I’ve had the woodworking equivalent of writer’s block, in trying to design the ultimate Bosch 12V Max compact cordless power tool station.
I have the tools – an enviable cache of Bosch 12V Max cordless power tools.
I have the funding (thank you to Bosch!) to cover the time and material expenses. (This will be a sponsored project.)
I want to showcase how the tools will be used, because this is a sponsored project to showcase the Bosch 12V Max tools and system. That part is easy. I love Bosch’s 12V line – the tools are compact, lightweight, nicely featured, and very capable.
Their brushless 12V Max Starlock oscillating multi-tool can cut notches and flush-cut dowels.
Their brushless drill and impact driver can drill holes and drive fasteners with ease and control.
Their compact jig saw can handle curves, and I’m thinking maybe I can use it with a guide for straight cuts – like I used to do when a corded Bosch jig saw was my only powered saw.
I also want to incorporate a large radius into the project, but cannot seem to make it look good. By “it,” I mean the design aspect, not the cut quality.
The FlexiClick modular drill/driver can handle difficult drilling and driving scenarios. It’s especially well-equipped for installing screws in tight spaces or around obstacles.
And the new edge router works like a dream, although I wish a dust collection accessory were available straight from Bosch. I’ll be using it for all of the edge-finishing, and *might* try using it to route some grooves, too. That’s not what it’s meant for, but it seems like it can handle it.
The Basic Design Considerations
Here’s where I’ve been indecisive. I’d like to make a wall-mounted solution, because I think it would be more interesting from a content-creation standpoint. But I also don’t have any wall space to spare, at least now where I’ll want to use the tools. There is one spot, near the garage door, but it’s less than ideal. And I don’t want to hide this away in the basement, as I plan to keep the 12V tools front-and-center even after the sponsored projects and arrangement are wrapped up.
I find myself also interested in a benchtop station that can fit on top of a rolling tool box. I’m working to design both, and so far they have similar features.
2 or 3 drill/driver stations – one for the drill, one for the impact driver, and one for the Flexiclick and its accessories. But, the Flexiclick is more of an installation tool, at least to someone that also has the drill and impact driver available. That third station might alternatively fit a compact impact wrench, or screwdriver.
Docking stations for the jig saw, router, and an LED worklight? Okay, so I’m now visualizing 2 small cubbies, or a shelf, for fitting the worklight and jig saw, and a tall router station to the right or left. Due to the multi-tool’s size and geometry, maybe it can dock on the outside. That way I can keep a blade attached without taking up too much shelf or cubby space.
What about accessories? I have a number of oscillating multi-tool accessories – Bosch-branded of course. It seems that a removable drawer would work best, for bringing a variety of accessories to a bench or project area. Sometimes I don’t know what I need until I try a few different blade styles first.
Or, if I’m using the multi-tool for sanding, it’ll be good to have a few spare abrasive sheets without having to travel back and forth.
Router bits? How about a tip-out tray?
Drill bits? I stock up on Daredevil bits, for project use and for use when testing and reviewing cordless drills. I might have to make a caddy of some kind.
Screwdriver bits? I love Bosch’s newest impact-rated bits, and have had good experiences with their new “custom case system” sets. I bought a bunch last year, and have had nothing but good things to say about them. This set is still $10 on Amazon.
Bosch has a new multi-voltage charger. It does not have mounting holes, but a mounting plate is available in Europe. An open shelf might suffice for battery storage. If need be, I can fashion something up for the charger.
I have been working on “proof of concept” steps, to get down the little details, such as accessory drawer construction, dividers (I’m not sure I’m going that route or not), and some finer details, such as LED light strip routing.
Part of the fun of this has been to see what the 12V Max tools can do, when not only used where their small size and weight is advantageous, but in place of the corded tools I would normally use. Straight cuts with a jig saw? Honestly, that’s not something I’ve done in a while, because I always have a track saw, circular saw, miter saw, or table saw for cross cuts. But it is doable, and with good results.
