Author Topic: Custom router bit storage insert for SYS4 Systainer  (Read 15999 times)

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Offline ryanjg117

  • Posts: 54
Custom router bit storage insert for SYS4 Systainer
« on: November 23, 2016, 09:54 PM »
Anyone who has a respectable router bit collection knows that Festool’s 497695 Router Bit Storage Systainer is a joke. Maybe it’s good for storing a few bits “for the road,” but its inability to accommodate tall bits, plus an overall lack of holes for half-inch shank bits make it pretty near useless for me.

I recently happened about a “lot” of about 50 router bits—all high quality carbide bits from Amana, Freud and Whiteside. Many of you know I’ve been modeling Systainers in CAD and have now moved to building custom inserts for them—and here’s my latest rendition:









This custom insert fits inside of a SYS4 Systainer. Each “deck” floats on the side and center supports, so a single deck can be removed independently. I’ve even incorporated some finger-spacing around the edges of each floating deck, to allow the topmost deck to be removed while the entire assembly remains inside the Systainer.

By my count, this insert holds a whopping 279 router bits! That’s 215 half-inch shank bits, and 64 quarter-inch shank bits. Better yet, the decks are tiered such that the lower platform provides 70 mm of “headspace” for taller bits. And for the super-tall bits, a portion of the top deck is open, providing storage space and accessibility for even longer bits. This, combined with the 30 mm extruded holes throughout, make it possible to store a large number of long bits—up to four-inches and longer. The only limitation is their profile girth/diameter, really.
 
This insert is primary built out of 12 mm Baltic Birch plywood. I’ve incorporated a storage caddie on the top deck, for random pieces we tend to accumulate (bearings, cleaning solution, collets and adapters).

I’m having this machined over the weekend, and will post pictures when fully assembled. If you have any ideas for design improvements, or if you’d like one yourself, let me know.

Ryan

P.S. I've already caught one design flaw: the side-grips are too close to the inner walls of the Systainer. Oh well, I don't have the wherewithal to redesign it now, and I think I'll be using the center grip most often.
« Last Edit: November 27, 2016, 10:12 PM by ryanjg117 »
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Offline Bhend18

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Re: Custom router bit storage insert for SYS4 Systainer
« Reply #1 on: November 25, 2016, 12:37 AM »
How much would you be selling them for?
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Offline McNally Family

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Re: Custom router bit storage insert for SYS4 Systainer
« Reply #2 on: November 25, 2016, 01:51 AM »
Nice job!
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Offline Peter_C

  • Posts: 388
Re: Custom router bit storage insert for SYS4 Systainer
« Reply #3 on: November 25, 2016, 01:54 AM »
P.S. I've already caught one design flaw: the side-grips are too close to the inner walls of the Systainer. Oh well, I don't have the wherewithal to redesign it now, and I think I'll be using the center grip most often.
Bring the side grips up higher into the Systainer lid. That way they will be above the side of the Systainer allowing them to be grabbed easier, without a major redesign. I made one of my inserts that way. It actually extends up into the ribs of the Systainer lid.

Offline jdm5

  • Posts: 77
Re: Custom router bit storage insert for SYS4 Systainer
« Reply #4 on: November 25, 2016, 07:53 AM »
Interested!
Drank the green Kool-Aid...gave up counting long ago.

Offline s1301950

  • Posts: 62
Re: Custom router bit storage insert for SYS4 Systainer
« Reply #5 on: November 25, 2016, 09:56 AM »
omg... how is anyone going to have a collection that huge to fill that many holes! so far i only have two round bits, and one trim bits.. in their original packaging, thrown around inside the systainer with its router mate.

Offline promark747

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Re: Custom router bit storage insert for SYS4 Systainer
« Reply #6 on: November 25, 2016, 10:26 AM »
Interested

Offline justaguy

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Re: Custom router bit storage insert for SYS4 Systainer
« Reply #7 on: November 25, 2016, 10:43 AM »
interested

Offline epicxt

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Re: Custom router bit storage insert for SYS4 Systainer
« Reply #8 on: November 25, 2016, 10:52 AM »
Interested
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Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 2788
Re: Custom router bit storage insert for SYS4 Systainer
« Reply #9 on: November 25, 2016, 11:23 AM »
I've already caught one design flaw: the side-grips are too close to the inner walls of the Systainer. Oh well, I don't have the wherewithal to redesign it now, and I think I'll be using the center grip most often.

