So. Because I like to make things I end up with power tools to help me make things. This makes me end up with lots of power tool batteries. In my apartment workshop I had all my batteries spread across a wire shelf next to the chargers. This wasn’t a great situation since I lost a shelf to just random unorganized storage. I wanted to come up with some sort of solution that would give me the same access, keep them organized and get my whole shelf or most of it back.
Lets get more background on the problem. First of all I have 2 power tool battery systems (that I want to store… I have a few other onsie twosie batteries), Porter-Cable 20V and DeWalt 20V. Personal preference aside on these brands, this is what I designed to. These battery feet are rather different but overall battery width is similar between the two. This led me to design two different battery feet but it let me organize roughly the same area per battery.
As for manufacture of the feet I chose 3d printing. The power tools they go in are plastic and that is the best way I can manufacture plastic parts. Also when googling for a power tool storage answer, I came across this and used it as inspiration. Ok lets get designing!
I used Fusion 360 to design these feet. I printed a few tests before I liked my design enough to ramp up production. I recommend doing this for anything you need to make a bunch of. The design for these is really simple. Look at your power tool foot for inspiration. They are usually more complicated than you need. Mine are rectangles frankly. I used calipers to measure features for my design. Make sure to add some clearance so you can slide the battery in and out easily. On the bottom I put a 30 degree angle on it. This will mate with my board and keep the batteries vertical when stored. This will become clear later I promise. Here is a link to my models. I have two DeWalt 20V and two Porter-Cable 20V models. One has the angle skeletoned out and the other is solid. I used the skeletoned model for this build because I wanted to save material. I am not sure how effective this was because you then need supports in the skeletoned areas which it was pretty tough to remove. Use what suits you.
Now for the wooden rack. I bought 3/4″ thick MDF. You could get away with thinner most definitely. I wanted to buy 1/2″ thick but home depot was out of stock when I went………………….. anyway.
Plan your cuts and buy enough. I bought a 2′ x 2′ piece since my hypotenuse is 24″ long and 12″ thick. I was bad about taking documentation pictures since I built this so quickly (I’m sensing a theme here…..). Just like I did last time I put it in sketchup after the fact for clarity.
You need your hypotenuse piece and two side pieces. You will cut the center of one out. I recommend using a table saw for this. It made everything really easy especially the cuts on an angle. After the fact I added a shelf which I won’t go into here but I’m sure you can figure it out. There is also a 10-1/2″ brace across the back on the 90 degree of the triangle. This can be made of scrap you have left over. Everything was secured with a 15ga nail gun but you can use screws/nails if you don’t have one.
Now that you have your feet all printed and you have your rack made lets get screwing them to it. I wanted to fit 4 batteries wide and 5 down leaving room for my larger DeWalt batteries. I recommend you put the batteries in the feet and organize them like that before drilling pilot holes and screwing them down. This is where the 30 degrees help you. All the batteries will be parallel and the slope helps them get offset from each other. If you have all small thin batteries you can stack them closely like I did my Porter-Cable packs. When you get to the larger packs you need to scoot them out further. It is also good practice to put your largest packs on the bottom level so you don’t have to arrange the battery below that so far away.
So arrange your batteries and mark where the feet will go.
Now you have two holes to drill and screw into the board. The way I prefer to do this is mark the top hole,
remove the foot, drill a 7/64″ pilot hole,
screw the foot down through the top hole with a 1/2″ #8 screw,
line everything up again, mark the bottom hole,
remove the foot, drill another pilot hole and replace the foot and screw both screws in.
Now do that x times and you’re done! easy peasy right?
Some installation notes. I zip-tied this rack to the wire rack so it would stay put as I used it. Also for my Flexvolt packs on the bottom level of the rack they are a touch wider than their 20V brethren so I had to adjust the feet there to give them enough room. Depending on your printers resolution accuracy you may need to file some of the rails down. I prefer using a flat needle file for this.