Friday, September 16, 2011

Traveling Work Box

Handmade artistic jewelry has a luxury very few other crafts have, we can take it with us.  Which is really convenient when working Portland Saturday Market.   Not everything travels, but the parts that do our convenient, especially being able to have tools and materials to do minor on the spot adjustments.   The hardest part was finding something that worked well, allowed organization and would hold up to the constant wear and tear of use without being overly bulky.

After trying several different bags, boxes and containers I found the perfect box in the most unlikely locations, the cosmetic aisle.  Yep, you read that correctly the cosmetic aisle.  A Soho cosmetic box has turned out to be the perfect traveling work box.
Traveling tool box
Traveling tool box
It is perfectly square, so it fits in small spaces easily.  Small enough that it does't get to heavy, yet holds enough for several projects as well as parts for minor adjustments.

Tools and supplies fit nicely in the different compartments
Tools and supplies fit nicely in the different compartments.
Here is my work box completely full.  The sides fold out for two small trays on both sides for a total of four compartments and then a large compartment in the bottom.

Pliers, wire cutters, wire straighteners and other hand tools
Pliers, wire cutters, wire straighteners and other hand tools.
The top left side holds most of my tools.  Including three different sized of round nose pliers, flush cutters, chain nose pliers and wire straighteners.  

Scissors, ruler, tape measure, and other assorted items.
Scissors, ruler, tape measure, and other assorted items.
Right hand side top compartment holds odds and ends.  Including a tape measure, a ruler, scissors, ink pen, yellow stickies (sometimes there green or pink) and a hanky. 

Gemstones, sorted in different projects.
Gemstones, sorted in different projects.
Second tier on the right hand size is currently holding two different projects, as well as my sticky pokey for Viking Knit. I keep it in its originial package as I have broken one of them already, we will see if it works.  The altoid containers work great for holding projects with a lot of small parts.

Small parts and supplies for jewelry making.
Small parts and supplies for jewelry making.
Lower tier on the left hand side holds quite a few odds and ends. Above you have ear wire, different types of clasps, crimps and crimp covers.  Usually there is enough room for a third project box.

Wooden dowels, tools and jewelry pieces in progress
Wooden dowels, tools and jewelry pieces in progress.
The bottom compartment holds quite a bit.  Above you can see the dowels I use for "Viking Knit", the draw plate, quick jump ring makers, and additional tools.  The one thing the box doesn't hold is the longer knitting needles used for making jump rings.

Wire in assorted colors for different projects.
Wire in assorted colors for different projects.
Wire, wire and more wire.   The wire varies depending on the projects currently being worked on.  The gift boxes keep the wire contained and make it easy to protect with a cloth from the other items rotating through depending upon the project(s) currently being worked on.



A small peak into how I work, and how we manage small minor adjustments while at Portland Saturday Market.   As of yet, I haven't tried this set up for any of my other artistic pursuits.  I imagine it will work well for some and not so well for others.

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