage SLRs have would be in those situations when you want to focus crisply on one spot, while keeping everything else blurry. Also in low-light situations, you could shoot at low ISO and fast shutter speed with a fast (expensive) prime lens. But for the purposes of your business, this seems like an application you probably wouldn’t use much.

  2. andre says:

    The included lenses with the DSLRs are usually fine. The Nikon D40 with a lense is only $410 on Amazon, the G10 is $424. I was holding a friend’s G9 and it had a fair amount of heft to it but to me it felt awkward to hold one-handed since it is a bigger heavier brick. With a smaller point and shoot they are lighter and smaller and easier to hold single handed. A small DSLR like the D40 or the Canon XTi is also easier to hold one handed since there is a grip that conforms to your hand. If you do a lot of shooting in your shop then a wider angle lens will help. The G10 and the basic DSLR kit lenses have a 28mm (35mm film equivalent lens) which is good. Many P&S only have a 35mm wide equivalent. Lots of opinions out there but best of luck.

  3. Steven M. says:

    Actually, it’s my camera. My wife is a real photographer, and I’m afraid even to touch her camera.

    The socks are great, by the way.

  4. 2whls3spds says:

    I feel for you on the tools. I make my living with my hand tools. I much prefer the older ones that are no longer made. I haunt the pawnshops and yard sales in hopes of finding gently used metal and wood working tools.


  5. steve garro says:

    hey, mike – check out schmidt files. made in the USA. great stuff, and they also have the “traditional” shape with the tapering tip…..i get mine about once a year from UBT, but i’m sure you can find them near you. also, i put a shout out for the canon digital elph. it’s what all my blog pics are taken with. tough & beaten & still clicking away. Steve Garro, Coconino Cycles

  6. Drew says:

    I am also getting a Canon G10. My buddy that is a professional photographer gave it the thumbs up. It is one of the best macro cameras on the market. Some say it takes better macro than most SLR’s that are lacking the correct equipment.

    Glad to hear the oven is safe. That is always most important.


  7. Eddie T says:

    Hey Mike,

    Did you ever post your list of where all of your bikes were in the world? I was really curious to see where all the ANTS were.

    • antbikemike says:


      I have not made the list yet, but was thinking about that the other day. I will try and get to that soon and thanks for asking:)

  8. -dan says:

    I’m with you on tools. Been using Nicholsons for years, let us know if/when you find a replacement. I’ll do the same.

  9. bob says:

    hey mike,
    i saw the review of the BR on “bicycling”. way to go, man!

  10. Ahren says:

    Hey Mike,

    yeah, I bought a couple 6″ halfround Nicholson’s last year. The first one had a bunch of teeth chip off almost immediately, which is when I noticed they were made in Brazil. The second one did ok for a while, but it didn’t last as long as they usually did. Nice tip on the Schmidt files.


  11. Marcotico says:

    I love my Canon G9, great in all kind of lighting conditions. So good, that I often see the picture in the camera and think it didn’t come out well, then when I see it on my computer its perfectly lit all around.

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