Neat idea for storing router bits - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 23 Old 03-31-2019, 02:05 PM Thread Starter
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Neat idea for storing router bits

Not mine, saw this over on Garage Journal, great, easy way to make bit storage.

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post #2 of 23 Old 03-31-2019, 02:26 PM
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Easy yes, best? ... I donno?

I think all the grooves would collect dust and be difficult to keep clean. You could just flip them over, all the bits may fall out AND if you don't get your spacing perfect they won't stay in ... period.


I like my way better, of course it's "my" way. I used a 13MM drill which allows a good slip fit on the 1/2" diameter bits and a 2 piece sandwich which allows me to thru drill the top layer. That way there's no concern about the depth of the hole.

Here's the thread, see post 15:

https://www.woodworkingtalk.com/f2/g...9-each-177561/




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post #3 of 23 Old 03-31-2019, 02:32 PM Thread Starter
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I'm lazy, I just use organizer boxes.
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post #4 of 23 Old 03-31-2019, 02:38 PM
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I like it. I've been needing a solution (not just a better one...) for fastener storage as well as bits, etc. I believe I'll have to do this. I have some of those storage boxes for my fishing flies. I've repurposed one already for router bit storage, but that will be over filled once I get a few more bits for doing box and dovetail joints. Can't give up anymore for fly storage, so it will be buy some more.



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post #5 of 23 Old 03-31-2019, 04:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shoot summ View Post
I'm lazy, I just use organizer boxes.
I do not see much in the way of router bits in your boxes.


I like just boring holes the size of the diameter of the bit shanks, as noted by Woodsn------. Or, if it is a set I just store in the case they came in. Even some of the big boys come in special boxes.



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post #6 of 23 Old 03-31-2019, 04:52 PM
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Storage Boxes with Larger Side Lips

Has anyone here actually done this? Either way, I'd like some assistance. I would like some info on what brand/style of storage boxes to use. Ones with lips along the sides that are large enough to hold the box in place without the slot having to be too tight.

I have at least two sizes of Plano brand storage boxes. Model 3600 and 3700. Both have lips on the sides that are extremely narrow, 0.114". And on one side there are two vertical ribs that are as tall as the lip recess, precluding sliding into a groove and being held/captured.

I have not gone looking online, but I'll bet the only specs I'll find are major dimensions, of the lid, and if lucky, the bottom. I will be surprised if the bottom dimension are given. The boxes in the video look just like my Plano boxes, but that doesn't mean much in these days of knock-offs.

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post #7 of 23 Old 03-31-2019, 05:45 PM
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What are you wanting to do ....?

You can attach small aluminum angles to the sides so you can slide them into 1/8" saw kerfs, like drawers. That's what I'd do.

Maybe smaller than these?
https://www.lowes.com/pd/hillman-4-f...0aAmJyEALw_wcB

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post #8 of 23 Old 03-31-2019, 05:52 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GeorgeC View Post
I do not see much in the way of router bits in your boxes.


I like just boring holes the size of the diameter of the bit shanks, as noted by Woodsn------. Or, if it is a set I just store in the case they came in. Even some of the big boys come in special boxes.



George
The video was for storing router bits, burrs, and misc, I posted the pics I had readily available, but since it matters, here are the router bits too...

And I hate the monotony of boring holes, if you watched the video you will see the scale of storage in the method, way quicker with this method whether you like it or not, I like saving time.
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post #9 of 23 Old 03-31-2019, 05:53 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RickKr View Post
Has anyone here actually done this? Either way, I'd like some assistance. I would like some info on what brand/style of storage boxes to use. Ones with lips along the sides that are large enough to hold the box in place without the slot having to be too tight.

I have at least two sizes of Plano brand storage boxes. Model 3600 and 3700. Both have lips on the sides that are extremely narrow, 0.114". And on one side there are two vertical ribs that are as tall as the lip recess, precluding sliding into a groove and being held/captured.

I have not gone looking online, but I'll bet the only specs I'll find are major dimensions, of the lid, and if lucky, the bottom. I will be surprised if the bottom dimension are given. The boxes in the video look just like my Plano boxes, but that doesn't mean much in these days of knock-offs.

