I recently got a complete set of tools from a new company that’s going to be a welcome addition to the bonsai tool marketplace, American Bonsai Tool & Supply.
They must be regular readers of the blog because I was told to use them and abuse them as I normally would.
I guess I’m a beta tester or something (maybe I’m just that one guy in the world just ham-handed enough to be able to break an anvil).
They are all stainless steel and they are designed to be the highest quality tools on the market.
My first impressions are that these are nice tools.
Maybe too nice for me?
I clean up good and am full of all kinds of couth.
No, really, ask my 10th grade English teacher, Mrs. Rasher, she’ll vouch for me.
And now that I’ve whetted your appetites with these glamour shots…
I’m going to show you how I will make a new tool roll for them.
My old roll just isn’t up to the job for these tools.
First, it’s too small for all these new tools.
Second, it’s too ugly and beat up to hold all these super classy implements of fine bonsai art.
I could buy one. But then this post would just be me opening a box from FedEx.
And that’s no fun.
So, to the fabrication.
I had considered using leather as my material of choice but I don’t really have access to a big piece.
I could use vinyl, pleather, or some silly synthetic product; they are waterproof and all but…..they’re just not….me.
My old roll is actually not a bonsai tool roll but a paintbrush roll.
It’s made of canvas and I do have plenty of it around (I’m an artist, a painter, and I prefer to stretch my own canvases.. Call me old fashioned, it’s ok).
So canvas is what will be!
The new roll will have to be bigger and, since I’m making it, I’ll set it up in my usual peculiar fashion.
I measured and cut it to a size I figured would work for me (which doesn’t really matter to you all, measure yours to your own needs).
Then I folded each end twice.
Ironed the seam.
Then, using contract labor (my wife actually, let’s hope she doesn’t read this) the seams were sewed.
She had an apprentice seamstress helping her:
Fresh from a collecting trip to Puerto Rico.
Let’s hope he doesn’t read this either.
He knew how to use the sewing machine.
I can disassemble and repair the electric motor running the thing, I can weld and repair cars and build houses and all kinds of technical stuff.
I could not figure out the damn contraption.
I have a hard time with strollers and baby car seats too.
Any who, the edges all sewed so as to not unravel, the next step was to measure the pocket flap (there’s a good name for a band! The Pocket Flap)
And, again, thank you Wifey, sew the sides.
With extra stitching on the corners to strengthen them (my wife’s idea).
Then I marked off some measurements of the tools and had my wife sew slots across half of the pocket.

And then placed them (in my odd way, I like to stack them. You can space the pockets how you like them, or not have them at all even)
And, look! It works, rolls up like a burrito!
It is fatter than the old one but about the same size length-wise.
I may or may not put tie straps on it (or, I should say, have my wife do it).
I measured it long enough that I don’t really need them but she seems to want to put some on so…..one must let one’s wife do as she wants.
If you are smart.
I might silk screen my logo on it to let everyone know who it belongs to (and to grow the ego a bit I guess)
Which would look kinda cool.
Maybe I will, after I fix a few things around the house that my wife just pointed out needed doing…..
The American Bonsai tools will be available mid-May 2014.
They do have a website (americanbonsai.com) but it won’t be fully active until the tools and supplies are available.
I’ll let you know how my new tool roll works out and if I can suggest any additions or subtractions.
And I’ll definitely report back with the results of my crash testing on these new tools.

6 thoughts

  1. Any thoughts on the tools yet? I see their website is now taking orders. Looking between these and Roshi stainless steel tools from Stone Lantern. (BTW, great site and my kind of humor)


    1. So far so good Danny, I use them a lot and I find that they’re easy to sharpen, which is not the case with most stainless steel.
      I like these better compared to some other stainless tools I’ve used.


  2. Thanks for the info. “Tool care and sharpening” might make for a good future post if you feel it hasn’t been over done (or done well enough other places). Actually I don’t really recall seeing any tool sharpening posts on other sites I visit. It begs repeating, we all appreciate the time you take to share your knowledge here.


  3. Nice Post! Thanks for sharing with us… I must say you have a very creative mind and you know how to maintain your such a useful tools. Very much impressed by your blog.
    Keep on sharing!


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