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Thread: Carry-on systainer for office/computer/camera use

  1. #1
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    Toronto, Ontario, CANADA
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    Carry-on systainer for office/computer/camera use

    (part 1 of 2)

    I recently made some wooden interst for a Tanos systainer 3 so that I will be able to use it as airplane, train, bus, etc carry-on holding office work items, my netbook computer, and my digital SLR camera.

    This project is descrobed in a couple of extracts from the weekly journal that I maintain.

    February 7, 2010:

    I'm starting to modify a systainer 3 box to use as a carry-on on our upcoming train and plane trip and to hold papers, my camera & accessories, as well as my note netbook computer & accessories. To that end, this week I made what I call an "office top" to fit onto a systainer lid.

    I cheated by using a template -that is the back section of a Tanos 3-sided lid insert (Lee Valley 68K43.75) that is used to hold tools. In the (very bad quality ) picture below, I have just traced the outline onto some 3mm thick Baltic Birch plywood and am about to cut it out with a jig saw.
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Home-made Systainer lid attachment for office supplies 01 -Tracing pattern on 3mm Baltic Birch -.JPG 
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    There are two different means of attaching objects to the inside top of a systainer. These are pointed to by arrows that I have drawn upon a photo of the inside of the systainer lid:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    The four green arrows point to plastic three sided locking protrusions that extend out from the lid. When something of appropriate thickness is pushed down over a protrusion it is first compressed then, once the object has been pushed down far enough, the arms of the protrusion expand in order to lock the object in place.

    The four orange arrows point to holes into which short #6 screws can be threaded. I found that the office top that I made could not be pushed far enough down to take advantage of the locking protrusions, although they had to be accommodated. The office top is held in place by four ? inch #6 pan head screws.

    In the picture to the left below, the 3mm plywood has been cut, holes have been drilled and sides and a bottom have been glued, screwed and nailed to the back. This is lying upside down on the lid of a systainer:
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Home-made Systainer lid attachment for office supplies 02 -Back side of attachment sitting on sy.JPG 
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Name:	Home-made Systainer lid attachment for office supplies 03-Back and sides attached to lid -small.JPG 
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    The sides and bottom will eventually enclose a 30mm x 230mm x 325 mm pocket that can be used to hold papers and file folders. In the picture to the right above, the assembly has been turned over and screwed to the lid. The four plastic three sided locking protrusions that extend out from the systainer lid do protrude slightly through the holes drilled to accommodate them, but not do sufficiently to form locks.

    Next, a 6mm thick piece of Baltic Birch plywood is screwed with 4 brass screws into the sides of the
    assembly. I will call this the front panel.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    I took the precaution of also drill four large holes to give easy access to the four screws the had previously been used to screw the plywood to the systainer. Also, in case I find I want to make further modifications, I have not (yet?) glued this top piece to the rest of the assembly. A clipboard clamp and calculator (Lee Valley catalogue number 88K78.17) and strips of magnetic tack strip (Lee Valley catalogue number 50K25.14) have been attached to the front panel.

    Here is a picture of the unit in use:
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Home-made Systainer lid attachment for office supplies 05 -In Use -small.JPG 
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    Some magnetic pen and pencil holders (Lee Valley catalogue number 88K78.97) and some magnets have been attached to the magnetic strips and a few pens and pencils are bound in place. (aside: I later decided not to use magnets -I am using Velcro instead.) A couple of file folders and my diary are in the pocket. A pad of paper has been attached to the clip board. I treated the systainer to a rough trip and everything remained in place.

    Although, in this case, I used this method to attach an 'office top' to a systainer lid, I am certain that, in the future, I will design different types of lids.
    Last edited by Frank Pellow; 03-03-2010 at 11:23 PM.
    Cheers, Frank

  2. #2
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    (part 2 of 2)

    February 14:

    Today, I completed the customization of the carry-on systainer for office/computer/camera use.

    Below is a series of photos and accompanying descriptions of the systainer in use:

    1)
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Systainer 3 with custom fittings for office material, digital camera, and netbook computer  01 -.JPG 
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    This doesn?t look much like a case for carrying office, computer, and camera stuff. I don?t know whether or not that is a good thing. I see that Tanos manufactures systainers in anthracite and these can be purchased from Japan Woodworker in the USA. Below is photo of an anthracite systainer 2 that comes outfitted for a laptop computer
    Click image for larger version. 

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    It does loop more natural in its role than does the white and blue one that I am using. It costs $110 US. I might end up buying a bare-bones anthracite systainer 3.

