Drill Bit Holder

Length of Project:
Project theme:
Suitable for grades:
Tools & Materials
Material List
  • wood, 4" x 1" x 20" - 3 pieces
  • 13 x 3" wood screws
Tool list
  • Assorted drill bits from ¼" to ½" (or whichever ones you need a holder for)
  • Drill bit for through holes (diameter of outer threads of wood screws)
  • Drill bit for pilot holes (diameter of inner shaft of wood screws)
  • Vernier calipers
  • Masking tape
  • Drill press and/or handheld drill
  • Mitre saw
  • table saw
  • round rasp (<1/2")
  • hand plane
  • pencil
  • pen
  • Calculator (or scrap paper, if you want to convert the fractions by hand)
  1. Choose your three pieces of wood, use the mitre saw and table saw to make them each 1” x 4” x 20”. These pieces will make a holder big enough for about 60 or so bits (ie, 2 bits of each size between 1/16” to ½"). If you have a different number of bits to store, make a to-scale sketch plan to make sure you will have about 1” clearance round each hole so you can get your fingers in to grab the bits out.
  2. One of the wood pieces will be the drill bit holder in which you will drill all the holes, one piece will be the back piece that you will screw to the wall, and the third piece will be the bottom (to support the drill bits). By drilling the bit-holding holes all the way through and using a bottom piece to support them (instead of simply drilling half-holes to store the bits) you will have holes that will not get clogged with sawdust.
  3. Using the Vernier calipers, determine the sizes of all your bits in 64ths of an inch. Write each bit’s diameter fraction measurement on a piece of masking tape, and tape the bit to your workbench. Keep in mind that the shaft of some drill bits might be smaller than the hole they drill, so measure the widest part of the bit tip for the most accurate diameter reading.
  4. On your tape labels, reduce all your fractions as far as you can, to 32nds, 16ths, 8ths, 4ths, and 1/2s.
  5. For a rack to store bits between ¼” and ½”, you will have space for all the bits in 1/64th increments. Plan your holes, and space them with at least 1” clearance left-to-right so you can get your fingers in and pick out the bits. Leave at least 1" of space at the back of the rack and 1/2" at the front.
  6. At this point, it helps if you label each planned hole with a pencil to know which hole is for which sized bit. Drill the holes one size larger than the bit they are meant for (ie, drill the 3/16” hole (12/64”) with the 13/64” drill bit, etc). Drill the ½" holes with the ½" drill bit if you don’t have the next 64th size up, then enlarge the holes with the round rasp until the ½" drill bits fit.
  7. Clean up any tearing around the tip of the holes with a gouge, and flatten inconsistencies with the top of the board with a hand plane. Use a pen to neatly label the holes so you can easily know which bit lives where.
  8. Mark out the holes to drill in the backing board. Mark 3 through-holes along the top to attach to the wall (hole diameter the same as the outer edge of the screw threads). Mark 5 pilot holes to attach the bottom board (use a bit with the hole diameter of the inner shaft of the wood screw). You want the bottom board to sit square to the bottom of the backing board. Mark the holes ½" up, so that they will drill into the centre of the 1” edge of the bottom board (see photos).
  9. Leaving a space of about ½" to ¾" between the bottom board and the bit-holding board, mark 5 pilot holes to attach the centre of the ½" edge of the bit board (hole diameter of the inner shaft of the wood screw). Check on the front to make sure that the holes planned for the bit board will not intersect with any of the bit holes.
  10. Drill the 3 through-holes. Clamp the bottom board in place and drill the 5 pilot holes, then screw the wood screws in to secure. Repeat for the bit board.
  11. Attach your bit holder to the wall near your drill press, put all your bits in the correct holes, and enjoy!
Extension Challenges
  1. Customize your bit holder with paint or carving details.
  2. Make separate bit racks for different types of bits, such as extra long bits, brad point bits, Forstner bits, etc.
  3. Make a rack for screw drivers, rasps, hammers, etc.
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