I’m motivated to be more organized at the bench but having a problem figuring out how to store files pliers and mandrels where they are easily accessible. I’ve looked at possibly using an old wood knife block, but seems like it would be a lot of modifying on it. Any ideas or suggestions?
There are lots of ways to do what you want to do and none of them are right or wrong. Just look for what works for you. Following is a link to pictures of what works for me. Remember, just because it is in a catalog doesn’t mean that it is the right way. More likely than not, it is just one more expensive way to sell stuff. I use an inexpensive towel rack for pliers, a piece of wood with holes drilled in it for files, make sure that they don’t touch and a drawer just for mandrels. Good luck…Rob
Pretty much what Rob said. I do have a wooden box with dividers that I keep pliers in while I am not using them. ( I have seen pliers kept in a chicken feeder.). How you organized your bench is your unique way of doing things. What works for you will come to you.
As far as Pliers go, here is what I made for my Benches and other Tool Storage Areas: Measure the area where you want to hang your Pliers and then take some 1" x 1/8" or so Steel Bar Stock and add 6" to the length (3" to each end) and using a Vice & Hammer, bend the 3" into a “L” shape (see photo) and drill a hole larger then the head of your screw to make it easier to attach to the frame. After I bend my racks into shape, I always file and smooth round the top & bottom edges of the rack to help keep it from rubbing on the bottoms of my Pliers and to keep from scraping my skin off too… Then attach it to your Bench or wherever you want to store the Pliers, at a height that is comfortable to reach while sitting at your bench. I have found that this relatively quick and easy Steel Pliers Rack works much better and holds a lot more pliers than the wood racks that are most often sold and that you have now. Using 1" x 1/8" Steel Bar Stock will also enable to you have the Pliers Rack as long as you want it to be and it will not bend or warp! This will allow you to still have your Pliers right in front of you, but also a lot more of them will fit and hang better too, thus freeing up the space behind them where they once were. You can see one of my short Spare Pliers Racks here, as well as how I bend the “L” shaped attaching bracket:
I hope that this might help… Though, like Rob and Don have both said, whatever you find that works best for you, will be what you will end up doing! Good luck!
Jonathan B. Pons
consider pvc pipe…easy to cut with a pvc pioe cutter…can cap the bottom…i have seen them
attached at a slant with bottom capped, on inside wall of leg hole for mandrels…hand files…
or, glued together, horizontally like s pyramid, and sitting on the benchtop…
or, glued together, vertically, on a wood base…
i use a wooden wine rack that i got for $3 at a thrift store as a mandrel holder…
aluminum strip from the hardware store is easy to file a meiter and bend, then drill, to make a plier rack…flat strip is good when your pliers have springs…thin wire or strip can catch on the springs of the pliers when you are trying to remove them…fat bars hold the pliers open and they can sometimes tip over…especially if free standing…
nice chunky oak blocks can be drilled for nice sturdy stands…forstner bits work well for drilling various sized holes
Oh a towel rack! why didn’t I think of that! I bent coat hangers to “clip” onto my bench drawers and hang pliers.
I have a second-hand soft-coated wire spice rack holding pliers on the top shelf, and hammers on the two lower shelves. The whole thing hangs on hooks screwed onto a small door at the side of my wonderful half circle writing desk workbench.
I hang all my pliers around the rim of a medium sized ceramic flower pot which is sitting on a “ lazy suzan” type revolving plate. The combined weight of pot and more than forty pliers keeps it anchored. This has the advantage of both a small foot print and portability as i can take it out to my studio or into the bead room. It is really handy to be able to turn the pot around to select a tool!
I do something very similar with tweezers and a mason jar…Rob
This is what I have. I can keep all of my pliers on the bar on the front and keep my bench top cleaned off. It makes it easier to find everything so I work much faster.