Making a Drill Holder Charging Station on a CNC Router

What experience does Dryforge have with drill holders?

Over the past years I have made a few thousand drill holder cabinets.

I have made and shipped too many to count. In all sorts of sizes and configurations.

original dryforge 6 slot drill holder shelf storage cabinet made from plywood on a cnc router machine for storing dewalt cordless power tools

The very first drill holder charging station that I made was this 6 slot cabinet


How I Got Started

How I found my way into making drill holders from plywood came about from a goal I set.

The goal was to make one new product in my woodshop each day for a whole month. At the end of the month, I would hopefully have completed 30 new projects. This was a stretch goal.

Ultimately I came up short of the 30 projects and made about 20 new projects.

The drill holder charging station was one that I enjoyed and began selling.

From there the requests came in for the woodworking plans and for the CNC Router project files.


10 slot cnc made cordless power tool charging station for storing milwaukee m18 power tools

 The largest drill holder cabinet that I've made was this 10 slot with side attachments


What resources are available for making drill holders

As time went on, Dryforge began offering different digital resources for making drill holder cabinets.


Drill Holder Woodworking Plans

The Dryforge line of Woodworking Plans includes over six different drill holder charging station designs.

DIY woodworking plans for wood drill holder cabinet woodworking project

The 9 Slot Drill Holder Woodworking Plans contain a long form set of step-by-step plans for beginner woodworkers as well as the shorter 6 page Shop Plans for easy printing.


CNC Router Project Files

The Dryforge line of CNC Router project files first got started with a set of CNC router files for a 6 slot drill holder.

Since then the library of CNC router files here at Dryforge has grown drastically.


7 slot cnc router files for wood drill holder cabinet project made from plywood to store cordless power tools

The 7 Slot Drill Holder CNC Router project files are a detailed set of CNC files


How Dryforge got started making CNC router file packs

The CNC router project files started out with a few questions from other CNC router users.

A few people saw that I was using my Avid Pro4896 CNC router to make drill holders and they asked for the CNC files I had made.

As those files were designed with my CNC router in mind, I decided to create a new design of the drill holders for the CNC files that I began to offer.

The early CNC router project files contained just Fusion360 and DXF files.

Over time the CNC router project file packs expanded to include STEP, SVG, Adobe Illustrator and the newest addition of Vectric Vcarve Pro files. 

For an in-depth look at what is in each Dryforge CNC Router file pack, read our recent blog post: 

What is In a CNC Router File Pack From Dryforge


stack of cnc cut plywood drill holder cabinets

 A stack of the current drill holder cabinet that Dryforge manufactures


How many tool slots should a drill holder have

Drill Holders can be any size.

Ultimately this can be based on how many tools you need to store and how much space you can commit to this storage cabinet.

To figure out how many tool slots you will need, I like to count out how many cordless power tools I currently have and then add 2 to that number. 

This allows for my collection of power tools to grow without needing to make a whole new drill holder cabinet the next time I purchase a new drill, jigsaw or impact.


What material is best for making a drill holder cabinet out of

The material used can vary based on budget, material availability or preference.

Thicker Material

 As these drill holder cabinets can see a lot of weight being added to them, I prefer a 23/32" (18mm) or a 3/4" (19mm) plywood material. 

This allows for a more robust set of wood joints to handle the weight. 

Keep in mind, cordless power tools and cordless batteries can weigh a lot.

Thinner Material

 Some people opt to use a 1/2" (12mm) thick plywood for their drill holders.

This isn't a wrong choice.

However, I personally do not love the idea of using 1/2" thick material for a cabinet that can see upwards of 30 pounds added it.

My fear would be the 1/2" plywood bending under the weight of the added tools and other items being stored on the drill holder shelves.

sheet of 23/32" thick plywood being loaded onto an avid cnc pro4896

Loading 23/32" thick plywood onto my Avid CNC Pro4896 with a custom DIY vacuum table.


My Top 5 Favorite CNC Router Drill Holder Project Files

To say I've explored different drill holder cabinet designs might be an understatement.

A lot of time has been spent looking at the width of slots for the handles of various cordless power tools. Exploring the dimensions needed for each cordless tool to slide into.

Here is a run down of my top 5 favorite Drill Holder Cabinet CNC router projects:

  1. 9 Slot Drill Holder with Reciprocating Saw Slot
  2. 6 Slot Drill Holder Cabinet
  3. French Cleat 5 Slot Drill Holder with Sliding Tool Tray
  4. M12 Tool Holder with Battery Storage
  5. 7 Slot Drill Holder with Reciprocating Saw Slot

Here is a link to the entire Dryforge Drill Holder CNC File Collection.


What drill holder designs for a French Cleat Wall has Dryforge made

The drill storage options that I have made for French Cleat Walls have been items where I have tried to have a little fun with the designs.

With each french cleat drill holder I have tried to explore a new aspect of storing cordless power tools whether it be with a sliding tool tray, a single slot drill holder or a smaller 2 slot drill holder cubby.

One of the things that I love about my French Cleat Wall is that as I make new French Cleat CNC router projects I can move each storage item around to make space for my newer French Cleat projects.

