A tool rest has a plurality of tool storage locations for tools used at a work station. The tool rest is stationary relative to the work station. An automated robotic arm transports a tool between the tool rest and the work station. The arm movement is programmed to select a particular tool. The tools are releasably retained at their respective storage locations and are automatically released just prior to their transport to the work station, and are retentively held at their respective storage locations after return thereto.