Tool snobs beware: This post is about an inexpensive tool that is useful for woodworking and without an ounce of style or charm. In the cabinet industry, plastic laminate files are used for filing the edges of plastic laminate after trimming with a router. In that world, they are a consumable item and are purchased by the box. If you work with hardwoods making furniture, you can get one at your local big-box store. You have to look way in the back of the store, not in the “pretend-it’s-a-tool department” up front. Look for one near where the sheets of plastic laminate are stored, generally by the restrooms in this part of the country. I picked up a new plastic laminate file today for about $12.50.
Woodworkers tend to think that slicing with a single sharp edge (as with a chisel, plane or scraper) or abrading (usually with sandpaper, perhaps glued to a stick or a machine that makes it wiggle back and forth) are the only options for removing small amounts of material in a precise and predictable way.