- So a couple days ago
I was rearranging some things in the shop,
and I noticed that my drill bit storage is lacking.
They basically sit in small pullout drawers,
banging up against each other, and that can damage them,
and it also makes it very difficult
to find what I'm looking for when I need
a very specific bit.
So, to get organized, I put a couple of days
into a very simple cabinet project.
And this is my drill bit storage cabinet,
The Wood Whisperer is sponsored by
Powermatic and Titebond.
Although my focus is drill bits,
you could store router bits in here or other things
and you can make this as big or as small as you want.
The idea is, you just have multiple shelves in here,
and you probably want to pre-measure your bits
and make sure that your spacing works properly.
But all you need is a simple block of material
you could drill for all of the bits that go in each block.
And now when you need a specific bit,
you could either pull it out of the block
or take the whole block to the workbench.
I basically made the entire thing
out of scrap stock that's been sitting around the shop.
It looks like it's birch and cherry.
It's nice to have cherry scraps,
but going into a small project like this
is a great use for them.
Let's get to it.
The main cabinet parts will come from half-inch plywood.
The two shelves are a little more narrow
to account for the back panel.
Now I can crosscut all the parts to length.
The cabinet will be hung with a French cleat,
so the back panel needs to be inset
by the thickness of the half-inch plywood.
So to locate the back panel groove,
I use the plywood itself.
Using the same scrap,
I can make a test cut and confirm the settings.
Now I cut a groove in all four case parts.
I move the fence and use my test piece again
to get the perfect fit for the quarter-inch plywood.
Once set, I can run the four case pieces.
The case sides need some dados and rabbets.
To set the dado stack,
I use those incredibly accurate measuring devices
known as fingers.
I can usually nail this on a first shot.
The test piece shows that it's a nice, snug fit.
Now I can set up my crosscut sled for the dado cuts.
A stop block makes sure that both sides are the same.
Now, for the rabbets, I just set my workpiece
flush with the outside of the blade and make the cuts.
With the parts dry assembled,
I can measure and cut the back panel.
Time for the glue.
The glue I'm using here is Titebond original.
Now, I use this stuff on just about
all of my interior projects,
and for this drill bit cabinet, it's perfect.
It's really strong, gives me plenty of working time,
and when you don't use mechanical fasteners,
you really depend on your joinery
and the glue to hold everything together.
So this stuff will do the trick.
Yeah, so I like to use a lot of clamps.
To dress up the plywood edges,
I'll use some cherry stock.
You want at least some overhang
on either side of the plywood shelves.
Now I could rip off quarter-inch strips.
You can smooth these at the planer
or the drum sander if you have one.
Alternatively, you can cut these at the table saw,
which should give you a glue-ready surface.
The first strip is glued to one of the sides,
making it flush with the outside face.
The inside will have an overhang
which will help keep those drill blocks from falling out.
It's a good idea to scrape the glue away
before it dries completely.
Now I can add the other side
and then move on to the top, bottom, and shelves.
For the shelves, I centered the trim,
leaving an overhang above and below.
Since I can't get a clamp in there,
I'm relying on a friction fit,
and the tendency of the glue to hold the workpiece in place.
If you're in a hurry, don't hesitate to use some brad nails.
Once the glue is dry, I cut the overhangs flush
and use a scraper to flush everything else.
Now for the door.
It's really just a simple mitered frame
with a plexiglass panel.
I get the frame stock from some thicker boards,
jointing and planing them
to about five-eighths of an inch thick
and one-and-a-half inches wide.
The groove for the plexiglass is cut in the center.
The saw curve is just a little bit too wide
for the plexiglass panel,
so it's gonna be just a bit loose.
Each piece gets a 45-degree miter.
By the way, if you're interested in making
some picture frames and learning more about miter joints,
check out the new free tier of The Wood Whisperer Guild,
where we show you how to make several cool frame designs,
all for free.
With the parts clamped up with a band clamp,
I measure for the plexiglass panel.
