by Jen Thames
Spring and summers are good opportunities to take stock of Ye Olde Workshop, whether it’s in the garage or out in a shed on the lower 40. There are probably a dozen things that can be done in the way the workshop space is organized, tools stored or displayed, and other utility type issues.
Whether giving a gift to Dad, recognizing a birthday or anniversary, or maybe just treating yourself, here are a few ideas for improving your work area:
1) Get a tool bag, like the The Bucket Boss GateMouth. Its called a GateMouth because you don’t have to cram your supplies into a small space, this is wide enough for extension cords, or whatever else you’re carrying. The bag has a semi-rigid framework for retaining shape under stress while both protecting tools. It has a load of pockets for nails, screwdrivers, that sort of thing, 11 outer and 12 inner pockets. A shoulder strap makes it a breeze to carry around.
2) Smith & Wesson is famous for their firearms, but they also turn out a line of quality outdoor gear, including the Smith & Wesson Barbecue Set, which can be used at home, camping, on picnics, or to the beach. The 20-piece set includes tools for every barbecue need plus a case to store it. It includes tongs, a grilling fork, plus meat thermometer, salt and pepper shakers, silicone basting brush, brass cleaning brush, four kabob skewers, and eight corn holders. It comes with a spatula that boasts a serrated meat slicer, meat tenderizer, bottle opener, and cheese slicer. A nylon carrying case completes the package.
3) LED lights are a familiar sight on everything from stereo systems to Christmas trees. New multi-purpose LED powered lights make a great gift to increase security and safety around the workshop. These multi-lights frequently combine an emergency flashlight, automatic night light, power failure light, and motion detecting light all in one. Motion detectors come in handy around dark hallways and staircases. The power failure light automatically comes on when power is lost. An emergency flashlight hours of use without having to resort to candles. Look for a rechargeable model, and don’t worry about replacing bulbs, LEDs last for 100,000 hours!
4) New generation, smaller, more easily-charged power tools are showing up in all kinds of workshops. Tools like the Tornado 21.6v cordless bring pro-grade features and capabilities to handy guy work benches. The Tornado’s max-torque 21.6v motor drills into wood, metal and masonry like butter. With a 3/8″ Jacobs keyless chuck, change bits in seconds — no key to fumble with or lose. Carrying case and AC adapter/charger included.
Another multi-tasking tool around the home is the oscillating tool. Great for work in tight quarters, they can be used for tasks from sanding shutters and removing grout. On traditional power tools, the accessory spins, but the oscillating tool vibrates back and forth. The back and forth motion makes the oscillating tool especially effective for sanding, grinding and cutting.
These garage gifts are sure to get you back in the workshop, with greater power, safety and barbecue sauce than ever before.