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End Mill Storage.

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  • End Mill Storage.

    As I'm getting closer to finishing my addition I need away to store all my end mills.

    I can't afford one of those high dollar box's, So I'd like to see how you guys keep your's.

    I have them in box's draws and what ever I can find, Theres got to be a cheaper and better way to keep them..

  • #2
    At Home, I Use Those Trays That Hold Your Silverware In Your Kitchen Drawer, Or Something Close To Those Sizes, And Fill One Of My Rollawaydrawerswith Them.


    • #3
      I use one of those "high dollar boxes". I've got a tall Lista clone (NuEra) with something like 22 shelves, cost $500, and that one hurt the pocket a bit, but I've come to think of it as one of my best purchases, used far more frequently and to better advantage than my $500 750 lb giant (US) drill press. It's all relative, but I consider storage an important investment to keep my shop somewhat functional inspite of the deluge of new additions. I've also got another "high dollar box" that is shorter, about chest high, with only about 10 shelves. That one looked awful and was covered with decades of dried coolant splash (including inside some drawers). A few hours with diluted Purple Zep and some oil in the rollers made it look almost like new except for the badly skinned up top I painted with HammerRite, well worth the billfold busting $50 I paid. So it doesn't have to hurt too terribly bad, you just have to keep looking.

      Other than that, look at the compartmentalized removable shelf/box systems. The basic housing and a few box/shelf inserts (with dividers) is available new for well under $100 and will keep them organized, though not separated. Some cardboard tubes would complete the package.

      Or if the numbers are less, do like another member did for his taps. Get some nice solid boards, preferably hardwood, and route out appropriate sized slots for each. A few boards holding 20-30 or more each should work, and stack neatly on top of each other. Keep extras and backups in their tubes piled in a box somewhere.
      Master Floor Sweeper


      • #4
        Some blocks or plates of well oiled hardwood can allow the imagination to run wild. Long slabs, square plates, stepped configurations, stackable trays, you imagine it, and you can probably build it with a mill. A set of ball mills or router bits if you have them would make nice channels if you wish to lay the bits horizontally, for the vertical, you just cut the hole with the end mill you wish to store in it (or an end mill matching the shank size).

        Watch out for the mass of what you are storing together. It all gets heavier with time, and you'll be amazed how much trouble a little accumulated weight can get you in over a few years time. My grandfather had this little trunk (~15"x15"x30") that was on casters, and it took 3 of us to move it up a ramp into a truck. Turns out it was full of drill bits, taps, and dies that had been collected over the years. To this day, I'm not quite sure that beat up little wooden box weighed any less than a small surface grinder.


        • #5
          I like Those 60 drawer little boxes that Home depot, Menard's, and the like sell.

          I have found the ones with the opaque plastic are more durable than the hard clear plastic ones. Any way that is what I use,Happily.


          • #6
            I use 3 tool box 'mid chests' for all of my stuff
            2 were $59.99 ea and the other was a used one I traded for



            • #7
              Here's an idea I never did anything with, but offer as a possibility.

              Get some 3/4" dia. PVC pipe. Cut it into lengths maybe 4" long, or long enough to hold your end mills. Cut each 4" section in half lengthwise, to produce two half-round trays. Buy a piece of about 1/8" thick PVC flat stock, cut out a convenient-size rectangle, line up the half-round trays on it, and glue them in place with PVC cement. You'd probably also want to glue a narrow strip across the ends, to close the ends of the trays.

              In the meantime, I keep my end mills in the tubes they come in, in a drawer, which tends not to be very convenient when I'm hunting for a particular size.
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              • #8
                I use 2"x12" board 12" to 14" long and drill holes of several sizes that don't go through to hold them standing up so I can see which one I want. I store the rest in boxes as spares. I keep them on a shelf but don't be tempted to make the board to long as it will get real heavy loaded with endmills.
                Last edited by Carld; 01-08-2008, 06:21 PM.
                It's only ink and paper


                • #9
                  I keep my smaller end mills in one of the Huot trays. I think it ran about 35 bucks a few years ago. It lives in a drawer in the mill bench. For the few larger ones I own, I took a couple chunks of scrap 2x6, drilled holes to fit the shanks, and put a couple coats of stain on them. Those live on a shelf on the mill bench. Unused mills live in their tubes in my 'spare cutter' drawer.

