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  • Large Drill Bit Storage. Ideas?

    Hello Everyone,

    I have a growing inventory of large drill bits, over 1" up to 2".

    For larger sizes from 1/2 to 1" I have Huot drill indexes to cover those sizes. I looked at the Huot website and don't even see any indexes over 1/2".

    Now I am looking for ideas on how to store larger bits. I am thinking a large board, maybe 3 or 4" thick, with a bunch of holes drilled into it for them.

    Any ideas out there? It seems like I had seen a thread a couple of years ago about this subject but a search turned up nothing.

    Thanks,
    Brian
    OPEN EYES, OPEN EARS, OPEN MIND

    THINK HARDER

    BETTER TO HAVE TOOLS YOU DON'T NEED THAN TO NEED TOOLS YOU DON'T HAVE

    MY NAME IS BRIAN AND I AM A TOOLOHOLIC

  • #2
    Of course, there's lots of ways, but I have a couple that work for me. These are not particularly for large bits, but could be. The first that I'll mention is a wall-mounted cabinet which is fairly shallow (about 4 inches deep in total) and has storage in the doors as well as behind the doors. The doors both open 180 degrees, so it's effectively a 4 ft wide and 2 inch deep open cabinet at that point. Inside it's basically built like a drill bit index, but custom made to handle two full sets of spade bits, two full sets of typical drill bits, all my taps and dies including the handles, the set of carbide drill bits, the dremel type cutters, reamers, plus many of the orphan bits and custom bits I've made.

    In practice, I have this mounted between the two drill presses, so the doors don't open all the way. No matter- I can access everything anyway, plus I can close it to keep swarf out.

    The second storage method I have is not as neat- the surface of a workbench has been taken over by drill bits, special cutters, and other tooling. A quick look and I can find pretty much the bit I'm looking for, provided I've used it recently. That's the benefit I get from having several bits laying out in the open- usually the one I need is laying right there, and I don't need to measure it for size since I know what it is. This of course breaks down when there are a dozen or more laying there- then it's time to clean up and put them away, except for the few that get used all the time.
    I seldom do anything within the scope of logical reason and calculated cost/benefit, etc- I'm following my passion-

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    • #3
      Back when I was in and around the printing industry, we would have certain long, skinny press parts to be stored between uses. The pressmen would get thin paperboard, about what you find in shirts and backing photographs, roll them in to a tube and tape them up. If that wasn't available they would use two sheets of business card stock to make the tube. The "wands" were then stored on a shelf in an out-of-the-way corner.

      Pops

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      • #4
        I had posted my method of storing reamers some time ago and drills, even big ones, can be stored in the same way as reamers. The large ones are stored in PVC pipe with end caps, one glued on and the other loose. PVC comes in a variety of diameters so you can match the size of the drills fairly closely. Thin wall PVC is just fine for this. It is easy to label the white PVC with a Sharpie pen or use paste on labels as I did.



        Just look at the PVC tubes, not the soda straws which I used for smaller reamers. And a drawer would be much better for your large drills than the cardboard bin shown in the photo.
        Last edited by Paul Alciatore; 10-15-2012, 11:30 PM.
        Paul A.

        Make it fit.
        You can't win and there is a penalty for trying!

        Comment


        • #5
          I am thinking a large board, maybe 3 or 4" thick, with a bunch of holes drilled into it for them.
          I would be inclined to not make it solid but rather maybe 1/2" ply top and bottom with appropriate wood spacers around the perimeter to get it to desired overall thickness.

          Comment


          • #6
            Paul,
            very, very neat. And tidy. And a small space taken up. Like it a lot, may have to copy your idea.
            Mike.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by darryl View Post
              A quick look and I can find pretty much the bit I'm looking for, provided I've used it recently. That's the benefit I get from having several bits laying out in the open- usually the one I need is laying right there, and I don't need to measure it for size since I know what it is.
              May I suggest putting the size of the drill on the leaf portion of the drills Morse taper on both sides, that way you always can see the size just by looking at the tang ends
              Amount of experience is in direct proportion to the value of broken equipment.

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              • #8
                Doesn't PVC "outgas" something that can rust steel pretty bad over time?
                If not, then ignore.
                If so, there are other readily available plumbing materials that might be more inert.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Horizontal storage allows the drills to clang together unless the storage is compartmentized. Only one way that preserves the sensitive margin edges is to store them vertically in rows or arrays in blocks. Taper reamers last forever in maple and large blocks of maple can be found in any local woodshed. Drill hole and taper ream them. Or step drill.

                  I've made a zillion drill blocks over the years. Make a block thick enough to socket the drill, drill a hole the size of the small end of the taper and ream. The block doesn't have to be solid. Two boards separated by spacers drilled taper reamed, step drilled, plastic pipe, etc.

                  Wall cabinet storage as Darryl mentions makes the most sense to me for stationay shop use. Mount the blocks as shelves. Portable? I've rolled drills in oiled bath towels from the thrift store.
                  Last edited by Forrest Addy; 10-16-2012, 03:02 AM.

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                  • #10
                    Regards PVC rusting the shanks- yes it does. That's what I used for my 'hole blocks', and some of the shanks rusted. It seems to have settled down- maybe it just needed a few weeks to outgas from the freshly drilled holes, I don't know. The ones that rusted the worst were the cheapie spade bits. Doesn't seem like it was a problem for HSS.
                    I seldom do anything within the scope of logical reason and calculated cost/benefit, etc- I'm following my passion-

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                    • #11
                      Send them to me!!!! I already look after up to 3/4. I PROMISE to send back ALL when you tell me to.!!! Wasyne. sorry, my russian name, Wayne.

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                      • #12
                        This is my solution for 1/2" + to 1". Could be modified to suit larger bits if they have straight shanks as these do.......

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Hi Guys,

                          Thanks for all of the suggestions. I think the idea of making a drill index out of plywood instead of a solid block of wood is what I am leaning toward.

                          When I get it done I will post pics.

                          Brian
                          OPEN EYES, OPEN EARS, OPEN MIND

                          THINK HARDER

                          BETTER TO HAVE TOOLS YOU DON'T NEED THAN TO NEED TOOLS YOU DON'T HAVE

                          MY NAME IS BRIAN AND I AM A TOOLOHOLIC

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Nice thing of using Forrest's idea of using "drill block" on larger drills is that there is room to put the decimal size along with the fraction size.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by darryl View Post
                              Regards PVC rusting the shanks- yes it does. That's what I used for my 'hole blocks', and some of the shanks rusted. It seems to have settled down- maybe it just needed a few weeks to outgas from the freshly drilled holes, I don't know. The ones that rusted the worst were the cheapie spade bits. Doesn't seem like it was a problem for HSS.
                              I've had concerns about using wood for storage. Seems to me that it would absorb all the oil from the tool and that would lead to rust. But. I don't know.

                              Anyway, I have not noticed any rust on any of the reamers that I have stored that way. And they definitely do not bang against each other so the edges are well protected.

                              I guess you could use copper pipe.
                              Paul A.

                              Make it fit.
                              You can't win and there is a penalty for trying!

                              Comment

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