Tag Archives: Sewing

The hunt for an Auger Bit Tool Roll…

A well tuned auger bit and brace can be a joy to use. Most new auger bits are mass produced junk and even some of the few remaining better quality bits like the Russell Jennings Pattern auger bits from Clico (UK) take a fair amount of tuning before they cut well. So if you are going to spend a lot of time and hard earned money on these tools,  why would you let them bang around in a tool box?

I set out to find a good home for my auger bits…

Auger bits in new tool roll
Auger bits in new tool roll

Unfortunately there are not a lot of options out there. I was unable to find any auger bit tool rolls that met my quality and budgetary needs. Given the lack of commercial options, I decided to fire up the old sewing machine make my own auger bit tool roll. I made another pilgrimage to Jo-Ann fabric and braved the awkward conversation with the ladies behind the desk at the cutting station. When asked about what I was making they just gave me the usual look of ‘you’re crazy, why would someone want to protect drill bits like that?’ But after some more polite conversation they seemed happy to see someone doing something out of the ordinary.

Completed Auger Bit Tool Roll
Completed Auger Bit Tool Roll

Design Goals:

  • Protect the cutting end of the auger bits
  • Have individual graduated pockets for each bit in a standard set (sizes 4-16)
  • Be made from tough materials that will wear well
  • Have reinforced corners and bottom
  • Have a tie off string/ribbon that allows for quick and easy storage
  • Protect the tools from flash rust
Rolled up for storage -- complete with with a bow.
Rolled up for storage — complete with with a bow.

I’m not trading in my chisels to become a tailor (Who would of thought I’d remember so much from middle school home ec?), but for for a modest amount in materials and a few hours of taking over the dining room table I’m quite happy with how the tool rolls turned out.  This roll has earned a place in my tool chest.

I’m hoping some other woodworkers out there will give it a try and make some interesting new tool rolls and help protect a few more auger bits from the ravages of a messy toolbox.

Take care,

P.S. If you’d like to see more details of how I put this tool roll together, please check out the slideshow below (if you are viewing this via email click over to the post on the actual blog to see the extra photos)

Slideshow Below:

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The Softer Side Of Woodworking Anarchy

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….

Panel Saws On Saw Bench
Panel Saws On Saw Bench

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.

Panel Saw Cases
Panel Saw Cases

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.

Closed Cases
Closed Cases

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.

Panel Saw
Panel Saw

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: