Handled, Rolling tool boxes for field use?

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eli griggs

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I've been trying to organize a Bauer handled tool box set, from Harbor Freight,into my new field kit, for my Hasselblad, etc system.

I'd like to see what others have done similarly, with their own systems.

This kit so far has the wheeled base, a large lidded top, a small or medium, sectioned black case, lidded and the clear top compartment box.

I have yet to put H.D. Foam into it yet and I'd like suggestions to add some insolation to the black boxes,beneath any foam, for keeping these black boxes cool in the sun.

Any tips are welcomed.
 

AgX

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I have yet to put H.D. Foam into it yet and I'd like suggestions to add some insolation to the black boxes,beneath any foam, for keeping these black boxes cool in the sun.

You already got a foam plastic insulation.
Another, inside added (actually substituting) insulation would give no benefit.

EDIT:
But maybe you did not mean "beneath" but "aside of". Then the advice below on the colour of the box makes sense.
 
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flatulent1

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That sounds like a great idea. I have the Ridgid version of the same setup, but never thought of using it for camera gear. Sadly I downsized my accumulation last year, getting rid of my Mamiya kit, in favor of smaller and lighter.
 

momus

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Keep in mind that for anything that receives sunlight, black absorbs all the visible colors in the light, and white reflects the light back. So something black is going to be considerably hotter than something white unless it's always in the shade. It's a fact my Az neighbor was happy to discover when she painted her black truck white recently .
 

Larryc001

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I would invite you to post a picture of the kit, if you would. Thanks.
 

ags2mikon

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When my wife and I were much younger we had a nice high end stroller with the large wheels and it would carry 2 large domke f1x bags and a tripod, after all my rb67 was our other baby. We covered the bags with a baby blanket and off we would go.
 

Sirius Glass

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I still tend to put may lenses in a large P3 back pack and load that into the car. When I arrive a shooting location I walk around to see what I want to photograph and get one lens at a time. After I finish I ask my girlfriend what she sees and I go back a photograph her compositions. She has been a docent for LAMA for decades and has a great eye for compositions.
 
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eli griggs

eli griggs

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Keep in mind that for anything that receives sunlight, black absorbs all the visible colors in the light, and white reflects the light back. So something black is going to be considerably hotter than something white unless it's always in the shade. It's a fact my Az neighbor was happy to discover when she painted her black truck white recently .

Yes, that's exactly why I want to insolate where possible.

Plastic and s a terrible place for metals, without ventilation or insolation, but between my first post and last evening, I think I have a solution.

For field use, I might make a white, full lenght cover, with heavy coated blackout cloth, the same material as I made my exterior windowed wall darkroom, light tight.

The obverse cloth side is already white and it has a rubberized reverse side, which may provide some water/dust protection.

It'll slip over the top, with a pink insolation foam form for keeping it square, and hopefully, my sewing machine skills will allow me to make it so it overhangs three sides with a small gap of air space.

This may be the simplest solution and the boxes can have their tops open when home, to allow air to circulate.

I do no fancy sanding and painting the black plastic exterior with plastic white or silver paint, and this is much simpler

Cheers.
 
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eli griggs

eli griggs

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I still tend to put may lenses in a large P3 back pack and load that into the car. When I arrive a shooting location I walk around to see what I want to photograph and get one lens at a time. After I finish I ask my girlfriend what she sees and I go back a photograph her compositions. She has been a docent for LAMA for decades and has a great eye for compositions.

I carried large, ALICE back packs for years, and in my middle age, back pain led to the discovery that I have a pronounced "S" curve spine, Scoliosis, left to right, so now I am making this system cart for road trips, where my kit can bear that burden.
 

Sirius Glass

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I carried large, ALICE back packs for years, and in my middle age, back pain led to the discovery that I have a pronounced "S" curve spine, Scoliosis, left to right, so now I am making this system cart for road trips, where my kit can bear that burden.

I told my doctor that I am fed up with piece part body replacements and for now on I want a complete body replacement with an eighteen to twenty-one year old hard body, and only one recovery and only one rehabilitation. I have been told that ir it is a backordered and there are some supply chain issues being worked.
 

