Is your workbench pegboard getting overcrowded with tools? Or perhaps the printed sizes on your hand tools seem to be getting a little smaller and blurrier every year? Perhaps this nut driver holder will help with both of those issues. The same basic design can be applied to other similar tools such as screwdrivers.
I made this at TechShop www.techshop.ws
Step 1: Materials & Equipment
Laser Cutter (my TechShop has a Trotec Speedy 300)
1/2" thick 3-1/2" x 12" poplar board
1/4" thick 2" x 6" poplar board
1-1/2" x 12" walnut veneer
150 grit sandpaper
This instructable assumes some basic familiarity with CorelDraw and a laser cutter.
Step 2: Design the Base
Now we need to create the outline of the base. I decided I wanted the sides of the base to be 0.2" larger than the nut drivers. So I drew a series of 1.45" diameter circles around the outer nut drivers. Draw them in red with a hairline width to indicate that they should be cut (not engraved) on the laser cutter. I then drew straight lines (also red hairline) to join the sides and back. Then, to avoid sharp inner corners I added two small 3-point arcs to smooth where the circles meet.
Next the holes need to be added for the shafts of each nut driver. I measured the widest part of each nut driver (at the socket portion of the shaft) and added 0.1" to each diameter. Draw the seven red hairline circles centered on each nut driver location.
Finish by deleting all lines/circles except the outer perimeter and the seven holes for each shaft. Use the Virtual Segment Delete tool to do this.
Step 3: Design the Top and Spacer
To make the back nut drivers easier to reach I added a top section. Designing it is very similar to designing the base. I started with the final design of the base, added 1.45" diameter holes to each of the back positions, added the 3-point arcs between each circle, then deleted all of the extra lines with the Virtual Segment Delete tool.
I decided that this top section needed to be a little taller, so I designed a 1/4" thick spacer to fit between the top and bottom sections. This was made almost identically to the top section, but I used smaller circles so that the top piece would have a visual overhang. These circles were only 1.1" in diameter.
Step 4: Design the Rings
Since the holes in the body of the holder have to be large enough to fit the socket portion of each nut driver and the shaft of each is a fair bit smaller, the nut drivers won't naturally sit in nice orderly rows. So we need to add a raised portion around each hole that is just larger than the base of each nut driver handle. It turns out that the handle bases will fit nicely into a 0.93" hole.
Starting with the design of the lower base, change all of the lines to blue to act as reference lines. I added a 0.93" diameter red hairline circle around the front three holes, followed by a 1.2" diameter hole. Then connect the three holes together with a 0.45" tall rectangle. Finally, delete all of the unnecessary line and arc segments with the Virtual Segment Delete tool.
As you can see in the images the approach for the top section is the same.
Step 5: Design the Text
Step 6: Laser Cut All the Pieces
Step 7: Engrave the Text
Prop the base up on end (I set another piece of wood behind it to help hold it straight). I first engraved the text at 100% power and 40% speed, but it didn't seem deep enough to me. So I made a second pass with the same settings which seemed perfect. Do the same for the upper piece.