First off...nice job,  [thumbs up]  I especially like the inclusion of the tray sections for bearings & misc screws & hex keys.

So...if the center handle didn't go all the way through the section, but stopped 1/8" below the top surface of the top tier, then you could mount a center handle on the top section and use that to remove the top tier. This same operation could be implemented on the middle tier. Only 1 item needs to be modified, the long center handle/post. Only 2 items need to be designed, the new center handle for the top tier and for the middle tier.

The outside handles would be used to remove the entire structure, while the center handles would remove each tier/layer. The nesting function would be the same as it is now.

Just a thought [popcorn]
« Last Edit: November 26, 2016, 09:38 AM by Cheese »

Offline VW MICK

  • Posts: 768
Re: Custom router bit storage insert for SYS4 Systainer
« Reply #10 on: November 25, 2016, 02:15 PM »
Nice

I like that. A sys 4 seems a bit excessive for router bits but I think I'd have a good go at filling it

As my festool sys 1 isn't really up to my collection

But I don't have any room for anything sys 4 sized

Really cool though. Need those spaces for bearings and hex keys etc

Mick

Offline sprior

  • Posts: 292
Re: Custom router bit storage insert for SYS4 Systainer
« Reply #11 on: November 25, 2016, 02:27 PM »
I've got an X-Carve CNC and I think an empty Sys1 and Sys4, and have been wondering if maybe some custom inserts might be in my future (don't need router bit storage at the moment, have to come up with something else).  Are there generic outlines available online for the insides of a systainer?  Is the top outline the same as the bottom?

Offline Cheese

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Re: Custom router bit storage insert for SYS4 Systainer
« Reply #12 on: November 25, 2016, 03:15 PM »
Are there generic outlines available online for the insides of a systainer?  Is the top outline the same as the bottom?

Remember, that these are injection molded boxes that require an internal draft on the walls. So the inside opening at the top of the Systainer will be larger than at the bottom of the Systainer. Also, the larger sized Systainers will have a larger variation in measurements because they are deeper. So, just size your insert to fit at the bottom of the Systainer and you'll be good to go.

Offline sprior

  • Posts: 292
Re: Custom router bit storage insert for SYS4 Systainer
« Reply #13 on: November 25, 2016, 03:45 PM »
I was hoping that there is maybe a dxf or svg file around that follows the contours a bit.  I didn't just want to model a rectangle.  Any extra space around the sides just seems like a chance for the insert to rattle around.

Offline tallgrass

  • Posts: 606
Re: Custom router bit storage insert for SYS4 Systainer
« Reply #14 on: November 26, 2016, 12:28 AM »
that is a nice design. my only thought is that a couple of hundred router bits will make this heavy. the problem with things that hold " everything" is that you can not lift " everything. "

Offline Svar

  • Posts: 734
Re: Custom router bit storage insert for SYS4 Systainer
« Reply #15 on: November 26, 2016, 01:11 AM »
This is beautiful but hardly practical. Pull out drawer is an ergonomic way to organize bits. SYS2 with a simple one layer, easy to see and reach layout for on site use. With the proposed setup every time you need a bit you have to pull out and disassemble the stack.
« Last Edit: November 26, 2016, 01:14 AM by Svar »

Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 2788
Re: Custom router bit storage insert for SYS4 Systainer
« Reply #16 on: November 26, 2016, 10:22 AM »
If you have any ideas for design improvements, or if you’d like one yourself, let me know.

I have the standard Festool router bit storage Systainer and it's just too small. Once you add some tongue & groove bits and some wing slot cutter bits, you run out of room fast.  [sad]

FWIW...my needs would entail needing only 2 tiers. That would reduce the Systainer size and eliminate some of the weight of the ply. To further reduce weight, I'd consider using 4-5mm ply as a base for each tier and then bond some foam to each ply base to support the router bits. There would be a substantial savings in weight.  [big grin]

Offline ryanjg117

  • Posts: 54
Re: Custom router bit storage insert for SYS4 Systainer
« Reply #17 on: November 27, 2016, 10:34 PM »
How much would you be selling them for?

