Subscribe to Make Magazine Today!

This trick might have been around forever, but it was new to me: using wine and champagne corks for file handles. Ray Connors, a new member of the Hack Factory, was showing me his handcrafted lockpicks when I spotted his files. A very clever alternative to buying handles, plus you can use different corks for different kinds of files, to better tell them apart.

John Baichtal

John Baichtal

My interests include writing, electronics, RPGs, scifi, hackers & hackerspaces, 3D printing, building sets & toys. @johnbaichtal nerdage.net


  • Anonymous

    Oh, *that* kind of file! Good idea.

  • Anonymous

    Nice looking, but obviously dangerous!
    Wooden handles are there to give a good grip AND to protect the hand from getting cut by the back part of the file.You don’t want to use this files with a lathe or grinding wheel and have them fail on your fingers…believe me.

  • Anonymous

    I usually don’t bother with the handles, but I almost always have gloves on anyway. I just hand file, I don’t use a lathe.

  • Anonymous

    Golf balls work great too. Drill a hole in them, stick them on with a little epoxy.

  • Anonymous

    Correction: Ray is a member of Twin Cities Maker, as your link shows. The Hack Factory is just our meeting space.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_7PX6YIJMUOXUIOMYUHFKSLUDAE Elliot B

    The traditional way file are handled is to heat the tang red and plunge it into a drilled piece of wood. The tang will burn the hole a bit bigger. When cool it will be quite tight. It takes a bit of practice to get it right. This is why the files are made the way they are. Similar tangs are found on some other tools, engraving tools for example. I’ve been doing this for 40 years, there is very little reason to do it another way. That cork is going to break some day, and you’ll be very sorry.