I have a few hidden features in mind, to increase the *fun* factor, and to help keep things different from the very many cordless power tool charging and storage stations out there.
What would your cordless tool storage and charging workstation feature?
Here’s the big part I’m stuck on: how to set this apart from all the other drill charging stations out there. That’s the tough part. One might think that utilizing 12V-class tools as exclusively as possible would be tricky, but that’s the relatively easy part. As I have said over the years, Bosch’s 12V tools are good stuff.
Thank you to Bosch for funding this sponsored project!
No wall space? How about a cabinet that hangs from the ceiling – with a piano hinge along one edge and latches along the opposing edge to hold it flush to the ceiling in a folded-up out of the way position. For lightweight cordless tools – this would seem doable.
BTW – the little router looks like it might be good for inlay work.
Nothing but praise from me on the bosch 12v line …. thank toolguyd for the recommendation i must add the jig saw the oscillation tool and a couple 4amp batteries to my kit and ill be set !!
If you’ll be putting more than one charger on the station, some cord wrap cleats or other means of organizing the cables would help tidy things up. I ended up having to make some cleats when I made a charger wall for the 5 different 18V battery platforms I own. Otherwise it would have been a spiderweb of cables.
What about a design where part of it is detachable so you can take some 12v tools off as a group to go work on a project?
E.g. a base where the chargers and batteries live all the time, but something that lifts off the top so you can take the drill, driver and saw off as a unit (maybe with some space for the accessories you’ll need) to go tackle a project.
Good idea. I would also try to keep all the accessories that go with a tool together with it. I found that both the oscillating tool and jigsaw fit in an L-Boxx along with all the blades and allen wrenches etc., and that the two tools were often used on the same project.
You talk about “and some finer details, such as LED light strip routing”
you might consider puck lights as well. Our customers loved the clean look of these, the light pattern cast and the hidden wiring. We used installation jigs from True Position Tools – but I know of others from Richelieu
I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again. You cannot beat the organization and space saving capabilities of drawers. Put it on wheels, perhaps hand truck style, and you’ve added the mobility that people want. Use the jig saw to cut out drawer pulls. Use the spade bits to get you started. Use the router to ease the edges of the pulls, drawer edges and cabinet edges. If you want to get extra fancy, take Fred’s idea of inlays to pretty up the design. Use the drill to dowel your drawers together and the multi tool to trim the dowels flush. Use the flexiclick to install full extension glides. Magnetic knife holder works the bomb on spade bits. Make drawer dividers to compartmentalise each drawer for specific storage. The curly, pig’s-tail style extension cords work well to bring power inside of a drawer. Just be sure to shorten the drawer box so the cord can rest behind it. Check out Hafele for drawer lighting or outwater plastics is another good source. The top should have sides to keep parts. Never do a hinged lid, you’ll be sorry if you do. Sounds like an awesome project. Have fun!
Following up on Michaelhammer’s ideas:
Make the drawers using through dowels with contrasting stained end grain to highlight the joinery. This may not be as traditional as dovetails – but should be strong enough and fit with capabilities of your suite of Bosch tools
I was actually thinking about that for a different project, but it seems hard to get perfect without using a drill press. Or, maybe I could build a small jig first.
I recall correctly – Dowelmax has been one of your advertisers. I have their jig. I think its about perfect for a home shop (not quite the multi-spindle line boring machine we had in the cabinet shop). It is very precise and repeatable – I got the hang of it very quickly (no steep learning curve) – and I highly recommend it. It is head and shoulders better than an old Stanley jig that I always struggled with.
No. Maybe you saw it in one of the Google ad slots?
I have a few dowel jigs, but haven’t tried Dowelmax yet. For a larger project, I might be inclined to using a jig to make a story stick-type jig with drill bushings.
You’re over thinking it. Rabbet both sides of the front, half by half on one by stock. Use half inch cabinet-grade plywood for the sides and free hand the holes with a 1/8” brad point. Glue them up, insert 1/8” dowels and the joint will last as long as dovetails.