Thanks,

Rick
Mount the Plano boxes to 1/2" ply on the bottom.

I use the Plano boxes as well, really like them.
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post #10 of 23 Old 03-31-2019, 06:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RickKr View Post
Has anyone here actually done this?
Yes...or?...indirectly yes...LOL...!

Both my Uncle and cosine used this to organize bits, so does a friend (or did) at Trow and Holden...

It is a fast way to make an organization mat for bit of all shapes and sizes...that is the "pro" point about it...

The "con" is it wears out quickly if you exchange bits a lot, and has to be remade or abandoned...

I personally do not use or recommend this system...

All three folks above changed over to "Foam Matting," systems of small tool organization.

For "down and dirty" (and fast)... 2" thick "blue board foam (like is used for foundation insulation) and just either poked there bits in or drilled holes in it for larger pits can work really well and I have seen these (in very good use) many times over the decades. It works well, last a long time, can be written on if one wishes to, and is relatively inexpensive, light weight for easy "stack packing" in tool boxes, and grips the bits well over time for the most part. Many of these seem to be able to mount semi vertically as well hold the bits really well...

Wood with drilled holes (what others have shared here already) with well place holes looks the best (to me) yet the holes can often fill with debris (and do) and is heavy if one moves there shop or work place often.

There are also (if not into making your own?) after market systems for small bits that are really nice.

My choice for tool storage (I'm currently upgrading much of what I have left do to "theft!!!") is "tool rolls" for most things that then go into nicely made wood tool boxes, carts and carriers...

Bit Roll

I will offer...up front...this system is not for everyone...!!??

Not because it doesn't work well, or look really nice and keeps tools very clean and neat...but...because creating these rolls requires one to know how to sew!

If you have someone in your life, or know someone that sews they are really going to be important to this system of tool storage.

The one I will soon be replacing, uses a leather trimmed canvas sheet with a neodymium magnets on the back side positioned in the position I want the smaller tool bits (router, drill, carving, etc) to be organized in.

These rolls (in the past) allow for quick, clean, neat storage of small (and sometimes larger) tools and bits.

Easy to keep clean and the bits/tools "jump" onto there placement yet come off without much of a tug.

Rolls hang vertical for easy viewing and taking up less real estate on my bench. The storage rack I ended up with look very much like a hanging "Blueprint Folio."

When needing to move to a project site for work these rolls come down and roll up for quick organized transport in wood carriers and carts. My entire shop could be packed up in less than 1 hour...Which is why it was an easy target for theft...LOL...sadly!!! Yet, the system is to nice to not use again, keeps my tools neat and well organized for easy access...

It interested in "tool rolls" send me a PM, as some of these are in development for sale...and I don't give the design details out publicly...but on "case by case" requests of colleagues/students...

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Last edited by Jay C. White Cloud; 03-31-2019 at 06:36 PM.
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post #11 of 23 Old 03-31-2019, 07:14 PM
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The thing about dumping router bits into a storage box is the carbide. It doesn't take very much of a bump between two carbide bits to chip the edge. If storage boxes are used then only one bit per compartment should be used. Myself I do like woodenthings suggested and drill holes in a block of wood and put the block in a drawer.
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post #12 of 23 Old 03-31-2019, 08:04 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Steve Neul View Post
The thing about dumping router bits into a storage box is the carbide. It doesn't take very much of a bump between two carbide bits to chip the edge. If storage boxes are used then only one bit per compartment should be used. Myself I do like woodenthings suggested and drill holes in a block of wood and put the block in a drawer.
I hear what you are saying Steve, and I am concious of chipping the carbide. In 20+ years of storing mine like I do, I haven't chipped one yet. So I guess YMMV, I tried the bits in holes thing for a while, it doesn't work for me.
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post #13 of 23 Old 03-31-2019, 09:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by woodnthings View Post
I think all the grooves would collect dust and be difficult to keep clean. You could just flip them over, all the bits may fall out AND if you don't get your spacing perfect they won't stay in ... period.

