File storage
Close
Login to Your Account
Results 1 to 19 of 19

Thread: File storage

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Phoenix, AZ
    Posts
    1,299
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    0
    Likes (Received)
    4

    Post

    I orignally posted this on a HSM forum, but then thought that this is a more typical type of problem/solution for commercial business, particularly with die shops and what not that do lots of filing. So, here is my post/question...


    I just bought a metric crap load of files from a gun smith's estate. Lots of small files in all sorts of shapes, paterns, and grit(?) including needle files and paper (lapping?) files. Lots more medium/typical size files of all sorts, and a fair few large files. Most are metal cutting but includes a decent selection of rasps. Many are made in the US by top names, some are Swiss, others are German, all are in avg/good or better condition and there were 15 odd small and medium that were brand new never used. All total over 100 files. There are also some 14 handles and some strange swiss files in a little wood box that are all sorta like a stubby that fit in a long handle. Very nice, no idea what they are called. About 75% of them fit in a drilled 2x4, the rest were wrapped up or tossed in a bucket (made me cringe!)

    Now, I've always tried to protect my files (mostly Nicolson) by keeping them in their sleeves or one way or another separated. The 2x4 is so full that they are all bumping into each other, which is better than in a drawer, but not much to my liking. And I can barely see, much less get to the central files, particularly in the smaller sizes. And the loose files also need a home.

    What are the best ways to store files you guys have come up with? The 2x4 is a classic, but there are SO MANY files that I now need to organize more intelligently. My shop is only about 19x20 and it is FULL, so multiple 2x4s scattered about on shelves or something are not ideal, though that may be my solution. More likely take the less used/useful/sharp of the lot and stow them somewhere so that I can use the less populated 2x4 for the “front line”.

    Thanks for any thoughts you may have to offer...

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    8,201
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    746
    Likes (Received)
    1103

    Post

    See my reply on the HSM forum.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Phoenix, AZ
    Posts
    1,299
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    0
    Likes (Received)
    4

    Post

    Thanks, putting thin aluminum sheet between them to store in a box or drawer is a great idea. At least for the "stored out of the way" category. But less than ideal for those I need to find to use. And the odd shaped stuff too...

    And another quick question. Are there any web resources (or inexpensive books?) that will provide help in categorizing and understanding various types of files their usage? I know the basics and have done some pretty extensive file work over the years. But there are files in here that I've never seen or heard of before. Strange things that could be for wood, soft metals, or really coarse steel maybe? Odd shapes, particularly some from Sweden. Some look like curled long bladed plant leafs, "U" shaped cross sections, flexible files (these I know) and all sorts of very cool stuff, if I just knew what to use it for. Sure would hate to ruin one putting it on steel if that's not it's use...

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    WI
    Posts
    318
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    0
    Likes (Received)
    2

    Post

    Sounds like you have run into a lot of checkering,stock decorating ,woodworking files.

    P.O.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Phoenix, AZ
    Posts
    1,299
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    0
    Likes (Received)
    4

    Post

    Hmm, just realized I've got a couple of wooden "louvered" doors stashed from our remodel. I've been using the slats anywhere I need a nice finished piece of thin wood, or just to stir paint at times. A bunch of those laid on side turned up vertical in a box (made from the door frame?) would make a really nice storage drawer/tray. Too bad I'm not much into wood work or having the equipment to do a nice job of that. My ex neighbor (that moved to a big nice house up N of Phoenix) used to have a shop like mine, only with wood working equipment. Between the 2 of us, there wasn’t much we couldn’t build or fix in one or both shops, and I didn’t have the mill or lathe then. <sigh>

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Phoenix, AZ
    Posts
    1,299
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    0
    Likes (Received)
    4

    Post

    There are definitely some of those. Problem is, I've got to find some source to help me categorize and understand them...

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Carver, MA
    Posts
    705
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    0
    Likes (Received)
    3

    Post

    In one of Guy Lautards (sp?) "Machinist Bedside Reader" books are plans for a lazy susan file rack, called Stroke O Genius or something. Looked pretty interesting, thought I'd make one, but too many other rountoits.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Oakland, California, USA
    Posts
    1,782
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    17
    Likes (Received)
    13

    Post

    I've been considering some of the file storage issues as well. I reached the conclusion that a guy with a mill could fab up some "edge standing racks" for files using aluminum plate or bar stock. Basically, I figure a comb-shaped piece with fairly thin dividers, and the cut would accommodate the thickness of the file. You'd need "feet" to keep the rack standing up, or you could connect the front and back rack to form a rectangle.

    I have been keeping an eye out for something that can be re-purposed. Closest thing yet is a coil-spring letter holder from Staples.

    Regarding Lautard, I've adopted his suggestion of storing commonly-used files in oil, and MAN, does it improve performance. Highly recommended practice!!!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Phoenix, AZ
    Posts
    1,299
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    0
    Likes (Received)
    4

    Post

    Hmm, interesting ideas. I like that lazy susan bit. I can see a file holder on a spindle with all the files point down toward the spindle. When "loaded", the effect would be sorta like a porcupine or pine cone with smaller files near the top, and larger files lower down, but still angled no lower than about 30* up from horizontal.

