Friday, August 29, 2014

Finally the TOOL TOTE

   I have worked away on the workshop tool tote for a while and ended up using a pre-existing box for part it.  I am too cheap to throw out usable materials, recycling is part of my nature. I clamped the upper portion together from four separate pieces of pine and the glued it to the existing box. Cutting the slots in two pieces of wood then gluing the pieces together is quicker and easier than cutting mortises, in my opinion.

Clamped together

  The tool tote, loaded.


    I decided what I would put measuring/layout tools in this small tool box ( 5 1/2 by 11 foot print). I have already used this set up in my shop, I wish I had done this years ago.  Now as I work the squares, pencils, rulers etc. do not end up laying on my bench mixed in with the wood pieces.

  My design has space in the front that is open with a small rail along the edge.  This way as well as tools that are slotted in place there is room for a tape measure and loose pencils. 

  Sharing space with my layout tools is my go-to shop knife, chisel and Dua-Grit rasp. After considerable thought I decided that these were the tools that I reached for most often in the early stages of a project and so they were the ones that got lost amid the pieces of wood or knocked off the bench as I rough cut materials.  Once all the pieces of a project are cut to size this tote will move out of the way and stage two begin.  The only tools from this collection that will be needed at assembly time are the two squares.

on my work table in my shop
  In the Tote I have a Large Combination Square, a Small Adjustable Square and a Stop Rule.  I can now set three dimensions and leave them set during layout. Should I need a fourth set measurement I have a KREG Multi Mark  available though it lives beside my table saw most of the time.  I like to set repeated measurements once and then use that same setting every time, I feel that reduces the chances of small errors creeping into the layout.  It is the same reason that you should use one tape measure for the entire project.

  Another tool I have come to really like for layout are Compasses or Dividers.  They make repeated measurement like laying out lines for slots that need to be routed super easy. 

  Having made a tote for my bathroom gear, and now my layout tools I think it is time for me to make a tool box for my various glues and clamps.  Having the appropriate tools at hand does makes the task go smoothly with less time lost looking for things that have been mislaid.  As I read other blogs I get the impression that for some wood workers the tool belt serves the purpose of a tote.  I won't get involved in construction without a tool belt, but don't like wearing one around the shop, hence the mini tool boxes.

  cheers, ianw  


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