I like my way better, of course it's "my" way. I used a 13MM drill which allows a good slip fit on the 1/2" diameter bits and a 2 piece sandwich which allows me to thru drill the top layer. That way there's no concern about the depth of the hole.

Here's the thread, see post 15:

https://www.woodworkingtalk.com/f2/g...9-each-177561/



That's basically how I do it except I used the CNC to cut the holes and pockets. And yes, they do fill up with chips when I video and don't have the dust shoe attached! LOL! But it cleans up easily and unless I add new bits it's not usually a problem. I take a bit out, use it, then put it right back in the same hole. The holes that have chips get cleaned out when I get a new bit. Not a big deal either way.

I probably have another 6-8 bits since these photos were taken two years ago but still no issues doing it this way.

Neat idea for storing router bits-005-completed.jpg

Neat idea for storing router bits-006-covered-pecan-chips.jpg

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post #14 of 23 Old 03-31-2019, 09:37 PM
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Just "plug" the holes ....

Why not use short dowels to make temporary plugs for the empty holes? Corks would also work since they are tapered.... used ear plugs? old tire valves from the tire stores? the large size yellow twist caps for wires? old caps off dried up Sharpies or lip gloss? .......

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post #15 of 23 Old 03-31-2019, 09:40 PM
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...I used the CNC to cut the holes and pockets...And yes, they do fill up with chips... Not a big deal either w
I loved the last photo David...LOL...

Cutting that with a CNC system must be really fast!!!

I twitch at the notion......but for some of our "mass production work" these modern CNC systems are becoming both cost effective, and integrate perfectly with CAD...Part of me "hates" thinking about it, but I see one in the future...or...at least having access to one for some tasks...

Great photos and process...Thanks for sharing those...
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post #16 of 23 Old 04-01-2019, 11:18 AM
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If you store your router bits by pushing the shanks into holes, make sure the holes aren't too tight. They can get tighter from sawdust working its way in, or if the holes closing up around the shank. They may be different on a moist day.

You can cut yourself on the carbide edges when you pull on a bit that is stuck in a tight hole.
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post #17 of 23 Old 04-02-2019, 12:10 PM
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If I was going to use the holes drilled in board method I would mount the board on a base with short stand offs in the corners to allow a space below holes for sawdust to fall through.

I have a wooden case that came into my possession that holds my common styles, the rest are in a drawer, most in the plastic cases they came in.
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post #18 of 23 Old 04-03-2019, 05:06 AM
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Here is my bit rack. It originally was between the studs in the shop in my previous house and I found a place on the wall here. I have had to vacuum it to keep the shanks from being jammed by sawdust. It is also nearly full, but the hinge concept will be on the next version, too.
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post #19 of 23 Old 04-04-2019, 08:30 PM
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Lately I have been accumulating a bunch of additional router bits. I had a Craftsman, HSS set that I purchased back in the 60s or 70s and a few that I had tossed on top of them in the soft plastic cast that they came in. But several recent projects have more than doubled my collection, including many name brand carbide tipped ones. So far I am keeping them in the original containers because those containers often have a drawing of the bit or the shape it cuts WITH DIMENSIONS. I like that. None of the methods that I see here seem to lend themselves to having the dimensions at hand. Perhaps the plastic bins with individual compartments may make that possible. I am also toying around with using Rx bottles; I have a large collection of them and have used them for various storage, like screws and nuts. I print and paste round labels with descriptions and drawings of the contents on the lids. I also cut off the "child proof" devices on them for easier access. Perhaps I could use some of the larger ones for router bits.



For now my router bits are still in their original containers and occupy most of a drawer in my electronic bench. That is not a permanent situation.


The image I uploaded shows some of these Rx bottles used for screw storage.
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post #20 of 23 Old 04-04-2019, 11:05 PM
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For my bit storage, I cut a series of 1.25" wide strips of hardwood to fit the width garage drawer. I drilled holes in the strips to accept both my 1/2 and 1/4 bits. I then cut a bevel on the bottom side of the strips so that when fastened to a sheet of plywood and placed in the drawer, I would be looking at a profile of the bit, rather than just the top of the bit. This helps with selecting the right bit without a lot of effort.
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