Clamp and glue together the drawers. Then drill holes for reinforcing dowels in the corner joints. Glue in dowels, trim excess dowels. Normally you might want to use a press or jig to pre drill before assembly, especially if you want to hide the dowels, but that requires more accuracy than hand drills are really suited for. Embrace that with the exposed dowel ends and put two at each opposing angles to stitch together like you might sue if nailing into a wall with no stud behind.
The Flexclic , and the Jigsaw would be close to the top of my list , some of the 12 volt impacts are pretty awsome . The latest iteration of the Oscilatin multi tool , could also be interesting . The Flexclic lives in my Veto Tech Pack , and has become my go to small drill .
I think it would look really cool if you cut out holes to match the battery profile. Like I did for my Milwaukee M12 batteries.
You even left a comment on it ?
The best designs meet needs at every level. If you have no ideas, perhaps you are building something because you think you should, not because you need it.
There is a need – I want to keep the tools front and center for easier access. There’s no place on the wall, and I don’t want the tools buried in a drawer.
Plus, there is always a need for me to try new techniques.
Rather than worry about getting it perfect, maybe I’ll just run through a few iterations and give away all but the one I like most.
Maybe off topic, but:
“Their compact jig saw can handle curves, and I’m thinking maybe I can use it with a guide for straight cuts…”
Yes! I don’t know why people don’t use jig saws more for straight cuts. They are slow, but they are also safe and precise. I made some fairly nice furniture using a fine-tooth blade in a jig saw.
Wood has variability in grain structure. A small thin blade (such as a jigsaw blade, scroll saw blade or even band saw blade can sometimes skip around a bit and follow the grain pattern rather than staying precisely on a line. Modern jigsaws have gotten better – supporting the blade with bearings closer to the cutting surface – but there is still room for wobble. That’s why a circular saw – with greater contact along the cutline and a much stiffer blade is usually chosen to give more consistent results for straight cutting.
Unless thatnjigsaw is …Mafell
Mafell makes some fine tools – best in class in many instances – but a jigsaw blade – no matter how well supported can deflect and wander especially in thicker natural wood with internal grain imperfections. If you are cutting 8/4 maple – as an example – you will likely encounter such imperfections. For a nice straight cut – approaching glue-line perfection – I’d choose a Mafell track saw or my table saw over their jigsaw any day.
Mafell pc11 does not flex …period
My circular saw is an extension of my hand. I couldn’t imagine using any other saw to cut a straight line.
I use a Bosch 12 , as my default jigger, I also have a Cordless Festool Carvex , and an AC powered Metabo . I have Festool tracks , and a couple of large speed squares for nuts on accurate cuts . The Festool , performs like a corded saw , but I prefer to use it around home , so I’m not schlepping around too many batteries , and chargers . For many years , the only saws I carried in my service truck , were a Bosck Jigger , and a Milwaukee Sawsall . With the right blades , those two could cover an amazing amount of ground , and be verry accurate , when needed .
Plus, you need good guidance along a rail, straight edge, or edge clamp.
It’s slower going than a circular saw, and the edge might need sanding if it’s going to show.
Not a big deal for a 4″ board, but maybe a bigger deal for a 16″ one.
Guidance or not – I would not choose my Bosch jigsaw to rip or even cross cut stock that I’m preparing for glue-up into panels (e.g. for table tops). For me anyway, running it through the table saw – just means less work at the jointer – especially with thicker stock (e.g. 5/4, 6/4 or 8/4 maple)
I started with a hand saw, or had my wood cut down to project size at the store.
Then I bought a jig saw because I wanted to cut different materials, and different shapes, and because I thought it would be less messy when used indoors.
Then I bought a miter saw.
A while later, I bought my Festool track saw and dust extractor, so I can do more indoors.
I need a new miter saw, and I am thinking about getting a SawStop table saw.
In the meantime, I’ve been using a SawStop jobsite saw for review, and still have a Dewalt available, although donation plans are in the works.