    2)
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Systainer 3 with custom fittings for office material, digital camera, and netbook computer  02 -.JPG 
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    First of all, notice that I have made a further modification to the office top that I talked about last week. A piece of Velcro has been glued to the lid. I?m going to keep both the metal strips and the Velcro strip on the lid at least until I have taken the systainer on a couple of trips and used it on a couple of job sites.

    The compartment to the left is used mainly for my Nikon D40X Digital SLR camera and accessories. My Samsung Netbook computer is sitting on top of a compartment that is used mainly for computer accessories. There is room for one CD/DVD jewel case on the side of each compartment.

    3)
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Systainer 3 with custom fittings for office material, digital camera, and netbook computer  03 -.JPG 
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    The computer has been removed and placed upside down in front of the systainer. The notch cut into top of the rightmost compartment accommodates ridge on the bottom back of the computer and this helps to hold the computer in place.

    4)
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Systainer 3 with custom fittings for office material, digital camera, and netbook computer  04 -.JPG 
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    The computer is in use in the box and the box is on my lap. I would not want to use it for a long time this way but it certainly is possible.

    5)
    Click image for larger version. 

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    The top of the camera compartment has been removed. I filed rounded indents in both sides of the compartment so that the camera is tightly contained within the compartment (but not so tight that it cannot be quickly removed).

    6)
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Systainer 3 with custom fittings for office material, digital camera, and netbook computer  06 -.JPG 
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    Both lids as well as the camera have been removed.

    7)
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Systainer 3 with custom fittings for office material, digital camera, and netbook computer  07 -.JPG 
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    The pencil box and mouse pad have been removed revealing a slim disk drive, a mouse as well as a variety of wires, rechargers, and transformers.

    8)
    Click image for larger version. 

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    The contents of the front portion of the camera compartment have been removed and the disk drive has been removed from the computer compartment. Notice that there is a 'standard' systainer foam pad on the bottom of the case. Notice also that some CDs were stored below the disk drive.

    9)
    Click image for larger version. 

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    All the material that was in the systainer (including that stored in the office lid) has been spread out beside the systainer.

    Comparinmg this to airline maximums for carry-on:

    The maximum dimmensions are:

    23cm x 40 cm x 55 cm

    The exterior dimmensions of a systainer 3 are:

    21 cm x 29.5 cm x 39.5 cm (so it is well withing the limits )

    The maimum weight is: 10 kilos

    My systainer with the contents shown earlier weighs just under 8 kilos (so, again, it is withing the limits )
    Last edited by Frank Pellow; 03-03-2010 at 11:37 PM.
    Cheers, Frank

  3. #3
    Frank,

    Thanks for my vocabulary word for the day!

    "systainer"

    it took some deep google searching but I found it!! a box with a lid -- to keep it simple --

    paul --- new word that I can now use!
    Remember the tea kettle - it is always up to its neck in hot water, yet it
    still sings!

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Gallian View Post
    Frank,

    Thanks for my vocabulary word for the day!

    "systainer"

    it took some deep google searching but I found it!! a box with a lid -- to keep it simple --

    paul --- new word that I can now use!
    Paul, it is not my word. Systainers are used by many companies in europe as containers for the tools that they sell. In the USA and Canada, they are carried by only a few companies. The ones that I have used are:

    Lee Valley Tools: http://www.leevalley.com/wood/page.a...64&cat=1,43326

    Japan Woodworker: http://www.japanwoodworker.com/dept....&dept_id=23400

    Festool: http://www.festoolcanada.com/products/systainers

    By the way, I own about 25 systainers of many different sizes.
    Cheers, Frank

  5. #5
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    Very slick, Frank. Nicely done.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

    workingwoods.com

  6. #6
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    Dec 2006
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    Frank, I have been eyeballing the Tanos Systainers for my non-Festool tools, but have wondered if they will stack on the Festool Systainers. Will they? If they do, I am thinking of getting the Tanos dolly for my Festool Systainers.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Satko View Post
    Frank, I have been eyeballing the Tanos Systainers for my non-Festool tools, but have wondered if they will stack on the Festool Systainers. Will they? If they do, I am thinking of getting the Tanos dolly for my Festool Systainers.
    Bill, yes they do stack with the ones from Festool.

    This is kind of convoluted but Tanos, which is subsiduary of Festool, makes systainers for many comapnies (including Festool).
    Cheers, Frank

  8. #8
    Frank this a dandy job , I like it .............Marshall
    Usually Busier than a Cat In A sand Box : Arkansas Red Wolf & Razorbacks Fan

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