Introduction: Better Handles for Hanging Your Files

About: I miss the days when magazines like Popular Mechanics had all sorts of DIY projects for making and repairing just about everything. I am enjoying posting things I have learned and done since I got my first to…

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.

Step 1: Tools and 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 
  • 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

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

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.

Step 4: Slide the Handle Into Place and Begin the Hanger Loop

In the photo the handle has been pushed over the threaded rod and onto the file's tang. (You may have to grind the weld joint where the threaded rod meets the file's tang if the handle does not fit over it.)

I did not have a thick washer, so I drilled a hole in some scrap flat 1/8 inch steel. Then I cut the steel to leave a margin around the hole.  

Step 5: Bend a Loop From Rod

In the photo I am holding the flat steel with a hole in it and a loop made from 1/8 inch rod. I am holding them in about the arrangement that will be used when they are welded together.

Step 6: Weld the Loop to the Flat Steel

As shown, the assembly is higher in the vise than it was when I welded the loop to the flat steel. This is for a better picture of how it should look when finished. The flat steel can rest on top of the vise to hold it level. The side you are welding first can be raised up a little to lessen the chance the assembly might become welded to the vise. After the two pieces have been tacked together reposition them to finish the welds with good access. 

Step 7: Mount the Hanger on the Threaded Rod

Hold the hanger loop assembly and the locking nut near the end of the wooden handle. Mark the threaded rod and cut it to length. Grind the end of the threaded rod to smooth it.

Place the hanger loop assembly and the nut over the end of the threaded rod. Tighten the nut with the flat side of the hanger loop parallel to the flat side of the file.

Grind away excess from the flat steel and remove any sharp edges. (In the photo you can see the grinding wheel nicked the locking nut in places.) 

Step 8: Finished

Here you see two of my files hanging on the pegboard and ready to use. I still need to make hanging handles from several smaller files still in drawers.

Step 9: No Welder?

Here is a possibility for those who do not have access to a welder. Grind an indentation or a "V" notch into the side of the file tang. (red arrow) Drill a hole for the file's tang into one end of the dowel handle. Measure the distance from a reference mark on the file to the indentation or "V". Tap the dowel handle onto the file's tang. Measure from the reference mark on the file and drill a hole for a 6-32 machine screw into the side of the dowel handle. (green arrow) Insert the screw to lock the handle on the tang. Cut off the screw and file or grind so it is smooth on the side of the handle. Drill a hole into the end of the handle and screw in an eyelet for hanging the file.