I had all my abrasives in one big plastic case, some further sorted in smaller containers, but the abrasive papers and pads were just one huge pile. So now that my workshop is in a state when it is actually possible to do actual work again, I have decided before I start to make knives again to sort out my abrasive materials for good (again, so in reality until the next stack overflow).
For the papers I have made a little portable shelf where I could sort them out from the coarsest (40 Grit) to the finest (7000 Grit) with some room to spare for clean paper sheets and carbon paper sheets – those come in handy sometimes in the shop, so why not. I still have three slots to fill, which is a good sign. It is a lot heavier than I thought it will be, partly because that is a lot of MDF and particle boards packed into small space, and partly because that is a lot of abrasive paper – and that is heavy, of course, it is covered in sand after all.
Precision is of the essence in such an endeavor, as is the quality of used materials of course. That is why I cobbled it all together from scraps of old furniture – 1 cm particle board from an old bed for the frame and 3 mm MDF stripped from an old bathroom door. And I took the time – about 2 hours. Joking aside, I could, of course, buy completely new MDF and have it precisely cut beforehand in the shop, but waste not, want not. I never got used to throwing money at something that will work just fine when made from scraps that I have at hand (my shop looks the part), and I certainly am not going to do that when I just quit a job and am about to lose reliable income.
Now the case could be filled again with remaining polishing and abrasive materials, in a more orderly fashion – polishing wheels, pads, polishing pastes, etc. It is just as full as it was before – which is not good – but it is all a lot less cluttered.
I will probably have to figure out something better for the steel wool, it tends to rust and crumble before I get to actually using most of it. But, as it is, it is a significant improvement.
I no longer have to take a pitchfork in order to get to the bottom of the case and find the grit I need. Today afternoon I will make some improvements to my belt sander and after that, hooray – I will start to make knives again!