What hand tools can’t you live without?
I’ve been doing more and more teaching and demonstrating these days, and I’m constantly throwing a bunch of tools into a canvas tote to take along with me.
Well, I’ve finally gotten around to building a travel tool chest that not only offers more protection en route, but also provides easy access to the tools once I’m at my destination.
The hardest part in building the case, though, was figuring out which tools would go inside. I wanted to make sure that I’d have the tools I needed, while keeping the chest to a manageable size and weight.
What I ended up with was a good assortment of planes and chisels as well as marking and measuring tools. In addition, it looks like I have plenty of room for sharpening gear and odds and ends. The only mystery now is how much it all weighs! I’ll let you know once I step on the scale with it.
So what am I forgetting? Let me know what your must-have tools are. I’ve got a little room to squeeze in a few more tools if needed…
The tool chest has a well up top for hand planes and saws. There are 2 drawers below for chisels and marking tools and such. I'm still trying to decide on the handles.
Ok, if hard pressed, I could get by with just a smoother, block plane and shoulder plane. I added a jack plane just to have a second sharp plane on hand and a low angle smoother for use with a shooting board. For saws, I have a dovetail saw, cross-cut saw and japanese saw. If i could only take one it would be the dovetail saw. Oh, and a coping saw. Also, can't forget the trusty mallet.
I have a basic set of bench chisels along with a pair of skew chisels to clean out half-blind dovetail sockets and a triangular chisel for getting between dovetails. I could get by with a 12-in. combo square, but the 6-in. is nice to have around. Also shown: marking knife, bevel gauge and 12-in. ruler.
I'm starting to run out of things to put in the bottom drawer. So far, I've got a the rest of my layout tools along with scrapers, wax and sharpening gear. Can't forget the tape measure, pencils and band-aids. I always cut myself whenever I try to woodwork and talk at the same time.