    Storing them in oil eh? I’ll bet that’s a mess... What sort of container do you use?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Nashville, TN
    Posts
    1,650
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    3
    Likes (Received)
    18

    Post

    Brownell's catalog (or even its web site) might help you classify the files -- at least the more common gunsmithing ones. Same with Dixie Gun Works...

    http://www.brownells.com/

    http://www.dixiegun.com/

    Charles

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Auburn, Alabama
    Posts
    1,438
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    114
    Likes (Received)
    123

    Post

    I always thought a test lead rack would work good for files with handles. They are comb shaped for storing banana plug test leads. I haven't tried one though.

    Oh, also, I like PB Baumann file handles the best. last longer than wood, and they fit tight. Plus you can get different colors to color code the files.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Jessup, Maryland
    Posts
    218
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    0
    Likes (Received)
    0

    Post

    The best way to store them is to lay them all over the place. That's the way I do with all my hand tools. It never fails, I'm using a tool, and I lay it down for a few minutes to do something else, and then I can't find it even though it's right under my nose most of the time. So I have a few of everything laying all over the place. Eventually, usually hours later, I find the one I lost in the first place when I'm looking for something else I lost.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Cincinnati
    Posts
    111
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    0
    Likes (Received)
    1

    Post

    I know the problem. Doing a gunsmith work, I have accumulated quite a collection of files. I had so many in places where I couldn't see them that I forgot what I had. Then of course, I wound up using files that were not optimal for the job. For the time being, I have a 2 X 4 located horizontally above one of my workbenches with a row of about 48 10 penny nails in it spaced 1.5" apart. All my files have wood handles that have been drilled with a 5/16" hole. They hang in a neat row in front of me where I can quickly see and choose the best one for the job. Since they are stored hanging up, they are not banging on each other either. I am still trying to dream up a similar system to store machine files for my die filer. Machine files do not have handles so they will have to be stood up either in a block with holes or a rack of some kind. I have over 60 machine files that would cost about $20.00 a piece (new) to replace new so it is a subtantial investment. I like the Lazy Susan idea, but it still takes up bench space somewhere. Any other ideas?

    Perk in Cincinnati

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Location
    Bremerton WA USA
    Posts
    10,659
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    40
    Likes (Received)
    4163

    Post

    I keep files in a (snork!!) file cabinet!! HAR! HAR! HAR! (wheeze) chuckle, snif. I love my sense of humor.

    I wouldn't keep my files in contact with aluminum or any other metal for that matter. The aluminum forms oxides that dull the teeth especially if they're jostled around. A canvas or leather file roll is much superior and you can foof it with your fav rust preventative.

    Make spacers for your file storage drawer from stirring sticks from the paint store. They're soft pine or poplar superbly suited for protecting files.

    A friend of mine has a maple block like chefs use to keep their knives in. The slots are sized for his files and it's arranged for the files to drop thru if they come adrift from their handles.

    I thought it was such a good idea I added it to my "round tuit" list.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Marshalltown, IA
    Posts
    113
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    1
    Likes (Received)
    1

    Post

    For my commonly used files I made a couple of racks and hung them on the wall right between my mill and lathe. For the needle, round, triangular and square I just drilled an array of various sized holes in a 2x2. For the flat files I used a back board, 2 V cut pieces for the sides and 2 boards across the front forming a nice V shaped pocket. You can easily cascade additional sections as more space is needed. Everything is easy to see and get to.


  16. Likes itsmeBernie liked this post
  17. #16
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Topeka KS
    Posts
    1,221
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    105
    Likes (Received)
    71

    Post

    I use canvas tool rolls designed for wrenches. I think I got them from sears. It holds from the big lathe file down to the smallest "regular" files . One is in my work Kennedy. Laid out flat it fits perfectly. Keeps them protected while still organized and visible. The one at home I usually roll up and throw it in a drawer. II can also be hung from two nails to make everything visible.

    For rifflers and needle files and tons of other stuff, I use a Lasy Susan organizer from Hobby Lobby thats meant for artist brushes and pencils.

    Congrats on what sounds like a nice score.

    Gesswein has lots of info on files:

    http://www.gesswein.com/catalog/home...TOKEN=42086827


    Jon

  18. #17
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Phoenix, AZ
    Posts
    1,299
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    0
    Likes (Received)
    4

    Post

    Some fantastic ideas here guys. For the moment, the lazy susan idea is still perking on the back burner, the roll for rarely used files sounds good (and my wife loves to sew, though she hates canvas), and that wall mount for the front line files Marc shows is currently in the lead. Today I gutted most of my shop to reorganize the chaos that has ruled since I shoehorned in the lathe and mill upsetting the previous delicate balance. Looking much better, just have to gut the back wall tomorrow after I return from another auction looking for a lathe and a modest sized indexed rotary table. Being a Saturday auction, I don’t expect much in the way of sane prices, so I may bail early and see about finishing up my shop. I’ll let you guys know what I do, and PLEASE keep the ideas coming!

  19. #18
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Pleasant Hill, CA
    Posts
    67
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    0
    Likes (Received)
    12

    Post

    Because I have so many files it is impractical to store my files in a rack. I store them in a drawer. To prevent damage I make a sleeve for each file out of 10 mil plastic sheeting. I use my wifes heat sealer to assemble the sleeves. This method is quick, cheap and protects the file.

  20. #19
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    848
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    440
    Likes (Received)
    427

    Post

    I got a load of offcuts of plastic plumbing pipe and electrical conduit of various diameters, cut them in 5" lengths, made a rectangular wood framework to hold them vertically and glued them together using plumbers plastic glue. The wooden frame is screwed to the wall behind the bench and each file has it's own pocket of tube. Works very well for files and screwdrivers.


Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •