router bits stuck in plywood holder

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Forum topic by fiddlebanshee posted 09-17-2018 03:50 PM 956 views 0 times favorited 15 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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240 posts in 3716 days

09-17-2018 03:50 PM

Topic tags/keywords: router bit storage pipe insulation

So, I have been absent from my shop for over 2 years, due to work pressure, other hobbies and random stuff. I’m back and am revamping my entire shop. I found my router bits rusted into the plywood holes that I had drilled for them, they were a perfect fit when I put them in. I had to literally saw them out of the plywood to get access to them. :(

So now I am looking into alternative storage. I’m thinking 1/2” ID closed cell pipe insulation might shield them from moisture, I would cut a length to about 1” pieces and set it hole up in a drawer with the bit in the hole. I could even make little cubbies to prevent the pieces from sliding around. It’d be light, moveable, and customizable.

Anyone tried this idea? Would be cheap for sure. Any reason why this wouldn’t work? Any concerns?


-- As if I needed another hobby!

15 replies so far

View syenefarmer's profile


557 posts in 3851 days

#1 posted 09-17-2018 06:32 PM

Can’t say as I’ve tried insulation for router bit holders but I use these,,46168,69435,46180 , and like them a lot. A long time ago I did what you did and had the same rusting issues. After experiencing that, I started using the Lee Valley holders and haven’t had any rust issues with them.

View Bill_Steele's profile


705 posts in 2502 days

#2 posted 09-17-2018 07:02 PM

I’m skeptical that the closed cell pipe insulation will shield the router bit from moisture. Is the insulation hydrophobic? I don’t think the insulation will attract moisture or repel it. I would suggest a desiccant or maybe spray some protective coating on your router bits (e.g. Boeshield).

Maybe your bits rusted because your shop is exposed to humidity? Is your shop a garage workshop or someplace that is not climate controlled?

View maxyedor's profile


38 posts in 1095 days

#3 posted 09-17-2018 07:39 PM

I would just keep the shanks sprayed down with Boeshield, helps keep them from sticking in the collets as well.

The insulation will neither attract nor repel moisture, but it will trap whatever moisture there is for much longer. It’s a common problem in the firearms world, people leave their guns in cases for a year or two and pull it out only to find barnacles of rust growing on them from the trapped moisture.

View ocean's profile


208 posts in 1604 days

#4 posted 09-17-2018 08:12 PM

Spray the whole bit with Boeshield and build a rack to hold them upright to protect them from hitting each other and damaging the cutting edges. When you go to use them pull it out and wipe it down with a paper towel with mineral spirits – use then recoat before putting them back. Set aside a draw to hold the trays of bits. This exactly want I do and have been for years. Don’t put them in a tube and seal up, it will not protect them from humidity. A rust, no bad bearings and no chipped cutter. I live in the FL Keys and you can’t get any more humidity than we have down here 24 seven 365. Today 94 degrees and relative humidity of mid 80’s.

-- Bob, FL Keys

View FirehouseWoodworking's profile (online now)


777 posts in 4044 days

#5 posted 09-17-2018 10:34 PM

I agree with the comments above about spraying the bits with Boeshield. That should prevent the rust issue.

As for storage, I use a foam insert that is predrilled for 1/4” and 1/2” shanks. I don’t remember where I bought mine, but Rockler sells a similar product: .

It works great because it holds the bits solid; they are easy to insert and remove; and keep the bits from striking each other.

Hope this helps. Good luck!


-- Dave; Lansing, Kansas

View BFamous's profile


341 posts in 891 days

#6 posted 09-17-2018 10:38 PM

+1 for Boeshield.

Also, anytime I come across one of those little silica packs that come with stuff (like shoes), I keep it and throw it in one of my tool drawers. I figure if they are meant to keep moisture away from new stuff, they should be able to keep it away from my old stuff as well…

-- Brian Famous :: Charlotte, NC ::

View torus's profile


450 posts in 1184 days

#7 posted 09-18-2018 02:14 AM

Lee Valley pkg. of 6 – $6.50 !?
I am surprised that short piece of plastic could cost $1. Actually more ashamed then surprised.

Quick search:
$3.50 for 100

PS I like Lee Valley tools, but piece of plastic is just that…

-- "It's getting better..." - put this on my RIP stone!

View lumbering_on's profile


578 posts in 1260 days

#8 posted 09-18-2018 02:21 AM

If you use GlideCote for your table saw that also works to prevent corrosion on tools.

View fiddlebanshee's profile


240 posts in 3716 days

#9 posted 09-18-2018 11:41 PM

Thanks everyone for the replies. I have ditched the idea of the insulation as bit holder. I will most likely drill the holes bigger than the shanks and have a piece of wood underneath that prevents them from falling through. I would imagine that the plastic inserts would also trap the moisture.

I will throw the bits in a bowl of rust remover and then spray them with boeshield that I have. Hopefully the HVAC in the shop will be fixed soon so that we can run a bit of heat in the winter and a bit of ac in the summer to prevent most problems.

What is the best rust remover that you know?

-- As if I needed another hobby!

View fiddlebanshee's profile


240 posts in 3716 days

#10 posted 09-22-2018 08:11 PM

Here’s the solution i found. Plexiglass with oversized holes, the bits rest on the bottom of the drawer.

Sorry the pic is upside down, on my phone so do notknow how to fix this.

-- As if I needed another hobby!

View WoodenDreams's profile


1066 posts in 681 days

#11 posted 09-22-2018 09:26 PM

I have close to a hundred router bits and keep all my router bits in their original containers. This helps protect the cutting edges. You may want to consider a hard foam or styrafoam and drill holes for the shafts to set in. If you keep your bits in a drawer or cabinet, place some moister removal packets next to the bits to prevent rusting. or put dry rice in a small pouch and set that next to the bits.

View Andybb's profile


2762 posts in 1374 days

#12 posted 09-22-2018 09:27 PM

Probably don’t even need to drill the holes bigger. Clean off the rust, spray on a little drylube somthin’ somthin’ and put em back in their holes.

Sorry the pic is upside down, on my phone so do not know how to fix this.
- fiddlebanshee

Hold you phone sideways. (horizontal/wide)

-- Andy - Seattle USA

View fiddlebanshee's profile


240 posts in 3716 days

#13 posted 09-22-2018 10:49 PM

Here it is right side up

-- As if I needed another hobby!

View Kirk650's profile


680 posts in 1519 days

#14 posted 09-23-2018 12:52 AM

I use 3/4” MDF drilled to hold the bits. Works fine, though i will get one that sticks a bit occasionally.

View Lazyman's profile


5389 posts in 2158 days

#15 posted 09-23-2018 02:51 AM

Apparently wood has some corrosive compounds in it, especially if in direct contact or even just confined in an enclosed space so probably not the best choice long term. I didn’t read the whole thing but here is a white paper that may explain why it’s not a good idea to use plywood blocks. I’ve been using the high density foam inserts from peachtree and they work well. I haven’t been using them long enough to know if they prevent or encourage rust but so far so good.

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

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