View Full Version : Source for corrugated organizing mat?

07-11-2007, 10:11 PM
The drill organization post reminded me of another organization problem I’m facing. I’ve probably got around 100 files of all sorts, most stuck in a board drilled with a bunch of holes. All too often a single smallish file that I KNOW is in there somewhere is so far within the porcupine forest of small files sticking up from the board that it is hard to locate the right size/cut/tooth for what I want. So, I want to store them in one of the remaining drawers in my Lista type cabinet.

With that in mind, I picked up some freebee scrap aluminum angle stock (1” x 1” x 1/8”) that I will mount as “L” and slot the vertical wall for the heavier/thicker ~6-18” files. Basically just enough room between slots to get my fingers between the tangs with the files oriented as “|”. That takes care of about 1/3 of the files.

The remaining large number of small files are needle files, small Barrets, rifflers, swiss, and so forth. Not really ideal for slots in angle stock, and some are only 3-4” long about like a heavy wire or flat about 1/16"-1/8" thick. So I think I would like something more-or-less structured like heavy corrugated cardboard with one side removed. Like the stuff often seen rolled and formed around stuff in packing. At some convenient point I could easily transition from slotted angle stock to corrugated and they should all (I hope) fit in one drawer and be easier to locate/grab than they are now.

With something like this, packing density on the small files would go way up, cut WAY down on the work to produce the angle slots, and allow easy organization by category. But to do it, I need an inexpensive source of moderately coarse corrugated/accordian material, ideally in plastic or even aluminum.

Any ideas?

07-11-2007, 10:30 PM
In my big file drawer, I use these foam wrench holders from sears:


You can get rolls of corrugated paperboard at McMaster Carr and elsewhere, but the pitch will be rather small. You could also use bellows way cover type material, but that would be expensive.

07-11-2007, 11:10 PM

07-11-2007, 11:40 PM
the roll up is what I do, old jeans etc work great.
Have a couple pouches made from naugahide, but I don't like them as much as I thought I would because they don't breathe and oil just makes the slippery.

for non-portable storage I've used a veining bit for a router and cut v-grooves into styrofoam and wood. For foam rubber storage 'blocks' I've used a fine blade in a compound miter and cut grooves or V's into it.

If nothing else, my favorite trick is to take a walk through an automotive junk yard and see what I can find, seldom make it through without finding something that will work.
some accept any kind of appliance, and most window airconditioners have the accordian on the sides that can be expanded to fit the window.


07-12-2007, 02:04 AM
Some interesting ideas.

The "wallet" is a good idea, I've seen them, and canvas/jean material should work well. But I would really love to be able to open the drawer and see them all laid out in a row to easily select the best for the job at a glance.

Don't have a router, no idea what a "veining bit" would be. But that's the idea.

If I have to, I can just use a piece of scrap to bolt to pieces of 1" angle stock face to face and form a 2" channel. Then mount on the mill with a 1/8-1/4" EM and rack the table back and forth to cut slots of various depths (for small round, square, triangle, and flat files) approx every 1/2" or so all the way across the ~30" strips. That will result in about 55 or so slots (depending on what those pieces actually measure) so it would get most all the really small ones in that one rack, but what a pain, and does not seem ideal for all that trouble. I've already got to do about that for the larger ones, so no big deal, just seemed like a flat corrugated holder would be better for the smallest ones, and they would stack if need be while still allowing instantaneous access.

07-12-2007, 02:21 AM
Oh, and that Craftsman organizer thing looks pretty nifty too, for the bigger flat files anyway. Of course I have a square that is about 1" on a side and about 18" long, a rat tail about 3/4" on the big end and about 16" long, ...

07-12-2007, 03:13 AM

07-12-2007, 03:51 AM
Well, those are nicely filed away :)

07-13-2007, 12:31 PM
I'm not big on tool rolls personally. I don't like having to have enough bench space to lay out all a whole set of wrenches, for example, in order to pull out a wrench.

One thing you could do, if you have a table saw, is to take a piece of 3/4 plywood and just cut saw kerfs at the spacing of your choosing, to hold the files.

Its not really corrugated like you would like, but I use some black vinyl stair tread material with ribs maybe every 3/8" as way protector on my lathe ways near the headstock. I have a couple pieces of it laying over the lathe backsplash that I can grab and tuck under the chuck when I am using a file or abraisive to finish something off. It might be adequate spacing for separating needle files in the bottom of a drawer, but the ribs are not really all that tall. This stuff is available by the foot (3' wide as I recall) at some (real) hardware stores.


07-13-2007, 03:35 PM
Interesting on the mat, I'll look into that too. Gotta get by Sears and take a look at those separators as well...

Thanks all!