Saw Blade Holder - Canadian Woodworking Magazine

Shop Project: This blade holder will not only protect your sharp saw blades, and keep them well within arm’s reach, but it also won’t interfere with the regular use of your saw.


Saw Blade Holder

Photo by Rob Brown; Illustration by Len Churchill


My table-saw is essentially right in the center of my shop, far away from those things us woodworkers like to store stuff on: walls. I built this blade holder so all my blades, shims, wrenches, and miscellaneous table-saw items were always nearby. I can rip a full 48" wide on my saw and I didn’t want this holder to interfere with that in any way, so I positioned this holder so there was a 4" clearance between my table-saw’s surface and the underside of this holder. I have about 10 blades and one dado set, but feel free to customize this holder to suit your storage needs.
Start at the outside
Though I used a mix of particleboard and plywood for my blade holder, I would recommend using plywood. Start by ripping a 96" length of plywood to 11" wide. You can get all but the thin plywood shelves, back, small blade supports, and optional blade stops out of this blank.

Crosscut the top, bottom, sides and divider to length. Though I didn’t do this next step, I would recommend running a 1/8 " deep rabbet in the top and bottom that would accept the sides, as well as a dado across these two parts to accept the divider. These will assist you during assembly, but don’t add much strength to the unit. Once the rabbets and dados are complete, bore a few screw clearance holes through them to make assembly a breeze.
Work your way inside
Machine narrow grooves across the left side and the divider that will accept the 1/4" plywood shelves. The shelves are about 1-1/2" apart, but as long as mating grooves are equally spaced the exact distance isn’t crucial. Next, run 1/4" deep dados that will accept the saw blades in the bottom panel. Each dado should be about 3/16" wide so blades can be inserted into the holder easily. Blade dados closer than 1" on center may cause you to cut your fingers each time you reach in for a sharp new blade.

Lay the top over the bottom and mark exactly where the blade dados are located. After machining the small blade supports to size, you can glue them to the underside of the top with these lines in mind, creating gaps where the blades will be located. Be sure to leave 1/4" between each support. I used two large blade supports to help house the outer blades of my 8" diameter dado set. These large supports were cut to size then glued and screwed in place.
A quick dry fit, then it’s time to add the glue to the 3/4" dados and rabbets. Starting with just the three parts that will be attached to the bottom panel, I apply an even coat to the end grain of the plywood, let it dry for a few minutes, then reapply a healthy coating and bring the parts together. A few screws (a pin nailer would also work well) in each joint and it’s time to do the same for the joints that mate with the top panel. Clamps and cauls will hold the parts together until the glue is dry. Cut the back to size, then install it with glue and screws. Be sure to clamp the back to the rest of the holder, as you want the joint to be as strong as possible.

Cut enough 1/4" plywood shelves to fit in the grooves. I store my chippers, and a few other smaller items, on these shelves. My shelves are friction fit, so if something happens to get pushed towards the back of the shelf cavity I can slide the shelf out, like a drawer, and access it.
Mounting the holder
I felt I should beef up the structural integrity of my saws particle core surface in order to make sure it could support the weight of the holder and its contents. This just meant adding some solid under the end of the surface, and ensuring it was strong and stable. I then glued and screwed the support panel to the holder, overlapping them by about 3-1/2". Fixing the holder and support panel to the saw by myself was a bit tricky. I attached two small L-brackets to the front of the support surface, about 3-1/2" up from the support surface’s bottom edge. The L-brackets helped position the unit at the right height, so all I had to do was stop it from toppling over as I screwed the holder to my saw’s surface.

At this point I added screws, brackets and hooks to the sides and back of the holder in order to store even more stuff I regularly need when using my table-saw – the table-saw is a shop workhorse, after all. Although I’ve never had blades roll forward, if your holder ends up angled forward slightly you may want to consider adding small blade stops in the blade grooves to stop this from happening.

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Related Articles:
Dado Storage Box (Feb/Mar 2003)
Saw Blade Storage Box (June/July 2007)

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