Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Tuesday Tips - Toolbag

One of the things I did to prepare for Artfest was to create a carrying case for my my commonly used tools in working with metal and wire. I wanted something portable but sturdy and not too bulky, but easily opened and with spaces to handle my hammers, tools and my pointed, easily blunted or sharp items.

I found a very inexpensive set of cosmetics (cheap! not fancy!) in a carrying case with a handle. It had places for cosmetic brushes, a zippered pouch in the lid, and a vinyl surface that wouldn't warp easily out of shape even with my metal bench block and hammers inside.

I removed all the cosmetics and nail polishes that came with it, and I had a perfect container for my metalworking tools. My pliers and cutters are inside the red plush zippered bag.

If you want to take your creativity on the road, to go to a friend's house for a play day or to organize your tools to take a class, keep an eye out for a similar bag for cosmetics or baby supplies, with an idea toward whether they will work for your tools and supplies. I will keep my wire and metalworking tools in this bag now, ready to go mobile with creativity at a moment's notice!

Things to consider when choosing your bag:

If there will be a lot of weight, cloth bags may not be sturdy enough, look for something hard sided or heavy vinyl, you don't want your tools tumbling out at just the wrong moment.

Try to find a bag that has a way to secure your awl, drill bits in handles, sharp scissors and pointed tools. It will protect your tools if they aren't rolling loose, and it will protect your hands against accidental punctures.

Personalize your bag to identify it, I attached a laminated suitcase tag with images printed from my journals, to make it easy to identify your things, especially in a class environment. If you have time, paint or collage on the surface for fun!

A bag that opens up while lying flat, to expose the whole inside, will be more convenient than one with a small opening at the top into a deeper bag, you won't have to dig around to find things, everything will be easily visible right away.

If you come up with some other ideas for similar take-and-store toolbags, be sure to let me know!

For more photos of this arrangement check out the post on the Artfest 2009 blog!


SummersStudio said...

Perfect. Similar would work well for me as I store all of my metal working tools and then create a temporary work space when I'm working with metal.

My son uses a heavy canvas roll up storage system for wood working tools. It's got narrow pockets that knives, gouges, etc slip into and then the whole thing is rolled up when not in use. I think these are availble from wood working suppliers.

Candace said...

Fantastic advice, Lynn. Thanks much for sharing your tried and true experiences.

hint said...

You're so clever!

LLYYNN - Lynn Davis said...

Great idea about the canvas roll up, I've seen those for knitting needles, too. My situation requires something that lets me SEE everything, because I'm very visual and out of sight is truly out of mind for me.

Also my preference is for something low and flat that lets me see everything inside without dig-dig-digging through everything. Especially since there are sharp things inside!

The lid has elastic for holding tools and clear vinyl for the tips, so I don't puncture myself with a sharp awl or snipper! Ouch!

Thanks, Candace!

Hi, Beth!