                  You do need to be careful with vertical end mill storage, however. It's really easy to brush a knuckle across the exposed ends, and if that doesn't cut you it's way past time to replace that end mill!



                  • #10
                    Thanks guys lots of good ideas, I'l check out Home depot next time I go to pensacola.

                    I like all the stuff posted here....


                    • #11
                      I like to store mine all in a heap at the bottom of a tin can. Then i randomly walk over and shake them up for good measure.

                      No seriously, i just got a few more endmills and with my dinky feather-weight machine and a morse taper spindle i don't use big end mills so most of mine stay in the plastic boxes they came in. I put them in a drawer on my chest but i did get a set of 2 and 4 flute endmills for christmas. Most sizes i won't be able to use until i get a larger machine (the set goes to 3/4") and i keep them in a wooden box. I'm kind of "old school" and like seeing cutting tools in nicely finished wood boxes or trays. Just my aesthetic opinion

                      Sometimes Menards has ball bearing tool chests on sale. I got a really nice 4 or 5 drawer unit for 40 dollars. It was as nice as the ball bearing chests that Sears offers, no sh*t! It is used to store all of my drill bits. One drawer is for HSS TiN, one for HSS black oxide, one for Co steel and the deep drawer holds my indexes.


                      • #12
                        While attending the local gun shows, I discovered plastic cartridge case boxes. For those not in the know, these are smallish compartmented boxes that are suitable for storing small end mills, drills etc. They are made from a tupperware like material and they have one lid that encloses all contents. They run about 1-2 bucks apiece, and they can store up to about 40 0r 50 end mills depending upon the size. Not suitable for larger stuff.
                        There is no shortage of experts, the trick is knowing which one to listen to!


                        • #13
                          Ed has the secret...... I use them also.

                          Harbor Fright used to carry some flip-top made-in -USA cartridge boxes in various calibers that would hold a rifle cartridge. Great for end mills. Also good for assorted HSS lathe bits.

                          The two-piece pistol cartridge boxes are not as good, IMO, but they work.

                          The boxes hold up to 1/2" end mills.
                          CNC machines only go through the motions.

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                          • #14
                            Variation on Idea

                            Originally posted by Carld
                            I use 2"x12" board 12" to 14" long and drill holes of several sizes that don't go through to hold them standing up so I can see which one I want. I store the rest in boxes as spares. I keep them on a shelf but don't be tempted to make the board to long as it will get real heavy loaded with endmills.

                            I use a variation of this idea. I have several boards with mills in them. One board for 1/4" and less dia., another for 17/64" to 1/2" and the last one for 33/64" and up. I store the single endmills with the sharp ends into the wood as I have slit enough fingers while reaching for them. On the double ended mills, I keep one end of the proective shipping cover over it to protect from cuts. The boards store the mills that are ready for use. Only one size or type is in the board. The spares are kept in drawer and used to replace the worn, broken mills in the boards. The boards were made from some several scrap 1/2" plywood from a dumpster at a construction site. I glued two and three pieces together to make the boards 1" and 1 1/2" thick. (The 1" for the smaller mills.) Take care not to make them too big and heavy as dropping a tray of end mills on the floor is not a good thing to do!


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                            • #15
                              My solution:

                              This is actually a bunch of reamers, but I have a similar, but smaller box for milling cutters. It has shorter lengths of PVC pipe.
                              Paul A.
                              SE Texas

                              And if you look REAL close at an analog signal,
                              You will find that it has discrete steps.