DRILL BIT STORAGE – a simple solution to a common problem

Posted in E books, Gardening Tips, household/gardening tips, how to features, recycling re-using projects on March 4th, 2014 by John Coxon


(Click on any image to see a larger version)

It is amazing how many different drill bits the home handyman collects over time and here is part of my collection which includes a wide range of sizes of masonry bits, woodwork drill bits and HSS drill bits for metal.

Before I created a workshop at the bottom of my little garden and started to get my tools properly racked out and organised I stored all my drill bits  in a couple of organiser type boxes but this made it tedious to rummage through them to find the right type and size. When the workshop was set up I separated them into three types each in open ended pots made from of cuts of  PVC drainpipe and yet still it was a bit fiddly to easily locate the right size.


In my collection I have just a handful of masonry bits and some metal drill bits specifically designed to slot into screw drivers rather than cylindrical drills designed for adjustable drill “chucks” so not a problem or a great deal of effort to make these simple holders to accommodate those in the standard way, essentially drilling a series of holes into blocks of wood.

drill bit storagesimple block drilled to accommodate masonry drills

Pictures -The few masonry bits I use most frequently and it is essential to select the correct size to suit “rawlplugs”  tightly. Normally the drill size is etched into the smooth shaft of the drill but through use the numbers can be obliterated hence I have pencilled the sizes on the block.

The majority of my drill bit collection have a cylindrical shaft for use in power drills with an adjustable chuck but I have a small number of bits with hexagonal easy fit shaft ends . Again , for a small number of bits  a simple drilled block of timber does the job.

DSC_1473hexagonal ended drill bits

Another storage idea you could also use to store drill bits can be seen here where I have used something I had around the house to accommodate insulated screwdrivers and driver bits , a material similar to florists dry or wet foam otherwise known as “oasis”  a kind of rigid sponge material.

screw driver storage

It is a simple matter of pushing the rounded shaft ends of the drills into the material- but I didn’t have any to hand for my many drills so the next step was to Google for “drill bit storage ideas” having already decided against the laborious task of drilling holes of different sizes in a line in blacks of wood. Sadly I didn’t come across any simple or relatively quick to do ideas!

(One idea I saw was using polystyrene tiling stick to plywood and simply pushing each bit into the material. I experimented with that but the result was very unsatisfactory.)  As a recycler and reclaimer, re-user of stuff, I looked around my workshop for a new idea based on what I had.

It then dawned on me that the 10mm polycarbonate roofing sheet scraps I had left over when I built the structure might do the trick.   You can see the cellular structure of this see- through material in the first image I posted. I simply cut two pieces of 2″ x”1 ” timber and cut the polycarbonate to the exact width of the timber based on making a holder in two rows , each with 20 cells. I was pleased to discover that these square hollows could accommodate  drill bits up to 10mm in diameter when by eye it didn’t look as though it would.

Essentially the holder  is a tight sandwich made from two pieces of timber nailed to a pre-cut base of plywood . Here is the finished article- very simple but very effective.


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