When I’m looking to organize my tools or gear I want something that’s going to be built tough, catch the eye, and be versatile. Just as I have curated a fine selection of tools of my trade over many years, I want to find a great case to protect and show them off. After a bit of hunting, I found these elegant leather tool rolls handmade by Gail Carrigan and her shop West Coast East.
Gail started building these tool rolls about 2 years ago when she needed a small, retro style tool roll to fit in the small trunk of her 1960’s sports car. Having worked with leather earlier to recreate the vintage bags of her parents, she self taught herself to make these tool rolls with a main objective: to produce a useful utilitarian product with a craftsman approach.
The leather used for this tool roll is a 4-5 ounce weight black oil-tanned Kodiak leather with a black suede inside. The inside has 12 tool pockets (6 in the back and 6 smaller in the front) as well as a larger pocket to the right, a snap closure pocket and a key fob. The stitching on the seams of the outside and pockets is a 2.5 pound boded polyester black thread. The other hardware include solid nickel rivets, snaps, and key fob and a natural horn button for the closure. Laid flat (unrolled) the bag’s dimensions are 22.5 inches long x 12.5 inches wide. When rolled, the dimensions are 6 inches wide x 12.5 inches long and .5-1 inch thick. The weight of the roll when empty is about 1 pound.
Whether you keep it in the boot of your sports car for wrenches, use it for small chefs knives, brushes for an artist,or any other small tools for a trade or hobby, this tool roll is extremely versatile. In my case I have been using this roll for Oyster knives and other shellfish tools for my catering service. It is small and compact enough to put in a backpack or briefcase and is especially convenient at a job site where space sometimes lacks. Like a fine leather briefcase, this roll tucked under your arm suggests an organized artist or craftsman (if that exists) with a high value for his tool and trade.
A few things I would like to point out is that although there are the pockets in front, they are small and will more easily hold flat tools. Tools that are thick or rounded fit awkwardly and therefore the tool roll won’t roll evenly. Although a minor detail, I had hoped to be able to fit business cards in the snap closure pocket but unfortunately, the pocket was not long enough. The pocket is great for small items such as car fuses, matchbooks, coins for parking meters, or pencil erasers.
Just as it was designed for, this piece is a real homage to a retro tool roll for a sports car. The jet black oiled leather outer and inner suede is striking and gorgeous. Since the lining is suede it will easily pick up dust and bits of whatever is on your tools. Being black, however, I suspect that it won’t appear dirty if you are to carry your well loved and used tools around in it from day to day. Of course with me, my well loved tools are as clean as they are when I took them out and with a tool roll like this you will be sure to keep your tools as clean as you would like to keep your tool roll.
For the price this is a real great value for a handmade piece of such high quality and materials from the USA. The design is simple yet highly useful and versatile. I am sure there are dozens of more applications I will have for this tool roll when I’m not bringing it with me to shuck some shellfish. Check it out -here-.