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Forum topic by hg1027 posted 12-18-2012 06:19 PM 2969 views 0 times favorited 19 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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36 posts in 2069 days

12-18-2012 06:19 PM

Hey all

I’m expecting to move from Houston, Texas to Morocco in the next couple months, and I’ll probably have room for no more than about 100 pounds of tools and the like. I’m looking for examples of spartan tool sets, including storage.

I mostly use cordless drill/drivers to fix stuff around the house, miter box if I can’t use the table saw or circular saw, hand screwdrivers, box wrenches, socket sets. I don’t use hand saws or planes as much as I’d prefer as it bothers my shoulder. I’ve built a few bookcases, coffee tables, shelves, but I don’t know what the availability of local lumber will be.

I don’t really know what type of work space I’ll have, but I doubt it will be more than a corner of a spare bedroom, possibly a patio. I’ve seen a few boxes with built in legs and fold out work tables, but I can’t find them now.

I’d also like to hear from anyone who might have spent time in or near Casablanca, and could point me to a source of decent quality power tools.

19 replies so far

View Loren's profile (online now)


10269 posts in 3615 days

#1 posted 12-18-2012 06:24 PM

From what I’ve heard it is difficult to get power tools in Africa
and they are expensive. I think there might be a maker
of power tools in South Africa.

If you have some carving tools you could probably find a
master carver to teach you there.

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Bill White

4906 posts in 3927 days

#2 posted 12-18-2012 06:37 PM

I can’t resist the chance to say, “call Bogart”.
Dang, that was just something that had to be said.
I would be interested in what you decide.


View derosa's profile


1572 posts in 2802 days

#3 posted 12-18-2012 07:11 PM

You’ll probably need to leave anything power behind due to electrical issues.laptops are fine as the power cords have built in converters but most anything else will be fried without converters and they aren’t the cheapest thing from what I remember though not too bad. Just bring handhand carving tools and learn something new. Or spend all your time discovering new people, cuisine and culture.

-- --Rev. Russ in NY-- A posse ad esse

View Tennessee's profile


2861 posts in 2481 days

#4 posted 12-18-2012 07:46 PM

Having lived in Shanghai, I can tell you right away derosa makes a good point with the electrical change. It’s not so much the 220 vs. 120, it’s the doggone 50Hz. Converters are made to do small stuff like charge a phone, possibly run a laptop. No way run a power drill. A cordless drill, you might be able to check and see if any of the chargers are rated for universal use. It usually will say on the label, 120/220VAC, 50/60HZ input.

Might be a great chance for you to experience the hand tool realm and learn tricks that will help you for the rest of your life.

Oh, and get used to the Metric system…

-- Tsunami Guitars and Custom Woodworking, Cleveland, TN

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29 posts in 2244 days

#5 posted 12-18-2012 07:52 PM

As stated above, the frequency change wreaks havoc on synchronous motors. Anything battery-powered should still work, though, just double-check the charger.

-- A new version of the old adage - "Count twice, buy once."

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5849 posts in 3552 days

#6 posted 12-18-2012 08:08 PM

We use 110v here in the UK for outdoor work etc all the time and have no probs with the hertz but then Morroco is a different ballgame altogether. Alistair

-- excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

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1215 posts in 2651 days

#7 posted 12-18-2012 08:28 PM

Scotsman…I thought the UK was 208v (I lived there)...they always have to be different don’t they??? Hertz is important but I’m seeing more and more tools and appliances rated for 50/60hz. Voltage conversion can cost a few $$$. And then the plug ends…(there again the UK has to be different…even a low watt lamp cord looks like our dryer plug…something about a fire a few hundred years ago).

Morocco is somewhat civilized…I’d say store your tools on this side of the pond and see what you get over there for space…we have a lot of space in the US but we are the exception.

