stevenbunn Sun, 01/28/2018 - 11:19

Drill and Router bit storage cabinet


The new storage cabinet built to consolidate all my drill and router bits
My collection of router and drill bits has grown like Topsy and was threatening to take over every drawer in my shop. Drill bits took up over three drawers in my primary tool box, router bits took up a drawer in the new Shaker bench, and a set of spur-auger bits still lurked in an antique tool chest I bought years ago. Any time I needed a particular bit I needed to remember which drawer or shelf that item resided in or on. Things were definately getting out of hand.
This has been a nagging on going problem. I started by putting together a plywood cabinet carcass with the intention of adding drawers as time permitted. I put the cabinet on wheels so that I could roll the cabinet to where ever I needed it at the moment. These concept died a slow death for three reasons; (1) I never got around to making the drawers, (2) I already had misgivings about drill and router bits simply being tossed in a drawer and getting banged up, (3) the feeling that drawers weren't the answer. As it turned out the rolling cabinet serves best as a place to put down lathe tools when I work at the lathe.
My personal take on tool storage goes against the current grain. The latest FWW Shops and Tools issue's cover features a beautiful open storage tool cabinet filled with sparkling clean shiny tools. When I see pictures like this I think that the the cabinetmaker either doesn't actually use his tools very much, or he spent a great deal of time cleaning things up before the photo was taken. My shop can look like King Tut's tomb with thick layers of dust and cobwebs (don't get me started on cobwebs) covering everything. My preference leans toward the Shaker vision of storage. Everything has a place and everything is put away in a drawer or behind doors at the end of each day.
I ended up making a simple pine box with a board and spline back, adjustable shelves, and flat panel doors. The carcase was dressed up with some left over molding so the crate looks a little less crate like. I spent a day laying out all the drill bits, grouping them by style and diameter, and laid out locations of drlled stopped holes for each bit. This frankly took more time than knocking together the cabinet. During all the hubbub of laying things out I had to allow room for the inevitable future purchase of additional drill and router bits. I finished the case up by turning Shaker style knobs from some scrap cherry. The new storage cabinet was screwed to the wall beside my drill press.
Being forced to empty every drawer and lay out all the drill bits that have accumulated over time made me take stock of what I had. Not a bad thing. If only I could explain to myself how I ended up with four 3/8 inch dia. brad point bits?
Thanks for stopping by. STB