I have been storing my router bits in the packaging they came in when I purchased them. Some of those have held up fine but some have cracked and broken and I've been finding rusted router bits in drawers and tool boxes all over my shop. I finally decided I had to do something about that nonsense.
I dumped all the random bits, extra screws and other "things I might need someday but haven't used in 5 years" crap out of one drawer in my shop and dedicated that to Router Bit Storage!
I wanted something modular so I could change it up over the years without having to redo the entire drawer. Maybe I don't end up with a larger collection in a year or two and decide the 10 router bits I own don't qualify for an entire drawer of dedicated storage. It could happen. If it does, I can remove half of the router bit storage rows and move something else in.
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Step 1: Cut Material
- Cut 3" strips of 1/4" MDF to fit the width of your drawer.
- Then cut 1 1/2" strips of 3/4" plywood and cut one end at a 20º angle.
Step 2: Measure and Mark
You only need to mark one MDF strips and then stick them all together with carpet tape allowing you to drill them all at the same time.
- Use a speed square first to mark the centerline.
- Then use a long T square or tape measure to mark every 2" along the centerline.
Step 3: Drill Holes
- Use a hand drill or drill press to drill through all the boards at once using a drill bit that matches the shank diameter of your router bits. Most of the router bits in my drawer are 1/2" so I drilled all my holes with a 1/2" bit and created an insert for my 1/4" bits.
- Then switch to a Forstner bit and drill a semicircle in each end. These are finger holes so you can get in there to lift out one row if ever you decide you need to do that.
Step 4: Assemble
- Pry the boards apart (a 5 in 1 painters tool works well for this).
- Sand all the boards to remove any nubs created in the drilling process.
- Use wood glue and nails to secure the MDF boards to the angled top of the plywood strip.
*Painters tape is a handy third hand to hold parts together while assembling.
Step 5: Optional Insert for 1/4" Router Bits
If you want to store a few 1/4" router bits but don't have enough to dedicate a full row to 1/4" storage l, you can create an insert to place over some of the 1/2" holes.
- Cut a strip of MDF and secure it to one of the prepared boards WHILE the prepared board is sitting in your drawer. Because of the angle, the insert board will have to be slightly wider than the one under it.
- Use carpet tape to secure this new strip to it's "Base" so it doesn't move while you remove it from the drawer.
- Trace the location of the 1/2" holes onto your new MDF board.
- Pry the two boards apart.
- Mark a centerline through the traced holes and then drill 1/4" holes as well as your finger pull holes.
If you don't want a full row of 1/4" bit storage, you can cut this strip down to accommodate the number of 1/4" bits you have.
Step 6: Place in Drawer
- If you have extra long router bits, you may need extra room behind each row. This is easily achieved by adding a strip of material behind those rows. 1/4" MDF or any other scrap wood will work for this.
- Place all your Modular Storage Rows into your drawer and if you have any space left over, fill that with a strip of MDF to keep all your rows from slipping and sliding around when you open and close the drawer.