I have a nice tool roll which I received as "schwag" at a trade show. It does its job nicely without overdoing it. It only has 3 pockets, which I like, for a tube, an inflator and a multi-tool. For most on road riding I generally refuse to carry more. My one minor gripe with this tool roll is that I really don't like the big plastic buckle that serves as a closure method, it's unnecessary, ugly and it really only looks at home on more modern bikes (which are probably functionally and aesthetically served better by a wedge pack)
This is my attempt to make my own out of natural components that will look better on some of my more classic bikes.
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Step 1: Gathering Materials
I chose to make my tool roll out of waxed canvas. You could choose a different material or even choose to go with unwaxed canvas. I like waxed canvas, though, because it is durable, water resistant and stiff.
• duck canvas (other fabrics will do)
• paraffin/beeswax (I use a 50/50 blend but either will work)
• junky pot (or large clean can)
• sewing machine
• optional: pins, fabric glue
Step 2: Cutting Your Pattern
I loosely copied the dimensions of my existing tool roll and cut a rectangle of fabric 30x40cm
This can be thirsty work, hence the diet root beer
Step 3: Ironing the Fabric
Fold the fabric into thirds (the long way) and iron a sharp crease into one of the folds. This will form the bottom pouch
Step 4: Sewing the Pouches
I chose to create three distinct pouches of the same size (just like the original) but you could make more or less or vary the sizes. If you desire more pouches it may be necessary to cut the fabric larger initially
My sewing abilities are limited so I tend to go over the same spot several times (probably unnecessary) my technique is poor and I was using orange thread because I didn't know how to change it (I've learned since)
I'm sure it would look better with the edges finished as well...next time
My apologies for the poor picture my wife/children/cats kicked me out of my work space
Step 5: Ironing the Top Crease
Fold the top flap over the pockets and iron a sharp crease
Step 6: Waxing the Canvas
I started by cutting the wax with a sharp utility knife (equal parts paraffin and beeswax)
I didn't measure but all total about the size of a package of playing cards.
Put the wax into a small junky pot or large clean can then create a double boiler setup with one of your larger pots.
Put about 2 inches of water in the bigger pot and bring it to a boil.
Once the wax is fully melted reduce the heat to a simmer.
With the wax still liquid brush it onto the exterior of the tool roll (make sure to place the tool roll on some paper, the wax is difficult to clean once dry)
Once the fabric is coated and the wax begins to dry it will take on a whitish pasty appearance.
Line a cookie sheet with some paper and place the tool roll in the oven at 185 for 5 minutes, if excess wax begins to pool it can be wiped away with a paper towel.
When the fabric is a uniform color and consistency remove from oven. While still warm and pliable stuff some paper into the pouches to keep them from waxing solid and set on paper to dry.
Step 7: Ready to Rock
Try out your tool roll! I filled mine with a Park tool, some hemp twine and an apple bar.
Roll it up and secure it between the rails of your saddle with a toe strap or on your handle bar or in a bottle cage or pannier...
I'll show some on-bike pictures once the blizzard ends❄️