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Thread: Tool Tray

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
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    Tool Tray

    I shipped the changing table out this AM. Sure was good to get it out of the shop, sure cost a penny or two to get it to Houston.

    My shop is too small and has too many benches, machines, and stuff to have more than one project going at any time. in spite of space problems I expect a new shop sized Moravian bench is the next project but before that build I wanted to fix something that was bugging me about the portable Moravian bench.

    I have a split slab on the main bench and it works very well. Because it works well on the main bench I tried a split slab on the portable bench. Problem, there is less real estate on the portable bench making the secondary slab is too small. There was always danger that things would be knocked off. It never happened but there were several close calls. Anyway cut to the chase: After thinking about it and several seconds of butt scratching I decided the best approach would be to re-saw the slab and use it to make a tool tray and that's how I spent the afternoon.

    Here is the travel bench with secondary slab:

    travelBenchInPositionC180427dscf2683.jpg


    The good news, by using the bottom of the slab for the bottom of the tool tray it already had the holes for the pegs and all I had to do was clean it up after the re-saw and and take the top part of the re-saw to make the edge of the tool tray. It was pretty quick and dirty, the only reason it took most of the afternoon was waiting for the glue to dry.

    Anyway here are a couple or three photos, one staged as if working:

    toolTray.jpg

    From the other side:

    toolTrayB.jpg

    And one in use even if staged:

    toolTrayInUse.jpg

    As always click 'em to big 'em.


    I love this little bench. I find I use it as much as and maybe more than the main bench. The wood screw vise is faster than the QR metal vise and holds better. Also the bench is perfect height for planing with metal planes.

    A couple of things I think I will like about the tool tray: I kept the split so I can hold chisels, saws, and squares in the split. I can also use the split to clean out the tool tray without removing it from the bench. I may do the same type tool tray on the big Moravian bench.

    ken

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
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    Forest Lake MN
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    I like having a tool tray. Looks real good on that bench and more useful that the small secondary slab.

  3. #3
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    Aug 2007
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    That is a fine looking bench.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brandon SPEAKS View Post
    I like having a tool tray. Looks real good on that bench and more useful that the small secondary slab.
    I've never been a fan of tool trays on my full sized benches. I'd rather have the real estate of a secondary slab and a split to hold the tools but on this smaller bench I think it makes sense.

    ken

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by lowell holmes View Post
    That is a fine looking bench.
    Thanks Lowell,

    For as small and light weight as it is it punches well above its class. It is one of the most enjoyable benches I've worked on and is unbelievably handy. Need to do a job out of the shop, just take it apart and take it where needed. A piece of cake.

    ken

  6. #6
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    Jan 2008
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    The Netherlands
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    I am not so sure about that split Ken. I would be afraid to loose all kind of small stuff there and having to sift through the shavings and sawdust on the floor to get it back again.

    You’ve got a nice shop there.

  7. #7
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    Feb 2012
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kees Heiden View Post
    I am not so sure about that split Ken. I would be afraid to loose all kind of small stuff there and having to sift through the shavings and sawdust on the floor to get it back again.

    You’ve got a nice shop there.
    Kees,

    Thanks, it is too crowded mostly because of my tool jones but for the most part I have that addiction under control. At least for now , I'm slowly getting things culled down to just the core tools at hand.

    It, things falling through the split, happens but not often. Most of the time if I'm on my knees looking for a lost screw or small part it's because it fell through a dog hole or I knocked it over the edge.

    ken

  8. #8
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    May 2007
    Location
    Newburgh, Indiana
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    Ken, I think, for me at least, a tool tray, while handy, tends to accumulate stuff that I don't really need for the task at hand. I often find just cleaning up and putting stuff away makes for a brighter day.
    Life's too short to use old sandpaper.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Glenn View Post
    Ken, I think, for me at least, a tool tray, while handy, tends to accumulate stuff that I don't really need for the task at hand. I often find just cleaning up and putting stuff away makes for a brighter day.
    Bob,

    Same here but the small size of the main and secondary slab was problematic. I’ll see if the tool tray works.

    ken

  10. #10
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    Mar 2017
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    Forest Lake MN
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    If a tool try becomes tool storage I could see it being a hassle. Keep to the rule that if you would not leave it on your bench top you will not leave it in your tool tray and you will be ok.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Glenn View Post
    Ken, I think, for me at least, a tool tray, while handy, tends to accumulate stuff that I don't really need for the task at hand. I often find just cleaning up and putting stuff away makes for a brighter day.
    So often the top of my bench gets cluttered with bits of wood and tools. The way to start the day often involves a quick clean up.

    My feeling on a tool tray has me on the fence over whether is should be on the back edge or down the middle.

    jtk
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

  12. #12
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    Aug 2012
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    Missouri
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    I'm on bench number six now. 5 had tool trays and this last one is an adjust a bench with a 30" top. I still have a tool tray bench in the garage which I use in good weather. I would not trade the 30" top for any bench after 3 years of use. I do like tool trays so I say you need both. I'm thinking of making another one similar to Ken's bench. Narrow working surface, 12" or so, and tool tray. Great for doing most jobs. For bigger work, like case work or work with legs wider than the 12" that 30" top is just what I need. I also have 4 vises on it, one on each corner, one side right handed the other side left, wouldn't trade that either.
    Jim

  13. #13
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    Jun 2010
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    twomiles from the "peak of Ohio
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    The bench in the Dungeon shop does have a tool tray....keeps things from rolling off the edge. One idea to try, IF you want to....make a "cover" that fits over the tool tray.....with a bit under the cover to fit IN the tray. So...when you really NEED the extra space..use the cover-up....Me? I usually need what is beyond the tray....may need to move a couple chisels, from time to time. Once a month, I clean it out..if needed. Makes a nice place to stash a plane, between uses. At least that Sargent #408 won't walk across the bench, while I use a different plane...yet be handy when I need it.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brandon SPEAKS View Post
    If a tool try becomes tool storage I could see it being a hassle. Keep to the rule that if you would not leave it on your bench top you will not leave it in your tool tray and you will be ok.
    Brandon,

    I spent most of my life with folks in shops, in fact grew up living over my Dad's machine shop. In my experience there are two kinds of workers. Those that have a place for every tool and every tool in its place and those whose tools rest where last used. Both can be very efficient but misplace the first guy's tool or move the second guy's tools and they are both lost. I expect with tool trays the story is the same.

    ken

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Koepke View Post
    So often the top of my bench gets cluttered with bits of wood and tools. The way to start the day often involves a quick clean up.

    My feeling on a tool tray has me on the fence over whether is should be on the back edge or down the middle.

    jtk
    Jim,

    I try to clean up before quitting for the day, doesn't always happen but I try. I think the deciding factor would be how wide the main slab is.

    ken

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