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Alaska Jim's Comments of the Day #24: Two New Totes........Experimenting with MDF

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Blog entry by Jim Bertelson posted 03-27-2010 06:37 PM 1148 reads 0 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 23: Sandpaper.........better than the good old days........... Part 24 of Alaska Jim's Comments of the Day series Part 25: Birch and Moose................. »

I decided I wanted to work with MDF some more, and test out the router table mods. So I made a couple of totes. Practice for the miter arms for the sled, that I want to be truly buff.

This was an experiment for me, using MDF for the totes.
Finished yesterday, they look and work fine. Dados and glue, no metal in ‘em. Finished with my ubiquitous WATCO, medium walnut variety. I suspect I could have made them somewhat smaller in plywood because of the much better integrity of plywood. But I think it would have been nominal, so it worked out fine.

One is for T-handle Allen wrenches that I was overdue in buying.

So here is the T-handle tote, perhaps better described as a tool rack, a permanent place to put them….........

The other is a 15, or was it 20 year overdue redo of a tote that houses tools near my soldering station.

That is also where my magnifying fluorescent light resides. There is a panavise installed there also, and I have multiple jaws for it. So I do precision work, anything that needs magnifying or holding in a small vise, and soldering.

For instance, I ran different wire into the safety switch/plug-in bar that came with the old router table. The old wire was cheap vinyl, although 14 gauge, and quite rigid, and I was running it into a switch box that doubled as a junction box inside the new router table base. I needed to solder things and magnify them, and I held the strip in the panavise as I desoldered, and resoldered the new wire.

So I have some duplicate electrical tools, precision tools, and soldering things in that tote. It is truly a mixed bag. I will probably put some punches of various sorts there also, this weekend, or later. It has a lotta stuff on it, and room for more.

Nothing special…......finger holes to haul it around….....

......and wooden clogs…..not fine Italian shoes…....Dutch wooden shoes…...but made of Oak. So a little class.

And here is the bench tote, built the same as the T-handle tote, just different dimensions. It houses tools for detail work, soldering stuff, and other work…......holds a whole pile of stuff. Standard screw drivers for slot and phillips, a whole retinue of pliers and clippers for electrical, including a first class wire stripper and a brute of a wire cutter. Scissors, miscellanous soldering items…a bunch of small precision screwdrivers…...and still has room for more.

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska



12 comments so far

View lew's profile

lew

10129 posts in 2478 days


#1 posted 03-27-2010 08:09 PM

I like these!

All my various “dedicated tool” are packed in metal tool boxes/tool belts. There’s a belt for the electrical work. A tool box for plumbing and another for the electronics/computer wok. Your totes would make stuff much more accessible.

Lew

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

3681 posts in 1887 days


#2 posted 03-27-2010 08:45 PM

Lew
Thanks for the view. The joints are all press fit dadoes. I will put some more tools on this tote. It supports my sodering station/fine work area. I have spent a lot of hours at that station. I have a different solder dispenser that I built many years ago that works great. Probably should take some pictures of that.

This kinda tote, especially the bench tote with all it’s different hole sizes involves some detailed planning. The T wrench tote was a little easier. That’s the biggest drawback to making these things.

When I do electrical work, Tommy Tote with his primarily electrical bent will do it all except for the addition of an electric drill and screwdriver. For plumbing, I usually drag Tommy along, and then fill up one of the tool boxes with the appropriate wrenches, torch, etc.

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

View Dennisgrosen's profile

Dennisgrosen

10850 posts in 1838 days


#3 posted 03-27-2010 10:58 PM

niice totes Jim
and it great to make shop things
when there is a new tool there
needed pratic leaning before they
are employd to make to make
things for them self there has to
go out of shop on commision
in the fammely
but I still think your totes/jiig/shopthings
shuold bee posted so it can bee found
easely for newbies/everybody that
seaks insperation to make something
simular
thank´s once more for sharing you thought´s

Dennis

View stefang's profile

stefang

13530 posts in 2057 days


#4 posted 03-28-2010 01:25 AM

Love those totes Jim. I like the feet too. I really would like to make a couple myself, but just haven’t found time yet.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

3681 posts in 1887 days


#5 posted 03-28-2010 02:00 AM

Dennis
I agree with you, they should be projects I guess, for the reasons you give, and you have made that point before, and the point is well taken. I’ll think on this. It was kinda an irrational decision to put shop projects in the blog…....just my aesthetic preference, but as you point out, perhaps not the best decision for the welfare of LJ’s in general.

