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S.Hollowood

Blacksmiths Bag

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I am sure many of you will share my situation so i hope this may pertain and be more useful to all of you as opposed to just me. Anyways i currently do not own, an anvil or a forge, how ever there is a local guild in my area, of which i am a paying member. So i spend much of my time commuting to the guild, with various tools, stock, and projects in various states of completion. Sometimes making a few trips from the car to the forge because of all the different items i may bring, i would normally use one of my shoulder bags, but they don't hold up well the edges of the flat stock, nor do they hold hammers and tongs all that well. I have been looking at old mail bags as  a solution for this, but i wanted to see what if anything anyone else uses. 

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theres a guy in the Prairie Blacksmiths Assoc. who makes a real nice heavey duty canvas bag and a roll up for the punches. shoot me an email and ill get you in touch with him. Ive been usin a bag of his for three years with out a problem.

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Just curious - is there any reason why you have your heart set on some sort of a 'bag', as opposed to other things to hold all your stuff?  Fabric, even the heaviest-duty canvas, would seem less durable to me than holders made of more rigid materials.  Have you tried toolboxes, milk crates, shipping totes and the like?

 

If you did insist on something fabric, a military duffle bag comes to mind.  I used to stuff all sorts of junk in mine when I was in the forces.

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When I use to do the live days at the historical village forge I had a relay nice green heavy canvas hand bag with rope handles, it wasn't very deep but I could put hammers and tongs and carry lengths of steel between the handles, the rats destroyed it one time when I was away 

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An old-fashioned carpenter's tool box would certainly be less jarring than the ubiquitous drywall bucket. Nothing spoils the mood in a historic site like bright plastic.

 

The mid-20th century metal hip-roofed version comes in 24" and 36" lengths, usually with a top handle and end handles, and a shoulder strap can be attached to the ends. As a plus, it is lockable. I get old rusty ones at flea markets and rehab them. The short version is fine for tongs and hand hammers, the longer ones will take even striking sledges. The downside is they will hold enough to cause a hernia if you are not careful, altho I suppose you could add wheels to one end, or get a hand truck.

 

The earlier version of wood is an option as well. Think of the opening sequence of the Woodwright's Shop, with Roy crossing the creek.

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I made a wooden one years ago and did not put a handle in,just drilled big holes for my sledge handle to go through.

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2 five gallon buckets with bails

I agree. Many of the guys I have smithed with use 5 gallon metal paint buckets. Many are plastic these days and I suppose plastic would work until you poke in those hot tongs you didn't quench before and they melt through. ;) I have my bucket some what compartmentalized. I have a 2# coffee can set down in the center than never comes out, but rather acts as a divider in the bucket. Hammers, tongs, and other long stuff including materials I may take to forge, simply go in the bucket vertically; either in or around the coffee can. For small things like punches, chisels, shorter pieces of stock and what have you, I have a large soup can; the family sized; not institutional sized, that just sits in amongst the longer stuff. Its the first thing I remove from the bucket, and it serves as my tool holder at where ever I set up so my tools and such aren't scattered all over. (I lose more punches that way  :rolleyes: ) It also serves as the “catch-all for small stuff ones collects, trades, or is gifted along the journey ;)

While metal buckets get harder to find, (I was given mine at my first vist to Stan's (AKA trying-it) by rthibeau. Thanks again Richard! :) ) , as I said, plastic would work, but I would recommend the large coffee can in the bottom to protect it a bit. YMMV

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Why carry????

Why not a tool box with a set of wheels on one end and a pull out handle on the other?  a bit like some of the suit cases you see around you can buy or make one

That is what I use a lot of the time - The main compartment for the bigger tools and the partitioned tray for small items like punches and stuff.

The only lifting is in and out of the van and I can drop some of the tools out while doing that to cut the load on my back.

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I recently bought a tool bag from Home Depot for just this purpose. It is a Husky and fashioned like a carpenters box like mentioned earlier. It is very well constructed with reinforced bottom, a folding handle,lots of pockets for punches and tools, just the right lenght for tongs, hammers and has a pocket on the side to slide a saw in. In this case a hack saw. If your interested I could take a photo and post it for you. Cost was $45.

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I use both the harbor freight Round Canvas Bag and their Canvas Riggers Bag.  Both can be seen from the post above.  The handle of the round canvas bag will break in a short amount of time.  When they do,  I just make up a chain mail handle for it and cover the center with leather.   The riggers bag is very durable and can hold an awful lot of weight.