Making a few smaller French Cleat CNC drill holders have allowed me to fill in the dead space on my French Cleat wall to get the most out of the wall space.

cnc files for wood french cleat 5 slot drill holder with sliding tool traycnc files for wood french cleat 2 slot drill holder cubbycnc files for wood french cleat single slot drill mountscnc files for wood french cleat 5 slot drill mount shelfcnc files for wood french cleat 4 slot drill holder charging station

Here is a link to the French Cleat CNC File Collection with a few French Cleat Drill Holder files.

What is the best way to nest or orient parts on a CNC Router

Nesting parts on a CNC router can be an important step as that'll determine how the wood grain matches up with the over all design of the cabinet. 

For the side pieces that I cut, I prefer to have the wood grain moving from the bottom to the top of the side. 

For the back piece of each drill holder as well as the shelves, I prefer the wood grain runs the length of each piece. 


What is a good endmill bit to use for cutting a drill holder on a cnc

There are a ton of different CNC endmill options when it comes to cutting plywood on a CNC router machine. 

Some prefer compression bits, others like myself prefer a 2-flute endmill. 

Specifically I use a lot of 1/4" 2-flute downcut endmills. I opt for a 2-flute endmill as the speed that compression bits need to move at can cause my CNC to wobble just enough that there can be part distortion when I get up to and above 190 inches per minute (IPM).

1/4" 2-flute downcut endmill from high country tools cnc router bits

  1/4" 2-flute downcut endmill from High Country Tools 


What supplies are best for assembling a drill holder cabinet 

In the early days I used a lot of woodworking clamps, wood glue and 18 gauge brad nails. 

As my designs have evolved over the years and the wood joinery has changed a bit, I have moved away from the constant need to clamp up each drill holder assembly and instead use 1-1/4" #8 screws. 

How you assembly your drill holder will largely be based on personal preference.

I switched my production method to save the wear and tear on my hands and forearms from having to squeeze a few hundred clamps every day when assembling these drill holders.


How much wall space is needed for mounting a drill holder charging station

Determining how much wall space is needed for hanging a drill holder cabinet will vary for each person.

The big factors for how much space is needed are as follows:

  • What are the finished drill holder cabinet dimensions?
  • What sort of tools will be hanging from the drill holder slots?
  • Will cordless battery chargers be attached to the side of the drill holder?

To simplify this step, I like to find the finished dimensions of the drill holder I am looking to make and mount. 

Then I like to add 10 inches (254mm) to the necessary height.

This accounts for the space for cordless drills and impacts to hang in a slot with batteries attached to the tools. 

When it comes to storing a reciprocating saw in a slot, if the design has not been adjusted, adding more space for the reciprocating saw to hang may be necessary.

If I plan on attaching cordless battery chargers to a side of the drill holder, I add about 10 inches (254mm) to the width so that there is ample space for the battery charger and a battery. This also factors in a little room for you to be able to add and remove batteries from the chargers.


spacial needs diagram for mounting a drill holder cabinet to a wall

Visual from the Dryforge 7 Slot Drill Holder Woodworking Plans


What is the best way to mount a drill holder

Mounting a drill holder cabinet can be as simple as using a few 2-1/2" #10 screws or more involved in the case of a brick wall.

The type of wall that the cabinet will be attached to will determine the type of hardware necessary.

Standard Walls with Studs

When attaching to studs or a plywood wall, using 4 #10 screws that are 2-1/2" long can be a great way to secure the cabinet. I prefer to have the screws land on the center of studs for a more secure connection.


Masonry Walls

In certain environments, a block, brick or concrete wall may be what the drill holder cabinet needs to be attached to. In these scenarios, I like using 4 Tapcon screws that are 1/4" diameter by 2-1/4" in length. Using these screws requires a special drill bit for pre-drilling a hole with the appropriate diameter (look at the manufacturer spec's) before attaching the masonry screws. In this case, a 3/16" diameter masonry bit would be needed.


French Cleats

My go to method is a small French Cleat that I attach to the back of my drill holder. Then I attach another French Cleat to the wall where I want to mount my drill holder cabinet. 

This allows me the ability to easily attach the heavy cabinet and the ability to move it around if I upgrade. 


What sort of drill holder variations has Dryforge made

Over the last few years I have ventured into a few different drill holder iterations ranging from under cabinet drill holders to benchtop drill holders that are freestanding. 

Under Cabinet Drill Holder


cnc files for wood under cabinet mounted drill holder

An earlier 6 slot drill holder that attached to the underside of a standard cabinet.


Freestanding Benchtop Drill Holder

cnc files for wood free standing 7 slot drill holder cabinet stand made from plywood

Freestanding benchtop 7 slot drill holder with a single shelf.


Early Tool Holder for M12 Tools

cnc files for wood milwaukee m12 cordless power tool charging station with cp and xc battery storage

The early design of the Dryforge drill holder for M12 cordless power tools.

This design led to the M12 Tool Holder CNC router files.


Mini 2 Slot Drill Holder

cnc files for wood 2 slot mini drill holder

A small but might 2 Slot Drill Holder CNC router project.


Questions or CNC File Requests?

Visit the Contact form to send Jared at Dryforge any questions or CNC Router file requests you've got!

Disclaimer: I can't make every CNC file request I receive, but I do my best to see if each request is one that I can accomodate.

fusion360 3d model of a 9 slot drill holder charging station cabinet with a dedicated slot for hanging a reciprocating saw and storing a circular saw made from plywood on a cnc router machine
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