what tools I carried with me on the road.
By the time I found myself living on the road I had a couple of things to consider:
What was important and what wasn't.
Weight restrictions. Both the airline limits and my own.
My world shrunk to one checked bag, one carry on bag and a 19 inch Craftsman toolbox.
I had a tremendous advantage though. All of the sites I went to, with the exception of Kenya, were established field sites with at least one mechanic stationed there. That meant I had access to his tools and the company tools there.
I had my roll away laid out with the tools I used most often in the top drawer. The other drawers had say, the rest of my sockets and ratchets etc in one, wrenches in another, and so on.
Since I had already set it up that way I had a head start.
That would have included-
Ratchet Screwdriver with lots of apexes.
Needle Nose Pliers, 6"
Safety Wire Pliers (The smaller of the two I had.)
12 Point 1/4" Drive Sockets (You can always use a 12 point on a 6 point fastener but not vice versa)
1/4" Drive Ratchet
Crescent Wrench, 6"
3/8" X 7/16" Ratchet Wrench
1/2" X 9/16" Ratchet Wrench
Honestly, I don't remember exactly what all was in the top drawer at that time.
I laid it all out on a bench next to my little tool box. Then, I took heavy duty 1/2" thick foam and "Shadowed" all of those things in. (Shadowing is where you cut out the shape of the tool from the foam. When you or anyone else look into your box it is obvious if anything is missing. It SUCKS to set it up but it is really nice once it's done.)
Once I had the top drawer stuff done I looked at the space I had and, "Hm, well, I use this a lot too. Oh, I don't use this often but it has saved my butt a time or two. And I'd hate to be with out this."
I think that box weighed 65 LBs.
As to brands, I do like Snap-On. I hate to use their slogan but there is a difference. I prefer them when it comes to tools with moving parts or something I'm going to have to put a ton of torque into.
Craftsman, Cornwell, MATCO, MAC or Snap-On... Get your price list. Hit the pawn shops.
One suggestion, unless you're just loaded, is buy less expensive stuff if you need it to start out and build up from there.
That does two things for you. First, it gets you on the job. Second, once you've upgraded you have a tool to cut down or grind or modify for a particular task. You will be 'making' tools all through your career.
Another good rule of thumb that actually came up today at work, "If you need to borrow it twice you need to buy it once."
I hope this helps. It might be a little vague for you and too specific for everybody else.
One Travel Tip. It seems obvious to me and others. I'm sure it's on plenty of travel websites.
Pack a change of clothes and your shaving kit in the carry on.
When we got transferred to Sicily I tried to tell my wife that. She gave me that, "I know what I'm doing look."
She packed her way and I packed mine.
My luggage got to there with me and hers didn't.
Did I say, "I told you so?"
Are you nuts?!
- ▼ April (7)