I purchased a heavy duty Pelican suitcase that is meant for
protecting photography equipment. I pack all tools for workshops
inside. Some things are in cardboard boxes, some in plastic. It does
not seem to matter, really, but I do try to make it easy for the TSA
to take a look and put everything back in.
I put a big note on top explaining that I am going to a workshop. If
possible, I put in a copy of the flyer for the workshop, and/or
postcards of my work, etc., to give the TSA a sense of what the tools
I like Tricia Tschetter's idea of including her cell phone #, in
case they want to ask a question!
I fly to teach workshops at least 4 times per year. No significant
problems so far. Of course, there is usually a note from them that
they've looked inside. Like Andy Cooperman, I prefer to fly with my
tools, so that I can use them until I leave.
I try to check in two hours ahead of the flight, so that the TSA has
time to look at the tools, and still get them on the plane, so that
they arrive with my luggage.