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

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(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.

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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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Easy to Make Rigid Wire Mesh Garden Rabbit Run.

Posted in E books, Gardening Tips, how to features, recycling re-using projects on July 10th, 2013 by John Coxon

RABBIT HEALTH AND SAFETY

We will be bunny sitting the school rabbits over the summer holidays as the person who usually takes them home to care for them cannot have them this year. They have lent us their hutch but it was down to me to sort out a run for them in the garden.

It is not enough and simply cruel, I think,  to  keep rabbits in a hutch all the time- Rabbits need to run, jump, stretch up, dig and forage –so if you have a stretch of lawn you can make a run giving your bunnies plenty of space to exercise while keeping them safe. (You should never feed grass cuttings to rabbits- it will make them ill- let them graze and nibble at live grass leaves)

I have made runs in the past , making a framework from rough-sawn roofing laths ( 2” x 1”) timber lengths then attached chicken wire to the frame using galvanised small staples.  But recently had a great idea to make one far more easily and quickly.  You can actually buy runs made from rigid steel mesh that simply clip together to create a big wire box but suppliers tend to charge a lot for this option but I found some easily sourced materials locally and bought it second hand for a mere £10.

PLEASE CLICK ON ANY IMAGE FOR A LARGER VIEW

Heras rigid wire mesh Temporary consturction site Security Fencing

Heras rigid wire mesh Temporary consturction site Security Fencing

My idea came from this material- the “Heras” temporary fencing panels used by builders to help secure construction sites. A rigid galvanised mesh is welded to a light alloy tubing framework – the panels are roughly £20 each to buy new but you can get them second hand as I was able to locally. When the wire mesh is separated from the tubular frame it is rigid enough to stand upright.

Now you could separate the mesh using a hack saw but that is hard  relatively slow work! I used a small angle grinder with a metal cutting wheel and that cut through both the tubing and the mesh like cheese.

small angle grinder with metal cutting disk

small angle grinder with metal cutting disk

Having separated the mesh from the frame with the angle grinder I was left with a length of mesh roughly ten feet by six feet. This I was able to cut down to two ten foot lengths twenty one inches high ( two meshes high) tall enough to prevent a bunny jumping over it. You could of course cut down these into five foot lengths to make a square sided enclosure held together by cable ties.

Angle grinder makes light work of cutting wire mesh and leaving no sharp edges.

Angle grinder makes light work of cutting wire mesh and leaving no sharp edges.

I opted for a circular run as I quite liked the organic shape. I have not yet made a mesh roof for my run since , when the rabbits are in their run I’ll be out in the garden pottering as usual. (I may use fruit netting over my structure to keep out predatory cats and the occasional sparrow hawk.) As a keen gardener and having grown my lawn from seed, I prefer the wire mesh over a wooden framed run since the latter will damage and mark the lawn whereas the wire mesh has minimum contact with the ground and won’t cause unsightly yellowed grass strips.

Easy to cut through the galvanised tube frame work and to separate the mesh.

Easy to cut through the galvanised tube frame work and to separate the mesh.

I was left with a handful of short straight lengths of rigid wire and a simple job to bend the ends over in your hand to make a few pegs to secure the structure to the ground.

rigid wire lengths worth keeping for other small jobs and making pegs

rigid wire lengths worth keeping for other small jobs and making pegs

simple to make by bending wire lenghts to shape by hand to keep the run sections in place on the lawn.

simple to make by bending wire lengths to shape by hand to keep the run sections in place on the lawn.

 

 

wire mesh sections ready for forming the run - held together with cable ties.

wire mesh sections ready for forming the run – held together with cable ties.

 

finished rabbit run in place aximumising play and exercise space for the rabbits.

finished rabbit run in place maximising play and exercise space for the rabbits.

 

 

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