'Ol Dave's Woodshop - Where woodworkers are not all Pros  

'Ol Dave's Woodshop - Where woodworkers are not all Pros
                                                                   "Where woodworkers are not all Pros"
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Drill bit storage cabinet

Finished drill cabinetView of drill press and bit storage cabinet.
Have you ever gotten irritated by not being able to find the right bit for your drill press when you needed it?  Probably never had that problem have you?  Yeah right!!  Well me too, and as I was leafing through some back issues of Shopnotes Magazine (Number 16), I ran across a nice plan for a cabinet that would house many types of bits. 

It didn't look too difficult to build and could be made from some scrap pieces that I had laying around in the shop.  You can see the completed cabinet with its magnetic catch and mounted on the wall directly behind my drill press in the southeast part of my shop in these two photos (above).  I think it looks pretty neat and it sure solves my previous problem of not finding bits when I need them!

Side and top pieces after cutting rabbetsThe plans called for cutting the pieces for the sides, tops and bottoms of both halves in the total of their widths and then (after assembly) cutting the completed box in two halves on the table saw.  So, I started out by cutting the pieces to size.  After the pieces were cut out, I set up a dado set on the table saw and cut rabbets on the tops and bottoms of the pieces.  The photo on the right shows the pieces after the rabbets were cut.

I then took the pieces to the router table to rout grooves along the lengths of the pieces where the front and back pieces were to fit prior to splitting the "box" in two.  You can see a couple of pictures of the pieces just prior to assembly below.

Full side piece showing both the 
routed grooves and the dado
cut rabbets.
Side piece after rabbets were cut
Another view of the side and top pieces
after dados were cut and the grooves 
were routed.
Top, bottom and side pieces after routing the grooves

Clamped up drill cabinet before splitting
Next, I began the process of inserting the front and back pieces (sorry....no pictures of the front and back pieces) into the grooves and glued up the sides, top and bottom making an enclosed box.  You can see the "box" in the photo on the left after the glue up and clamping had been completed.  That wasn't too tough to do!

After the glue had dried, I took the box to the table saw and cut one of the long sides, the top and the bottom at the center of the box.  Before I cut the last long side in two, I placed a narrow, 1/8" thick scrap piece of wood into the groove made by the saw blade and taped it into place with masking tape.  This of course, was to prevent the box from collapsing and pinching the blade while making the final cut to split the box.
Open drill cabinet after hinge was installed
At his point I was ready to mount the piano hinge that would hold the two halves of the box together.  You can see an opened view and a closed view of the two halves after mounting the hinge to both halves in these two photos.  Prior to mounting the hinge, I routed a relief into the two sides where the hinge was to be attached and at a depth matching the thickness of the hinge.
The next operation was to make the pivoting tool holders for the inside of the cabinet and the stationary shelf that was to be mounted in the door half of the cabinet.  Each slot width in the pivoting tool holder had to be cut at different widths and the plan didn't call this out since everyone does not have the same kinds and sizes of bits and tools.  So it was left up to the builder to determine how many slots and at what widths they were to be made.  After I took a look at the diameters lengths of the shanks on my forstner and spade bits, I began this time consuming process.  A few photos along the way with this task are shown below:
Slot detail on inside of the tool holder that is based on the toolsthat will be held.  Some had to have spacers placed at the bottoms of the slots.
Drill cabinet wing showing slot detail
I used a pin nailer and glue to fasten the fronts of the tool holders to the backs of them.

Drill Cabinet inner wings

This view shows the finished holders which were mounted to the inside of the box by two screws near the bottom side at each end.
Open Drill Cabinet inner wings
Finished drill cabinet showing holders in closed positionFinished drill cabinet showing holders in tilted positionThere were a couple more steps involved in this project but, all in all the completed drill cabinet looks good and is very functional for the purpose for which I decided to build it. 

The photo on the left shows the tool holder in the straight up position that is the normal position when the cabinet is closed.  The photo on the right shows a view of the cabinet with the tool holder tilted outward which is the way it was designed to access your tools.

This project was designed for function instead of the use of really good materials.  I used left over hard maple, poplar and plywood to make the cabinet.  You could use better looking materials for a really nice looking case but in my shop, there will be dust collecting on it which I'll have to clean off and I decided not to waste really good wood on it.  Bottom line is I had a lot of fun making it.

Your comments are welcome and you can get them to me by the e-mail address below.


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