The Camps : THE FILING SHOP
Recreation of a filing shop, located at the BC Forest Discovery Centre
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Each camp had a filing shop where every two days the men would have their axes, saws and later chainsaws sharpened. While the men were in the woods, the camp dentist filed and kept loggers saws in shape for each day's work. Filers usually spent a half-hour in filing a saw and were able to file about 20 saws in a day.
The filers had an important job in the camp and could be particular about their work. Some filers wouldn't accept a saw if it had tree pitch on it or wasn't properly cleaned. A new chip or dent in the saw and the filer would give the logger a hard time. Some of the loggers could be superstitious about their equipment and would only take saws to their favorite filer.
The workbench and shelves in the filing shop would be full of files and tools to keep the saws and chainsaws razor-sharp. A large grindstone would ensure the axes were kept finely honed. Many accidents in the woods were caused by dull tools and the filer held an important position in the camp.
Filers were well paid in the camps and a head filer would be among the best paid. In 1933. the head filer would make $5.25/day and a second filer would earn $4.25/day.