Tuesday, August 4, 2009

How to Make a Hand Tool Holder For Jewelry Tools

                                               Tool Holder Without Tools

                                              Tool Holder With Tools

I have been plagued with the problem of finding tools when I begin a project. I ramble through my tool box trying to find a certain tool. Now I believe I have solved the problem.

Materials needed:
Safety Glasses
6" x 2" length negotiable piece wood
Scrap wood
Drill or drill press
3/16, 1/4, 1/2 inch drill bits
Sharpie pen
tomato paste can optional
small metal ruler for mounting

A holder for jewelry tools as pliers, small cutters, pin vises, crimpers, files, and sharpie will make your work bench much neater and assist quickly finding the right.

Inventory the tools you have in each category. It might be feasible to make a holder for each group of tools. Cutters will stay sharper if the cutting edge is not in contact or jostled against other tools.

Using calipers, check the widest part of the end of the tool that will be inserted in the holder. Most jewelry tool handles measure 1/4" and 1/2". Files handle diameters are much smaller. Hold two tools upright on the board and decide how far apart to place them, keeping in mind the different sizes of the handles.

Organize groups of tools and decide on the overall length of wood needed for all the tools or groups of tools. Insert the drill bit in the drill or drill press. Make two practice holes in a scrap to see how the pliers fit, checking the width and depth of the holes. Set the drill press to the needed depth or mark the depth on the drill bit by placing a bit of tape or a sharpie mark on the bit. Measure the spread of the handles. Use an average spread number since a slight amount of tension will help the tools stand upright. Draw two parallel lines on the board about 3/4 to 1 inch from each edge placing an X mark for the placement of each hole.

Files can be stored in a wooden tool holder made with 3/16" holes or together in a small tomato paste can. Fasten the can to a wooden base to prevent frequently tipping. Place a hole in the bottom of the can and place a screw through the bottom of the can into the wood to prevent tipping.

Sharpies and pin vise will fit in 1/2" holes. These can be grouped along with files and a scribe. You can probably find many more tools to include in the holder.

After using the holder, I have decided that tool holders should be fairly short in length to be able to pull the group forward that you are currently using near the work area. Infrequently used tools can be pushed to the back of the work table and pulled forward as needed. As you can see from the photographs, the holder is quite long. Group pliers together, cutters together, crimpers together, etc. for more efficiency.

The days of rambling through a container or drawer for a tool are over. Organization improves efficiency, takes less time, and helps you remember tools you had forgotten you had.

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