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Thread: Portable tool kit? Portable workbench? What would you do?

  1. #1

    Portable tool kit? Portable workbench? What would you do?

    I'd like to put together a minimalist portable neander kit for fine woodworking outside/inside/on-site/anywhere.

    Do you guys have any suggestions?
    I'm particularly curious as to what a workman in Japan would bring to the jobsite, and why.

    With the fires up in Sonoma and the joys of Autumn air, I think it'd be nice to have something grab'n go.
    Also, I'm curious as to what you like/use as a portable workbench...


    I've found most recently that I use only a handful of tools:
    1. Tape measure
    2. Shinwa hardened steel square
    3. Shinwa marking thing (it looks like angled aluminum/steel with a mitered angle/right angles).
    4. Takeo Nakano 54 mm and 70 mm plane (thanks for the recommendation, Stan!)
    5. Kusaborou Genno (the one tool I'd grab if my house went on fire, again, thanks Stan!)
    6. Folding Japanese saws (lee valley dozuki, silkboy kataba).
    7. Sharp knife for marking stuff.
    8. Pencil.
    9. Chisel--an older Japanese one
    10. Cam clamps.
    11. Floor bench

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Pleasant Grove, UT
    Posts
    1,503
    Vesper / Blue Spruce / Shinwa Bevel Gauge.

    Pocket knife. For all those other knifey tasks that a marking knife is ill-suited.

    Dividers.
    It came to pass...
    "Curiosity is the ultimate power tool." - Roy Underhill
    The road IS the destination.

  3. #3
    Keep them coming!

  4. #4
    How will you sharpen?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Lafayette, Indiana
    Posts
    1,248
    Checkout the latest Fine Woodworking Issue. It features a description of the kit that Garret Hack takes on the road when he teaches classes.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Sebastopol, California
    Posts
    2,319
    Portable bench: Workmate (alternate names: Workmutt, Wookiemate, etc.)

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    twomiles from the "peak of Ohio
    Posts
    9,781
    I have a Type 2 Work Mate.....and a tote..
    handsaw.jpg
    That is a full sized handsaw. I can load this up with what is needed for a job. Varies, according to what needs fixed at my Daughter's place....plenty of room in the tote.

  8. #8
    This is something I've been puzzling over for a long while now.

    Interesting how closely your list aligns with http://www.japanesetools.com.au/coll...lders-tool-set

    In the previous discussions of this, I think Rob Strawn has had the most elegant setup: http://www.sawmillcreek.org/showthre...ol-bug-out-bag

    I've been trying for something even smaller, but focused on multi-tools and small folding tools --- gotta get a few chisels and some files yet.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Perth, Australia
    Posts
    8,029
    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Lau View Post
    I'd like to put together a minimalist portable neander kit for fine woodworking outside/inside/on-site/anywhere.

    Do you guys have any suggestions?
    Hi Matt

    I frequently present demonstrations of handwork at wood shows or club meetings. I need to be able to take along all the tools I need - plus a bench, since I cannot be certain that there will be one and, if there is one, that it can hold the work in an appropriate manner. The types of demos I do are dovetailing and drawer making, mortice and tenon joinery, tapered sliding dovetails .... small pieces - it is a demonstration of handwork, not a full build ...

    Firstly, I made a bench to take along. 28" long x 15" wide and 2" thick. It has a wagon vise. I wrote it up here. Since then, I have added a twin screw vise, which works as a Moxon dovetail vise, and it also used for sawing tenons.



    The screw are simply 5/8" steel thread into steel thread inserts ..



    Here are some of the basic tools: the LV 14 tpi dovetail saw, since this can be used for both dovetails and small tenons. A prototype Knew Concepts fretsaw (as I will not be distressed if this one gets nicked - a potential issue at wood shows). 3" Starrett square and 1:7 dovetail marker. The knife is a modified (straightened blade) LV Woodworkers knife. This has a very solid blade, and it can be used to rive pegs as well as score lines. The cutting gauge is one I made, so is also expendable.



