Sunday, May 22, 2016

New Toolbox!

I've definitely noticed that I have had trouble transporting and organizing my tools when teaching. My bench is always jammed with tools as students return them and I usually spend a great deal of my time stowing and retrieving them from an array of boxes and bins that travel with me. In a moment of frustration, I decided to have my friend Eli Cleveland build a traveling toolbox for me.
Here's the end result. There are three components that stack and the top one fits in front of the middle one when rolling it around on the wheels. There is room for all the tools I need for a class, including multiples of reamers, travishers, drawknives, drill bits, carving tools, spokeshaves, layout tools, mirror jigs, bevel squares, sharpening gear, glues, saws etc...
It changed my teaching experience more than I expected. Not only was my bench clear for the entire class, but every tool was accessible for both me and my students. Dan, who was in his third class taught by me, mentioned repeatedly that it was making a difference in not only the organization, but the tone of the class. I have to agree. Every time a student just walked up the the box and grabbed the tool they needed, or returned a tool to the box, instead of on my bench, it felt like a little victory.

I know that tool storage and use has been a topic of discussion for a long time, one of my favorite books is Tolpins toolbox book, not to mention the Anarchists Toolchest, but I must admit that I never thought that it would make such a profound difference in the way I worked. When I got the box home, I rearranged my shop and organized it so that I could work out of the box myself. I have even taken the time to paint it!
Only the saw drawer has been oiled. I recall that sad feeling that came over me when I realized that I didn't need any more tools and that the types of tools that I wanted to work with were very much settled. But on the bright side, it made investing in a tailored toolbox and tricking it out with dividers a lot of fun. Of course, I still dream of taking the time to build a lovingly crafted unit like Greg Penningtons, but, for now, I'm still an itinerant teacher and utility is the name of the game.

One funny realization came after posting the pic of the chest on Instagram, it got 1785 "likes", which is about 4 times as many as I've ever gotten showing my chair work...hmmmm


Unknown said...

Let not thy work be driven by a quest for LIKES.
This Instagram exercise probably does prove something significant.
Though best to leave that to the scientists.

I do appreciate the revelation on how the toolbox improved both the class workflow
and the mood.

Have a great day.

Unknown said...

very nice toolbox. I think it gives a good work organization.
I've got the impression that a lot of people are more interested in tools, tool boxes and workbenches as in doing projects with it.
I personally like your stuff even if I'm more interested in mid-century style stick chairs.
But your advise (means book) is pretty helpful even for this.


NPC said...

As I scientist I will offer a suggested explanation to the Instagram conundrum. Mouth breathing philistines.......

Potomacker said...

"We shape our buildings, and afterwards, our buildings shape us."
This notion includes benches, and toolchests now.

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
mirriam ndunge said...

very nice tool box

Unknown said...

nice blog

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
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