Hope all is well there in Aero, you seem like your old self, over your illnesses. Don’t let them work you too hard….........

Jim

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

View NBeener's profile

NBeener

4806 posts in 1897 days


#6 posted 03-28-2010 02:11 AM

Uhhhh.

Are these things … for some reason … anonymous????

I’m uncomfortable with that. I’d like to comment on them, but … what should I call them??

Confused.

So … very … confused …..

-- -- Neil

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

3681 posts in 1887 days


#7 posted 03-28-2010 02:11 AM

Mike
Your reticence to do the totes is respected. As noted in my response to Lew, they actually take some planning. But it is rote. So last weekend, when I was kinda blitzed out, I didn’t want to do anything with heavy intellectual activity. But it takes time, even though it is easy time. This weekend, Sherie has me doing some things, but tomorrow should be quiet…....or not. I really need to do the miter arms and a couple of other things for my sled. Hopefully on it tomorrow. Of course, then there is the sanding block challenge with Dick Cain, if he accepts it….......(-: ..........bet he does. And of course, I will be up against a master of the art. It’s all in fun…....and that’s what it is all about. I assume and hope your wife is fully recovered and doing well…......anon

Jim

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

3681 posts in 1887 days


#8 posted 03-28-2010 02:27 AM

Neil

Okay, Okay, Okay….......

......the T wrench tote is Tamara…........, I like the name, good resonance in my life.

The bench tote is Walter, ..........why Walter?. He has a smile on his face, just as I remember the real Walter, Walter Alvarez, one of my dormitory floor proctors at Carleton. His father, Luis Alvarez was a Nobel Prize winner in physics, and both he and Walter are credited with the asteroid theory of the extinction of the dinosaurs…......Walter went into geology…......

I don’t think Walter is as grand as his namesake, but they have the same smile…..........and Walter always smiled, and was one of the really neat people you meet in life…............

Sorry Neil, I forgot the monikers….........

Jim

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

View Dennisgrosen's profile

Dennisgrosen

10850 posts in 1838 days


#9 posted 03-28-2010 02:58 AM

thank´s Jim for thinking on me
jaa it´s going better but still don´t know anything
have an apointment with the hospital monday afternoon
but at least I had one hell of a funny week here on L J
+ other sites where I learned a lot incl. a Danish DIY site
where I give lot of funny/good/crazy/stupid advices
always with a smile in the eyes
and read a few english books about woodworking tools/etc.
so the week hasn´t been wasted even thow I can´t work

and don´t skip your blogs about them just ad them to project´s
it´s very good to learn them to know this way and can ping-pong
another way on project´s instead of the more stiff and formel way
when they are shown as project´s
here on blogs we can come with surgesstion/critic/what we see is good
and the most importen as you have felt and get frustraided over
delaying project´s as long as possiple to help L J´s not to spend
money on woods/tools too fast we don´t want them to have
that tress factor in there hobby it´s all about taking care

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

3681 posts in 1887 days


#10 posted 03-28-2010 03:16 AM

Dennis
The informal nature of the blogs is an advantage. Guess I will keep it up….......

Hope all goes well with the appointment….......

Well, think I will sign off here till tomorrow….......take care…....

Jim

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

View Eagle1's profile

Eagle1

2066 posts in 1787 days


#11 posted 03-28-2010 11:47 AM

Great totes. Just pick them up, move them where your working then just put them back when your done..

-- Tim, Missouri ....Inside every older person is a younger person wondering what the heck happened

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

3681 posts in 1887 days


#12 posted 03-28-2010 04:18 PM

Tim
Thanks for the comments Tim. Notice you had some health issues, hope all is well.

I have 4 totes now, one for measuring stuff I use constantly, another is a very old tote with an electrical bent, I do a lot of my own electrical including running circuits. The bench tote that was replaced with the larger of these was a quick and dirty that needed replacement. I will probably build a bunch more over time.

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

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