If you will be working in close quarters attaching new molding to walls or ceilings with finishing nails, first check out your hammer handle. Inevitably the handle end will hit the adjacent surface in spots. Either use a new hammer, clean up the handle of an older hammer, or mask the end of the handle with masking tape, especially if the handle has an older covering of black rubberized material. Doing this before you start can save you time that otherwise would be spent cleaning up or repainting over the scuff marks.
When filing in a lathe, don’t hold the file rigid, but use a slight gliding motion. This will help the file clear itself and also prevent ridges. When filing metal, vary the speed according to metal. Generally use 150 surface feet per minute for cast iron; 175 for annealed tool steel; 350 for machinery steel, and 500 for soft yellow brass. Also, don’t run your hand over the work. Resulting oil and moisture will make it harder for the file to take hold.