MTGseattle

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Yes, pictures please. Is your base unit the sku #58512? That seems like a big case for the starting platform unless you're a wedding/event photographer and are also toting a light set around.
I have the Milwaukee packout wheeled toolbox, and the roughest surface I would try and wheel that thing on would be a nicely kept lawn. The rolling surface (contact patch in car terms) of the wheels in relation to the bottom rear corner of the box is way too small for any rough surface. Mine saved my behind on one job (contractor) in a 35th floor condo, but otherwise, I can load it with too much crud(tools) for it to make sense and it just lurks in a corner of my basement.
I did just fashion one of the Apache (harbor freight) Pelican copy #3800 cases into a hard case for my Maiya 6 bodies. I got my case pre-2020, and I've heard that the interior pick-n-pull foam may have changed, but it worked pretty well. 1 body has the 75mm and 1 has the 50mm.
Back to cases: For the money, I really like the Ridgid stuff from Home Depot. It's on sale fairly often, and the sizes of the cases makes more sense to me than some of the other brands. You could also just throw a random white blanket over the cases in the sun. Cheap, effective, and easy to deploy. If the cover is meant to roll with you, I think you will need to break out your sewing machine.
 
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eli griggs

eli griggs

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Yes, that's the system I have, minus the milk crate.

I'm fitting it out for my medium format, with several Canon F1s, n and N and a speed graphic for road trips, one of these which I will go on in a few weeks.

You are right about the trouble with the small wheels, but I'll mostly be working out of a RV and, if I can find time to make a larger removable wheel base, I will.

I foresee a velcroed medium angel iron base with a pair of small bike wheels mounted to the outer sides, for hight and easier rolling over rough terran.

I hope to have all the foam cut by the end of next week, and, possibly the wheel base, for photos.
 
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eli griggs

eli griggs

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Update to last post ;

I may no need to build an angle iron frame, as the base unit uses a single, assessable solid steel axle, which I may replace with a longer round bar, but leave the OEM wheels in place as aids to larger wheels in keeping the bottom from dragging across the case bottom
 

DREW WILEY

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I'm not aware of anything from Harbor Freight that doesn't fall apart in the first ten minutes. I'd also classify anything labeled Rigid as garbage. Milwaukee gear now comes from the same Chinese factory - both brands are outright owned by that corporation. The US sales corporation is just a hollowed out marketing entity for import goods. I'd rather use an ordinary picnic cooler, and do, for truck use at least.

Any kind of conspicuous equipment case has "steal this first" de facto written all over it. Just about the only contractor I knew among the thousands I dealt with that didn't ever get his gear stolen went the dirty old blanket route over tools in the back of his old pickup. The thieves apparently assumed it was just a landscaping cleanup business.
 

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Some time ago I saw a thoughtful suggestion for a camera bag which wouldn't attract thieves ..... a diaper bag! They don't shout Leica or Nikon or Pentax, they're generally have a waterproof lining, may have compartments, and the list goes on. IIRC they are generally big enough for a medium format outfit and they're cheap. Perhaps the strap or handles might need reinforcement, but that shouldn't be too difficult.
 

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Some time ago I saw a thoughtful suggestion for a camera bag which wouldn't attract thieves ..... a diaper bag! They don't shout Leica or Nikon or Pentax, they're generally have a waterproof lining, may have compartments, and the list goes on. IIRC they are generally big enough for a medium format outfit and they're cheap. Perhaps the strap or handles might need reinforcement, but that shouldn't be too difficult.

rothlmao.jpg
 

MattKing

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Some time ago I saw a thoughtful suggestion for a camera bag which wouldn't attract thieves ..... a diaper bag! They don't shout Leica or Nikon or Pentax, they're generally have a waterproof lining, may have compartments, and the list goes on. IIRC they are generally big enough for a medium format outfit and they're cheap. Perhaps the strap or handles might need reinforcement, but that shouldn't be too difficult.

I repurposed a used but fully washable $200.00+ (when new) diaper bag as a soft sided camera bag for my Mamiya RB67.
I had to add appropriate padding, but its great wide strap, useful pockets, robust but easy to use closures and excellent construction meant it was a great choice.
Of course, it was critical that it was fully washable!
And my thrift store purchase was less than $20.00.
 
