Step 1: Tally up the total number of blade types you need to store. This caddy is sized for six blade wells, but you could certainly make a wider caddy if you need even more storage. Cut a 7-in. x 7-in. base for the caddy from a 3/4-in.-thick scrap of wood.
Step 2: Lay out the lengths and positions of the blade wells on the base. Start by drawing a pair of lines across the base, 5/8 in. in from each end. These set the overall length of the wells, which will be 5 3/4 in. Extend these two lines around the edges of the base so you can mark their positions on the back face. Now draw lines along the base, spaced 1 in. apart, to mark the centerlines of each blade well. Extend these lines across the ends of the base (see Photo 1).
Step 3: Notice in Photo 1 again that we'll use a veining bit in the router table to cut the blade wells. You could use a core box bit, too, but the tip of the veining bit provides a helpful way to index each cut precisely, and the sloped sides it cuts will make it easier to extract blades. You'll make "drop cuts" over the bit to form each well. Start by marking the position of the bit on your router table fence with two pencil lines; these lines will help you determine where to begin and end each cut, since the cuts will be made with the bit buried in the workpiece. Lower the bit to about 1/4 in. above the table, and lock the fence so the bit's tip lines up with one of the well lines on the end of the base. Start the router and slowly tip the base down over the bit, keeping the back end tight against the table (see Photo 2). Then feed the base along the fence to rout the well. Begin and end each cut with the bit lining up with the first two layout lines you drew and extended in Step 1. Now raise the bit to 3/8 in. and make a second pass to deepen the well. A final light pass can help clean up any burn marks that result at the ends of the cut. Reset the fence to rout the rest of the wells in two or three passes (see Photo 3). Make sure that the fence blade marks remain aligned with the bit each time you reset the fence; double-check their relationship with the bit using a combination square.
Step 4: The sides and back of the caddy are made of 1 1/8-in.-wide strips of wood, 3/8 in. thick. Plane down a blank of scrap long enough to make all three parts and keep it overly long for now. Rip it to width.
Step 5: The caddy's Plexiglas lid slides in a groove you'll need to cut next. We used Dremel's router table and a rotary tool with a 1/8-in.-diameter straight bit to rout this groove (see Photo 4), but you could also use a standard blade in a table saw. Position the groove 1/4 in. in from one edge of the wood strip, and make it 1/4 in. deep.
Step 6: Crosscut the sides and back piece to length, mitering the corners if you wish. Sand all four caddy pieces up through the grits to 220 (see Photo 5). Glue and clamp the sides and back to the base.
Step 7: When the glue dries, cut a piece of Plexiglas to 7 1/8 in. x 7 3/8 in. to fit the caddy and form the sliding lid. Ease the sharp corners and edges with a fine-tooth file, and test the lid's fit in the grooves (see Photo 6). Apply finish to all wood surfaces of the caddy.
Step 8: You may wish to add a pin to lock the lid closed, particularly if it doesn't have a tight friction fit in the grooves. You could use a short piece of dowel, a small nail or even an "L"-shaped brass shoulder hook as we did here. These shoulder hooks are available at any home center. Cut your lid pin to 3/4 in. long (see Photo 7).
Step 9: Drill a 3/4-in.-deep hole through the lid and caddy base for the lid pin. Then, load up your blades. You can store your caddy in a drawer, or recess a few magnets in the back and keep it fixed to a metal surface near your saw. There you have it: tidy storage and easy access.