How much are you willing to pay?  [wink]

I probably spent about 20+ hours on this design. I'm not really planning on selling them en masse unless I see a lot of interest. But I also need to test the current design and I'm sure I'll have some ideas for improvements.

Bring the side grips up higher into the Systainer lid. That way they will be above the side of the Systainer allowing them to be grabbed easier, without a major redesign. I made one of my inserts that way. It actually extends up into the ribs of the Systainer lid.

According to my SYS4 systainer model accurate down to ~1mm, the Festool lids only have about 12mm of additional headroom, which varies quite a bit due to the wild plastic ribbing around the perimeter, plus the large recess for the handle. After I get it machined and test it out, we'll see if I can pull them up any higher. Likely I'll be able to move them a smidge higher, but pulling them more inside is probably going to be the route I'll eventually take.

omg... how is anyone going to have a collection that huge to fill that many holes! so far i only have two round bits, and one trim bits.. in their original packaging, thrown around inside the systainer with its router mate.

Once you get a router table, things change. I built my own Incra table and it's the most versatile tool in my shop, and probably the most accurate to boot. Sure, you'll probably never be able to fill up this entire insert, but in reality, you won't be able to fill all of these slots anyway, since many bits have large profiles that will take up multiple slots.

So...if the center handle didn't go all the way through the section, but stopped 1/8" below the top surface of the top tier, then you could mount a center handle on the top section and use that to remove the top tier. This same operation could be implemented on the middle tier. Only 1 item needs to be modified, the long center handle/post. Only 2 items need to be designed, the new center handle for the top tier and for the middle tier. The outside handles would be used to remove the entire structure, while the center handles would remove each tier/layer. The nesting function would be the same as it is now. Just a thought [popcorn]

I like your general idea. Having each tier be stackable such that people could use SYS2 through SYS5 would increase the versatility. This might be in store for a future design improvement.

This is beautiful but hardly practical. Pull out drawer is an ergonomic way to organize bits. SYS2 with a simple one layer, easy to see and reach layout for on site use. With the proposed setup every time you need a bit you have to pull out and disassemble the stack.

I agree, it's not a perfect design. Ideally, you would have one extremely large drawer with enough headroom to hold even your longest bits--but that's going to be a very big drawer. I happened to have a couple spare systainers and was hunting for an excuse to fill them, plus I recently acquired a bit lot of router bits. However, I will note that you're free to put your most frequently used bits on the top shelf, and even your most commonly used longer bits could be tucked in the second shelf, but available through the pass-through so that you wouldn't have to remove any tiers. Only your seldom used bits could be stored on the deeper tiers. As an owner of a Freud glass panel router bit set, I know a thing or two about "seldom used bits." I think I'm probably speaking for others with big router bit collections, too.

I was hoping that there is maybe a dxf or svg file around that follows the contours a bit.  I didn't just want to model a rectangle.  Any extra space around the sides just seems like a chance for the insert to rattle around.

There is--do a search for "systainer bottom insert" and you'll find a FOG'er who modeled both the floor and the lid. I used his work to double-check my own here. We'll see if it all fits later this week, when I go to assemble it.

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Offline ryanjg117

  • Posts: 54
Re: Custom router bit storage insert for SYS4 Systainer
« Reply #18 on: December 14, 2016, 10:06 PM »
All done. Already have a list of about ten enhancements to make with the next version. :)





Replacing...
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Offline Chris Wong

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Re: Custom router bit storage insert for SYS4 Systainer
« Reply #19 on: December 14, 2016, 10:46 PM »

Your rack looks about 50% full. How much does it weigh?
Chris Wong, http://FlairWoodworks.com

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Offline Nick561

  • Posts: 38
Re: Custom router bit storage insert for SYS4 Systainer
« Reply #20 on: December 14, 2016, 11:17 PM »
I'd like to buy a insert. Love the design

Offline ryanjg117

  • Posts: 54
Re: Custom router bit storage insert for SYS4 Systainer
« Reply #21 on: December 15, 2016, 12:45 AM »
Your rack looks about 50% full. How much does it weigh?

