Instructables

Better Handles for Hanging Your Files

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Picture of Better Handles for Hanging Your Files
I have seldom had files with handles. When I did have a handle on a file, it was usually made from a simple piece of broomstick or dowel rod with a hole in one end. The file's tang was jammed into the hole. But, the handle often worked loose in use. 

I am also moving into a new workshop space in a different home. I would like to hang many things on pegboard so they are no longer crammed into drawers. 

This Instructable will demonstrate my way of adding better handles to my files so the files can also hang on pegboard. Some welding is involved, although I added a step at the end that describes a version without welding.
 
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Step 1: Tools and materials

Materials
  • Broomstick or dowel rod
  • Threaded rod 1/4 inch in diameter
  • 1/4 inch locking nut
  • 1/8 inch steel rod
  • Thick washer or scrap flat steel 
Tools
  • Vise
  • Saw
  • Drill and bit
  • Wire feed welder
  • hacksaw
  • grinding wheel
  • Aluminum angle

I placed some aluminum angle into a vise. I used the welder's ground clamp to secure the threaded rod. I held the file by hand and welded the end of its tang to the end of the threaded rod. 

Step 2: Saw the handle

Picture of Saw the handle
Cut a piece of broomstick or dowel rod about 4 inches long. This will be the handle.

Step 3: Drill a hole through the handle

Picture of Drill a hole through the handle
I marked the center of the handle and drilled a 1/4 inch hole from one end to the other. I did this by hand, but did frequently check the alignment of the drill bit along two axes (This word is meant to be the plural of axis, not a tool for chopping wood.) I sighted from over the bit to avoid deviating to the left or the right. I also sighted from the side to avoid deviating upward or downward. 

My drill bit is not long enough to make one hole through four inches of handle. I marked the center of the other end and did my best to drill into the first hole. Fortunately, this worked quite well and my holes met end-to-end.
Great idea,
Phil B (author)  Rune Cutter1 year ago
Thank you.
Thanks Phil, always useful ideas from you.
Wishing you and your family a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year
Thank you, Steli. I wish you and your loved ones a blessed Christmas and Happy New Year.
pfred21 year ago
File tang handles are nice. I'm not a big fan of peg board though. Personally I'd rather see the butt end of the file handle rounded off in the traditional manner. Makes for more comfortable use. For storing files I still like my holders I make:

http://www.instructables.com/id/Make-a-Wrench-Organizer/

Even though it is titled Wrench Organizer I think it may work even better for holding files.
ringai pfred21 year ago
I use old golf balls for handles. I hang them from the peg board using a loop of mason's string just big enough go around the ball. Once the string is pushed down to the tang, they stay up there really well.
Bill WW1 year ago
Thanks Phil, very timely, I just reorganized my tool "drawer". But files are used so often that some should have their place on the pegboard. Do you make your own pegboard hooks? I can not buy good pegboard hooks anymore.

You are moving? Are you still just doen the road from me?
Phil B (author)  Bill WW1 year ago
Bill, I am still down the road from you in Vancouver. The reference to a new house means we no longer live in the Boise area and are still unpacking. I have used some commercial pegboard hooks, but have made quite a few of my own lately. Two years ago I published an Instructable on customizing pegboard hooks. Since I have developed a jig to make the bends and to give the right spacing for welding the 1/4 inch stub on below the bends. I have also made some additional variations. For example, a couple days ago I made one with the lateral  hook part being a nail about the diameter of a 1 1/2 inch finish nail. It is for hanging spare hacksaw blades from the pegboard, and it works quite well. 