I still don’t plan on buying a jointer. I’m still unsure about buying a table saw, but I’ve been doing a lot more misc. wood projects, and it’ll be nice to be able to have a powerful saw, nice fence, and dust collection setup that doesn’t need to be taken down all the time.
But… space. I have space for wood tools, or metalworking tools, or CNC, not all 3. And so I’ve been delaying any decisions at all, until I can really think about what my top long-term needs and wants will be.
Anyway, my point – for a lot of DIYers, a jig saw might be their only power saw, as it was mine for a time.
That’s partly why I want to use the jig saw to make some straight cuts – because it’s been a while since I had to do this.
I have most of the 12V Max line, except some of the newer tools like the router and FlexiClick, and just have everything – tools, batteries, chargers, bits, accessories – in larger tool bags. I have smaller bags if I’m taking particular tools to a work area and can just carry a few tools with batteries and the bits/accessories I’ll need.
For garage use, it might be ideal to have the tools laid out in a wide and shallow under-workbench mounted drawer, or maybe in a rolling bottom tool storage chest, mounted near an outlet of course so the chargers can be on top and charging batteries as needed.
Backwards “S” on that Screwdriver bit case??
Good catch! I hadn’t even noticed that effect.
In the image I used, that’s actually the inside of the case. Since it’s a clear lid, you’re seeing the letting from the rear. There’s an image from the front, here: https://toolguyd.com/bosch-custom-case-system-modular-drill-and-screwdriver-bit-storage/
The S is the only letter in BOSCH that doesn’t have horizontal line symmetry, giving it the odd effect of appearing backwards when viewed from reverse.
Are there any good solutions for wall mounting a bosch 18v charger? The lack of any mounting points is an obnoxious oversight on Bosch’s part
Command Strips on a metal, wood or plastic plate. Easy enough to screw or no show fasteners if its drywall. I was able to hang 20ish lbs on semi textured drywall with no holes or fasteners. Hurray for apartment living and no workshop! (FYI 16ish lbs is about as heavy as the strips go)
What do you mean by charging stations? Isn’t an electrical outlet the charging station? That’s where you plug in the charger to give it power to charge the battery. Technically every outlet in your house is a charging station. If you plug in a power strip you will have a multi charging station. Go buy a welding or mechanics cart and an extension cord and a power strip if you want front and center. Hell, get a grocery cart and you can load a bunch of tools in it and all you have to do is push your cart and you’ll have front and center. No need to build some “ultimate” anything. Get a damn cart and be done with it. You can even call it your ultimate cart if it makes you feel better. Put a sticker on it. If you don’t have the space for something then why contemplate building it? Makes no sense. Buy a cart with a drawer if you have to have one or build it off of the cart. If you want cubicles, then put casters on a filing cabinet and use it.
There are lots of tradeoffs to be had. I had an interest in one business that built custom cabinets and another that did metal and pipe fabrication. We had the employees with enough skills to build our tool and parts storage solutions – but we had cabinets etc. from Lista in one business and from Vidmar in the other. Similarly we tried cobbling together truck storage racks for our remodeling business – but ultimately switched to using a professional truck upfitter. For the businesses this was a question of efficiency and sticking to our knitting – doing what we did best and made us money.
As you allude to – it would be hard to cost effectively (considering time and material costs) build your own rolling tool cabinet – compared to what production costs look like at Waterloo or other tool cabinet OEM’s. But many hobbyist woodworkers spend lots of time designing and building benches, cabinets and even tools as a hobby – not because its cost effective – but because it can be enjoyable and educational to do so.
In the age of Duncan Phyfe – your transition from apprentice to journeyman usually required that you design and build a tool chest. Some of these were works of art – made as much to hold your tools as to allow you to hone your skills in the making of them. While none of the charging stations that Stuart links to – can be confused with a Duncan Phyfe tool chest – I think he would like to build something to try out and improve his skills – while satisfying his commitments to Bosch for sponsoring the effort.
