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.
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.