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eli griggs

eli griggs

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I actually suggested dipper bags no so long ago, no my original idea but super for small amounts of kit, however, a dipper bag will no carry a Hasselblad CM, and four Hasselblad lenses, backs, including at least one A70, a 45° prism, films, meter's, lighting, folding backdrops, etc.

This Harbor Freight carrier is quite well made, and like many other items from HF, competitive with the Milwaukee, better quality and more rigid/sturdier than the Stanley carts, of which have five of and should do fine for what I need... and remember, this set up only needs to please me, bottom line.

Like all makers, tool manufacturers, HF has crap tools too, but when they get it right enough for their users, they are more than good enough.

Just be picky and well aware on makers quality, and use ability, before you take a final decision and pay for tools, etc and you may just find HF has what you need at competitive quality and pricing.
 

DREW WILEY

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Well, I was in a bad mood when I brought it up. Just a few minutes before, I was chatting with a contractor neighbor and appalled that Cheapo Depot is still selling the same Rigid falsely weight-rated extension ladders that brought them a multimillion dollar Fed fine a decade ago due to so many deaths and severe injuries. I've always wondered why manslaughter charges weren't levied against them due to the conspicuously deliberate substandard mfg involved. But Depot has a massive legal department and and has been very successful in disrupting class action suits. And the real Rigid company, which still makes plumbing tools in the US, was suing to get the Rigid name back exclusively, because their licensing of it to Depot was actually losing them money due to ruining their quality reputation. But they got suckered into that, just like many other regretful manufacturers.

And I have very little respect for Harbor, having seen so many junk power tools that literally blew apart in mere minutes at considerable risk to the users. We had the largest tool repair business in the whole area, adjunct to my own role, so we knew all the inside secrets. Neo Milwaukee tool clones often failed in twenty minutes, whereas the real deal back when it was US made typically lasted twenty years or more before needing a repair. Now all that kind of thing is designed disposable, and not even worth repairing. Plus any repair parts that are available are largely worthless themselves. Same with DeWalt. But many of the accessories from both companies, like bits and blades, are still US made and decent.

And yes, some of the tool container systems aren't bad; though latches and so forth tend to be dicey due to using the wrong kind of plastic or cheap rivets etc. The plastic on the Stanley ones has been pathetic so far. I just use Rubbermaid poly wastebaskets that drop right into the top of my external frame backpacks, interchangeably as needed - the 8x10 folder in one wastebasket, the Sinar monorail in another, med format kits in others, etc. Side pouches serve for lenses and accessories, while the lower pack compartment holds jacket, lunch,etc.
And I already indicated my preference for ordinary insulated coolers for additional storage in the truck, or if road shooting only, with a bit of bubble packing added. Just gotta cover those with something else if parked in bear country, less they mistake those coolers for food storage
ones. Tubby the Bear did that one night, but I chased him off before he could do any damage - rather, he kinda waddled away as fast as he could, being hopelessly obese due to his junk food diet. Otherwise, I'm glad I have a phD in Improvisational Jerry-Rigging; it has served me well, and saved me an awfully lot of money.
 
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eli griggs

eli griggs

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Your experience guides your opinions, just as my experience guides mine.

It's no unlikely that others will nurse alternative opinions than either of us, and, if we pay attention, we learn to better judge the items and makers we are interested in.

Cheers.
 

DREW WILEY

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My experience just happened to be, among other things, running one of the very largest tool dealerships in North America, with an especially broad selection of pro gear. Of course, part of that role involved juggling the conflicting preferences and opinions of different contractors and cabinet shops. People even flew in from Hawaii for our selection, and I once had to break up a three-way fight in the line between a traditional long board maker, a Calif style synthetic surfboard maker, and a despised guy who made ultra-expensive looks-only boards of koa wood for rich people's fireplace mantles in their Hawaii vacation homes. They were all there for the same brand gear - Festool - but ideologically hated one another, with that particular watersport having almost fanatical religious connotations to two of them, and a $$$ sign in the eyes of the other ... similar to view camera debates over lovely classic wooden cameras versus precision diecast alloy ones, versus neo 3d printed or CNC etc, but a lot more heated.
 
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