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.
- 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
- 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.
- Oshlun Dado Stack
- Freud Thin Kerf Ultimate Plywood Blade
- Measuring tape tape (mm)
- Measuring tape tape (in)
- Magical roll of sticky sandpaper
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 1/16″ (increment +1/16″)
- 2 1/2″
- 2 9/16″ (increment +1/16″)
- 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.
It’s hard to believe it, but you’re almost done.
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.