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Thread: Specialty tool box

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2018
    Location
    N CA
    Posts
    640

    Specialty tool box

    Here in the Foothills of the Sierra given recent history and having our first of the season fire hazard warnings Im thinking about ways to secure my hand tools, planes, chisels, measuring, etc. I have been considering building a C Schwartz wooden box but given our situation I thinking about how to secure them in the event of a fire, and we are squarely in the cross-hairs there. Id appreciate any comments or suggestions on my idea. The suggestion to move is not happening as the kids and grands are here, so, so am I. Perhaps another couple months of smoke will convince them for the kids sake.
    Our property is clean, clean from a fire prevention standpoint, in the building material choices (Hardi and Metal) as well, but I have seen buildings explode into flames with the actual flames well over 100 away, just due to the heat of the storm. If the building goes it all goes. Last summer when we evacuated I parked the tractors out in the middle of the yard. There is nothing to burn out there. So my idea is to take a Knaack 36, put an axle and wheels on one end and wheelbarrows/hand cart it out of the shop into the yard with the hand tools in it. Pull the wheels and drop it. I will have to build it out to accommodate the tools and it will be heavy. The Knaack box itself is 96# and having broken into a number of them, that is another story, you have to have time and tools to do so. It would be below the brow of the hill so not in line of sight from the road. Risky, yes, but no more so than living here. This all assumes I have time to do the prep before bugging out. Any suggestions?
    https://www.knaack.com/products/jobs...ChestSeries/36

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Putney, Vermont
    Posts
    944
    Jack, This may sound like an insane idea, but if I was in your situation and I had belongings that I would never want to lose, I would look into having a new septic tank buried somewhere on my property with an opening that I could get into to store my stuff.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    San Francisco, CA
    Posts
    9,618
    Why are you moving the Knack box from the shop area to the yard -- when you have a tractor available?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    South Coastal Massachusetts
    Posts
    6,841
    If you're facing a wildfire grab your family, pets and run the other way. Seconds count.

    https://www.readyforwildfire.org/pre...cuation-steps/

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    El Dorado Hills, CA, USA
    Posts
    172
    Living in those same foothills myself, every time my wife and I have such discussions we look at our insurance policy and decide that we need to focus on those irreplaceable items and not those I could re-buy. In my case, most all of my tools could simply be bought again, and my insurance will cover them.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    Modesto, CA, USA
    Posts
    5,935
    How about a insulated shipping container or chest freezer. Make sure the eaves are boxed in with stucco. or hardi plank and vented with ember resistant vents. I like the idea of an adobe shed with tile roof. I watched them build a copy of an old one in the bay area. They built a cinderblock house with rebar etc, then stacked adobe blocks on the outside. plastered walls inside adobe outside. Looks very authentic to me.
    Bill D.

    https://www.sanpabloca.gov/966/Alvarado-Adobe-Museum

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    New York, NY
    Posts
    2,170
    Move the shop into a Ford Transit or similar van? Everything is always all ready to move in your getaway vehicle.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Location
    Cambridge Vermont
    Posts
    1,524
    I assume that your plan is to move stuff long before the fire gets too close. If you have the land I would bury a shipping container with access to just the doors. But that depends on a number of things, like ground water and if you are allowed to do it. You could store a lot in one of those containers.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2019
    Location
    Fairbanks AK
    Posts
    757
    Creative idea Jack. My mom is in Tehama county CA with off and on fire evacuation stuff too. And I have a 24x48 Knaack that I turned into a BBQ cooker, and I am pretty well read on the CS tool chest.

    1. Putting your tools into a Knaack box with wheels and barrow handles on it is an excellent idea. Made of pine and loaded up with tools that will be one heavy sucker. All the tools in a Knaack box with wheels and handles will be a lot easier to move than the CS design. I could work out of that no problem, probably easier (with my back) than working out of a tool chest on the floor.

    2. At my mom's house the two fire stages are "You are on alert until further notice" and "evacuate now, just get in your car and drive away now Now NOW!" On thing my mom has done is identify the stuff she carries out to her vehicle when she is on "alert" and the stuff she will grab when it is time to go "now Now NOW."

    3. Of the tools I own, I have a Disston D23, a #5 Bailey and a framing square that all belonged to my grandfather. The rest of it is just stuff. Have you a similar list? I can see carrying the three irreplaceables to my vehicle on alert and then pushing the Knaack out the garage door when it is time to go.

    4. What are your options for a heat proof vault? I think Alex and Bill and Michael are all kinda pointing at the same idea. Do you have the resources/ acreage/ zoning approval to put in some kind of heat proof vault to keep irreplaceable things in? Attached to the house? For thanksgiving, bring out great grandma's table cloth. Bring out Uncle Elmer's Christmas ornaments seasonally. In event of evacuation, close and lock the door after you wheel your Knaack box in there. Keep your hunting rifles, bullion and passports in there. Come back after the fire, unlock the door, reclaim your irreplaceables.

    5. The lock was jammed on the old Knaack box I bought, it was a hard thing to open. My fabricator charged me $$ to remove the lock and latch. It is a good product, but if two men can throw it in a truck and drive way it is gone forever.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2018
    Location
    N CA
    Posts
    640
    Thanks for the replies. Moving anything but ourselves and the two cats and dog assumes time availability, which frequently is not the case today. the 18 Tubbs Fire in Calistoga that burned to Santa Rosa took 24 hrs to make that trip when it burned in 64. In 18 it took just over 3 hrs. It burned right around my old house just at the Napa Sonoma county line. Dave, your suggestion is probably best on this. I have updated the inventory with photos, videos, coverage and review with the ins. Co and do so annually. You cant push them to hard as they drop people as soon as possible.
    The septic tank, container idea is good but financially is unlikely to happen permit wise $ wise and I have a backhoe. If I go ahead with this I would throw one of those Milwaukee trackers discreetly into the box in the event of theft. They work quite well according to a contractor friend who had occasion to use them. Bill thanks for suggestions. There are Montana State Fire Academy videos that show the difficulty in preventing ember intrusion. They adhere to the lows of fluid dynamics and penetrate impossible areas. Im going to lay-out the hand tools and see exactly what Im talking about here.

  11. #11
    Turn a Liberty gun safe into a toolbox. No need to move it then.

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