Essential tools for traveling musicians-What do you take?

Questions about tools and jigs you want to buy/build/modify.
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Steve Senseney
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Essential tools for traveling musicians-What do you take?

Post by Steve Senseney »

What do you take along for maintenance and repair when you are on the road?

Ron Belanger
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Re: Essential tools for traveling musicians-What do you take?

Post by Ron Belanger »

I am assuming this is for small emergencies and string changes on a personal instrument. A small multi-tool is useful and a mini screwdriver with 6 tips that I found at Lowes. The minimum for me would be wire cutters, a string winder and a truss rod allen key.

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Mark Swanson
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Re: Essential tools for traveling musicians-What do you take?

Post by Mark Swanson »

I'd always take a small tool box, full of a general assortment of standard tools, and a soldering iron and solder, extra strings and batteries, most of the time playing on the road involves a lot of setting up and using electronic things like PA systems and guitars with pickups so I always am ready to do an emergency repair, on everything from a guitar pickup to a blown radiator hose on my van. Extra plugs for guitar cables and speaker cables and an assortment of shrink tubing and some good tape. And a good jacknife.
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David King
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Re: Essential tools for traveling musicians-What do you take?

Post by David King »

I have a little zippered case that hold a selection of luthiery tools. Fret pulling pliers, fret crowning file, fret end file, fret beveling/leveling file, sanding sticks and a selection of sandpapers, a little baggy of steel-wool. Some CA glue is pretty critical. A small soldering kit, solder braid, a selection of wire and heatshrink tubing and a hemostat. Double-stick tape and colored electrical tape (for marking cables). A small adjustible wrench, a 6-in-1 screwdriver. A string wider, diagonal cutters, needle-nose pliers. A 9V battery!!!

I don't carry any blades or knives/scissors to keep the airlines happy. Some single edge razor blades would be handy and can be jettisoned without hard feelings.

Patrick Kirkham
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Re: Essential tools for traveling musicians-What do you take?

Post by Patrick Kirkham »

Set of hex wrenches, soldering iron, solder, braid,small box end wrench set, Leatherman supertool, CA,electrical and duct tape, spare jacks, spare strings,spare tubes,fuses,batteries,picks...hemostats,beer opener.
The Leatherman probably covers 50% of my needs .

Tom Sommerville
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Re: Essential tools for traveling musicians-What do you take?

Post by Tom Sommerville »

Band Saw. Can't live without it. 14" Delta or equivalent at least. 18" would be better.

And lots of blades: re-saw, scrolling, everyday 1/4 " blade. Don't forget blades.

If you have to fly, take the red-eye. You'll probably have to buy an extra seat, but then you'll get the extra meal box. You can store the motor in the over-head bin.

Jim Ashby
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Location: Coventry UK

Re: Essential tools for traveling musicians-What do you take?

Post by Jim Ashby »

I always carry what my friends call 'The bag of awesome' -in it there's:-
String winder/peg puller
Tuner x 2
Batteries (AA & PP9)
Picks
Pliers - Needle nose, Flat end & Very small mole grip types
Side cutters
Scalpel handle & assortment of blades
Small screwdriver set
Spares - Jacks, Pins (bone and brass) Nut & saddle blanks with a tiny bench clamping vice and a filing jig
Flat ribbon piezo pickups
Needle files
Nut files
Strings - 5 sets + spare singles (there are some ham-fisted players out there!)
5 A5 sheets of wet & dry
A6 3mm thick piece of flat ground gauge plate
8" steel rule
Allen keys
CA glue
Small bottles of - Meths, lemon oil & a water-based cleaner a friend makes.
Steel wool
Surgical scissors
3x lightweight toolmakers clamps
Various odd & sods of wire & crimp fittings
It's relatively small and allows me to do most repairs/fine tuning on the fly when we all meet for the regular Sunday 'Twang club' in the local pub.
Never had to fly with it yet - I suppose it would have to be hols luggage.

Owen Woods
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Re: Essential tools for traveling musicians-What do you take?

Post by Owen Woods »

Hmm, I'm going to perform at a festival tomorrow morning so I've just been considering this. At the moment I have, in order of priority:

End-cutting pliers
Set of precision screwdrivers
Little pot for screws (field repairs and tiny screws do not mix!)
Feeler gauge
Brass shim
Craft knife (scalpel would be better, but don't have one yet), plus spare blades
Spring hook

Probably won't take spare valves and glue with me this time, since all that was done recently.
I'm thinking that my encaustic stylus and a stick of wax would be overkill, given that if I need it, I'll also need to tune. Since I'm not confident enough with my tuning to mess with my performance instruments at home, I wouldn't want to do it in the field. But eventually my kit will include the stylus and wax, sanding stick and scratcher. The tuner on my phone would be sufficient for the field probably. I'd probably throw in the steel shim and perhaps the wire brush as well.

I wonder how many people are wondering what instrument I play :P

Matthew Lau
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Re: Essential tools for traveling musicians-What do you take?

Post by Matthew Lau »

I'm taking notes...

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