I use a little knife specially made for plexiglass
to make several passes.
This happens to be the most annoying sound in the world.
Want to hear it again?
And just for good measure.
Now I can add glue to all of my joints
and drop the panel into the groove.
From there, the band clamp does all the work.
Because miter joints are fairly weak,
I'll reinforce them with splines.
There's some pretty simple jigs you can make for this,
but I'm using my old Powermatic Tenoning Jig.
With a backstop at 45 degrees,
I center the blade and make the cut.
It's still a good inch away from the plexiglass,
so no worries there.
The splines will be cut at the band saw
and smoothed at the drum sander.
You could also smooth them with a hand plane
or a sanding block.
Just make sure that the fit isn't too tight
or the splines will seize up when you add glue.
With glue inside the slot as well as on the spline,
we could push the spline home.
Use the band clamp again
to make sure that it's fully seated.
To clean up the overhang,
I use a block plane and some sanding.
For the bit blocks,
you'll have to measure and lay them out to your liking.
I find, for regular bits,
three-quarter-inch spacing works well.
In some cases, the shanks are different sizes,
so it's kind of a pain in the butt.
Just make sure that the holes aren't too tight,
as wood movement could lock the bits in place.
I have two sets of these hex shank bits,
so this block will have two rows.
Really, you can configure them however you want.
To attach the door, I'll use piano hinges.
They're strong and super easy to install.
Each hinge is about 12 inches,
so I'll need to cut one down.
The hinge is installed with the barrel centered
on the space between the door and the case.
I use a self-centering bit to drill
the first two pilot holes and then attach the screws.
Note that the screws will punch
right through the plywood sides,
so snip off the ends first.
Now I can make sure the hinge is in line
and then do the rest of the holes.
The second hinge is done the same way.
To help keep the door closed,
I'll install magnets at the top and the bottom.
I carefully lay them out and use an awl to mark the center.
Now I'll use a three-eighths Forstner bit
to create a hole that leaves the magnet perfectly flush.
I like to scuff up the glue side of the magnet
in hopes that it will provide a better bond with the glue.
I don't know if that actually works,
but it sounds like a good idea.
Some five-minute epoxy should do the trick.
I like to press the magnet into place with a paper towel.
As you force out the air, epoxy will come with it,
so a towel minimizes the spread.
Be sure to give the glue plenty of time to cure
before shutting the door.
Don't ask me how I figured that out.
The French cleats in the back can be any width,
two to three inches will do.
The table saw is set for a 45-degree bevel cut,
and both pieces get a bevel on one edge.
One of the cleats is glued to the back of the case,
with the bevel down and facing in.
The other one will be attached to the wall.
Now let's add an overly sophisticated nob.
For the finish, I'm using a couple coats of Osmo Polyx.
This finish is new to me, but it's very low VOC,
and it's a hard wax oil.
Simply scrub it into the surface
with a white Scotch-Brite pad.
After it soaks in for a bit,
use a fresh pad to buff it further into the surface.
I'm only doing one coat,
even though you'd normally apply two to three,
but, you know, hey, it's just shop furniture.
To hang the cabinet, measure from the top of the cabinet
to the bottom of the wall cleat.
That should help you line up the cleat
in the perfect position on the wall.
I pre-drill and countersink for screws.
Only one screw is gonna grab a stud.
The other one is driven into a wall anchor.
And now we can drop the cabinet in place.
Well, not too bad for two days worth of work.
And the best part is it used scraps
that have been sitting around for a long time.
I didn't have to buy any material other than the hardware
for this project, it all came from the shop.
So I saved some stuff from going into the smoker,
got some great storage for my drill bits,
and now I'm thinking I want to build one of these
for my router bits.
I love the fact that I can close the door
and it keeps the dust out of there.
Not usually too worried about that because,
you know, it's a tool.
If it gets a little dust on it, so what?
But if I can keep the stuff dust-free and protect it, great.
The magnets work really well, hardware looks good.
I think this is a great weekend project.
Thanks for watching, everybody.