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R8/MT3 tooling holder


Active Member
I'm embarking on a project to make a tool holder that hold either R8 or MT3-based shaft tooling (separate racks...not uni-sized)

I've been scouring the internet and there are some commercial solutions but I find the tool spacing too close as this will be holding a hodge/podge of different tools e.g. R8 collets next to collet chucks, next to drill chucks, next to gear cutters, etc. Therefore I want to control the spacing and will fabricate myself

I'm contemplating a design that can be mounted vertically (not table-top) and have seen existing designs primarily in metal sheeting or wood products (both solid and ply-based). Also some examples in plastic but those have been fairly limited.

I'm inviting others to share how they manage their R8/MT tooling (other than have it laying around like I currently have) and especially pictures of finished projects and/or sharing discoveries they made about what NOT to do for tool storage e.g. introduction of corrosion, scratching/pitting or contamination (dust, swarf).

I'm mocking up a cardboard-based design and will share photos later on but wanted to get the thread kicked off and use the ideas here to revise/fine tune my plans. Yes, I will steal your ideas...but I'll also give credit where it's due and no, I am not profiting in any way...other that getting my garage chaos somewhat under control.


Well-Known Member
I will be following as i am also looking to do an R8 tool rack on my mini mill, My plan so far is a vertical stand under the machine. Materials are undecided but i do not want steel, possibly cast aluminum plate or plastic. image.jpg Somewhere here, lots of room. Its not a good picture but above the clamping set is a small metal drawer for wrenches only IE:no mic’s


Active Member
Indeed saw that pic previously and liked the clean look. I don't have history with using wood for storing tools so wasn't certain if that was a direction I should head. Also, my assortment of tooling is more like what you have in the upper-left corner e.g drill chucks and facemills and I noticed you used a different method to store those. The bottom sections could be modified to accommodate larger tooling like that but then it may become too substantial or risk of having too much tool sticking out and not seating as desired/risk falling out....? Using solid wood would alleviate the fall-out risk but then we may be heading back to the 'too substantial' category...

As mentioned in the opening statement, I do want the overall design to be vertical-mount oriented so the bottom 1/2 of your design fits that approach well.


Active Member
Premium Member
I have vertical posts supporting a mezzanine which I start to attach tooling to using 3d printed MT brackets

Not perfect but within reach of machines

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk


Active Member
The thing I like about this approach is that you can space/place them anywhere you want to. Are the pass-through holes tapered or straight? I thought there would be products in the market like these but I haven't found any yet (don't the overseas folks make copies of everything?) as I would expect that market to have the cheapest prices and and most viable for me since I don't have a 3D printer. Did you experiment with fill rate and if so, what % made them sufficiently rigid?


Active Member
Found this:
Looks like it was designed to work on either a horizontal or vertical surface. They even put dovetails on the sides so you can make it a strip if so desired.
Like: the mount is integrated within the holder so you don't need to worry if the head diameter exceeds the size of the holder (individual mount)
Dislike: shaft is confined to the space of the holder and therefore the holder would need to be notably enlarged to accommodate MT3 (this item was build around MT2)

PM me if anyone here w/3D printer wants to give this a go; I'll see if I can create it in Fusion360.



Ultra Member
Premium Member
My 2 bits. Johns toolbox concept hits quite a few check marks even if you adapted it differently
- it is very compact space utlization wise
- the items are quite visible from different work angles. Your machine might be in a different spot
- collets of the same shank size are (and should be) clustered close together. That maximizes rack space & they also follow their progressive order so you can grab 'next size'. So consider if this is a complete set forever, or you might be adding others to the set one day.
- the tooling mounted arbors are kind of segregated outboard. Thats a good idea too because an R8 shanked smallish tool like ER25 or 1/4" endmill holder will be smaller head diameter than a drill chuck or fly cutter or facing endmill. So you could come up with evenly spaced shank holes but would have to alternate small > big > small. There is no right or wrong but maybe more or less intuitive
- the green 3DP example doesnt look gravity stable to me with the overhanging stickout weight. So probably it must be rigidly mounted or depends on tools on the other side to counterbalance which is maybe less compact. I think you want the weight down or at an angle. Think about kitchen cupboards - lots of weight but the whole box & its contents is basically hanging onto some steel screw fasteners in shear driven in the stud.
- wood is cheap & eternally flexible if you think of a better design & kind to metal tools with shiny precision surfaces. But it can get grotty fast. So I've just used a generic finish & it will outlast me. Plastic or metal sheet stock racks look nice but involves more work & maybe cost. 3DP gives you lots of design flexibility but the racks can be quite large, so more mass = more printing.

