It's as easy as 1-2-3
Most router-bit storage systems force you to guess how many bits you'll add to your arsenal in the coming years. Dave Campbell, WOOD. magazine's Products Editor, neatly sidestepped that dilemma by designing this modular storage system that fits in any drawer and easily grows to meet your expanding bit collection. A 1-2-3 progression of block sizes maximizes the number of possible arrangements. Dave set aside one large square, and drilled it to hold rotary-tool bits.
To build your modular storage, rip 3/4" MDF (medium-density fiberboard) into 1-1/4"-, 2-1/2"-, and 3-3/4"-wide strips; then crosscut them into squares. Drill centered, slightly oversized holes for easy bit removal; 17/64" and 13mm holes for 1/4"- and 1/2"-shank router bits, and 7/64" and 9/64" holes for 3/32"- and 1/8"-shank high-speed rotary tool bits.
Note: Finding a 33/64" bit to drill the oversized holes for 1/2" shanks is nearly impossible. Commonly used to install metric hardware, a 13mm bit is a readily-available substitute.
Slightly countersink the holes' edges. Chamfer the blocks' top edges on your table-mounted router. Hold the parts with a padded jointer pushblock to keep your fingers safely away from the router bit.
Pour some Danish oil-type finish into a small container, and dip the blocks. After wiping off the excess finish with a rag, dry the blocks on a window screen propped on sawhorses.
With the finish dry, arrange the blocks in your drawer. Fill in the extra space in the drawer with snug-fitting pieces of 1/4" hardboard. You can use these tray-like spaces for storing accessories.
To add versatility to this system, simply bore holes into the module(s) of your choice and glue in craft magnets. They hold small steel parts just great. Our thanks to Jeff Hilton of Mission Viejo, California, for sending in this tip.
If you like this project, please check out the hundreds of shop-proven paper and downloadable woodworking project plans in the WOOD Store.