    There is an O1 set of Veritas bench chisels, with sizes from 1/8" - 3/4". One reason for these is the box is a useful example to show of dovetails, plus it is easy to store and use this way. The hammer is my plane setting hammer, but with the nylon head, it is an ideal size and weight to use when tapping chisels.



    Tools not here include a pair of dividers (I have a 3" set of Starrett), the Veritas Small Plow (with 1/4" and 1/2" blades for grooving drawers and rebating), and 2 Spiderco (UF and M) honing stones.

    The double screw works for edge planing. I take along one plane, a Stanley #605, with two blades (straight and 12" radius) ...



    There is a stop for smoothing longer boards ...



    And of course, there is the end vise for smaller boards or whatever. The dogs are from Veritas and are height adjustable.



    All the tools fit into a single shoulder bag.

    Hope this is useful.

    Regards from Perth

    Derek

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Milton, GA
    Posts
    3,213
    Blog Entries
    1
    Very nice Derek! I may copy that compact, versatile device, just like I have copied so many other solutions on your blog:
    http://www.inthewoodshop.com/

    I needed a mobile device that I could roll in and out of vehicles, up & down steps, to carry tools to and from a variety of classes. I did not have time to build one. Festool makes a nice hand truck, made specifically to carry the Festool Systainers I already owned. There are quite a few systainers with a variety of drawer sizes that can be stacked and strapped to the hand truck via the included, integrated strap. Ultimately I discovered that this system worked just as well for hand tools. There are tons of Systainers & Sortainers to choose from.

    I am currently regularly moving tools between two locations, selling a house & moving. I drive a Mini Cooper. I can roll the truck right into the hatchback/boot & still have room for other items. My favorite thing about this system is the containers and hand truck add very little weight to my kitt. The aformentioned tool carrying system has made these trips a pleasure vs a PITA. So for those who are open to spending the money.
    Last edited by Mike Holbrook; 11-19-2017 at 1:51 PM.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Lau View Post
    I'd like to put together a minimalist portable neander kit for fine woodworking outside/inside/on-site/anywhere.

    Do you guys have any suggestions?
    I'm particularly curious as to what a workman in Japan would bring to the jobsite, and why.

    With the fires up in Sonoma and the joys of Autumn air, I think it'd be nice to have something grab'n go.
    Also, I'm curious as to what you like/use as a portable workbench...
    C

    I've found most recently that I use only a handful of tools:
    1. Tape measure
    2. Shinwa hardened steel square
    3. Shinwa marking thing (it looks like angled aluminum/steel with a mitered angle/right angles).
    4. Takeo Nakano 54 mm and 70 mm plane (thanks for the recommendation, Stan!)
    5. Kusaborou Genno (the one tool I'd grab if my house went on fire, again, thanks Stan!)
    6. Folding Japanese saws (lee valley dozuki, silkboy kataba).
    7. Sharp knife for marking stuff.
    8. Pencil.
    9. Chisel--an older Japanese one
    10. Cam clamps.
    11. Floor bench
    Matt,

    Not too long ago I posted about a portable workbench and tool box. Both worked very well on our N CA trip this year.

    ken

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Prashun Patel View Post
    How will you sharpen?
    I have Spyderco medium, ultrafine, and a strop + Japanese soft finisher.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by ken hatch View Post
    Matt,

    Not too long ago I posted about a portable workbench and tool box. Both worked very well on our N CA trip this year.

    ken
    Ken,

    Your thread was what got me thinking on this.


    Derek,

    Thanks for the post! Your work is impossibly classy as always, and resourceful to boot.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    South central Kansas
    Posts
    291
    I spent quite a bit of time looking at portable bench designs myself and finally settled on something similar to Steve Latta's mini bench.

    http://www.finewoodworking.com/2014/...-works-wonders

    He designed it to go on top of a regular bench for detail work but I find it useful for travel. It can be clamped to a counter or other table, or it can be used on the ground if you're okay working on your knees or sitting down. If you prefer to stand it wouldn't be too hard to make something similar with removable legs attached with bolts.

  15. #15
    You might want to check out a YouTube video by the Renaissance Woodworkers where he shows a portable workbench. It's his number 159

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