I'm actually having a similar issue with my Dremel tools. A long time ago Lee Valley sold some (Chinesium) plastic blocks with a grid array of holes. And the blocks themselves interlocked into larger trays. Dont see them any more for some reason. I used plastic ammunition cases but they aren't quite the same.


Active Member
Here’s a pic of my storage. It’s fastened to the wall next to the mill. I thought it was sufficient when I slapped it together. I quickly filled up all the empty holes so now it’s too small.
GREEN3DP example does have 4 mounting holes (2 on face you can see, 2 more opposing side) if you need to stabilize. I think the shaft holes could/should have been made deeper as I think that item has been morphed off of another project I saw elsewhere where the shafts were shorter <2"

I am a fan of wood myself for keeping storage/racking on the economical side and it is very versatile...was actually thinking of making at least a prototype of the GREEN3DP model using scrap 4x4's I've got laying around.


Active Member
Premium Member
The thing I like about this approach is that you can space/place them anywhere you want to. Are the pass-through holes tapered or straight? I thought there would be products in the market like these but I haven't found any yet (don't the overseas folks make copies of everything?) as I would expect that market to have the cheapest prices and and most viable for me since I don't have a 3D printer. Did you experiment with fill rate and if so, what % made them sufficiently rigid?
The pass through holes are not tapered from what I can tell. In fact, the ones I printed were all MT4 printed at a reduction of 6% as the dead centers would pass right through. As for infill pattern/density, I printed about 4 different versions. Version 1 I broke with my hands, version 2 separated (bad infill pattern choice), but I finally wound up with a good combo (40% w/ rectilinear I believe).

I like a lot of the other solutions posted -- still looking for a good chuck storage plan myself.

Most nights that I'm in the shop, if I'll be there for 1.5 hours, then I'll through another mount to print whilst I do other work. I printed them all in PETG.


Active Member
So I started messing around with using scrap wood for prototyping and after a couple of mockups, came up with this item.

Can be used horizontally or vertically (can use the small mounting holes for stability/mounting). Took it from a section of 4x6 in order to get the length required but it ain't pretty and I never realized how much internal damage pressure treated wood takes due to that process as the wood has several cracks...much more than kiln dried-only wood. Will switch to another wood type which also means I'll need to downsize the wood dimensions as you typically don't get pieces this big in untreated wood.

fwiw - will need to move those mounting holes more-inboard as there needs to be more material to make it sturdy for vertical mounting

I should mention my goals here: cheap, easy to make, can hold R8 or MT3 with same base design, can be built as singles or stacked in rows, can be used vertically & horizontally...did I already say cheap? r8 holder1_1.jpg r8 holder1_2.jpg


Active Member
Putting some more thought in, I came up with this design and lets see how it fits my goals:
cheap - plain 'ol 2x4 untreated scraps
easy to make - takes only a few cuts and a few holes drilled
can hold R8 or MT3 with same base design - yes, as it is not a through hole. Could also bore hole 7/8" if I wanted snugger fit on MT3
can be built as singles or stacked in rows - I've changed to a single counter-sunk hole as I intend to mount on to unistrut and hang vertically
horizontal or vertical - even with fair sized tooling, found that putting the hole closer to center results in a more-stable design and didn't even need to be secured down in the horizontal position to prevent tipping over

r8 holder2_2.jpg r8 holder2_1.jpg