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I built this box a while back when I had fewer tools.post-182-0-25987600-1357231693_thumb.jpg Lots of clenched nails and reinforcing, especially on the handles.post-182-0-48579100-1357231736_thumb.jpg Small tray on the left to hold soapstones and other tools that would be lost in the bottom. Not too deep. with a tool roll screwed to the underside of the lid to hold punches and chisels.

 

I outgrew it in less than a year, but brought it with to a smithing conference and it was just fine for a weekend's forging. Next time I'm going to bring one of those camping stove/cooler stands so my tools can be at bench height, not on the ground. I think its 22" by 16".  Just small enough to lift when full.post-182-0-12142400-1357231715_thumb.jpg

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I found an olive drab canvas military tool bag at a local surplus store.  It is about 20" long with canvas handles in the center and holds the hammers and smaller tongs and vicegrips just fine.  It also has interior pockets for punches an other small items (like rivets).  I suspect that it isn't actually surplus from some military but was manufactured in a military style in some country on the west side of the Pacific Ocean.

 

Try a decent sized surplus store before Harbor Freight or the big boxes.

 

Portably,

George M. 

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Like George I also use surplus military tool bags, the large 19" one for hammers, tongs, files, medium displays & projects... and the 11" one for punches, borox, beeswax tins, small displays & projects...

 

These are the ones I have in Olive Drab.  The canvas is thick and strong, will be a while before I wear through it.  Also the size helps limit the damage to your shoulder.

 

http://www.sportsmansguide.com/net/cb/jumbo-military-surplus-style-mechanics-bag.aspx?a=60127

 

http://www.sportsmansguide.com/net/cb/military-surplus-style-mechanics-bag.aspx?a=70900

 

Rich C.

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Why carry????

Why not a tool box with a set of wheels on one end and a pull out handle on the other?  a bit like some of the suit cases you see around you can buy or make one

That is what I use a lot of the time - The main compartment for the bigger tools and the partitioned tray for small items like punches and stuff.

The only lifting is in and out of the van and I can drop some of the tools out while doing that to cut the load on my back.

 

I do something similar to this with my 5 gal bucket. I have a small luggage dolly I strap it too. Neither my  carry-it nor my bend-over work so well anymore ;)

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I use one of these.  Plenty of pockets on the outside for organizing those small tools, and roomy enough on the inside for hammers and tongs.  Maybe no the most fitting for an historical setting, but it's great for everything else.  Wheels are your friends!

 

image_12540.jpg

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I used to use one of these working during the summer at the ski area.  I would think this would be a good compromise betwixt having a durable container and plenty of places to put stuff.

 

bucketbag_zps9ff63c0b.jpg

 

But the idea of a case/box/bag with wheels on it surely has merit as well.

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If you are looking for a BAG like this on right....

totesTop.jpg

Search internet for "coal bag" "linesman bag" "tote bag"...

Maybe here....

http://www.carryology.com/2010/08/12/market-totes/
http://kk.org/cooltools/archives/003570

I have one like in right side of picture and it very strong with heavy canvas sides (lower portion) and double bottom and built to take real wear and tear.... I use one for hauling tools and materials in and out of gold claim....

I got my through Duluth Trading, but unfortunately a check of their store front shows the no longer carry that particular bag.....


A way to do a visual search for appropriate bag may be to go to GOOGLE and click on IMAGES and use search string for "canvas tote bag" or "coal bag".... IF you see something you like click on image and it will take you to a web site, most likely a retailers....

A search for linesman bag turn up something like this...

26fb872f-e87d-4633-849a-39bf849db93a_300

IF you are looking to pick one of the tote bag style locally (but you pay a lot for the Klein name - over "generic" bag)...

http://www.homedepot.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?productId=100647839&storeId=10051&langId=-1&catalogId=10053&cpncode=34-2920036&srccode=cii_79916502&cm_mmc=shopping-_-WhereToBuy-_-D27-_-100647839#.UOiyS6zNmSo

Dale

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I found an olive drab canvas military tool bag at a local surplus store.

When I was in the service, I saw lots of O.D. tool bags in use, and they all seemed to be holding up really well. As George pointed out, though, you may not be able to procure the genuine U.S. government-issued article. It's worth a shot. I was just looking at them yesterday, in fact.

 

If you do end up buying one, be sure to post a review for us to let us know if it was worth it  :) .

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My son has a craftsman (Sears) Masons tool bag he carries his carpenter tools in for the last 10 years ,still holding up very well to daily use to and from job sites 

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