Like most longtime woodworkers, I’ve accumulated a large and diverse collection of bits, sanding drums, rotary rasps, and other odds and ends. I’m most likely to use these at the drill press, so that’s where they’re stored. I want them organized by type and close at hand. I also want them to fit in the least possible amount of wall space. But since I also use these bits elsewhere—at the bench, at the lathe, or outside of the shop—I want to be able to take the whole set of whatever I’m using with me.

My system is to store each set of bits in a wooden block that has a hole bored at one end to fit the pin of a gate-post screw hook—the piece of hardware that serves as a pivot for a gate hinge. These sell for $1 apiece at your local farm or hardware store. I have a row of blocks mounted this way running up the wall by the drill press, so I can swing out a block to grab the bit I want, then swing it back to nest between the blocks above and below. If I want to use spade bits at the lathe or brad-points at the bench, I slip the block off the pivot and take it along.

Drawing by Jim Richey.

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October 21, 2011