Wicked Fast Router & Dremel Bit Organizer Trays Using Dadoes Instead of Holes

I’m super stinking excited about this one.

After several iterations of drilling holes in wood, I began looking for a solution that would:

  • Be faster to make
  • Have a much higher density

After several bad ideas over the course of several months, I had an epiphany: Intersecting dadoes are perfect for keeping cylinders upright.

The idea: Find the perfect dado width. It would need to be just smaller than the shank diameter, yet large enough that the intersection of 2 dadoes would accommodate the shank. A shank can then fit in the intersection, but not the dadoes that make up that intersection.

The Benefits:

  • Speed
  • Density
  • Organizational bliss

The Speed: Wayyyyy faster than I anticipated. In ~25 minutes, I was able to:

  • Drill 63 holes for the 1/2″ shank tray
  • Drill 216 holes for the 1/4″ shank tray
  • Drill 384 holes for the 1/8″ shank tray
  • Change blade setups between trays
  • Sand off the tearout in the grooves of each board

In this case, drill = cut a dado, and holes = intersections.

I’ll Make It Easy For You

I’ll give you:

  • All specific dimensions for making organizer trays for 1/2″, 1/4″, and 1/8″ shank organizer trays.
  • Ideas of how to achieve those dimensions using various blade setups.

Note: This is not a prototype. I do many prototypes, but the prototypes for this project were made over a year ago. What I’m showing you here is the tweaked, final project after a year of using the prototypes.

See the video!

This project presented a few opportunities for various fun tests. The video contains those tests as well as a walk-through of making these organizer trays.

Note: I used Baltic Birch, but recommend you just use a 2×6 to avoid the glue-up.

Gather Parts & Tools


  1. Part of a 2×6

Yeah that’s all. I went fancier in the video, but a chunk of 2×4 or 2×6 is a great place to start (and end for that matter). It’s the perfect thickness and you can avoid having to glue up layers.


Then of course, a table saw + crosscut sled!

Prepare & Cut

Here are my findings after several prototypes.

Set Up Your Crosscut Sled

Measuring tape tape is extremely valuable for cuts like this. I don’t care to zero the tape to the blade, but rather, just stick it on and use it as an incremental guide.

When I say “spacing” I really mean “intervals”

I realize “spacing” may refer to the distance between two dadoes. But, I’m referring to the cut increments. So, if the spacing/increment is 1″, you’d make cuts at something like 2″, 3″, 4″, 5″, 6″, etc. (Therefore, the distance between the dadoes will be less.)

Tray for 1/8″ Shanks

  • Use a standard thin kerf 3/32″ saw blade. Easy, right?
  • Spacing: 1/2″ or 1 cm. (I did 1 cm on accident and it worked well)
  • Depth of dado: 0.5″

Tray for 1/4″ Shanks

  • Use the same standard thin kerf 3/32″ saw blade.
  • Plus, make an extra cut at +1/16″.
  • Spacing: 1/2″
  • Depth of dado: 0.6″ – 0.75″

Example cut+extra sequence:

  • 2″
  • 2 1/16″ (increment +1/16″)
  • 2 1/2″
  • 2 9/16″ (increment +1/16″)
  • 3″
  • 3 1/16″ (increment +1/16″)
  • 3 1/2″
  • 3 9/16″ (increment +1/16″)

Tray for 1/2″ Shanks

  • Use a dado stack: both wings + one 1/8″ chipper
  • Spacing: 7/8″ – 1″
  • Depth of dado: 0.75″

TIP: Reduce the amount of tearout by using a blade with alternating bevel teeth. See picture.

Reduce tearout when crosscutting

It’s hard to believe it, but you’re almost done.

Finishing Touches

Bust out some columns for a little tray to hold various parts that don’t fit in the holes.

Clean up tearout. Old faux wood blinds and a roll of sticky sandpaper make a quick stick sander that’s perfect for this.


Go have fun. If you make this, drop a note or post a picture!

Subscribe to my YouTube channel if this is your type of thing.

Follow me on Instagram to speculate on what that thingamajig may turn out to be.

Your Header Sidebar area is currently empty. Hurry up and add some widgets.