Router Bit Storage

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Project by W.F. Judt posted 05-08-2021 03:50 AM 820 views 2 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch


I recently decided to address the longstanding issue I’ve had with my router bit collection.

The disarray of my router bit collection has been an annoyance, and a couple of early attempts to deal with this problem have not resulted in a solution.

Until NOW!

The trouble was I had a variety of router bits… some with 1/2” shanks, others with 1/4” shanks and a few select upward-spiral bits with 5/16” shanks. How many holes needed to be drilled for the 1/2” bits and how many for the 1/4” bits… you see where this is going :-)

It was a posting at Woodsmith magazine that offered the solution. Was it a drawer, or a cabinet or a shelf that would solve my problem?

NO! It was a TRAY!

Here is the link:

They suggested only two hole sizes. As you can see, it’s better yet to drill THREE sized holes into each cube of wood, each hole for a different sized router bit shank. That means is you drill holes into, say, 64 cubes, you have 192 possible holes to choose from… thirty of each size.

AND, this means you get to use some of the scrap hardwood lying around your shop for this project.

So I started making wood blocks 2” on each side. I decided on 64 blocks so I would have a tray with inside measurements slightly larger than 16” wide.

I chose hardwood because it machines so well. The holes drilled are crisp and clean. And when the edges of the cubes are chamfered slightly, and the holes as well, the cubes look REALLY sharp!

Beware… you must drill the holes slightly larger than the bits they are intended to hold, otherwise the shanks will not fit comfortably into the holes. I chose drill bits 1/64” larger than the shank sizes, and they worked well.

My new router bit storage solution may not be unique, but it certainly solved my router bit storage problem.

-- "Faith is a better tool than than fear to process a crisis. Fear views a crisis as a threat. Faith views a crisis as a means for God to work a higher purpose. “

12 comments so far

View sansoo22's profile


1673 posts in 773 days

#1 posted 05-08-2021 04:04 AM

Thanks for sharing this! I don’t have many bits yet or a good place to store them. I usually keep all the Freud bits in a drawer in that annoying black stand that is part of the packaging. I’m definitely going to be scouring the scrap pile to make some blocks soon.

View woodbutcherbynight's profile


9589 posts in 3528 days

#2 posted 05-08-2021 04:31 AM

Pretty slick idea. NICE!!!

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

View Madmark2's profile


2841 posts in 1707 days

#3 posted 05-08-2021 05:38 AM

I love the idea but I’d be crazy after drilling umpteen holes.

My only concern is corrosion from the acid in the oak. But a little corrosion texture is a good thing — it grips better in the collet.

I bought one of those foam blocks and framed it in plywood and it works, sorta, kinda. Your solution is more flexible and a lot better looking!

Foam works but the spiders like webbing the unused holes!

Nice work done well.

-- The hump with the stump and the pump!

View doubleDD's profile


10429 posts in 3162 days

#4 posted 05-08-2021 12:25 PM

It’s a lot of holes but it will save a lot of time and problems down the line. Good thinking Judt.

-- Dave, Downers Grove, Il. -------- When you run out of ideas, start building your dreams.

View 987Ron's profile


1381 posts in 435 days

#5 posted 05-08-2021 01:05 PM

Similar set up for me, but mine are drawers without sides, holes in the bottom, 3 wide, 1/2 inch in 2, 1/4 inch in two.
One with sides for junk. Still lots of misc. in bigger drawers, bigger bits, sets, junk.
One always gets new bits but rarely tosses old ones or ones not used. Multiples seem to happen also. Not sure how.
Anyway liked your solution, flexable, neat, nice.

-- Ron

View Andre's profile


4577 posts in 2925 days

#6 posted 05-08-2021 02:55 PM

I have the same problem, but decided to go with the Veritas system as I already had a lot of there bits. Now it is just a matter to actually build something?

-- Lifting one end of the plank.

View splintergroup's profile


5284 posts in 2341 days

#7 posted 05-08-2021 03:14 PM

I have pull out slides in my router table, basically strips of plywood with the router bit holes drilled in, One drawer for 1/2”, a second for 1/4” and the third “undrilled/uncommitted”. Both the bit drawers are filled to the max.

Scary to thing about the investment in all that!

Your idea of the multiple holes is optimum (and you can see them all)! Nicely crafted!

View sras's profile


6175 posts in 4248 days

#8 posted 05-08-2021 07:15 PM

I’ve been trying to plan out my bit storage. This trick is the last piece of the puzzle. Thanks for sharing!

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

View James E McIntyre's profile

James E McIntyre

1296 posts in 2411 days

#9 posted 05-08-2021 08:29 PM

Thanks for sharing this WF. A smart solution for woodworkers like me. You sure have a nice collection of router bits.

-- James E McIntyre

View sras's profile


6175 posts in 4248 days

#10 posted 05-09-2021 12:10 AM

I just realized a detail I’ll use. I only need 2 shank sizes. I think I’ll put 1/4” shank holes in the end grain and 1/2” shank holes in face/edge grain. That way I’ll know the shank size without having to remove the bit.

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

View AJ1104's profile


1322 posts in 2778 days

#11 posted 05-10-2021 01:08 AM

Great idea! I love this organizer especially with the beveled edges. I browsed through your other projects and have to mention what great carvings you have made. Truly beautiful.

-- AJ

View JCinVA's profile


238 posts in 1949 days

#12 posted 05-23-2021 07:11 AM

Neat idea and well done too. I agree the chamfers really dress up the blocks and the overall look.

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