November 2013 Wood News Online Welcome to Highland Woodworking - Fine Tools & Education Learn more about Highland Woodworking View our current woodworking classes and seminars Woodworking articles and solutions Subscribe to Wood News


by Steven D. Johnson
Racine, Wisconsin

This month:

Quick, Easy Forstner Bit Organizer

Hap, Hap, Happy Light

Woodworkers' "Other" Interests

Breaking Bad (Hand Tool Techniques)

Forstner Bit Organizer

Click on any picture to see a larger version.

Figure 1 - Twenty Forstner
bits, just 1.7 square feet of
previously unused wall

A while back I built an under-table cabinet for my drill press and it has been a functional space-saver. But over the years my drill bit collection, particularly Forstner bits, has multiplied and the drawers in my storage cabinet were overflowing. So in about two hours, with a few scraps of inexpensive home-store lumber, I built a utilitarian rack that holds 20 Forstner bits in 1/8" increments from 7/8" to 3" in diameter… all in less than 1.7 square feet of wall space.

Figure 2 - By placing a large bit next to a
small bit, I could make the rack tall and

This month's video outlines the entire construction procedure. By alternating the bits, placing the smallest next to the largest, the second smallest next to the second largest, and so on, space is conserved and the bits are quick-to-locate and easy to access.

In my shop, the space where I wanted to hang the Forstner bit organizer defined its size and shape. You can utilize the same basic idea and design and make an organizer to fit any available space you have, or any kind of drill bits or router bits you want to store. The design is easily adaptable. I mounted mine with wood screws, right to the wall. You could also make holes in the top and hang it from pegboard or mount a French cleat on the back and hang it from your shop's cleat storage system.

Just a couple of words of caution… Forstner bits are sharp (or at least they should be), so be careful when reaching up and grabbing a bit for your next project. And be cognizant of the weight of your bit collection. The big bits are heavy and the weight adds up quickly, so make sure you mount the rack firmly. Other than that, the only limitation is your imagination. Enjoy!

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