Carpenter creates new portable workshop

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Box organizes a worker's tools into a single rolling, accessible cabinet that doesn't require setup and dismantling

The Portable Carpentry Worskshop supports a table saw, miter saw and router. It saves setup and dismantling time on the job site.

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A New York carpenter decided that after 23 years of lugging around his portable power tools and machines on job sites, he'd had enough. The wear and tear on his body was taking its toll, so he created the Portable Carpentry Workshop, which organizes all the tools of the carpenter's trade into one rolling, easily accessible cabinet.

"I worked for a company called Showman Fabricators in New York," says Fred Cona of Rolling Trades Inc. in Brooklyn, N.Y. "It's a theatrical-themed shop. We build sets for television and Broadway. About two years ago, I left the company for a short time and went on a construction site with the carpenter's union and that's where I actually developed the box."

While working on the construction site, Cona says, "It wasn't set up right." Tools were on a first-come, first-served basis and nothing was on a stand. He was asked to work on his knees or buckets and he came to the realization that he just couldn't work that way. It was particularly difficult because his background was working in a shop with benches and seating.

"So I designed the boxes to basically become more efficient, have all my belongings with me every step of the way. And in a commercial building, you need to get around. There can be 20 apartments on one floor and you can be 15 floors up. I would use the freight elevator to my advantage so I designed a cart that can fit in freight elevators, go down narrow hallways fully set up. It eliminated all the setup and dismantling while on the job site."

The PCW was developed mainly for portability as other companies sell storage boxes, but none of them serve any function with power tools, according to Cona.

"So I designed the box for a table saw, miter saw and router so you could basically move them from task to task. It is a full work station."

The 28" x 66" PCW is built out of 3/4" birch plywood and steel. Cona is currently talking to manufacturers to mass-produce the PCW in an all-steel version.

"It is a really heavy box, but it does roll around really easy. It has 6" casters and I basically roll this around by myself and the nice thing is you unplug it, roll it to the next area, plug it in and you're ready to go. Yes, it is a bit heavy, but it is easy to move around and usually carpenters on most types of job sites work in teams. Fully loaded, the box weighs anywhere from 750 to 800 lbs."

The PCW fits most of the bench-top table saws and one person is capable of cutting a 4x8 sheet. The box is forklift ready with a full-steel frame on the bottom.

"The unique thing about the box is currently there is nothing on the market that puts a table saw, miter saw and router on the same table. It allows you to use one of the three tools without having to move the other two. There is so much time wasted on the job site moving your tools to the next task."

The PCW sells for $4,850.

Contact: Rolling Trades Inc., 149 79th St., Brooklyn, NY 11209. Tel: 718-576-1559. www.rollingtrades.com

This article originally appeared in the March 2010 issue.

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