Every once in a while I see this question come up on message boards and blogs: how should I store my rasps and files?
Good question. They shouldn’t be just dropped in a drawer or allowed to burrow in the bottom of your tool chest. They’re cutting tools, after all, and when they rub on each other, or on hardened steel tools like that crescent wrench at the bottom of your toolbox, they’ll get dull quickly.
I’ve seen many fancy and impressive methods for storing rasps and files–everything from tool rolls to hanging cabinets to custom-built storage racks. Those are excellent solutions, if you have the time, the space, or the inclination.
But if you must store your rasps and files in a drawer, as I do, there’s a simple method for protecting them from each other. Get some card stock, poster board, or manilla file folders, and make yourself some sheaths.
Wrap the files in the paper and then tape it up with masking tape. Make sure the sheath is loose enough that you can remove the tool easily, but not so loose that it can drop off accidentally. You can wrap a whole set in fifteen minutes. There. You’re set for the next few years, and you can get on with your woodworking life.
I treat my rasps and files as go-to tools for everyday work. They hang up so I can reach for them at a moments notice. I think most people think of them as rough tools for fixing mistakes, which they’re not. Kept clean and sharp, they have their place in the process. Poor rasps and files languishing in a drawer…
So, here’s my solution…big files and rasps, take a metal or plastic five gallon bucket…fill with various diameter cuts of PVC tubing. One file per PVC. Bucket can be stood top up, or rested on its side, for easy access. Smaller files…smaller (shorter) bucket container.
Clever. Does the bottom of the bucket get filled with a lot of dust and chips, or do you keep it enclosed somewhere?