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

Parts:

  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.

Tools:

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.

Enjoy

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.

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