In opening the photo you can see my pegboard hook jig. The pegboard is 3/16 inch thick. The jig is from a flat piece of 3/16 inch steel. I drilled a hole through the steel 1/4 inch in diameter and placed its center 7/8 inch from one edge. About 3/8 inch from the end of the 3/16 inch dia.  rod I make a right angle bend using the jaws of my vise and a hammer to make the bend fairly sharp. I place the rod through the 1/4 inch hole in my jig and clamp the 3/8 inch end of the rod against the jig with the vise jaws. Then I make the other bend in the pegboard hook by hand. It is not really sharp enough, so I slide the rod with both bends and the jig farther into the vise and bear down on the handle. This tightens up the bends some. It is not perfect, but good enough. I turn the bent rod so it points directly to the edge of the jig that is 7/8 inch from the center of the hole and clamp both the rod and the jig in the vise. With one hand I hold the end of a 1/4 inch rod against the 3/16 inch rod using the edge of the jig to position it. Then I tack weld the 1/4 inch rod to the 3/16 inch rod. I reposition the rods so I can finish the weld on the 1/4 inch piece. I cut the 1/4 inch piece so it is around 1/4 inch long and grind away rough edges. Then I cut and bend the 3/16 rod  to form the lower part of pegboard hook. I hope that is clear. My hooks fit a little loosely, but they work well and they are sturdy. Those I made recently were done because I did not want to take the time for a run to the hardware store and had some steel rod gathering dust.
Bill WW Phil B1 year ago
Thanks for all the help! I can no longer find pegboard hooks with the stub, and have used various work-arounds.
Phil B (author)  Bill WW1 year ago
Bill, this is from a banner that hung on our local Air-Gas store back in Idaho: "Your wife called and she said it is OK to buy the welder."
Bill WW Phil B1 year ago
HA! Yes I understand.
Even without the wife issue, I have a few tools to master before taking on something else like a welder. My next door neighbor, a woodworker and good friend, passed away this year. I "inherited" his wood lathe, and learning to use it is my next project.
ringai Bill WW1 year ago
Be careful, there. You might want to ship that lathe to me so that you don't become infected with the Turning Bug. It's a super bacteria that's very resistant to wives, employment, family, eating, and a multitude of other non-turning activities. Suffers are often forced to acquire larger, more stable lathes, and in some case, to even build or acquire ornamental lathes, or Rose Engines as they are also known. Severe sufferers eventually begin writing how-to articles, YouTube videos, and even making their own lathe tools.

;-)

I hope you enjoy it as much as I do :-)
pfred2 Phil B1 year ago
Hot glue in peg board hooks. It keeps them put, but you can still pull it out if you want to. I mean don't go crazy with the hot glue, a little dab will do ya.
RainDog071 year ago
Today is the last day I buy a handle for my files. Thanks for passing along your ideas.
Phil B (author)  RainDog071 year ago
Thank you for looking. I proposed a non-welded version in my response to gomibakou, if that helps.
gomibakou1 year ago
Wouldn't it be easier and cheaper using one of this?:

Perhaps i'm too lazy hehe...
401-401-thickbox.jpg
Phil B (author)  gomibakou1 year ago
There is a reason why one of these eyelets will not work with what I have described. Remember that I welded threaded rod to the end of the file's tang, and that threaded rod extends a little beyond the full length of the handle. The eyelet you propose would work only if I simply jammed the handle onto the tang and then drilled a short hole into the back end of the handle for the eyelet. But, part of my purpose was to create a handle that does not come loose in use.

I have also thought a little about a version that does not involve welding, and an eyelet like the one in your photo could work with that arrangement. I created an image, but the uploader is not working now, so here is a verbal explanation.

Grind a "V" into the side of the file's tang a quarter of an inch from the end of the tang. Drill down the center of the dowel handle the length of the tang. Measure and mark for the location of the "V". Drill into the side of the dowel handle for a 6-32 machine screw. Turn the screw into the hole so its end catches in the "V". Cut the screw off so the handle is smooth. Now drill into the end of the handle and screw the eyelet you suggest into place.
rimar20001 year ago
You have always good ideas, Phil. Today I am using two pins for each file in my tools panel. I will follow you steps.
Phil B (author)  rimar20001 year ago
Osvaldo, I understand exactly what you have. Two pins (I think we call them hooks when used on pegboard.) require extra space on your tool holding board. This method also gives you an excuse to use your welder again. Thank you for looking. By the way, if one of your files is damaged or wears out, cut the threaded rod from the tang of the file just forward of the weld and you can weld it to your new file.
iceng1 year ago
If they are not for iron, thy using magnets for your small file as long as you still have wall space.
Phil B (author)  iceng1 year ago
Thank you for the idea, and for looking.