Introduction: Shop Project - Make a Magnetic Tray for Drill Bit Storage

All my drill bits were either setting loose or in the containers they came. I decided I didn't want to build a case, but a tray I can move to the bench when I need to use them. Also, I wanted to add magnets to lessen the chance of losing bits when the tray is dropped or jarred.

You need:

  • Some plywood for a base (I used 1/4 inch thick)
  • Rare earth magnets (more is better)
  • Some thin veneer (one piece is better, but you can used strips of edge banding like I did)
  • Drill with a bit the size of the magnets
  • Wood glue
  • Paint
  • Iron (if using iron on veneer)

Step 1: Layout the Size of the Tray

Lay out your bits so you can determine the size of your tray. Note any limiting dimensions your storage space may impose. (The cabinet I use can hold a tray of 11 inches deep.)

Step 2: Cut the Base

I had some 1/4 plywood lying around. You can use whatever is convenient for you.

  • Cut it to size
  • Cut some strips about 3/4 of an inch wide for the dividers.

Step 3: Mark the Dividers

  • Set the bits on the plywood
  • Mark where the dividers will go.

Step 4: Drill Holes for the Magnets

  • Mark where you want the magnets. More coverage is better.
  • Drill holes in the plywood just deep enough for the magnets.
  • Mark the end of each divider line on the sides so you can redraw after adding the veneer.

Step 5: Add the Veneer Over the Magnets

  • A single piece of veneer would be better here, but if you don't have any you can use iron on edge banding.
  • Sand any adhesive residue away.

Step 6: Cut the Angled Divider

  • Redraw the dividers on the veneer
  • Hold the divider that crosses diagonally on the base and mark the angle needed for cutting.
  • Match the angle on the table saw and cut.
  • Cut the straight dividers for the edges.
  • Glue them to the base
  • Cut the diagonal divider to size.
  • Glue it to the base.

Step 7: Add the Dividers

  • For the other vertical dividers, cut one end to the angle for the diagonal divider.
  • Cut the other end at 90 degrees, length to fit.
  • Glue them in place.

Step 8: Paint, If Desired

If desired, paint or clear coat,

Step 9: Finished

I should have used more magnets, but this tray should be OK under normal circumstances. You can never use enough magnets here.


oragamiunicorn (author)2017-03-05

I love the simplicity of the diagonal divider, it is so obvious and yet nobody does it. I'm forever finding a tool is too long, or screw bits are rattling around, this should get around that problem nicely, thankyou


Thanks. I, however, stole the diagonal divider from Steve Ramsey.

Yonatan24 (author)2017-03-04

Way better than the one I made. Nice!

CanKenMakeIt (author)Yonatan242017-03-05

I'm sure yours was just fine.

4DIYers (author)2017-03-04

I usually try to again for things that come in their own holders, but that isn't always an option so this is an awesome idea!

CanKenMakeIt (author)4DIYers2017-03-05

It's great for scrap on hand.

mrsmerwin (author)2017-03-04

love the design. I don't think mine will hold drill bits but I may end up with a stack of these for different supplies and small works in progress.

CanKenMakeIt (author)mrsmerwin2017-03-04

Don't be stingy with the magnets.

mrsmerwin (author)CanKenMakeIt2017-03-04

Thanks for the advice.

About This Instructable




Bio: I attempt to build things. Sometimes I even succeed.
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