Drill Bit Case
Commercial cases hold a pre-decided set of bits. These are a good starting point for storing & carrying drill bits, but the bits in the cases are too often not the ones you'll want, and such cases have no expansion room, and no ability to change their internal storage arrangements.
Time to make something better.
Make a Drill Bit Case
A homemade case will store whatever selection of bits you choose.
The case can be made from a pair of 3mm hardboard or 4mm ply covers, each on a 1" hinged wooden frame, arranged like a book, with a 3rd central sheet. Into each frame is fitted 1" cross pieces, which are screwed in place and not glued. To store drill bits in these cross pieces, one simply drills the bit into the wood, making exactly the right sized hole. Strips of foam improve the grip. Any set of any types of bit may be carried this way. A latch completes the case.
If it is wanted to change the pattern of holes later, new holes can be drilled, and the screwed in 1" cross pieces are easily replaced.
A case made from 3 sheets & 2 frames can hold a lot more than a 2 frame book style case. This has 2 sets of hinges instead of one, and the centre leaf is either a single frame, or 2x 1" frames and a sheet of hardboard between them, or a sheet on its own all. When using the sheet on its own, the frame depth of the outer frames should be doubled.
Plastic drill bit selection cases can be screwed in place, and some snap-shut pill tray compartments can be fixed in the case to hold small irregular shaped items such as fixings removed temporarily. A lightweight magnet such as a hard drive head actuator magnet is also good for holding pingdammits.
Large heavy bits can be stored separately. This makes the case light & easy to carry when the big boys aren't needed.
If you're going to use a case for large bits, the case design needs beefing up. Rubber feet reduces the risk of case damage when dropped.
Imperial & metric
Taditionally imperial and metric are placed separately, and this suits most people. Some prefer to have both systems stored mixed together, in order of size. With this approach, life is easier if the imperial bit positions are marked with their mm size as well as imperial sizes.
There are 2 main advantages to this layout:
- your metric set has suddenly acquired lots of additional intermediate sizes, and all these sizes are visible at a glance
- some imperial sizes match metric well, and the clear visibility of these sizes means many times its not necessary to look for the metric bit you've already got out, you can use a matching imperial bit.
Using imperial bits for metric use is discussed in more detail in the article Size conversion.
============================================= <--- 3-4mm sheet | | | | <--- timber frame |o__________________________________________| | | | | <--- timber frame | | ============================================= <--- 3-4mm sheet | | | | <--- timber frame |o__________________________________________| | | | | <--- timber frame | | ============================================= <--- 3-4mm sheet 4 frame 3 sheet drill bit case. 'o' are the hinge positions