DIY Network

Storing Blades and Bits

In order to keep bits, blades and other accessories from being lost, damaged or dulled, it's important that they be stored properly. Follow these DIY tips for safekeeping.

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make a stand to hold router bits

For drill bits, it may be possible to keep them in the special packaging in which they are sold. Often bits come in a carrying case or holder that displays them in a manner that makes them easy to see and to locate a certain size or type.

For those that don't come in a carrying case or display rack, make a bit stand from scrap lumber. Simply use the bits themselves to drill evenly spaced holes in a block of wood to create a display stand. This can be placed on a workstation, or wall-mounted just above it. Use the guide label from the original packaging to indicate the sizes of bits in the stand.

Similarly, a rack for chisels can be created by drilling larger holes in an oblong block of wood. The rack can be wall mounted above the workstation to keep them handy and safe. Since the cutting edges of chisels are very sharp, it's a good idea to leave the plastic edge-guards on them when they are not in use for safety and to prevent the edges from getting damaged.

Storage of table-saw blades presents a special challenge since they are very sharp and dangerous, awkward to handle, easily damaged and expensive. Consider constructing a wall-mountable storage box designed especially for storing saw blades. This specialized box can be kept in a handy location so that blades can be safely accessed and stored.

A hinged lid protects the blades, while the box itself contains grooved side walls made so that individual blades can slide down into the grooves. In the floor of the base is a stair-stepped block on which the individual blades rest when inserted from above. The blades are displayed in a stair-stepped fashion making them easy to identify and to safely remove for use.

The back panel extends below the housing and can be outfitted with pegs or hooks for hanging saw accessories such as table-saw inserts and push-sticks.

Router bits are another item that present a storage problem. They are small and easily lost, fragile and expensive. If stored in a tool drawer where they roll around loose is likely to result in damage to the cutting blades. As with drill bits, a good way to store router bits is in a simple wood stand designed specifically to hold them upright. Space the holes far enough apart that the blades don't come into contact with one another.

A stand is easy to build. All that's required is two lengths of 2x4 placed perpendicular to form an L-shape, and a 1x2 placed in a stair-step configuration. Simply glue and clamp the pieces together as shown, then drill evenly spaced holes to hold the bits. Once finished, the stand can be wall-mounted so that it's convenient to the table router.

For bits with half-inch shanks, more separation is required. The larger bits can be mounted on a flat piece of 3/4-inch plywood with holes drilled at appropriate intervals. This type of rack can be stored inside a drawer to keep the bits safe and dust-free.

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