By James Donnelly
Many of my projects require drilling and tapping large numbers of holes of different sizes. One evening I realized that I was spending almost as much time rummaging through unorganized taps to find the right size and looking up tap drill sizes as I was cutting metal. Something needed to change!
Soon thereafter inspiration struck at The Container Store. I found a small organizer drawer unit (part number 10019555, $12.99) that could be mounted on a wall and had a place for labels on the drawer fronts. The most appealing attribute of this particular unit is that the drawers remove and return very easily. That evening, a couple of moly bolts and a label maker went into action, and soon the shop was blessed with organized taps and drills (Photo 1).
Each drawer is labeled with the thread size and size of the required tap drill. Inside the drawer are drills of the required size and the corresponding taps. I bought some high helix drills to dedicate to tapping in non-ferrous metals, and they reside in the drawers instead of mingling with the normal jobber bits.
When a drilling/tapping chore comes up, the entire drawer goes to the machine in question (Photo 2). When the job is done, the drawer returns to the organizer ready for the next job.
One upgrade to the scheme might be to include the clearance drill size for the thread on the drawer label. Then the drawer could be subdivided to segregate the tap and clearance drills.
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