Traveling by plane with tools

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  • #21102
    Carlos J. Collazo
    Participant

    Hello everyone, Resi, Phil and the team -I most likely will be on a flight at some point this holiday season to be where there is a bench to do some woodworking if I want to. I would like to take a set of my tools. I figure I can check a box with tools in it carefully wrapped up, as I have yet to build the Tool Chest project.

    Was wondering what solutions or tips others would like to share for transporting one’s tools and equipments on a plane. I guess a “traveling tool chest” with the dimensions of less than 62″ linear total would do it. I have not looked at the cut list yet for the tool chest build, so Paul’s Tool Chest may be the best option in all cases, provided the dimensions work for purposes of the airlines not charging extra fees. Of course, I need to build it first, and I am not ready yet as I am just getting a creative space set up.

    Thanks for your thoughts.

    Carlos

    New Jersey, U.S.A.

    #21740
    Magnus
    Participant

    Handling on airports is very rough. Don’t think a standard wooden chest would hold up to the abuse for very long. Iron clad corners and reinforcements perhaps? Tools in carry-on bags aren’t popular these days, and will be confiscated unless you happen upon the same woman security officer I once did. Visiting Canada I filled my bag with tools I picked up at Lee Valley. Discovering I was over weight I had to put some heavy items in my carry-on luggage – a Veritas hold-fast and two brass bench dogs to be exact. Passed through security in Canada with no problem but got stopped at Heathrow. After having explained what the items were to the security staff at Heathrow the woman in charge simply said: “Can’t separate a man from his tools” and let me pass with tools.

    #21741
    RL
    Participant

    When I have travelled to woodwork courses in the past, I put my delicate tools in a systainer with foam cut-outs that I have made for them.

    http://www.leevalley.com/en/wood/page.aspx?p=64657&cat=1,43326,64664,64657

    #22710
    Carlos J. Collazo
    Participant

    Magnus and RL –

    My apologies for the delay in getting back and expressing my thanks…RL: Thanks for that link to the Systainer product, and sharing your experience…Magnus, thank you for the tip, and sharing the funny story about the security agent at Heathrow. I sometimes long for our agents here Stateside to have a similar common sense and good humour when it comes to the necessities of travel.

    RL, the Systainer systems seem like a very effective system to use, stackable, and to work well with different kinds of foam material. The choice of foam material and how you use it seems to be key to keep the tools from crashing into each other when jostled by airport handling. However, at $80 (£49) and up price I’ve seen here in the States for what is essentially a plastic box seems hard to justify. Given that they appear to be made in an injection molding process which churns them out on a mass production scale. (I worked a bit once with these machines in a factory setting). I know they are part of a stackable system, but still seems pricey.

    Good news was I was able to locate one of those hard-shell suitcases with the metal-clad corners that photographers and field technicians use for their equipment. (It was actually from my computer field tech days). Now I think I will try to use it together with some “diced” foam…foam cubes you can get inexpensively for shipping glassware and such. I’ll report back to show how it all hangs together.
    Wish me luck.

    Thanks again guys

    Best,

    Carlos

    New Jersey, U.S.A.

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