BTW – in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s when I was setting up my home woodshop – I probably spent as much time of projects for the shop as I did on projects for the home and yard. Soon I realized that some of the tools that I had built custom storage solutions for were not used much or had become obsolete. Many custom jigs – that once seemed like they might have universal applicability – ended up as just clutter. Moving away from projects for the shop to undertaking projects for the house and garden – and then building furniture for family and friends – was a logical step – but the skills refined in building shop projects were not lost.
Oh my word! These types of projects are the most fun. You get to plan, problem solve, design, extrapolate, prognosticate. There are drawings and math to be done, tinkering and experimenting. AND you get to expand your carpentry skills. It’s for the JOY of it man!
As linked-to at the end of the post: https://www.google.com/search?tbm=isch&q=drill+charging+station
Kobalt has an interesting tool cabinet (3000), you wrote about nov 17’….tweek, modify, make it your own.. I do like the set up , but would never buy Kobalt…..love Bosch 12v Tools…..lots of tools m12 doesn’t have
Stuart, buy a cheap drill press! I have the cheapest one from Hazard Chinese Emporium aka Harbor Freight and it already has been a god send. It’s small, around $65.00 and worth it for even simple projects. On the subject of using a jig saw instead of a circular saw for ripping and cross cutting; the jig saw in my mind is a band saw/scroll saw replacement in a small package. Conversely, the circular saw is table saw/mitre saw in a portable package. Neither is as good as their full bench top tool equivalents but work for small spaces and budgets in their “intended” function.
I bought a Nova, and still have my small Craftsman. But I’d like to keep the focus on the Bosch 12V if and where possible.
I love bosch 12v tools. they work out great for what I use and have even gone to importing some of the more obscure stuff not available in NA (i.e. the laser thermometer and inspection camera). One of my favorite bosch 12v power tools is the PS22 brushless driver. it is so small and light and I feel it gives better control on driving screws than an impact driver. I have actually not gotten around to picking up the PS42 impact driver since as I mentioned I feel I have a lot better control over the screw depth with the PS22. although it doesn’t hurt that I also have the Milwaukee fuel 12v impact too if more oomph is needed.
PS21 fan here – the pocket drivers have been a clutch so I can use mine for tasks like driving screws on electronics such as PCs and electrical panels on our machines
I fell into the Bosch 10.8 (12.0) volt system when it was first released in Europe buying a bag with a drill/driver, impact driver and torch. I still have the original tools however the bag went a long time ago and they are all now stored in L Boxxes along with my Dremels (both corded and cordless) and the stock is now approximately four and a half feet high. When they were first released they had no competition in terms of power/weight however if I was starting again I would use Systainer cases which are available here in a similar blue with red catches. I have a Milwaukee 12.0v jigsaw and SDS drill bought when there was a discount war going on with two major UK tool sellers. One Bosch tool you did not mention was the 10.8v circular saw which by chance I purchased on its release date in the UK and was advised by the Bosch representative that they were very proud that it would fit onto the guide rail for their track saw. I have fond memories of the inspection camera as it paid for itself (literally) the very first time I used it as a client was very keen to know what was behind a wall. Still not sure about the router and plane.
If’n I were to be designing a work station / system around Bosch tools I’d design the tools into french cleated “systems” that dropped into L-boxxes for mobility (and accessibility when hung on the french cleats).
A cleated system / box that held a drill / driver (or two) and a everyday selection of bits in an easy to use and understandable manner and hung on the wall or dropped into an L-boxx for remote projects . . . that’d just be sexxxy.
Same thing the the little trim router (or any of the other tools).
Simple, concise and curated parts in an kit that makes sense to use . . . of course the problem is that everyone’s idea / needed perfect kit isn’t the same as the next. But dammit, it’s sure fun to plot n scheme.
Could include a space for charged/discharged bare batteries. Always have these laying about.
Did this ever get made? I’m interested in seeing the results.