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Drill Caddy

This drill caddy is compact, yet big enough to hold your cordless drill, an extra battery, and all the tools and fasteners you’ll need for any installation project.

By Jan Carr

Tired of rummaging around your shop to find what you need to hang a picture or put up a shelf? This drill caddy will stow your cordless drill, and neatly organize and store everything you need for any installation job. It’s compact enough to fit on a 12-in.-deep shelf, and with the handle folded down, it’s only 9-1/2-in. high.

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The plastic storage box (see Sources, below) has movable compartments, and is a great way to store a full range of screws, wall anchors and picture hooks. This caddy has a “holster” for your cordless drill, and plenty of space for an extra battery, hammer, torpedo level, screwdrivers and a drill index. The magnets hold extra drivers and bits for easy access.

Building the caddy is simple, with glued and nailed butt joints. We also made it modifiable: the middle partition and the drill holster are attached with screws, so you can easily reconfigure the storage compartments if your needs change.For all your installation gear, you’ll find this caddy beats a 5-gallon bucket hands down. It’s more convenient, neater, and more compact. And it looks better, too!

Tools and materials

To build this caddy you’ll need a tablesaw, a drill, a 2-in. hole saw or Forstner bit and a hacksaw. A bench grinder works great for rounding over the metal handle parts, but a file will also do the job. An air nailer and a miter saw are handy, but not essential. 

The caddy is made from 1/2-in. Baltic birch plywood, a scrap of 1/4-in. plywood, a small strip of birch lumber, a birch dowel and common hardware items (see Cutting List and Sources, below). The materials cost about $35.


Saw out the parts

Cut the 1/2-in. Baltic birch parts (B through K) and the wood retainer strip (A) according to the Plywood Cutting Diagram (Fig. C) and the Cutting List. 

Next, cut a 2-in. hole in the middle of the holster board (part G, Fig. A) with a hole saw or Forstner bit (see Sources, page 94). A 2-in. hole will accommodate most cordless drills, but check yours to make sure the hole is big enough.

Once the plywood parts are cut, give all the pieces a quick sanding, front and back. This caddy has a lot of inaccessible spots that are hard to sand once assembled. 

Assemble the box

Glue and nail the retainer strip (A) to the front edge of the bottom shelf (part B, Fig. A). This strip keeps the storage box from accidentally sliding out. Then glue and nail the back (C) to the bottom and add the ends (D). Cut two temporary spacer boards to position the middle shelf (E) 2-1/2 in. above the bottom shelf. Glue and nail the middle shelf into place (Photo 1).

Make the temporary spacers out of 1/4-in. material so they can be easily flipped on their sides for removal. Thicker material will jam and the retainer strip prevents the spacers from being pulled straight out.

Mount the drill holster

The center partition (F) and holster board (G) are screwed in place without glue. This makes them easy to remove if you ever want to change the storage compartments.

Use angled temporary spacer blocks to position the holster board (Fig. B and Photo 2). Once the center partition (F) is in position, drill pilot holes into the holster board (Photo 3). Now drill the holster board through the back (C). Screw the holster in place and remove the spacer blocks. Drill pilot holes through the ends (D) into the center partition and add screws (Fig. A). Then glue and nail the front (H) in place.

Install the drill bit storage bins

Glue and nail the small partition (L) to the three dividers (J) to create storage bins for a drill index and miscellaneous bits and drivers. Use two screws to attach the dividers to the front of the caddy. Skip the glue here as well.

Next, glue two pieces of 1/2-in. Baltic birch plywood together to form the driver bit holder (K). When the glue is dry, drill four evenly spaced 5/16-in. holes. Mount the holder to the end of the caddy with two screws and no glue. Install the magnets (see Sources, below left ) on the center partition (F). The magnets are perfect for holding extra driver bits.

Attach the folding handle

The legs of the folding handle are made from aluminum bar stock (see the Cutting List and Sources). Cut the legs to length, then round the ends on a grinder or with a file and drill 3/16-in. holes in the center, 1/2 in. from both ends (Fig. A). Attach the legs to the caddy sides with stove bolts, using Nyloc nuts (see Sources), so they won’t work loose when the handle is folded up and down. The dowel is cut 1/16 in. longer than the length of the caddy, which spreads the handle legs just enough to prevent them from binding on the ends of the caddy. Use the pan head screws to attach the legs to the dowel handle.

Final touches

To complete the drill caddy, putty the nail holes, give it a final sanding and put on a couple coats of wipe-on oil. While it’s drying, add the cabinet pull to the plastic storage box. You’re now ready to load up your caddy and go to work.


(Note: Product availability and costs are subject to change since original publication date.)

Cabela’s,, 800-237-4444, Plano plastic storage box, model
3700, #ID-010237. 

Lee Valley Tools,, 800-871-8158, 3/4″ rare-earth magnets, #99K32.11, 3/4″ cup for magnet,  #99K32.54, 2″ hole saw, 99J02.32, 2″ Forstner bit, 06J01.32. 

Woodworker’s Source,, 800-423-2450, 1/2″ Baltic birch. 

Home Center or Hardware Store, #10-24 Nyloc nuts, Aluminum bar stock 1/8″ x 3/4″ x 2’, Cabinet pull.

Fig. A:

Fig. B: Angled Spacer Block

Fig. C: Plywood Cutting Diagram

This story originally appeared in American Woodworker January 2004, issue #105.

January 2004, issue #105

Purchase this back issue.

Click any image to view a larger version.


Our drill caddy features a holster for your cordless drill, a space for a drill index, magnetic bit holders and a removable storage box for fasteners.

1. Glue and nail the middle shelf in place. The temporary spacer boards make it easy to accurately position the shelf.

2. Position the holster board using angled temporary spacer boards. Experiment to find the best position for your drill.

3. Drill pilot holes through the center partition into the holster board. Do the same through the back. Then screw the holster board in place.

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