As a woodworker we often delve into specialties other related trades and crafts — blacksmithing, forestry, drafting etc, but not many talk about the woodworkers who sew….
You sew?! Yep, and the is the same look I get when I walk into a Jo-Ann fabric wearing Carhartt — I know exactly what I am looking for and where to find it. I’m usually in there picking up supplies to make tool rolls, saw cases and similar projects. In fact the only reason we have a sewing machine at home is because I picked one up to make tool related projects.
Do you do it to be cheap? Like most woodworker’s I’d make water from a powder if I could, but I don’t think its ever really been much about saving money — that sewing machine + supplies was reasonable, but certainly not cheap. I learned the basics of using a sewing machine in middle school Home Ec and figured it would be like riding a bike. When it came time to make a tool roll for my timber framing chisels or a saw case for my panel saws I could not find anything on the market that met my needs, was made in the US or was worth the price being asked of it. So out of necessity I decided if I wanted a nice saw case for my panel saws I better make one myself.
So I bought some heavy duck canvas, poly edging and metal snaps and started making some patterns. Shown in this post are the results of that effort. I made the first of these cases when I was a student at NBSS and they have served me well. I also lined them with material that will protect the tool metal and compared to its unprotected brethren who were only wearing a coat of oil the saws in their cases remained free of rust. My only complaint is that the cases are a bit of a saw dust and cat hair magnet, but so long as I put them back in my tool chest as I do with a plane sock they have been holding up well. Critical joints have been reinforced, the corners sealed (you can melt poly so it does not fray) and the closing strap secured with a metal snap. Just make sure you keep or replace that little plastic tooth protector or you run the risk of sawing your seams. I’ve been very happy with the results and just picked up some material to make some more custom tool rolls for my auger bits and some other smaller tools, so stay tuned for more info on those projects.
If you want to take your subversive woodworking to the next level the next power tool you buy might be a sewing machine, or better yet track down an old treadle powered model. You might be surprised at the results.
If you’d like to learn more about subversive woodworking and anarchy check out these links: