View Full Version : Advice on tool chest for the shop and tools to pack in range bag

June 29, 2000, 11:50 PM
I wasn't quite sure where to post this, so I picked the gunsmithing area. Let me know if it needs to be re-posted.
I'm interested in purchasing a nice tool chest for my small shop to keep my repair, maintenance and operating supplies. I'd like it to be fairly mobile, not one of the hulking metal monsters. I've seen the Kennedys on Brownell's web page. Any thoughts on what to invest in?

Also, what tools and maintenance supplies do you carry in your range bag?

Thanks for the advice!

"I love to do things that scare me, for without fear there is no courage..."

George Stringer
June 30, 2000, 07:19 AM
Paladin, the tools you'll want in your shop will depend on how far you want to go with working on a particular fiream. Brownells sells a Basic Assembly/disassembly tool kit that might be just what you need. You could always add to it. As far as the range goes, I've seen guys bring more tools than ammo but I don't. I have a nylon and brass drift punch, a small hammer, a couple of screwdrivers and a set of allen wrenches in my shooting bag. For me, the range isn't where I want to be taking my or a customer's firearm apart. George

June 30, 2000, 07:48 AM
George, while we're on the topic, what spare parts do you normally keep with you?

"I love to do things that scare me, for without fear there is no courage..."

Mike Baugh
June 30, 2000, 04:49 PM
Paladin , I carry the big Midway cleaning kit box to the range with me [my range bag is always overflowing with guns and ammo] . It has a complete cleaning kit for every caliber or gauge and a rifle cradle built in . I drilled 2 holes in each end toward the hinge and my .22 and .30 caliber Dewey rods slide through the box longways , in the box I also carry a Chapman screwdriver set , a hammer with synthetic and brass head , a synthetic tipped punch , brass tipped punch , a fold up allen wrench set , a couple shop towels , and one of those roll up protector mats to lay a handgun on if I need to work on it . I also carry a "Rubbermaid Action Packer" trunk with targets , 2 sets of hearing protectors , staple gun and staples , targets and a rifle rest with front and rear sand bags . I usually never work on my guns at the range but there always seems to be someone there that needs help so the tools come in handy . I keep a couple of the large Plano fishing tackle boxes at home full of springs , screws , pins , rebuild kits , etc. but I never take them to the range . When I used to run a mill in a small shop I had the Kennedy top chest and riser and thought they were great , but the automotive chests work just as well if not better [deeper drawers] , keep your eye on the Sears ads and you can get some good deals on Craftsman chests . Good luck , Mike...

Art Eatman
June 30, 2000, 11:08 PM
Well, here comes old "Good Used", again.

I have the bottom end of quality of box/open-end wrenches which fit my reloading tools. You don't use them often, so why buy SnapOn? A Sears #2 Phillips, and a "standard" Sears screwdriver. Any used screwdrivers, you can grind to a "hollow grind" shape, and then do a bit of tempering so they'll work on the various screws which hold guns together. I grind them for exact fit.

A quality pair of needle-nose pliers, and a reasonable pair of standard pliers.

A good Allen-wrench set, as mentioned above.

Really, an inexpensive bench grinder with a fine-grade wheel and a steel wire brush is real handy. A BernzOMatic torch and some powdered carbon for case-hardening and tempering screwdrivers. You can take a dead D Cell battery and powder the carbon rod...

A jointed aluminum cleaning rod is a good at-the-range tool. If you seat a bullet too far out, and it lodges in the rifling, you can tap out the cartridge, for instance. And it will fit in the cheap plastic fishing-tackle box.

A four-inch vise with plastic inserts is real helpful. You can hold something without marring it, while you file on it and mess it up real good!

A set of Swiss needle-files. A set of fine Arkansas stones, triangular, round and flat.

A Dremel tool, with every little doo-dad known to man, of which you'll use maybe three.

As for spare parts, I've never needed any, not in the last forty-fifty years. Of course, I shoot a 1911. :) That doesn't mean I don't have a wild animal box with enough pieces to build another 1911...

Dollars and ignorance will lead to more stuff than you'll ever need. After fifteen or twenty years, common sense will tell you what you can lay off on a newbie.

:), Art

4V50 Gary
July 1, 2000, 01:23 AM
I have an 11 drawer Kennedy which sits atop of a 2 drawer base. Why 11 drawer? Because when it's filled, I won't be stupid enough to hurt myself by trying to move it.

Now, for field work, I use a Plano fishing tackle box. Don't get a extra large one since you're going to have to carry it. A medium size one works nicely.

Inside the tool box will be a cleaning kit and supplies (solvent, patches, q-tips, oil), exchangeable bit screwdriver set (Chapman), pin punches, feeler gauges, small ball peen hammer (4 oz max), plastic bench block, needle file set, small sharpening stones, sometimes a trigger pull gauge, snap caps (various calibers) and whatever else I have tossed out from the box.

Keep it light enough so that it'll serve your needs and not rip your arm off.

George Stringer
July 1, 2000, 07:41 AM
Paladin, I don't take spare parts to the range either. In the shop I have bins of parts from springs to recievers. There are some guns that have a tendency to have the same parts break consistently and usually those shooters will keep a couple of extras on hand. But it's been my experience that whatever you don't have is what will break. George