Weight isn't too bad, actually. I'd say it's somewhere around 20 pounds right now. I could probably redesign it to fit into a SYS3 and eliminate one of the decks. I'm kicking around some ideas for an improved design and will include some of those thoughts in a follow-up post.
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Offline clark_fork

  • Posts: 213
Re: Custom router bit storage insert for SYS4 Systainer
« Reply #22 on: December 15, 2016, 01:33 AM »
The general idea of central storage is good. However, in the design stage, you might consider a means to bring several bits to the work area which might focus on the MFT/3.

What would be handy would be a lift out rectangular tray with T-bolts that would slide onto the MFT/3 side rail.. This would be the place for the "working" router bits used in an operation. This tray would also have 20mm holes to hold dogs in one place This tray might also have a slot to hold the Domino bits.

Perhaps the bottom storage tray could be adapted to store Fortner bits.

On the overall design. Don't forget to accommodate the router wrench. In addition, I think I would rather deal with two SYS2 rather than one heavy multi-tiered SYS4. That way, the SYS2 would slide out of  drawer, open and the bits would be right there to select.   

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Offline PreferrablyWood

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Re: Custom router bit storage insert for SYS4 Systainer
« Reply #23 on: December 15, 2016, 03:52 AM »
I too would not go for a mega collection in one systainer, a sys 1 and a sys 2 would be more manageable. Also theres plenty of space in the Router Sys for the OF 1010 for the few bits you might need for a specific job. Barring that a Sys combi 2 or 3 could be a workable situation.

I like the insert and the design of you SYS 4 systainer. Capacity is over my needs for the foreseeable future though.
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Offline Daver

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Re: Custom router bit storage insert for SYS4 Systainer
« Reply #24 on: December 15, 2016, 11:42 AM »
I love the 'replacing' pic.   ;D
What a great piece of kit. Thank you for doing the work and I look forward to seeing how your ideas on this evolve.

I use a 1400 and each time I open it, I have to pull out all the bits stored in there and all the accessories just to get to the router.
If anything, I might make a SYS one day for the router only and a smaller SYS for the accessories... and then a third one for the bits.
I work in different places rather than the same shop every day so the time saved packing and unpacking can add up.

I understand people's perspective about doing what you've done in fewer tiers (or in 2 smaller SYS's) but if I were building one I wouldn't be so quick to give up on one big box. As you've said, the larger bits eat real estate, and the weight of 20 lbs or so for all your bits is not bad.

The one thought that did occur to me in terms of removing layers while in the box- you could always drill a finger hole in the center. Maybe not the most elegant, but certainly efficient.

Thanks again. Very cool!
Dave

Replacing...

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Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 2788
Re: Custom router bit storage insert for SYS4 Systainer
« Reply #25 on: December 16, 2016, 10:58 AM »
I use a 1400 and each time I open it, I have to pull out all the bits stored in there and all the accessories just to get to the router.

@Daver
I had the same issue with my 1010 until I stuffed it into a SYS-Combi 3.  [big grin]

Offline Daver

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Re: Custom router bit storage insert for SYS4 Systainer
« Reply #26 on: December 16, 2016, 11:01 AM »
I use a 1400 and each time I open it, I have to pull out all the bits stored in there and all the accessories just to get to the router.

@Daver
I had the same issue with my 1010 until I stuffed it into a SYS-Combi 3.  [big grin]

Very nice!
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Offline sigmatango

  • Posts: 66
Re: Custom router bit storage insert for SYS4 Systainer
« Reply #27 on: December 16, 2016, 07:37 PM »
Do you have .dxf drawings or CNC compatible files for this? I suspect quite a few of us would be willing to throw down a few bucks for access to such info...

Offline Nick561

  • Posts: 38
Re: Custom router bit storage insert for SYS4 Systainer
« Reply #28 on: December 16, 2016, 11:53 PM »
Do you have .dxf drawings or CNC compatible files for this? I suspect quite a few of us would be willing to throw down a few bucks for access to such info...

I'd get in on this!!!

Offline jmbfestool

  • Posts: 6558
Re: Custom router bit storage insert for SYS4 Systainer
« Reply #29 on: December 17, 2016, 07:43 AM »
Nice design.


I noticed a few burn marks on the ply edges I assume they are where you are plunging the cutter into the plywood on the cnc.  I would recommend 3D entry to increase cutter life dramatically and avoid burn marks. 
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