Compact drill station for Milwaukee M12

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Project by ramblinwreck posted 01-21-2019 02:57 PM 2029 views 5 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I needed something to get my drills and drivers off my bench when not being used. I know there are a ton of these out there, but this one incorporates two features that I had not seen before.

First, I cut the slots for the tools at 45 degree angles. The reason for this is that I have a really small and narrow shop space, and this shelf overhangs my bench. I didn’t want a deep shelf encroaching into my small precious workspace and blocking light. So putting the drills at a 45 degree angle reduces the depth. This does come at the expense of increased width, obviously, but I only needed to hold 3 drivers so it wasn’t a problem.

The next thing was to attach the bottom tool shelf with 10-24 cross-dowels instead of glue like the top three shelves. What this does is enable me to swap out the slotted drill platform easily, without having to rebuild the entire unit, should I ever need to accommodate different tools that don’t fit the existing slots. The existing slots are sized for my Milwaukee M12 drivers—screwdriver, impact, and drill. (NOTE: The screwdriver and impact fit better with a small chamfer on the slots, the drill fit better without the chamfer, as it rests on some ‘shoulders’ built-in to the drill handle, your mileage may vary).

The trickiest part of the whole project was laying out the slots so that the tools would fit. I mocked it up with cardboard scraps until I got something I was happy with, then transferred that to SketchUp.

One thing to be aware of is that the drivers won’t fit if you have really long bits installed. It does work fine with short/medium bits. My priority was compactness, so this was a tradeoff I was willing to accept. You could gain another inch of clearance by not having the plywood back not cover the bottom shelf (or by cutting some slots in the back), since there is another 3/4” clearance behind the back due to French-cleat standoffs.

  • overall width: 20”
  • overall height: 16”
  • overall depth: 7-5/8”
  • usable shelf width: 18.5”
  • shelf depths: 7-3/8” (bottom), 6” (top)
  • slots for drills: 1-3/4” wide, see image for layout
  • back: 1/4” plywood set into 3/8” rabbets

-- Chris

10 comments so far

View edapp's profile


347 posts in 2542 days

#1 posted 01-21-2019 05:37 PM

Nice!! I need to start taking more time when I make these things… usually just rush it.

View ScottKaye's profile


797 posts in 3066 days

#2 posted 01-21-2019 06:46 PM

great build. GO BIG RED! of course, Im going to take some of your ideas here and implement them in to my build when ever I get around to it.

BTW, how do you like that M18 hand vac?

-- "Nothing happens until you build it"

View newparade's profile


12 posts in 1001 days

#3 posted 01-21-2019 09:39 PM

I appreciate the way you documented the thought behind your design process. Thanks.

-- Scott, Southern Illinois

View ramblinwreck's profile


25 posts in 1175 days

#4 posted 01-22-2019 12:22 AM

Hey Scott,

BTW, how do you like that M18 hand vac?

It’s no replacement for the shop vac, not even close, but is great for quick/small cleanups without the hassle (or noise) of the shop vac. It’s a smaller (1-1/4” I think?) hose diameter. I use it a lot to clean up drill shavings off my workbench or drill press. Works great for that sort of stuff. The suction is on-par with a cordless Dyson we have inside the house. No complaints in that department.

Also useful for occasional vehicle seat/floormat quick clean, but again don’t expect shop vac performance.

I already had a few M18 tools & batteries, so this was an easy buy for me. But I’m not sure that I would purchase this if I had not already invested in the M18 platform. I know there is a M12 version of this thing, but I tried one out and it didn’t have enough suction.

-- Chris

View swirt's profile


6264 posts in 4085 days

#5 posted 01-22-2019 02:45 AM

Good thinking angling the slots to reduce the overhang.

-- Galootish log blog,

View Firewood's profile


1498 posts in 2747 days

#6 posted 01-22-2019 03:05 AM

Great build. And nice detail on the build description. I have a couple M12 tools and may follow your plans to build one for myself

-- Mike - Waukesha, WI

View woodbutcherbynight's profile


9529 posts in 3522 days

#7 posted 01-22-2019 04:29 AM

NICE!!!! May get around to making one in the course of this year. Requires some planning for the space. Oh and time, never seem to have enough time. But SOOO many projects and possibilities.


-- Live to tell the stories, they sound better that way.

View anthm27's profile


1845 posts in 2223 days

#8 posted 01-22-2019 07:22 AM

Brilliant, I like it

-- There is no hope for any of us if we keep apologizing for telling the truth.

View Tooch's profile


2016 posts in 2989 days

#9 posted 01-22-2019 01:34 PM

Organizational projects are always the best projects. Nicely done!

-- "Well, the world needs ditch-diggers too..." - Judge Smails

View WayneC's profile


14359 posts in 5210 days

#10 posted 01-22-2019 02:54 PM

Well done. The only problem I can see is the three slots. It’s hard to only have three Milwaukee drills. :)

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

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