Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Packing up

We're about to take a long trip, so I am preparing and packing up the tools I want to take.  One thing I'm doing before we leave is to make sure all the edge tools are very sharp, so it has been a bit of a sharpening marathon around here the last few days.

The last time I traveled with tools, I took two double-sided diamond stones and a strop.  Since then, the stones came loose from the plastic backing plates, probably because I used WD-40 as a honing compound and it penetrated under the plates, but they are still flat.  On a lark, I made this base to make sure they don't flex:

This is the antique Stanley honing guide I used last summer.  Don't know if I will use it on the trip, but it's fun to have.  I glued wet/dry sandpaper to the plywood to keep the plates from slipping and it works.

Since I don't have a lot of space in my travel chest, I thought long and hard about what tools to take.  Of course, it depends on what I intend to work on, but I seem to be settling in on a standard tool set.

I chose to take the LV bevel-up smoother because I have five blades for it, from 25 to 50 degrees plus a toothed blade.  A Stanley #4 would be better in some ways but the Veritas plane is very versatile and being able to change blades and the mouth-opening quickly is an advantage.  The rest of what you see there is a router plane, a plow plane, a shoulder plane, an egg beater, a dovetail saw, a crosscut backsaw and a tool roll with my chisels, a spokeshave and other tools.

I'm still filling the top tray:


  1. Ralph,

    It's funny you say that because that is exactly what I am thinking about. I am not sure it will fit. Why a rabbet plane? I am going to devote myself to improving my hand tool drawer making and always have a tough time laying out the tails for half-blind dovetails. I want to try the idea that several experts suggest of making a shallow rabbet on the inside of the tails board.

  2. Andy,

    The rabbet works very well, kinda easer to do with a fenced plane but I’ve come to using a wood stock rabbet most of the time, in a travel kit it could be a wash.

    BTW, we are on a long trip and my portable bench and tools are in AZ. Just this AM I was wishing they were with us. I’m going bonkers with nothing to do other than eat and drink too much....

    Take a medium India or Ark and a strop. Either will not take too much room and are cheap in case of lose.