Custom industrial plywood drill bit holders
A few years ago I built some industrial plywood drill bit holders for a local company dealing, among the other things, with the sharpening of different types of drill bits. The stands had to meet certain conditions:
- the design had to be made so they would be easy to be handled
- they had to be painted in two different colors: red (to be used for the blunt drills) and green (to be used for the sharped ones)
- they had to be built out of plywood to be durable over time
After all these years the company asked us to make a few more stands. I took the opportunity to make this tutorial with the idea that it would be useful to someone.
1. I started by buying, from a local store, some 18 mm thick plywood boards, with a width of 61 cm and a length of 122 cm. We chose these sizes to be easy for us to carry them from the store to our workshop in a small car.
2. I measured the distance from one long edge of a board and marked two points. I wanted to obtain strips of plywood with a width of 20 cm. The distance measured was equal to 20 cm plus the distance between the blade of the circular saw and the edge of the soleplate. Then I used another board as a guide to cut straight the measured board with the circular saw.
3. I glued the strips, two by two, to get 36 mm thick strips. I was very careful to align them very well on a short and a long edge, to be sure that I will get in the end the maximum number of 20 cm square pieces. The boards were long enough to be able to get 6 pieces, also taking into account the thickness of the circular blade.
4. I kept two strips to cut small pieces for the legs of the stands, which had to be glued to the back of the holders. I used the sliding circular saw to cut them quickly at 18 mm.
5. As I needed to drill repetitive holes arranged at equal distances from each other, I made two templates out of plastic placemats. For the 16 mm, 18 mm, and 20 mm diameter holes I had to drill 6 rows of 6 holes in each drill bit holder. For the ones with 25 mm diameter holes, I had to drill 5 rows of 5 holes in each holder.
To make the template:
- I cut the plastic placemat at 20 cm by 20 cm
- I drew horizontal and vertical lines at the same distance from each other
- I pricked the plastic placemat with a thick needle at the points where the lines crossed
6. I put the template over the square piece and I used a mechanical pencil to mark the points on the holder.
6. After that, I used a center punch and a hammer to make small holes into the marked points. That helped me to drill the holes without turning off the bench drill press to fit the drill bit for the next hole.
7. The next step was to drill all the holes needed for the project.
8. After that, I started to glue the narrow strips tightening them with C clamps. The importance of the strips is that they help the user to handle the holders easily.
9. When the glue dried, I sanded all the surfaces with 80 grit sandpaper. I filled the holes of the plywood with wood putty and then I sanded them again with 120 grit sandpaper. I also sanded the sharp edges.
10. Before painting the holders, I applied a layer of water-based primer and sanded the surfaces with 320 grit sandpaper.
11. The final step was to apply a layer of red on half of the holders and a layer of green paint on the other half, first on the back and on the edges and then on the front and again on the edges.
Now they are ready to be used for a long long time!