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Pliers Rack Experiment


Here are a set of small pliers used in jewelry making. Most importantly, these are my wife's pliers. She likes to make earrings and such.

My wife asked me to make her a rack for her tools. She was tired of storing them in the mug (pictured at left).

So of course, the first thing you typically do in a situation like this is check Google or Pinterest or the like. (The image at left was made by me, just showing a selection of some of the images we found when searching.)

There were mostly two kinds of racks that we found. The most prevalent was this kind where the plier is kind of balanced on three dowels. The other one that she also liked was the one (top left in the above photo) where the pliers hung on a thin piece of wood suspended in front of a board.

(There were some other kinds which showed the pliers standing up in small holes, but my wife didn't like thos. As well she wanted the tools pointed up; so any solutions with them tip-down was also out.)

As I started mocking up ideas I ran into a problem in that I found that about half of the pliers did not want to stay put. They would fall off the dowels or boards. This blurry photo is clipped from my video, showing one of the pliers in the act of falling.

The problem seemed to be that many of these small pliers have these springs in them. These help the handles open, but they also kind of get in the way of hanging them the way I was trying to hang them.

As I thought about it more, for some reason, I thought about a test tube rack. So I drilled a couple of deep holes in some scrap wood and tried popping two pliers into them. It seemed to work. But I was not thrilled with the design. So I called my wife down to the shop and explained the problem and showed my solution to her.

She agreed with me: It's a bit boring.

It's now just a board with some holes in it. It's not a very exciting project, and of course it's also not a very exciting video. But as they say, "Form follows function". Sometimes the simple design is the one that is best.

So we decided to press ahead with this. I'm now calling it an experiment, more than a project. I'm building it, and she can try it out for a few months and see if she likes it or not.

I had a nice piece of thick cherry left over from a previous project, so I used that. After a bit of jointing, cutting, and measuring, I took it to the drill press. I drilled 7/8" diameter holes, as deep as I could -- probably about three inches deep. (I didn't measure.) They were drilled on 1-1/8" centres -- so there is a gap of almost 1/4" between each hole. I drilled nine holes, so that my wife would have some room to add more pliers to her set.

After drilling, I took it to the bandsaw and cut curved corners on the two ends, and then sanded that on my disc sander and with the random orbit sander.

I then took it out to the back yard and hit it with some Spray lacquer.

And this is the end result. It's a quick and simple project. It's not very exciting, but sometimes the simple approach is the smart choice. We'll see how my wife feels after a few months of using this.

Some of the Tools/Supplies Used In This Project: (Affiliate Links)


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See Also:

Umbrella Rack

A Tip-Out Storage Tray

FIXING the tip-out tray

Canoe Paddle Door Decoration

Tabletop Easel