Router Bit Cabinet

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Project by TheDane posted 05-02-2011 01:15 AM 15886 views 46 times favorited 18 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I have been accumulating router bits (quite a few of them real premium bits), and needed a place to store them where they wouldn’t get dinged up, would be readily accessible, and would help cut the clutter in my shop.

This case was built from a plan published in the December 2003 edition of WOOD Magazine. The case is hard maple, with 1/2” plywood for the cabinet back and drawer bottoms.

The cabinet will hold up to 120 1/2” shank bits, and has two drawers to store accessories. I avoid using 1/4” shank bits as often as possible, but some jigs and projects require 1/4” bits, so I bought a couple of packs of Eagle America’s 1/2” to 1/4” Router Bit Storage Reducer Rings. The drawer lock router bit I used to build the drawers came from MLCS.

The case is 26 1/2” high, 22” wide, 8” deep (with the cleats), and weighs 43.5 lbs. It needed to be portable since we’ll be moving in the next year or so. The shop in my new home (wherever that winds up being) will have a French cleat system, so this cabinet was designed to hang on a 3/4” 45-degree cleat.

I deviated from WOOD’s plan on the door. Their plan called for 1/4” Plexiglas set in a cope-and-stick door frame with tenons only 1/4” thick and 3/8” deep. The door is 22 inches wide, and I just didn’t think the door would be strong enough with the weight of the Plexiglas. Instead, I used half-lap joints and pinned them with 1/4” red oak dowels. I used 1/8” acrylic, held in place by shop-made stop molding in 3/8” x 3/8” rabbet. The cabinet sides are pinned to the top, bottom, and shelf with 1/4” red oak dowels as well.


-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

18 comments so far

View plantek's profile


314 posts in 3774 days

#1 posted 05-02-2011 01:23 AM

I love my cabinet as well… no more nicked knuckles!

-- If you want it and it's within reason... It's on it's way!

View GeorgeGilesArtist's profile


31 posts in 3778 days

#2 posted 05-02-2011 01:27 AM

Cool Cabinet

-- George, Maggie Valley, NC ,

View bigike's profile


4057 posts in 4263 days

#3 posted 05-02-2011 01:28 AM

nice, I need one myself but bigger.

-- Ike, Big Daddies Woodshop, http://[email protected]

View mafe's profile


12845 posts in 4064 days

#4 posted 05-02-2011 01:34 AM

Really nice cabinet and a wonderful job you have done.
This will have to come on my wish to do list.
Best thoughts,

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect.

View Ken90712's profile


17919 posts in 4164 days

#5 posted 05-02-2011 01:41 AM

Dane as always Very Well Done. I really need to make one but I am running our of space on the walls in my shop. I agree, I try not to use 1/4 bits but have a bunch of them being I received a big set of craftman bit for x-mas awhile ago. Great job on this project. Where you moving too? Your welcome out here in Southern California. :>)

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View MShort's profile


1798 posts in 4393 days

#6 posted 05-02-2011 01:51 AM

Nice cabinet.
Thanks for the magazine reference. I will have to put this on my to do list as well.

-- Mike, Missouri --- “A positive life can not happen with a negative mind.” ---

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 4963 days

#7 posted 05-02-2011 05:34 AM

Very cool! How long do you think it will take you to fill it?

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View TheDane's profile


5917 posts in 4638 days

#8 posted 05-02-2011 08:05 PM

@ken90712—SoCal sounds good, but kids & grandkids are in Green Bay so that’s where SWMBO wants to be!

@GaryK—Hopefully, quite a while, but now that I know ho to build one …


-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

View jockmike2's profile


10635 posts in 5221 days

#9 posted 05-03-2011 07:08 PM

Great job, I need one like it for all my bits. Nice job on the construction.

-- (You just have to please the man in the Mirror) Mike from Michigan -

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

25752 posts in 4080 days

#10 posted 05-26-2011 03:27 PM

Wow. That is a really nice router bit storage facility!All right out in the open. It looks like it hangs on a mating cleat on the wall, too. I hope you don’t run out of storage space for a while.
I put mine in drawers and thought I had all I’d ever need and then I got a job for a 1” radius and that filled it up. Then I inherited a collection from my best friend after he passed away so I’m back to making more space!

Great job on that cabinet!!!!!!...........Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 4648 days

#11 posted 05-26-2011 03:32 PM

Beautiful cabinet.

View TheDane's profile


5917 posts in 4638 days

#12 posted 05-26-2011 04:14 PM

Jim—That’s one of the real strengths of the French Cleat system … it just hangs wherever I need it.

And when it comes time to move next year, it will go in the truck like any other piece of furniture.

I just wish I had more wall space … I’ve been thinking about building a matching cabinet for my hand planes.


-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

View DocSavage45's profile


9028 posts in 3817 days

#13 posted 07-04-2011 05:39 PM

Really nice crafting and planning. Would like to see the french cleat system in your shop. Still have my bits in all those cases. LOL I really appreciate your choice of joinery for the drawers. Although I know this is a great joint I would have fumbled with dovetails. Thanks for thinking this through. :)

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View TheDane's profile


5917 posts in 4638 days

#14 posted 07-04-2011 11:18 PM

Thomas—Thanks for the kind words!

I can’t take credit for the design of the drawers … that was suggested in WOOD magazine’s article. It took a little trial and error with scrap material to get it dialed in, but it went pretty fast when I figured out the yin and the yang to it.

The french cleat I built is real simple … just big box store 1×4 pine with the top edge beveled at 45 degrees. The cleat on the top back of the cabinet is hard maple beveled to 45 degrees and milled to the same thickness as the strip on the wall. There is a spacer on each corner of the bottom of the cabinet so it hangs plumb (no cleat on the bottom).


-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

View DocSavage45's profile


9028 posts in 3817 days

#15 posted 07-05-2011 02:14 AM


Thanks, simple is often the most elegant design. I have many carpentry/builder tasks to complete on my 150 year old house. Although I’d rather be learning and designing, I have to get my odd size porch windows repaired and the outside painted. These are not as fun but I am doing my best to keep it in mind. LOL Have some empty shop walls and I was going to practice making cabinets and doing joinery while getting the shop more usable. Think there is a thread about a jig you bought from Harbor Frieght. Good info there.

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

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