Tricks for laying out router-bit storage

1412_RouterCab_1923Shop-made jig makes layout simple

by Glen D. Huey

The router-bit shelves in my cabinet featured in the December issue have holes drilled for both 1⁄4″- and 1⁄2″-shank bits. I mixed up the layout so each shelf holds both sizes. A simple L-shaped jig and filler pieces cut to 1″ in width make the task easy; it has to be because there are 27 holes in each shelf.

Make the L-shaped jig from scrap plywood. Position the point of a 1⁄2″-diameter Forstner bit at the middle of the shelf approximately 1″ from the edge. Place four spacers next to the end of the shelf, then fit the jig against the first spacer and the shelf. Clamp the jig secure.

Remove the spacers, slide the shelf tight to the jig to drill the first hole, closest to the right end of the shelf. Slip two spacers (2″) between the jig and shelf to drill the second hole. Complete the five 1⁄2″-diameter holes repeating these steps, then drill the holes in the remaining four shelves.

To drill the 1⁄4″-diameter holes between the 1⁄2″ holes while keeping the spacing at 1″, switch drill bits and begin the process with a single spacer set between the jig and the shelf. As before, add two spacers with each hole as you work across the shelf. Complete the five shelves.

I used the same process to drill only 1⁄4″-diameter holes along the front edge of the shelves, then realigned the jig to drill the center row of alternating diameters. If you pay attention as you work, it’s an easy task to complete.

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About Glen Huey

Glen D. Huey is a contributing editor to Popular Woodworking, and author of the books “Fine Furniture for a Lifetime,” “Building Fine Furniture,” “Illustrated Guide to Building Period Furniture” and "Building 18th-century American Furniture," plus he's recorded a number of instructional DVDs. Read his blog and see more of his work at woodworkersedge.com.