View hg1027's profile


36 posts in 2069 days

#8 posted 12-18-2012 08:38 PM

Thanks for the replies. I am aware of the power differences, and I’ll be looking in to the possibility of charging my cordless batteries.

Regarding the hand tools, as mentioned in my wall of text, hand sawing anything more than a few pine 2×4s bothers my shoulder, I had surgery a couple years ago but it’s not 100%.

I can’t imagine construction goes on hobbyists survive without some form of hand power tools, and I can’t imagine international power tool companies give the entire region a pass.

I’d still like suggestions on portable tool box/work bench setups.

View Viktor's profile


463 posts in 3385 days

#9 posted 12-18-2012 09:11 PM

It might not be what you are looking for (too big) but some good ideas there. I think the guy is/was LJ member.

View crank49's profile


4030 posts in 2938 days

#10 posted 12-18-2012 11:40 PM

I would definitely have me a Japanese type pull saw or two.
Square, and tape measure.
Block plane. Couple of chisels.
Glue and screws?
I’d check with Mr Google to see if I could find out any particulars about the power available and then go for some battery powered tools that are compatible. Drill, reciprocal saw, sander. The Ridgid job max setup is nice. One power handle and several tool heads for different functions. I have one and it includes a oscillating saw, and sander. A drill and driver heads are available as well as jig saw I think. Whole thing fits in a bag about the size of a large shaving kit. Get extra batteries for whatever you do.

View sixstring's profile


296 posts in 2210 days

#11 posted 12-18-2012 11:51 PM

Would you believe that Craigslist has a site for Morocco? I just checked under tools and materials for sale and there was only 1 ad in each section. There goes my suggestion…

When in Rome… Im sure there are some local craftsmen out there that could show you a whole new way to work with wood using the local species… Wonder what they have to work with out there? Pretty interesting stuff I’m sure.

Good luck abroad.

-- JC Garcia, Concord, CA : "It's easier to ask forgiveness than permission..."

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3027 posts in 2224 days

#12 posted 12-19-2012 03:26 AM

Here is a list of wood suppliers in Morocco. You might contact them to see what wood can be had for a reasonable price and let that influence your tool selection. I live in the desert SW and wood can be hard to find at reasonable prices, so you may decide that you will want to learn to carve miniatures. LOL On the other hand, you might be able to get some great African woods reasonably. Then, there is the question of bringing any wood products back into this country if there is no certificate of sustainability or whatever is required for importing wood products. Sorry I can’t help with the tool box.

-- Art

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81 posts in 1962 days

#13 posted 12-19-2012 03:45 AM

This seems like the sort of situation the Black & Decker Matrix is intended for:

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1572 posts in 2802 days

#14 posted 12-19-2012 04:00 AM

I see an upside and a down side to that matrix tool set, down side is it’s a black and decker and I don’t think they’ve made anything worth buying in a long time; upside, when it fails you only have to replace one tool.

-- --Rev. Russ in NY-- A posse ad esse

View hg1027's profile


36 posts in 2069 days

#15 posted 12-20-2012 01:11 PM

Well I’ve found out Dewalt makes a charger that should play nice over there, so that’s a big relief.

I’ve drawn a few designs while sitting in meetings, I think I’m leaning toward something we built in Boy Scouts as a camp kitchen box. The box I’m thinking about will be about 30 inches wide, 20 inches tall, and 12-15 inches deep. Legs fit in slots on the sides when in use, get strapped to the top or inside when in transit. One or both faces will be hinged at the bottom, to serve as work space, and have either cord/chain supports or legs of their own. All tools would have a specific slot to keep them from banging around while traveling. Could include a wedge vise if I get the time. I should be able to take care of any home repairs, small craft projects, etc with that. I might do a saw bench when I get there, possibly one that could serve as a side table or shoe bench when not doing a project.

Thanks for the link to the tiny workshop. I doubt I’ll spend the money on the bigger tools over there, but I always like seeing creative use of small spaces, and building several things into one piece.

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