Afternoon Project

Afternoon project. Have been wanting to make one of these to organize my tools for a while now. The next version will hang from the side of my Nomad. This was an exercise in measuring and type size. I don’t own an engraving bit and did this with the #122 bit. I’d love to fill the numbers with red color. Any suggestions of what I could use?. Ideally I would fill the numbers and then sand the surface lightly to clean the edges again. Ideas?.


Brilliant -

I had similar notions for the tool/bit collection that I use run-in/run-out.
Can you post your project file?

It still needs slight refinements. Don’t have drill bits and had to make the holes by milling them. The #122 bit only allows me to make holes that are 0.25" deep. The two allen wrenches need deeper holes. They are sort of wobbly right now. Want to fill in the numbers to make them more visible.

tool_block.stl (393.6 KB)

Looks good. Put some shellac/sanding sealer before adding the paint to the letters. The shellac will help keep the paint from soaking into the grain too much.

A touch of dyed epoxy works great for numbers like this - cures fast. If you happen to have some epoxy and a compatible dye handy. Failing that, enamel from a can, let it dry then block sand the whole top a touch.

Nice design.

For the 1/8 holes, spec it as a drilled hole and use a drill bit. You might want t invest a couple dollars in a screw machine (short) bit for this. I use Inventor/HSM and Fusion for work, and this is a basic op there and in most other CAM as well. Meshcam will also do this. I would drill first, then ‘cap’ the hole so the rest of the machining ignores it, as Meshcam doesn’t know the structure of the model.

I have not tried drilling that large with a Nomad, but drilling 1.5mm and 0.9mm is no problem. I think that the Nomad will have enough power to do 1/8 drilling in wood, though it might need a light feed. I ran these at about 4000RPM, which is actually a bit slow, but I went there so I could run a reasonable feed while maintaining appropriate chip load. 4000 is about right (actually, maybe a bit slow for many materials) for 1/8 bit for most soft materials, machine power permitting, as well, giving about 140ft/min peripheral speed.

Nice work!!
I agree with putting some sealer/ finish on the project before adding color to the numbers, be sure to mask the holes! I use sharpie oil paint pens for filling engraving. quick, Simple and they have a good shelf life. Google sharpie oil paint pens. They can be found in Lowes, Amazon and most art supplies.

Yes, I would gladly invest in short drilling bits. I use Fusion 360 for my designs and CAM and are eager to start trying drilling paths. Have you also tapped holes with Fusion?. Couldn’t figure out how to set it up. Holes are more important to me as I can tap them manually very easily. Any suggestion as to where to get the short drilling bits?.

Search for " stub drill" or “screw machine” length drills. Amazon carries them or try the usual suppliers, MSC,McMaster… you can get away with using a longer drill length if you first spot drill at your hole locations. It keeps the drill from wandering and breaking as they start.
I usually buy from a local tool supply. Most places that cater to the machine shop trade are good with small walk in orders.

Version 2

Slightly bigger but better design IMHO. Nice snug fit with all tools. Just ordered my #302 V bit today so one bit is missing.

6x4x1 stock aprox

Glad to share STL if anyone wants it.

Thanks for all the suggestions on finish and coloring the numbers. Will experiment later on.

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I would like to have the STL and DXF files.
Please post or send to


Tool Block Large v3.dxf (6.9 KB)
Tool Block Large v3.stl (422.9 KB)

Here you go. The black allen is not necessary for most people. It is for extra stuff I have.

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